CUBA: The photo trip of a lifetime to Cuba's hidden treasures...
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Join Travel Photographer of the Year Award winner Lorne Resnick as he guides you in creating compelling and unique travel images in Cuba. Resnick’s workshops are geared toward every participant level. Whether you're a novice or pro, Lorne will not only have you generating more powerful images, but will also give you the structure and understanding to enable you to continue refining your skills once the workshop is over. The theme of each workshop is to have you creating images with a greater sense of purpose – in essence, finding and refining your true vision.
Lorne's travel photography workshops are geared toward gaining valuable photographic insights, while creating amazing images in some of the most beautiful places in the world. Whether your passion is landscape photography, nature or people, Lorne will have you seeing the way you createphotos in whole new ways. The emphasis will be on shooting, techniques (workflow, digital exposure, photoshop, etc.) and discussions focused on unlocking your personal vision. Each participant will have plenty of opportunity for individual attention, questions and portfolio reviews. Please go here for complete workshop details.
Cuba offers travelers a myriad of artistic, social and sensual pleasures. The art, music and architecture are unparalleled in the Western Hemisphere, the tropical waters sparkling blue, and the people are as warm as a Caribbean breeze. Defying all logic, the world's 105th-largest country is also one of its most instantly recognizable: Think psychedelic Che Guevara murals and antediluvian American Buicks; guys with bongos and old men slapping down dominoes; fishermen on inner-tubes and taxi drivers smoking chunky Montecristos. Cuba has a way of going against the grain. It's all part of its historical make-up, part of its dynamism, part of its intrinsic beauty.
Sitting pretty as the Caribbean's largest and most vivacious city, Havana's romantic atmosphere and infectious energy are the stuff of legend. Amid the warm crystalline waters of the sparkling Caribbean, over 500 years of roller-coaster history have conspired to create one of Latin America's most electric and culturally unique societies. The stomping ground for swashbuckling pirates, a heavily fortified slave port for the Spanish and a lucrative gambling capital for the North American Mafia, Havana has survived everything that has been thrown at it and still found time to innovate. At the forefront of modern Latino culture, Havana has spawned salsa and mambo, Havana Club rum and Cohiba cigars, mural painting and Che Guevara iconography. Nowhere else but in the streets of Havana is Spanish colonial architecture so abundant. Everywhere you look there is a unique image begging to be recorded.
Whether by bustling, colorful day or sultry, salsa-filled night, so much of Havana's daily life is acted out in its streets and squares – and the best way to encounter it is on foot. We'll hit the streets of all the most captivating neighborhoods, with their brilliant natural lighting at any time of day, to discover the essence of the city itself. Additionally, we'll have the opportunity to meet, photograph and interact with lots of Lorne's Cuban friends throughout the trip. He considers Cuba to be a second home and one of the most photogenic places on the planet. Lorne will put his 18 years of Cuban experience, connections and know-how to use to provide you with an unparalleled photographic and life experience.
Cuba (see itinerary for details)
8 & 12 day trips.
Inquire for open dates
(from Miami, FL)
Price includes shared
accommodations. If you'd like a room to yourself, there will be a single room supplement charge.
What is included:
• Workshop fee.
• U.S. Department of the Treasury People-to-People travel license.
• Round trip International airfare:
• All (shared) accommodation
• All transfers as per itinerary.
• Cuban entry visa.
What is not included:
• Any optional event that requires an entrance fee, such as museums, night clubs, a baseball game, etc.
• Meals and beverages – except breakfast at our hotel.
• Any individual non group transportation within Cuba.
• All expenses of a personal nature such as room service, phone, mini bar, laundry, internet access, etc.
• Airport taxes upon departing
Havana, CUC 25 (USD 30.00)
• Tips for drivers, guides, hotel staff, restaurants, etc.
• Travel, medical & health insurance.
• Any additional cost(s) not included in the itinerary.
How to reserve your spot:
Lorne's trips are group trips for people that do not like group trips – additionally he only runs a few trips per year - hence they sell out quickly.
If you are interested, hit the big red GET INFO button above and Lorne will get right back to you with open trip dates and prices.
