Cuba Photography Tour
Cubawelcome photography workshop 2015
CUBAWELCOME PHOTOGRAPY WORKSHOPS 2015
7 days/ 8 nights (Can be extended for private groups)
The purpose of this trip is to interact with Cuban photographers and artists, both established in their field and up and coming young contenders. You will hone up your photo skills with the workshops and visits to some very photogenic places. You can purchase works of art and photography directly from the Studios that we visit at studio prices. You are legally allowed to take these items with you to the USA and Europe. You will also be able to improve your photographic techniques and repertoire under the tutelage of Professor Keith Cardwell, who will accompany you throughout the trip. He has been to Cuba countless times and knew the famous photographer, Alberto Korda (who took the iconic Che photo), very well, as well as Raul Corrales who died a few years ago. He is a practising photographer in the UK and has published several books of his photos on Cuba, China and Morocco.
Must-see visits in Havana include:
- Visit to a Cigar factory (Partagas or Romeo y Julieta factories)
- National Cuban Fine Arts Museum
- Fototeca De Cuba ... Havana Museum of Photography
- El Floridita - Hemingway's favourite Bar
- The 4 squares of Havana: La Plaza de las Armas, Plaza Vieja, Cathedral Square and San Francisco de Assis
- Ballet School, Havana
- Malecon sea front for early morning shoots - the last stop before the Keys in Florida.
PHOTOGRAPHERS AND ARTISTS
We aim to visit the following people but this will depend upon their availability at the time of the tour…
Jose Figueroa ~ Alberto Korda’s printer for many years who was in the Congo with Che and Fidel
Mario Diaz ~ Cuban photographer Guillermo Bello, a master digital photographer from Havana
Perfecto Romero ~ one of the leading Cuban photographers during the Revolution years
Roberto Salas ~ son of Oswaldo Salas, both photographers. Roberto was a prolific photographer during the revolution
Writers, professors and historians:
Hilda Barrio ~ author ofThe Che Handbook
Ayleen ~ Architectural Historian
Ricardo Torres ~ Professor of Economics at Havana university
Cristina Vivas ~ art curator and represents contemporary Cuban Artists; her husband is Jose Figueroa, the Cuban photographer
Kadir Lopez ~ very successful artist/photographer who uses old Gas station signs from the 50’s and impresses photographic images on the surface.
All these artists are internationally recognised in their field. This is a great opportunity to meet and talk with them, look at their work and purchase photographic prints and paintings at studio prices. All works of Art can be taken legally to the UK and the USA.
Meet on arrival at Havana airport and transfer to the Hotel Nacional, the Grande Dame of Havana built in 1930, with a swimming pool. Change money en route at a Cuban bank. Welcome cocktails on arrival at hotel in ‘Hall of Fame’ bar. Lunch at the ranch style restaurant in the garden of the hotel. Briefing in the afternoon about the objectives of the trip. Evening meal at San Cristobal Paladar in old Havana, a lovely restaurant with Cuban memorabilia as part of its decor.
After breakfast, we will conduct a walking tour around Old Havana to orientate ourselves with the historic city accompanied by our special guide for the duration of the trip, as well as Keith Cardwell, who will point out pictorial scenes for your recordings. We stop for coffee at the traditional old Havana coffee house, El Escorial, to discuss forthcoming events and your feedback on what your goals are for the trip. We will pass by the 4 important squares of the old city and visit the studio and gallery of the artist Nelson Dominguez in old Havana. A brief visit to Havana’s most famous bar, El Floridita, haunt of Hemingway followed by lunch, after which we will explore the ‘newer’ district of Vedado, full of 1950’s commercial architecture up Calle 23rd street while the smaller streets lined with Ficus trees are resplendent with early 20th century villas which were built by wealthy people. Our architectural historian (Ayleen who works for Habaguanex, the old Havana council) will accompany us during the afternoon. Dinner at the paladar, L’Atelier in Vedado. After dinner, suggestions include the El Zorro y El Cuervo Jazz club or El Gato Tuerto, a famous Bolero club, both walking distance from the hotel.
