Issue No. 141
Havana-born Raúl Cañibano was still a young man, working as a welder for a civil aviation company, when he visited relatives in the eastern part of Cuba. There he met a schoolteacher who had a darkroom in the bathroom of his house. “The smell of the chemicals and the images emerging from the developer bath really attracted me,” he remembers. “I felt a special interest in learning the photographic process. When I returned home to Havana I bought a camera and darkroom equipment, all imported from the Soviet Union, to develop my own images.”
The word atmosphere, derived from the modern Latin atmosphaera (which came from the Greek atmos), and used to describe the “gaseous envelope surrounding the earth,” was first applied in the figurative, poetic sense around 1800. Not long afterwards, in the late 1830s, photography as we know it today began in France with Nicéphore Niépce’s first fixed images. By coincidence or serendipity, the evocative noun and the nascent medium were soon to be irrevocably linked.