The Pretty Painterly Palettes of Old Havana

Wall remnants, a painted palette of Old Havana, Cuba by Carol Schiraldi of Carol's Little World
“Wall Remnants” by Carol Schiraldi, Old Havana, Cuba, iPhone 15 Pro Max, 2024

Up until now, I have been sharing my unedited iPhone images. Today, I decided that I would process some of my images from Old Havana. One of the things that really struck me about the location was that it was almost like a painter’s palette wherever you looked. There were scenes like this one, basically the colors and textures from a painting, around almost every corner. As you could guess, I love these kinds of scenes, in part because I like to paint and it reminds me of painting. As a photographer, I have always been in the “lazy painter” camp, so Old Havana was quite the place for me.

There is a lot of beauty in the decay there. There is a lot of peeling paint, washed out boards, missing windows, courtyards that have been weathered over time, it really makes for a lovely location. If you use Old Havana as a backdrop and work with models or people or even if you just choose to focus your lens on the subject itself. It’s such an interesting place and many of these images jump out at you just for that reason. There is elegance in the decay and charm in older buildings and it really stands front and center in Old Havana.

You can’t help but find these opportunities as you walk along too. The streets are narrow, the buildings all painted, and the courtyards pretty much beckon you as you walk. While we were sitting over drinks one day, musing about Hemmingway, I mentioned that the place really reminded me of another American author. In many ways, Old Havana reminds me a lot of the “broke-down palace” that Steinbeck spoke of in his novel, “Cannery Row.” In his novel, the “broke-down palace” was the name some vagrants gave to a dilapidated warehouse where they lived. Old Havana is very much like that “broke-down palace” in many ways, Hemmingway aside. Personally, I am no stranger to photographing abandoned buildings, so I felt right at home in the environment and enjoyed the abandoned Old Havana almost as much as the fancy newfangled hotels.

Some additional painted images to share today. This one is a doorway with an ornate iron gate as viewed from the inside. This was on one of the squares in Old Havana. It’s actually inside a museum of sorts. They were kind enough to let us in to take some photographs.

Doorway from the inside, iron gate in Old Havana, Cuba, image by Carol Schiraldi of Carol's Little World
“Doorway from the Inside,” iron gate in Old Havana, Cuba, by Carol Schiraldi, 2024, iPhone 15 Pro Max
Painted door in green, doorway and wire from Old Havana, Cuba by Carol Schiraldi of Carol's Little World
“Painted Doorway in Green” doorway and wire, image from Old Havana, Cuba by Carol Schiraldi, 2024, iPhone 15 Pro Max

This one is a street view of an older building with an exposed wire. I loved the color of the door and opted to make it more painterly, rather than a straight photograph.

Next up we have a night view. I love the night mode on the iPhone, it really handles the low light situations quite well and editing the results can give you very painterly images. Here’s one from the night streets of Old Havana.

Night view of Old Havana, Cuba, painterly rendering by Carol Schiraldi of Carol's Little World
“Night View of Old Havana, Painterly Rendering” by Carol Schiraldi, 2024, Havana, Cuba, iPhone 15 Pro Max

As you can see, the painter’s palette is not lost in Old Havana.

Until next time…

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