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Cuba Photography Tour June 2017 Highlights

Timeworn yet magnificent, dilapidated but dignified, fun and full of energy – our fifth year in Cuba – and still a country of indefinable magic.

We chose early June to land, with fewer tourists, great weather and no hurricanes in sight.  We based ourselves in a 5* hotel overlooking the sea, and slowly worked our way behind the scenes far from tourists to get a unique insight into what makes this country tick.

We shot sunsets from the back of a 50’s Buick, got private access to the Ballet, rolled up some passable cigars in a place Arnie buys his, even stopped in for tea to see Roberto Salas, Fidel’s personal photographer. In sleepy Trinidad, we shot classic B&W street photography in this UNESCO-listed site, had more mojitos than we should have, and ate some of the most delicious food in Cuba.

Thanks again for all of you who participated, it was one to remember.

Cuba photographic workshop june 2017
Client Image : Sanjay
photographic tours of cuba
Client Image : Sanjay
photo tours cuba
Client image : Sanjay

We began where every great trip should start. At the bar. And not just any bar, one where Al Capone used to meet all the mafia bosses in the twenties, still with comfy leather club chairs, a rum selection to die for and a cigar room haunted by celebs.

Steering clear of the few tourists that were around in this low season, we ducked through the graffiti-laced backstreets to see the real Cuba, heading west in old Buicks to see Roberto Salas, and shot scapes of the city from our private teaching space. A quick detour out to the tobacco fields of Vinales, shoot some candid portraits of farmers (and roll a few) plus enjoy a spectacular lunch of organic food with jaw dropping views of the valley.

Then honey cocktails in Trinidad (yum), got very tanned, and discovered perfect conditions aboard our bar/train out to Valle de los Ingenios. A quick portrait shoot with some horses, we were back in Havana at the ballet, shooting graffiti, boxers in training, and candids inside locals houses. We shot in a school, a nearby artists community, and even more portraits inside houses. A stunning, lively, and 100% fun 11 days in the tropics!

Here our are shots of the week from our Cuba Photography Tour

Shot of the Week – Mette

Like all Creative Escapers, Mette loves to travel. She wanted to become more proficient as a photographer so she can enjoy making pictures when exploring the globe. Mette had little experience shooting manually, but got to grips with the technical aspects of photography quickly – which gave her plenty of time to make more creative work. 

Mette is very a considerate photographer and responded really well to our recommended approach of of shooting fewer images of higher quality. Mette had no interest in shooting cliche and as we kept shooting, we realised she had a particular interest in photographing how women and children fit into Cuban culture. Feeling relaxed about her technical skills, she took some very strong portraits in Trinidad – like this one – and on our return to Havana, nailed it at the ballet and the boxing gym. Great fun to be with, top time and lovely work. Super well done!

cuba photography workshop june 2017

Shot of the Week – Ian

Ian was a complete newcomer to manual photography and used the Escape to firmly get to grips with his camera. With guided tuition was making consistently accurate manual exposures within a day. And, although he didn’t realise it at first, he also has a good instinct for composition and this together with observations of colour and light, his confidence grew quickly.

On the first day Ian was less sure about what to photograph, but it the aid of a variety of practical briefs, he quickly got his eye in and used each photographic assignment to explore and experience Cuba further. Initially less interested in photographing people, Ian got great results when shooting the portraiture, in both Havana and Trinidad, where he shot this cracker of a boy playing in the street. Well done you. 

cuba photography tour june 2017 highlights

Shot of the Week – Søren

Søren is a Cuba regular and has been making images for some time – but enjoyed getting back to basics and refreshing his technical skills before being set loose to make pictures. 

He set himself some tough challenges, such as making his own location backdrop and hanging it in the town square! Shoot after shoot, he started to see a marked development in his approach to documentary, street and portrait photography and came back with an amazing portfolio of work. In fact, come the end, he began to collate an emerging body of work exploring his passion about Cuba – which we hope to see as a book in the near future. Good luck Søren. 

photography holidays cuba

Shot of the Week – Sanjay

Sanjay is passionate about photography, with a particular interest in portraiture. He is pretty confident approaching people – and probably photographed half the population of Trinidad and visited most of them at home! 

Although having already developed an approach to making a successful photographs, he was less experienced at making images containing narrative and also needed guidance building photographs into a series. During the holiday, we worked on broadening his stylistic repertoire, and considered different approaches to working in series. Sanjay has the ability to be a bit of a chameleon aesthetically so we also worked on strengthening his ‘visual voice’ as a photographer by shooting around a concise theme. And from that, some lovely images flowed.

photography tour cuba june 2017

So which one was your favourite. Let us know below!