Classic Car and Horse Carriage, Havana, Cuba

Hola!

I have gotten around to editing through my images from Cuba and added them to my website, if you'd like to peruse: https://www.colintyler.com/travel#/cuba-2019/.

Also, I will soon be posting my 2020 Cuba photo tours once I have worked out all the details! I will likely offer a 7-day tour as well as a 10-day tour with an optional day of yoga before going to Viñales.

Finally, I have an update on the camera gear that was damaged in the river near Trinidad, Cuba this past February. I sent it all to Nikon for evaluation and it turns out that both camera bodies and one of the three lenses are repairable. I received my D850 back yesterday and it seems to be working great! Not knowing what the status would be, I had arranged for another D850 to be brought down to me in Cuba so I now have two of them.

That is all for now. Have a great day out there and thank you for following my adventures!

Colin


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“Mi amigo primero y mi guía siempre.”

“Mi amigo primero y mi guía siempre.”
“My friend first and my guide always.”

I’m currently on my way home from Cuba and during my time there, I absorbed enough Español to create at least one meaningful and grammatically correct statement; a tribute to my guide and good friend, Gelin Eguinosa. He was our guide on my first trip to Cuba and I was sure to request him for both of my photo tours this year. You’d be hard-pressed to meet a kinder man who handles every situation, even the inevitable moments of adversity, with his level of thoughtfulness and professionalism. He’s knowledgeable in La historia de Cuba (Cuban History) and, of course, always knows the best cliff-jumping spots! As long as he is available, Gelin will guide my tours.

Speaking of tours, there are a number of people interested in registering for the “2020 Cuba Photo Tour.” Once I am home and settled in I will work out the details of next year’s trip and share the information. My plan is to continue leading these tours in Cuba while my hope is that we will be able to continue to visit and become acquainted with one of our closest neighbors. When governments fail to negotiate, citizens on both shores suffer. This leads me to my second meaningful statement en Español: “Puentes no muros.” or “Bridges not walls.” May we continue to build bridges by removing societal barriers and increase the exchange of ideas, goods, and goodwill.

Until next time, Cuba,

Hasta pronto!

Colin

 
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Viñales Sunset

The sun is setting on my time here in Cuba. Four weeks of leading tours, embarking on new adventures and visiting old haunts, making new friends and dealing with occasional adversity goes by pretty fast. I have every intention of returning and already have a number of people ready to sign up for next year’s tours.

This was taken in Viñales last night, where we were treated to a tour of local farms and finished up with a beautiful sky to end the day. Today we returned to Havana and I fly out tomorrow, along with the last of my second group. I’ll have more to share as time allows. Until then, hasta pronto!

Colin

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Cuba Farm Tours

Hola, amigos! My second group arrives mañana and it will be back to business for the rest of my time here. Aside from seeing the sights and scenery, my tours include visits to local farms where you can sample and acquire locally made honey, coffee, and of course, cigars and rum (if you're into that). These were taken in Viñales last week at our hosts' family farm. I have every intention of scheduling photo tours in Cuba again next February and already have a number of people who are ready to sign up. I'll work out the details and post them after I return. Until then, hasta luego!

Colin

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The Classic Cars of Cuba

While I am no motorhead or car enthusiast by any stretch, I truly enjoy photographing the many classic automobiles in Cuba. After the embargo, the Cuban people kept these vehicles running out of necessity as newer models weren't available to them and I have to marvel at their ingenuity. This is why there are still so many on the roads today.

One of the photographic techniques I shared with my group here is called panning - using a slow shutter speed to accentuate movement and tracking the subject as it passes by. If you open an issue of National Geographic Magazine, you will often find photos with exaggerated movement, which adds life and emotion to the images. I always say that photography is a set of rules and principles and once you master these rules, learn to creatively break the rules. This is when you've become an artist.

Colin

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Joyfulness

We have but one simple purpose in life, which is to be joyful. Children understand this yet we unlearn it as we grow into adulthood. How is it that as we mature and acquire knowledge, we lose this wisdom? Wherever you go in the world, you will find children being joyful. Whether they have a brand new soccer ball or a flattened aluminum can to kick around, children will always find joy.

Colin

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First Cuba Tour es Finito!


Well, my first Cuba photo tour has ended and everybody has departed. We had a great group of people I've received a lot of nice feedback. Aside from one minor setback in Trinidad, things flowed quite smoothly. I now have a few days in Havana to relax until my second group arrives on Saturday.

Gracias, amigos! Thank you for following along.

Colin

Sunset over Havana.

Sunset over Havana.

Vegas Grande - Cuba’s tallest Waterfall.

Vegas Grande - Cuba’s tallest Waterfall.

Exploring a cave in El Nicho National Park, Cuba.

Exploring a cave in El Nicho National Park, Cuba.

Viñales, Cuba

Hola de Viñales, Cuba! It's been a while since I've checked in. We've had a very busy week but the first tour is winding down and I'll have a week in Havana before my next group arrives. This is my first time in Viñales. We went on a sunrise hike this morning and I will have more photos to share soon. As always, muchas gracias for following my journeys.

Hasta pronto!

