Dawn patrol was cut short today. It was raining lightly and after a few shots my images were getting very hazy. I had gotten something on my lens that just smeared and refused to come off with just simple wiping. So back to the hotel for me and some serious lens cleaner.

After breakfast we headed out again to a very strange shooting situation. We were going to the house of a sick elderly woman to photograph her place. Apparently it had been arranged that we would each give her a CUC ( pronounced kook) for allowing us to photograph there and she would use this to purchase medications. It kind of creeped me out and I took a few quick pictures and got out of the close environment of her apartment. Outside was more interesting to me photographically anyway. The entrance to the complex was kind of eerie looking and I kept waiting for someone to come through the door to make a really moody image.  Then, we noticed that someone was fumigating an adjacent apartment and it looked like the place was burning down, except you could see a guy with a glowing red apparatus shooting smoke into the place. After taking a few shots I decided to exit to the outside and into fresh air, because the place was getting totally engulfed in these fumes of who knows what.  I’m sure OSHA and the FDA would have had a fit.

Then the police came for some reason and we all decided it was a good time to quietly head back to the hotel and have lunch.

Heading back into the streets for the afternoon shoot I got interested in photographing some fruit vendor and got separated from the group. I heard some mariachi sounding music and followed that to a beautiful little square, Plaza Vieja.  This could almost be Spain or Italy! There was a lovely little outdoor cafe area with lots of folks eating and drinking and enjoying the live band. What caught my eye was this little old lady, looked to be well into her 90′s dancing to the music while holding on to the railing in front of the band. Thought this would make an interesting picture. Went over and danced along with her and asked if I could photograph her. She didn’t seem to mind. After a few shots I offered to show her the images but she said she could not see them. That’s when I noticed how cloudy her eyes looked. Cataracts I suppose. Then she ask me the time. I said ” cinco” and then she said goodby and ambled off.

The band stopped playing but it was such a nice afternoon I just sat down, ordered a beer and people watched. A group nearby was being quietly serenaded by a guitarist in their midst. A man was getting his shoes shined the old fashioned was, up in a raised seat by another applying the shoe polish, literally by hand, like I remember seeing at home decades ago.

On the way back to he hotel I came across a simple artist’s studio.  I could see the young man painting through the doorway and he motioned for me to come in. Nice fellow, nice work. Took a few shots and promised to email them to him. He seemed pleased.

A little later I passed a bakery. Very simple. Just bread. There was a long line of people. Appears some paid with money while others were using a ration card or something.

That evening we had our second one on one critique with Raul. I hadn’t taken any winners that day but it was interesting to see what everyone else was doing.

Felt good to finally hit the hay.