Early morning rise, walking along the Malecon which is the sea front wall that runs from old Havana to the new district of the city known as Vedado. Dramatic photos can be taken here. Breakfast followed by a meeting at 10am. Then we visit an original 1950’s cigar factory, one of the few surviving pre-revolution factories, to see all the processes of rolling cigars. Afterwards, Perfecto Romero, the well known Cuban photographer, will show us some great photographs of Che Guevara. Perfecto was Che's personal photographer in the Sierra Maestre mountains in 1958 and he took the famous picture of Che on horseback while smoking a cigar. This will whet your appetite to photograph more Cuban Icons. We will walk again in Old Havana taking in street scenes with old American classic cars set against a backdrop of colonial buildings with wrought iron balconies. After lunch, we visit Guillermo Bello's house. Bello uses Havana's Cemetery to illustrate his photographic ideas.... you will love his portfolio. The work is tasteful and intelligent. Then a walk with Bello around the old Colon cemetery which is the oldest in Havana and a treat to photograph. In the early evening we have a cocktail in the garden of the well known artist/photographer Kadir, who uses mixed media by incorporating photographic process on old gas station Esso and Shell signs of the 1950’s as well as on canvas. Dinner is at the private paladar, Le Chansonnier in Vedado, a period house in a charming street.
After breakfast, lecture in hotel with Ricardo Torres about Cuban economics today. He is professor of Economics at Havana university. Question session follows. We depart to old Havana to visit the centre of photograpy known as Fototeca where we will have a discussion with the curator. There is also a gallery so hopefully we will be able to view an exhibition of photographs. Lunch at La Taberna in Plaza Vieja complete with music and dance show. Free afternoon. Dinner at Cafe Laurent paladar nearby.
After breakfast, we depart Havana for Cienfuegos city (about 2 and half hours). Cienfuegos is a beautiful city known as the Pearl of the Antilles and it has a French flavour to its architecture within a lovely port setting. We book into the 1950’s Hotel Jagua which was built by Batista’s son. Lunch in the lovely grounds of the neighbouring Palacio de Valle, a Moorish folly like something out of Sintra in Portugal. Fabulous! Tour of the city and a visit to the print making artist community which also helps handicapped people. Dinner tonight at a restaurant near the hotel.
We depart to the colonial gem of Trinidad town, a Unesco world heritage site, which is celebrating its 500th anniversary in 2014. We visit the sugar mills valley full of the sugar cane fields which is a perfect backdrop for landscape photography, including the original steam trains used in the fields. The photograph, the Tobacco Farmer, by Keith Cardwell, was taken here. After lunch, we visit the studio of Carlos Mata, one of Trinidad’s most talented artists. In the afternoon, we amble around the picturesque town of this unbelievably quaint town as the villagers come out of their houses around 4 30pm after the sun has cooled. This is an excellent time to make portraiture and even enter their houses. Cubans are very hospitable and will show you their homes in a heartbeat. This makes mavellous environmental portraiture and any Judge in a photo competition would be impressed at the access you have achieved, and the fine images made. Return to Cienfuegos city and the hotel Jagua. Dinner at local restaurant.
Restful morning with lunch at the breathtakingly positioned restaurant, El Lagarto, overlooking the port. Return to Havana in the afternoon, book into hotel Nacional. Dinner at the most famous Cuban paladar, La Guarida, which was used for some scenes in the Oscar nominated film, Strawberries and Chocolate.
Drive out of Havana to the community village and centre known as Las Terrazas, one hour west of Havana. Here we see some impressive ruins that have been restored of the former French coffee plantation and the original slave barracks. The situation is in the hills of the Sierra del Rosario mountains which has been designated a Biosphere. Lunch at a rustic style farmers restaurant. In the afternoon, you can ride horses, bathe in waterfalls or trek along nature trails. Return to Havana and dinner at Cafe Laurent paladar near the hotel.
Depart to Havana Airport for your flight home.
INCLUDED IN PRICE:
- All transfers and transport in private air-conditioned bus
- 5 nights in 4 star hotel Nacional B&B in Havana.
- 2 nights B&B in Hotel Jagua in Cienfuegos
- All tips for porters in hotels
- All photo visits mentioned
- All visits to photographers, artists etc
- All photo critiques
- All lunches and dinners described in the itinerary including one drink per meal
NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:
- Options that are not part of the tour
- Gratuities in restaurants, bars etc
- Cuban airport departure tax (25 CUCs)