My first day in Cuba

My first day in Cuba; so many truly unforgettable moments. So much happened during my short time in country that this feels long ago, though little more than a week has passed since I took these. After our guide Gelin led us around for an hour or so to show us some major landmarks, I took off on my own to explore the city and soak up the vibe of Havana. I was excited to see a new part of the world, a place that, generally speaking, few Americans have been able to visit. At heart I am a nature photographer and while I looked forward to creating images of a different landscape and possibly some new species of wildlife, it was the culture and the people of Cuba that I felt most inspired to meet and photograph.

I spent hours walking the streets of Havana by myself that first day, taking advantage of the limited time I would have for solo ventures in the city. To me, there is no greater source of inspiration than to step outside my comfort zone, immerse myself in a foreign culture and interact with the locals as best I can despite the language barrier. Actions and expressions often speak louder than words and through mutual understanding, I was able to communicate with my limited Spanish vocabulary, so much that this lovely little girl, Stefany, approached me to have her picture taken. She was a great model and after several poses and smiles, her mother and grandmother were eager to have me over for dinner the following evening, an offer I had to decline since we had a full itinerary the rest of the week. I will email the photos to her mother and when I return to Havana, I hope to take her up on that offer.

Colin

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Havana Nights

I spent my last evening in Cuba walking the streets of Havana, taking in the vibrant nightlife on a solo venture. My first stop was Floridita, Ernest Hemingway's favorite watering hole. You can still find him there as he is eternally honored in the form of a statue at his corner of the bar. The others were taken near the capitol with some of the historic hotels in the background. 

I'm still editing photos and catching up after returning to Alaska yesterday morning, so please stay tuned for more. Once again, many thanks to KB Cuba for this wonderful opportunity to explore and photograph Cuba!

Colin

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Trinidad Sunset Time-Lapse

Happy Presidents Day! I’ve been back in the states since Saturday night, still organizing my images as well as my thoughts from the entire Cuba experience. I’ve got more to share yet as I saw so much in just one week, from the culture to the scenery and everything in between. 

I would like to give a big shout-out to KB Cuba for arranging such a grand adventure. Traveling to Cuba and navigating your way around can be complicated, so I am grateful to have had everything arranged and run so smoothly so that I could focus on my tasks at hand – exploring, creating, and sharing my experiences. Please check out their page if you are interested in visiting Cuba or visit their other page, KB Tambo Travel, to see the trips they offer around the world. I am also communicating with them about leading a group of photographers to Cuba next year, so please stay tuned for that! 
Here is a time-lapse video I created of the sunset on the beach near Trinidad last Thursday and posted to my Facebook page - 700 still images and 40 minutes condensed into 30 seconds: https://www.facebook.com/cointylerphotography/videos/vb.650362505081255/1511772862273544/?type=2&theater&notif_t=page_post_reaction&notif_id=1519074430632488

I will be back with more  soon.

Cheers,


Colin

El Nicho National Park, Cuba

Hola amigos! It’s been a busy week here in Cuba. We’ve been going almost non-stop so today I took some much-needed time for yoga, rehydration, journaling, and photo editing. We arrived in Trinidad yesterday, Cuba’s third oldest city, after spending a night in Cienfuegos, and tomorrow we will make our way back to Havana. I’ve got several images and experiences to share, including snorkeling in the Bay of Pigs and more interactions with the people of Cuba. Yesterday we explored a series of waterfalls along the Hanabania River in the lush mountains of El Nicho National Park. The water was very refreshing, as our guide Gellin demonstrated by jumping in and taking time to meditate in the cool waterfall. I will check in and post more images when I am able. In the meantime, don’t forget to take some time for self-care as well, and thank you for following my journey.

Colin

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Dog Days in Havana

Paws down, the coolest dog in Cuba! It was another beautiful day in Havana. We took a classic car tour of the city this morning and rented bikes in the afternoon to do some more exploring while learning a good deal of Cuban history. Among the sites we visited were Revolution Square and a park with a statue of John Lennon sitting on a bench. Tomorrow we will be traveling few hours out of Havana to take a boat tour and go snorkeling. I look forward to getting into the water; it’s been a long time since I swam in the Caribbean.

Adios for now!

Colin

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Hola from Havana!!

Hola from Havana, Cuba! I landed here this morning after a couple days acclimatizing in LA (this is a 100-degree temperature increase from just a few days ago). I have wanted to explore Cuba for years, so when I was presented with an opportunity to join a group for a weeklong tour, inevitably I was going to find myself here.

The street photography here is incredible - the vibrant culture, classic cars, Spanish architecture, it is truly inspiring. I shot close to 1,000 frames today and I’m just getting started. I’ve got a pretty full itinerary and Wi-Fi is very limited but I will post when I am able. The journey is just beginning and as I’ve said before, there is nothing like experiencing a destination for the first time. I’ve got a lot to share so stay tuned and, as always, thank you for following along.

Viva Cuba!!

Colin

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Aurora Photography Class

Hello friends, fellow photogs, and aurora enthusiasts. I am teaching an aurora photography class at the Eagle River Nature Center on Saturday, March 24 at 8pm. If you or someone you know is interested, please follow the link below to register. Cost is $75 and limited to 10 people. This class always fills up so don't hesitate if you would like to attend. Feel free to share and spread the word.

