I took a business trip to Puerto Rico a few weeks ago and since I knew that I would have a couple of hours to spare I decided to take my camera with me. During the flight I thought about what I might want to shoot.
I actually lived in Puerto Rico for several years and therefore I had lots of ideas. However, one thing in particular that always fascinated me was the mix of Latin American and Caribbean architecture and therefore I thought this might make a good subject. However, since “architecture” is a pretty broad subject matter I thought about how I could narrow this down somewhat and give me something more specific to focus on in the short amount of time I had.
Initially I thought about shooting architecture that was in an arrested state of decay – a subject that I am reasonably comfortable with. Narrowing this down even further I decided to focus on one particular aspect of architecture. It was while thinking about this I remembered one of the very first photographs that I took when I lived in Puerto Rico. I remembered walking around this sleepy old town and seeing this third floor balcony (that was in a poor state of repair), adorned with un-watered plants and an open window with a pure white curtain gently billowing in the late morning breeze. Back then, although I visualized a great image in my mind I did not have the skills to recreate the vision in the photograph that I took and therefore the only record I have is the vision still in my mind. As I thought about this more I decided that my architecture subject was going to be old doors and windows. This was certainly something that I could do in the couple of hours I had, especially since I could do it right there in the town where I was staying.
The planning exercise that I describe is something that I do when preparing for almost every photography trip irrespective of whether the trip is for a couple of hours, a full day, a weekend or longer. Although it is much easier for me to conceive an idea when I am familiar with a particular location the “planning” may just need to take longer when I am not so familiar.
The following are some of the images that I took.