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Thread: We've been together now for thirty years, and it don's seem a day to much...

  1. #1

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    We've been together now for thirty years, and it don't seem a day too much...

    Whenever I see this image of my friends Julio and Marķa, I think about the music hall song. The story behind my emotion is a long one, sometimes sad because of separations, but often with bright memories of happy family life. At the time I snapped the shot, they had been together for about thirty years, and their two daughters had emigrated since a couple of years, but they were still being held back by Cuban bureaucracy.

    The pretext for the violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 13 (2) "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country." is that the government gave them "free" education and shall have the right to reap the fruits thereof. They were still held back, although they had worked for more than 25 years each in Cuban hospitals. They are both medical professionals. He is a senior surgeon, proctologist, and she's a stomatologist.

    A couple of years later, they finally got their permit to leave, and had to turn in all their possessions to the government before leaving. Their house had already been permuted to relatives, but the old dilapidated Lada that took us to the beach that day became state property. When Cubans migrate to a foreign land, all they are allowed to take with them is the clothes they are wearing. And they won't be allowed back.

    Julio and Marķa, my wife and I, went to the beach in Siboney that day in Julio's Lada. It was a moderately hot day, about 28 degrees centigrade (82°F) in the air as well as in the water, a bit hot to my taste. I lay resting the shadow of a tree in a hammock, together with my wife, and Julio took up his camera to snap a few pictures. I hadn't brought any camera, but Julio wanted me to take a picture of them two, so he gave me his camera - it's a Nikon Coolpix 775, a p&s from 2001, 2 megapixel. The best camera always is the one you have with you to take the picture.

    I took up the camera, pointed it at Julio, and Marķa came up behind him, leaned over him and laid her arms over his shoulders, and on the little stamp-sized screen, I zoomed them in and saw what I thought would be a nice picture - click. And the result is an image that for me carries so many memories, that tears sometimes come to my eyes when I see it. And often when I see those discussions about gear, this image pops up in my mind, one that for me is one of the best portraits I have taken. Maybe the image won't convey that to others, but for me, it is an icon.

    We've been together now for thirty years, and it don's seem a day to much...
    Last edited by Inkanyezi; 30th November 2012 at 12:02 PM. Reason: typos

  2. #2

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    Re: We've been together now for thirty years, and it don't seem a day to much...

    The title and picture speak volumes and the story behind it makes it even more so. Thanks for sharing this, Urban.

  3. #3

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    Re: We've been together now for thirty years, and it don't seem a day to much...

    Obviously very tricky lighting there, so you did well to get that photo.

  4. #4

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    Re: We've been together now for thirty years, and it don't seem a day to much...

    A picture always has a story and yours is as great as any. Looking at this nice picture, one can feel the emotions...
    Patrik

  5. #5
    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: We've been together now for thirty years, and it don't seem a day to much...

    I hope they are doing well in their new life. It is a well done picture and for you and them it is beyond value. Reminds of us of why we take pictures; to capture the moment, to let others see the important parts of life and as an aide memoire for the future.

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: We've been together now for thirty years, and it don't seem a day to much...

    Great timing Urban and an interesting/educational story.

  7. #7

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    Re: We've been together now for thirty years, and it don't seem a day to much...

    Such a great story on so many levels. Thank you for sharing it.

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: We've been together now for thirty years, and it don't seem a day to much...

    Congratulations. My wife and I have been together for over twenty years and it seems like yesterday that we were married... I would do it over in a heartbeat!

  9. #9

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    Re: We've been together now for thirty years, and it don't seem a day to much...

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Obviously very tricky lighting there, so you did well to get that photo.
    Someone said tricky lighting.
    I'll post a picture here that was taken a couple of minutes before the one I took, and it shows lighting conditions fairly well. The sun is shining from a cloudless, only slightly veiled sky. It has been close to zenith earlier, but now it stands in a more westerly position. Shadows are harsh, speckling the bright white sand with almost black spots. Even for the naked eye, this is an almost painful contrast. The bright white sand hurts my eyes, and I have sought the shade of the tree where we hung our hammock. It is a bent tree, the hammock suspended from two points along its trunk.

    This picture was taken by Marķa, and it shows the beach fairly well, as well as the distant landscape, but the people in the shade of the tree are not too well rendered. I admit that lighting was a bit tricky. That's why I asked Julio to stand closer to the sun, so that he'd be illuminated mostly by light reflected off the white sand. His left arm that receives direct sunlight is completely washed out. I use the same tree trunk that suspends the hammock as my sunshade. In the shadow of the trunk, I avoid flare. There are several shots from that camera on the beach, and most of them resemble this one.

    We've been together now for thirty years, and it don's seem a day to much...
    copyright Marķa Adelina Arguelles
    Last edited by Inkanyezi; 2nd December 2012 at 02:15 PM.

  10. #10

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    Re: We've been together now for thirty years, and it don't seem a day to much...

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Congratulations. My wife and I have been together for over twenty years and it seems like yesterday that we were married... I would do it over in a heartbeat!
    Congrats to you!
    Actually, my wife and I have been married only ten years so far, but I hope those years will augment for a long time to come. It was my friends Marķa and Julio that had been married about thirty years when we made that trip to the beach. They reunited with their daughters in Miami and so far they have one grandson, and unlike many Cuban grandparents, they can see their daughters and grandchild in the diaspora that they share.

  11. #11
    jjbacoomba's Avatar
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    Re: We've been together now for thirty years, and it don't seem a day to much...

    Beautiful shot! Beautiful story!

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