Thru out my life there have been many people that asked how I became a photographer. I was 19 years old attending the University of Puerto Rico and was told I needed to add a couple of electives to my curriculum. After looking at what was available I finally decided on two classes that peaked my interest, French and Photography. Little did I know that the two choices I had made literarily defined me in ever way. Anyone that knows me, knows I love to travel and learn about new cultures and languages. And photography for me is the opportunity to capture the beauty of life with all it's glory and imperfections. I have been very lucky to have the opportunity to see a bit of the world, yet I am always looking to explore more, see more, learn more.
My photography is classic but it's defined by capturing essence. The essence of a beautiful scenery, the essence of a person or simply the essence of life. Life to me is light and photography is light. The presence or absence of it, the direction of light is what makes a photo.
Here I have just a few photos taken with a Yashica and 35mm Black and White film. No flash, only using available light to document life as it was, uninterrupted. Soon after taking these pictures I couldn't wait to go into the lab and develop them. I spent hours in the lab loving every single minute of it. I have to say I don't possess the virtue of patience when I want something. Going thru the steps to expose my film and see the results of what I can only describe as being a witness was exhilarating. I could no sooner wait for the image to appear in my paper as I ran it thru the chemicals. This is why in some of my photos you may see some chemical stains.
Yes this is evidence of my lack of patience. I couldn't wait any longer to see the world again, to see it thru my eyes.
The photos I share with you today were my first photography work as I was learning the art and were taken in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico between 1989-90. Old San Juan today remains for me a place full of life, history, mystery and love. When I ever I get the opportunity to shoot there is like I take a step back in time. I start imagining what it was like back when the spanish explorers lived there. I wonder what it was like later on as my parents lived their teenage years. I wonder what is like today with the millions of people that visit the place. Today just like when I was a child Old San Juan remains magical to me and it is and will always be one of my all time favorite places in the world.