Terms & Conditions
Itinerary: Sample 12-day itinerary (8-day Havana only trips also available).
Day 1: Miami, Florida. Allowing for people to arrive the day, we will begin after dinner with the first group meeting.
Day 2: We will meet this morning after breakfast to continue the workshop orientation and distribute the travel documents. Our scheduled charter flight to Havana departs Miami International Airport at 1pm. We'll arrive in Havana at 2pm and transfer to our hotel.
Day 2-4: Havana: Each day, we will endeavor to shoot both sunrise and sunset. The middle of the day will be used either for additional shooting (if the sun isn't too harsh and flat) and/or image reviews and discussions about techniques.
Day 5: Transfer to Trinidad. (approximate 5-6 hour private bus drive).
Day 5-7: Trinidad.
Day 8: Transfer back to Havana.
Day 8-11: Havana.
Day 12: Our final day in Cuba begins with another sunrise shoot, followed by more image reviews and/or more photography in and around Havana. After breakfast we will transfer to the airport for our scheduled 3pm departure back to Miami.
Havana and Trinidad (12-day trip only), the two cities in which we will be spending most of our time, were made for walking. From the old American cars, to the faded buildings, to the fishermen standing on the The Malecón with the hot tropical sun setting behind them, there is a never-ending visual feast to choose from. The photographic possibilities are truly astounding - a photographer's dream location. It's not figuring out what to take photos of, but rather trying not to be overwhelmed by the staggering amount of choices. Much of the shooting will be during our walks in Havana and Trinidad. Please see section below titled Highlights of Havana and Trinidad for a (very) small selection of possible locations we will visit.
Highlights of Havana and Trinidad:
• The El Malecón: A 7-kilometer sea wall in Havana Bay that runs along one of the main arteries of the city. It is so important to and ingrained in the psyche of Havana's residents that it's often called the "soul" of Havana. Throughout the day you will see men fishing off the coral outcropping that borders the walkway and children swimming in the ocean. At night you will see lovers entwined on cozy perches and groups of people gathering all along the sea wall. The most picturesque section of The Malecón is probably Centro Habana with its crumbling facades, faded paint, neoclassical buildings and Neo-Moorish buildings, which separate The Malecón from the city.
• Revolution Museum: lavishly decorated by Tiffany's, NYC, this beautiful building was formerly the Presidential Palace of Dictator Fulgencio Batista. The exhibits include photographs, cine film, clothing, original documents, and weapons. Outside you will find several trucks, planes, tanks, and a piece of a shot down U2 spy plane. They all surround the glass enclosure of Granma, which is a 59-foot motor launch that carried Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and 80 other fighters to the island in 1956.
• National Capitol: built in 1929 to house the island's Senate and House of Representatives, and with a dome that dominates the Havana skyline, this building looks exactly like the Congress building on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.
• Morro Castle: perched on a rocky bluff above the Atlantic, the fort - with its irregular polygon shape, thick walls and deep, protective moat - is a classical example of Renaissance military architecture. The picturesque lighthouse guards the entrance to Havana bay and its top is where Lorne took the image of the red car and wave at the top of this page.
• Cabaret Tropicana: The Tropicana Cabaret is Cuba's most famous cabaret. Opened in 1931, it's known as the "Paradise Under the Stars" and it has been pleasing crowds ever since. Surrounded by lush vegetation, visitors can enjoy a glittering spectacle featuring over 200 world class singers, dancers, musicians, and vocalists. You will be sitting in Lorne's usual table - touching the stage - close enough to feel the sweat from the dancers (bring your wide angle lens).
• Havana's Cars: To walk around Havana is to see thousands of classical car models cruising by and, at times, you could be forgiven for thinking you had stumbled into an astounding living automobile museum.
• Plaza de la Revolution: The Plaza is one of the world's largest city squares, measuring 72,000 square meters. The square is dominated by the José Martí Memorial, which features a 109-meter (358-foot) tall tower and a 18-meter (59-foot) statue and the Ministry of the Interior - which would just be an ordinary building except for the giant ironwork mural forged in the likeness of Ernesto (Che) Guevara.
