Tourists with cameras in colorful vintage street scene.

A Snapshot of What Lies Ahead

Ah, Cuba – a land where time seems to dance to the rhythm of rumba. Preparing for a photography tour with Remote Expeditions means gearing up to capture the essence of this vibrant island nation, from its colorful streets to its charismatic locals.

Setting the Scene for Your Photographic Adventure

Before we dive lens-first into this adventure, let’s set the stage. Imagine Havana’s timeworn buildings bathed in golden sunlight, and the lush countryside that tells tales of a time gone by. It’s not just a tour; it’s a journey through a living museum.

Unexpected Moments

Unexpected moment are always the secret ingredient of the best adventure ! Unwavering in our commitment to quality, you may need to embrace the unpredictable elements of Cuba—adverse weather, road situations, flight postponements, or mechanical difficulties. Nevertheless, rest assured in our promptness, expertise, and professional approach to navigating the unforeseen.

In the face of adverse weather, seize the opportunity to master the challenges of photography and embody the mantra of every photographer: “Transform the conditions into an opportunity for unexpected imagery.”

Finding Beauty in Spontaneity

In Cuba, the unexpected is your best friend. One minute you’re setting up for a street scene, the next, you’re capturing an impromptu salsa dance. These are the moments that truly embody the Cuban spirit.

Tips for Quick Camera Adjustments

Quick! That perfect shot won’t wait for you. Master the art of rapid camera settings adjustments. Remember, ISO is your magic wand in varying light conditions, and a fast shutter speed is your best ally against those spontaneous Cuban dances.

Schedule

The accommodation details are fixed, and the itinerary cannot be modified without your agreement. As for the photo tours, the photographer might propose alternative sights based on events or optimal lighting and will notify you of any potential alterations.

Who is This Tour Ideal For?

This tour blends independent exploration with sufficient guided insight, ideal for travelers who prefer a balance over full-day historical lectures. On the other hand, If you enjoy the freedom to explore on your own terms while still hitting the most picturesque locations at the best times, this tour will resonate with you. Our schedule combines independence with strategic planning to ensure you experience and photograph the heart of the area in perfect lighting.

Please be mindful that the majority of individuals you will encounter are genuine local residents, rather than trained tourism professionals. This provides an authentic opportunity for spontaneous interactions with the Cuban people in their natural environment.

Photographing Cuban People

Cultural Sensitivity and Respect

Cubans are not just subjects; they’re the soul of your photos. Always ask permission before snapping away. A smile and a ‘por favor’ go a long way in breaking the ice.

Techniques for Captivating Portraits

Use natural light to your advantage, and focus on the eyes – they tell stories deeper than the ocean. A shallow depth of field can turn a simple portrait into a masterpiece of emotions.

Schedules

The Early Bird Gets the Best Light

Rise with the sun, and you’ll be rewarded with light that even the best Photoshop skills can’t replicate. Those early hours offer a soft, diffused light that can make the mundane look extraordinary. That being said the early morning activities before breakfast will be entirely optional on this trip (except in Viñales for our sunrise walk).

Planning Around the Golden Hours

The golden hour in Cuba isn’t just an hour; it’s a symphony of colors. We will plan our shoots around these times for that perfect, Instagram-worthy glow.

Physical Conditions

City tours, while not as demanding as major hikes, involve a fair amount of walking. A decent level of fitness is recommended for these explorations. If fatigue sets in, we’re flexible with our itinerary to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable photography experience.

Gear Essentials for Tropical Weather

Pack light, but pack right. A weather-sealed camera, lens cloths, and a sturdy bag are your trinity for tackling the Cuban tropics. And let’s not forget a hat – because sunburns are never in vogue.

Staying Energized and Hydrated

Hydration is key, especially when you’re chasing shots under the Caribbean sun. Keep water handy, and maybe sneak in a Cuban coffee – it’s like a turbo boost for your creativity.

Photographic Topics: Masterclasses in Cuban Contexts

Street Photography in Havana’s Hustle

The streets of Havana are a canvas of life. Capture the old cars, the vibrant walls, and the ever-present rhythm of daily Cuban life.

Portrait Photography in Natural Light

Cuban light is a photographer’s dream. Learn to harness it, and you’ll have portraits that are not just photos, but stories.

Landscape Photography: Beyond the Beaches

Cuba’s landscapes are more than just beaches. Venture into the valleys, explore the mountains – nature here is a photographer’s playground.

Architectural Wonders: Framing History

Cuba’s architecture is a patchwork of history. From Spanish colonial to Soviet brutalist, each building tells a tale. Your challenge? Capture their stories.

Good Photography Habits on Tour

The Art of Being Unobtrusive

Blend in like a local. The less you disrupt, the more authentic your shots will be. It’s about capturing life, not staging it.

Balancing Photography with Presence

Remember, you’re not just there to take photos; you’re there to experience Cuba. Sometimes, put the camera down and soak in the moment – some memories are best kept in your heart, not your SD card.

Ethical Photography: Do’s and Don’ts

Do:

Don’t:

Paying for Portraits : Ethical or not ?

In Cuba, particularly in Havana, you’ll often encounter individuals dressed in traditional attire, like the colorful ‘Habaneras,’ offering to pose for photographs, usually for a small fee. Engaging with these locals can be more than just a transaction; it’s a chance to support the local economy and preserve cultural heritage. By compensating these individuals, you’re acknowledging their effort in maintaining and showcasing a vibrant aspect of Cuban culture.

These encounters also open doors to unique photographic opportunities, allowing you to capture images rich in tradition and color, which might not be as readily accessible otherwise. Moreover, this practice fosters a positive exchange between tourists and locals, contributing to a sustainable tourism model where both parties benefit – tourists go home with memorable photographs, and locals earn a livelihood from their cultural presentation.

Disclaimer: Some models, schools or institutes from previous workshops may be unavailable or difficult to contact. Embracing the unpredictable nature of our endeavor allows us to explore new opportunities and serendipitous encounters.

About the Photographer: Tristan Quevilly

Tristan Quevilly is a French photographer whose life and work are as colorful and diverse as the destinations he captures. Tristan, now a resident of Colombia, is not just a photographer; he’s a bridge between cultures, fluent in Spanish, English, Portuguese, and French. His deep connections with local communities, in many places around the world, enrich every tour with authentic experiences.

Tristan’s Cuban story is as unique as his photographs. Having spent seven months working in Cuba, he returned five more times, dedicating two months solely to exploratory trips. An unexpected extended stay during the Covid outbreak only deepened his bond with the island’s rhythm and hues.

A man whose heartbeat syncs with the rhythm of salsa, Tristan shares more than just his photographic expertise. He shares his love and passion for Cuba, turning every snapshot into a story and every tour into a personal narrative.

About the author

At the helm of Remote Expeditions, Tristan adeptly combines exploration, photography, tour design, web development, and tour leadership, encapsulating the essence of a versatile travel entrepreneur. His mission is to offer a limited number of high-quality tours each year, ensuring an unparalleled travel experience steering clear of mass tourism. He aims to guide you towards the true essence of each destination, facilitating a deep connection with both nature and yourself.