Cheers!

Colin

 

https://www.ernc.org/courses/nighttime-amp-aurora-photography

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Winter in my Backyard

I've hardly seen a cloud in the sky for the past week. At the same time, the temperature has barely climbed above zero during that stretch. It looks as though that is about to change with snow showers in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow, which is always welcome.

I felt the need to get out and enjoy the winter landscape before embarking on my next journey. In just a matter of days, I will be experiencing a new culture and exploring a new (tropical) part of the world. Still, no matter where I roam, part of me will always remain in this beautiful little valley I am so fortunate to call home. Have a great Monday out there and stay tuned to see where I land next!

Colin

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Super Blue Blood Moon

Early this morning earthlings experienced the first "Super Blue Blood Moon" in more than 35 years and it was the first time this trifecta has been witnessed in the Americas in 150 years. I was out there to experience it and capture a few frames. Did you witness the eclipse from your area? Please share photos in the comments and tell us your location. If you missed, it's probably going to be a while before we have another celestial event like this.

Have a good day out there and try not to doze off at work if you were out moon gazing in the wee hours!

Colin

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Here Comes the Sun Time-Lapse

Here comes the sun!! After a two-month absence, sunlight has returned to our little corner of Eagle River Valley. I created this time-lapse around noon today, approximately 25 minutes and 288 images condensed into a 12-second clip.

This is the first time I’ve shared a time-lapse video and speaking of firsts, I am going to be visiting a new part of the world in just a couple weeks.  I haven’t announced where I am going, just know that: 1) It is a tropical destination; 2) It is outside the US; and 3) I have not been there before. That being said, it is not a beach vacation but more of a cultural immersion, so please stay tuned and as always, thank you for following along!

Colin

Snow Day

Hello friends,

I haven’t posted in a while and to be honest, the rain, icy trails, and overall lack of winter have left me a bit uninspired. More importantly though, life takes place offline, which is exactly why I decided to disconnect and get outside today. With steady snowfall and temps hovering around 0˚F, it is finally starting to look (and feel) like winter in the valley again. If this continues I should be back out on my skis soon!

Have a great weekend out there, wherever you are in the world.

Colin

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Cold Rain and (finally) Snow!

If you live in south central Alaska, you might agree that we've had some interesting, albeit obnoxious weather recently. After a couple days of rain on top of ice, which prevented me from being able to drive home on Monday evening, we've got a bit of snow on the ground again. If this continues I might actually be able to dust off my skis for the first time this season.

Be safe and stay upright out there!

Colin

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Happy New Year and Reflecting on 2017

Looking back, 2017 was a very transformative year - physically, mentally, spiritually, and beyond. I guess you might say this was the year that personal wellbeing became more of a priority than a luxury. Since last winter, I’ve almost completely given up alcohol (I’m not on the wagon, just a lifestyle change) and my diet has become almost entirely vegetarian, with the exception of seafood and occasional wild game that friends have shared with me. As a result, I no longer experience heartburn or acid reflux, an issue that bothered me for years; I’ve lost over 30 pounds and I am more dedicated to and focused on my yoga practice than ever before. It feels as though I’m building a foundation and preparing for a big journey ahead. At this point I have no travel plans for 2018, however I do hope to return to India next winter to explore more of the country, photograph tigers again, and possibly attend a 4-week yoga school in Rishikesh. When I return I could be a certified instructor, not that I’m looking for a career change but I would love to have the knowledge. The lesson I keep hearing is to stay open to opportunity and trust that I am on the right path and will remain so.

All the best for 2018 and beyond, my friends.

“I’ll ride the wave where it takes me. 
I’ll open up, release me.” (EV)

Namaste,

Colin

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2017 Winter Solstice Sunrise

Happy Winter Solstice from Eagle River Valley, Alaska! Mother Nature sure gave us a beautiful morning to welcome the return of the light. The sun rose at 10:14 am today and will set at 3:41 pm, providing us with five hours and twenty-seven minutes of daylight. Six months from now, on June 21, we will be basking in more than nineteen hours of light. Have a great day out there and remember; it gets brighter from here! I will be spending the evening at my favorite place in Anchorage, Namaste North Yoga Studio, to perform 108 sun salutations to honor the return of the light.

PS - I just added this image to my online store if you are still searching for a last minute Christmas gift: http://www.colintyler.com/online-store/

Namaste,

Colin

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2017 Winter Solstice Ice Lantern Walk

This past Saturday was the annual Winter Solstice Ice Lantern Walk at the Eagle River Nature Center. Unfortunately, the hundreds of ice lanterns that had been made by staff and volunteers did not survive the recent warm temps. Nevertheless, the crew stepped up and made luminaries of both white paper bags and reflective aluminum. Despite the lack of ice lanterns, the event was still a success. The performance by AK Fire Circus was dazzling as always, and the sights were awe-inspiring.

Colin

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December in Minnesota

I arrived in Minnesota last week where winter is making a late appearance. A few days of low temps (uff-da!) has the lakes creaking and groaning as new ice forms. Meanwhile, the Midwest sunsets never disappoint. It's great to be back in my homeland for a few days to visit family & friends, make lefse with Mom, and explore the land that bore me.

Colin

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