Cuba 2017 Epilogue:
For our seventh trip to Cuba, a lot of changes were rumored, including staying in casas instead of hotels, as the big travel agencies seem to have most of the rooms blocks. So, I didn’t know what to expect there. Because of the new travel laws, people were flying in from many places. I didn’t know how the increased tourism would impact our locations or our photography experience in general. That’s why I was slightly relieved when we had a few cancellations to give us a smaller more manageable group, and more flexibility if need be.
So, how did it go?
Everyone arrived at about the same time in Havana, which was a relief. The group dynamic was good from the start.
The apartments were from good to outstanding. The location was on the Malecon. Great view. Constant warm breeze. Lots of windows.
Having been here 6 times, I wanted to shoot and process a bit differently, a bit more of a distressed (aka grunge) look. It was a personal project, after the needs of our clients were met. My co-teacher, Andrea Phox was great, as usual.
The night we got there, waves were breaking over the Malecon, which is always a treat to observe and to photograph.
The following morning, we had wet pavement following the storm reflecting the multi colored street lights. Good omens.
Here’s a gallery from the trip:
Here’s a few things I learned this year:
- Not as much panhandling. I think that they are so overwhelmed with tourists photographing them, that they just gave up. I still ask permission to take their images.
- Because of the dramatic increase in tourism, there are food shortages for the Cubans.
- New hotel construction is everywhere.
- There is an overall sense of revitalization and optimism.
- The cobblestone streets of Old Havana w/ outdoor cafes could have easily been in Georgetown (Wash DC).
- There was a dramatic increase in diesel motor coaches throughout the Island.
- We’ll need to adjust our travels to less touristy locales next year.
We are looking forward to returning to Cuba January 8 – 17, 2018
We are limiting our group to 6 clients, which gives us the most mobility and flexibility.
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Thanks for taking the time and we’ll see ya online!