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 create photos 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.
About Santiago de Cuba during Carnival (see highlights of Havana below):
Santiago de Cuba, a UNESCO world heritage site is Cuba's 2nd largest and most exotic city. It's enigmatic appeal is wholly unique on the island. It's architecture carries a unique imprint and the people have evolved their own regional expressions of music and dance. Many different ethnic groups have settled here and the culture of the city is an eclectic mix that creates a unique Caribbean culture with African, Chinese, Indigenous, French Haitian, and Spanish influences. The mixture of these cultures is shown in the richness of the music and dance, many forms of which originated in Santiago de Cuba, such as the Conga, Rumba, and Son (which later developed into what people call salsa today). Santiago de Cuba is also where Castro launched his revolution in July 1953 with an ill-fated assault on the Moncada barracks. One can still go there today and see the bullet holes, from Castro's invasion, in the barrack walls.
This city of broad boulevards and intimate plazas has its old town laid out in a grid tilting down to the harbor. History echoes down the narrow streets graced by timeworn buildings painted in sun-bleached pastels.
Every July, the famous Cuba Carnival is held in Santiago. This event is a massive party, which lasts several days and includes a number of cultural events, music, food, and various parties throughout the city. Comparas - competitive musical groups - parade through the streets in musical melees full of fun and sensual content. Revelers dress as orishas (gods) and clowns with huge papier-mache heads; others adopt period colonial costume or strip down to sequined, befeathered bikinis. The blare of Chinese cornets and the pounding of bata drums echoes through the streets as conga lines and parade floats march down Avenida Jesus Menendez and the entire city indulges in a no-holds-barred celebration.
The carnival of Santiago de Cuba is the largest, most famous, and most traditional carnival in all of Cuba and is an explosion of color, contagious drum rhythms dance and endless, spectacular photographic opportunities.
Cuba: Santiago de Cuba & Havana
(see itinerary for details)
Dates (10 days):
July 22-31, 2017
$5,995.00 from Miami, FL
Price includes shared
accommodations. If you'd like a room to yourself, there is a single room supplement charge of $895 for the trip (you can select this option on the payment page).
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.
• Cuban airport taxes, payable in cash upon departing Miami: $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:
1. Register online (just hit that big red button above) or...
2. Contact Lorne by email or phone 323-876-6999
All prices and payments are in US funds. Methods of payment: all major credit cards, check, bank draft or bank wire.
Terms & Conditions
Itinerary: Total 10 days
July 22: Miami, Florida. Allowing for people to arrive during the day, we will have our first group meeting and trip briefing at dinner.
July 23: We will meet in morning after breakfast, for our flight to Cuba. We will arrive in Santiago de Cuba tonight and will be staying at the centrally located Casa Grande Hotel. A perfect location to explore the city and experience the Carnival, which peaks on July 26.
July 23-27: Santiago De Cuba.
July 27: Flight to Havana.
July 27-31: Our hotel in Havana is the four-star Hotel Telegrafo, ideally located across the street from Parque Central, bordering Old Havana and Central Havana and a 10-minute walk down the Prado to the Malecón. The perfect location for exploring Havana's endless photographic opportunities.
July 31: 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 Santiago de Cuba, 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 Santiago. Please see Highlights section below for a (very) small selection of possible locations we will visit in Havana.
Highlights of Havana:
• 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. In fact, Lorne captured the image of the red car and wave at the top of this page from the top of the lighthouse.
• 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.
• 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