• We will also be taking a 3-day trip to Trinidad (on 12-day trips only). Those visiting the 500-year-old city will find Spanish colonial architecture, underscoring a colonial ambiance that marks the tiny city as one of the country's greatest attractions. Only a few square blocks in size, historic Trinidad is famous for its lovely, cobblestone streets, pastel colored houses with elaborate wrought-iron grills, as well as majestic palaces and plazas. During our time in Trinidad we will have the opportunity to listen to world class musicians during a private concert in a private Cuban residence.
• A pre-trip general travel information PDF on Cuba that includes details such as: electricity, baggage, food, special food needs, water, money, shopping, telephones, internet access, medicines, souvenirs and gifts, music, customs, clothing, travel preparation, what to bring, what to budget, health and safety, weather and more can be found here.
• This trip is an ideal opportunity for non-photographer partners, spouses, and friends to come along. Even non-photographers will find Cuba an extraordinary experience. We are able to offer a 10% discount on the trip cost for a second spot if you would like to bring a non-photographer guest, who will share a room with you.
• You are required to purchase at least basic emergency evacuation travel insurance to go on the trip. You can purchase travel insurance directly from the travel insurance company of your choice. The companies I recommend and find the easiest to purchase insurance from online are: Travel Insured and Allianz Travel Insurance. We recommend a plan that covers medical and dental emergencies, medical evacuation, missed connections, lost luggage and trip cancellation. It is also advisable to carry insurance for your camera equipment. You will need to provide a copy of the insurance policy confirmation to me at least 2 weeks before the departure date.
• To get the best images and understanding of the techniques discussed during the workshop, you should try to become familiar with the basic controls and settings for your camera. We can and do help you with the best settings for specific situations, but there are so many different camera models that we cannot know the operation of each. Lorne can give a complimentary personal consultation on what equipment to bring, rent, or buy before the workshop. See Cuba workshop preparation for some details on equipment suggestions.
• If the dates of the trip don't work for you or you'd like to plan a custom trip for yourself or your group, Lorne can assist you. Not every trip works for everyone's time frame and needs. Lorne can set up the lead a custom trip for you virtually anywhere in the world, using the best accommodations, guides, and services. Please inquire about a customized itinerary to suit your needs.
• There are a lot of questions about Cuba. So here are some recent ones that may be helpful.
You will need to arrive in Miami the day before the flight to Cuba departs, to ensure you are on time for the flight. Accommodations for the night in Miami are not included in the trip cost. The meeting time and place, along with the hotel Lorne is staying at in Miami (you are not required to stay there), will be forwarded to you once your spot has been confirmed.
Except in the mountains, the climate of Cuba is hot, sub-tropical all year. The average minimum temperature is 21°C (70°F), the average maximum 27°C (81°F). The mean temperature in Havana is about 25°C (77°F). The trade winds and sea breezes make coastal areas more habitable than temperature alone would indicate. Cuba has a rainy season (May–Oct.) and a dry season (Nov.–Apr.). The mountain areas have an average precipitation of more than 180 cm (70 in); most of the lowland area has from 90 to 140 cm (35–55 in) annually; and the area around Guantánamo Bay has less than 65 cm (26 in).
The dry season is characterized by mild, sunny weather with average daytime temperatures of 75° to 80°F (24°–27°C), but passing “cold fronts” can cause a drop in temperature, especially in December and January. The rainy season has higher temperatures with summer (Jun, Jul, Aug) in the 90s with high humidity and some rain.
What to Read:
With such a rich and interesting history there are plenty of great books on Cuba. Here's a few of Lorne's favorites:
• Travelers' Tales Cuba: True Stories (Travelers' Tales Guides) by Tom Miller
• Trading with the Enemy: A Yankee Travels Through Castro's Cuba by Tom Miller
• Cuba and the Night: A Novel by Pico Iyer
• Mi Moto Fidel: Motorcycling Through Castro's Cuba by Christopher P. Baker
• The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
• Fidel: A Critical Portrait by Tad Szulc (out of print)
• Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
• Cuba by Walker Evans
• The Reader's Companion to Cuba by Alan Ryan