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Edel Rodriguez
SUNSHINE STATE
posted:
My Dad, Cesareo "Tato" Rodriguez
I think my interest in photography first came from my father.  He was the photographer of our small town in Cuba.  I used to spend a lot of time with him in the dark room when I was a kid.  I was fascinated by all of it.  Images appearing out of nothingness and so on.  It was like magic for a little kid.  Everyone loved my dad because he was the one there to record small, yet important events, for everyone in our town.
When we came to America, my father had a dream of setting up a photo studio, but it never came true.  It was a very expensive venture.  Instead, he hopped around from one job to the other, factories, painting apartments, construction, he even sold vegetables out of the back of a small pickup truck.  I spent all my summers with him, we didn't really do the Summer camp thing down there.  I had a lot of fun just helping him out all the way through my teen years.
Eventually, my dad set up a tow truck business.  I continued to spend my Summers helping him out on the truck and I also began to carry my camera with me and would take pictures of life around Southern Florida.
When I return to visit my parents now, I still take a couple of days and drive around in the truck with my dad.  It's always interesting and fun.  We go into some of the most troublesome neighborhoods, into junkyards, visit clients in body shops, pull cars out of swamps, whatever.  And, I bring my camera with me. 
I also take some time to go to the beach while I'm down in Miami.  So, I've started a photo essay gallery of Florida.  It's called "Sunshine State" and you can check it out HERE

There are also a couple of photographs below:
I was inspired by Leo's comments below to add this photograph of my dad in Cuba, back in the 70's.  As you can see his camera was mounted on some sort of home made wood contraption, had the black sheet to put your head through in the back and everything.  When my dad was building our house, a small piece of wood flew off the tablesaw and got embedded in his eye.  That's the reason for the dark, funky glasses.  He still only sees through one eye.  Through the other eye, he just has some peripheral vision.  Makes it interesting when he reapplies for his truck driver's license every few years.   They almost took it away the last time.
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Rodriguez is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!
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