Colin

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Hola de la Habana!

Buenas dias, amigos! Hola de la Habana!



I arrived in Cuba yesterday and have been quickly reminded why I adore this country so much. My first tour (10 people) arrives tomorrow and we’ll be spending the first two nights in Havana before heading south to Playa Larga, Cienfuegos, and the city of Trinidad, then returning to Havana for a night and venturing out to Viñales for two nights. My second group arrives on Feb. 16 and we will repeat the same itinerary. Here are a few shots from my first morning in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana. Mas para seguir!

Gracias,

Colin

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Happy 2019!

For a year that began with no travel plans, 2018 quickly turned into one of my most adventuresome thus far. February found me in Cuba 🇨🇺 for the first time, which set the stage for further spontaneous and far-flung excursions including the Big Island of Hawaii to photograph the Kilauea Volcano eruption, Washington state for a yoga 🧘‍♂️ retreat, and finally a quick visit to Iceland 🇮🇸 in September. I look forward to the magic that 2019 will bring in the way of new experiences and explorations. 

May your intentions manifest in the New Year and as always, thank you for following along!

Colin

PS – I can still add one more person or possibly a couple to my second Cuba Photo Tour, which begins in Havana on Saturday, February 16, 2019. Details here: https://www.colintyler.com/phototours-and-classes/. Please message me if you are interested.

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Feliz Cumpleaños (Happy Birthday), John Lennon

"Dirás que soy un soñador pero no soy el uńico." (You may say that I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one). There is a park in Havana with a statue of John Lennon and a stone with the above words inscribed. In 1964, Beatles music was banned in Cuba, which led to the formation of an underground society for those who wanted to appreciate their songs. This ban was eventually lifted and in 2000, Fidel Castro participated in the unveiling and dedication of the Lennon statue. With all of that said, I would like to wish 'Feliz Cumpleańos' or Happy Birthday to John Lennon, who was born 78 years ago today.

Colin

PS - It looks as though my February Cuba Tour might be full - I will know more in the coming days. If you are interested, please message me soon. More details here: http://www.colintyler.com/phototours-and-classes/

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Cuba Tour, February 2019

Hello and Happy Friday, friends! I've got a couple bits of exciting news to share. First, I have nailed down the dates and details for my photographic tour of Cuba, which is scheduled for February 3-9, 2019 (with an option to stay an extra two days to explore Viñales with me). I have gotten several inquiries regarding this tour so I am happy to have the plans laid out. We will be using KB Cuba Tours for the transportation, lodging, and guide services. This is the same company I traveled to Cuba with this past February and I happy to say they are offering us a great rate for this tour!! Follow the link at the bottom for details and how to arrange payment. Total cost for the week, which includes all transportation in Cuba, lodging & breakfast each day, photographic instruction and more is $1,795 with an early bird rate of $1,595 if you register before October 1, 2018. A $500 non-refundable deposit will secure your spot with the balance due by December 1, 2018. You can see my photos and videos of Cuba here: http://www.colintyler.com/travel/#/cuba-2018/

Second, after photographing a wedding this afternoon I am heading to the airport to explore a new part of the world! I haven't divulged the details yet so you'll have to stay tuned to see where I land this time.

Please share this information with your friends and anyone you think might be interested in exploring Cuba with me and experiencing the magic and culture of this magnificent Caribbean destination! As always, thank you for following along and supporting me in my adventures.

Gracias,

Colin

Details on February 2019 Cuba Tour:

http://www.colintyler.com/phototours-and-classes/

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Bay of Pigs and Trinidad, Cuba

Bay of Pigs and Trinidad, Cuba.

These are from days 2 & 3 of my recent adventure to Cuba. I'd packed an underwater housing in anticipation of taking some shots while snorkeling near the Bay of Pigs. Additionally, we all brought soccer balls to give out to children in the countryside. We frequently encountered groups of kids playing soccer with a tattered ball, so we would stop with a new ball and kick it around with them for a bit before leaving on our way.

Trinidad is Cuba's third oldest city and steeped in cultural history. We spent two nights there before driving back to Havana. The rooftop photo is from the casa where I stayed. If all goes well, I will be leading a photo tour to Cuba next winter. Again, I will post the details as they develop. Thank you for following along.

Colin

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Havana Tribute

Happy Hump Day, friends! I’m finally over the hump of editing the photos from my trip to Cuba. I spent much of yesterday organizing images and creating this video, a tribute to Havana with music by the lovely Camila Cabello. With the exception of the night shots and a few others, nearly all were taken my first afternoon. Shortly after arriving from an overnight flight and dropping my bags at la casa, I hit the streets to experience Havana - exploring, wandering, getting lost and soaking up the Cuban vibe. By the end of the week it was apparent how I could walk the streets and navigate traffic more easily and with greater confidence, and communicate with people more effectively; expanding my Spanish vocabulary in the short time I was there. In all honesty, I have not been this inspired and immersed in a foreign culture since I traveled to India more than four years ago.

Let me know how you like the video. I felt this made for a more heartfelt salutation than a photo album. From the classic cars to the people and street scenes, los perros y gatos (the dogs & cats) and even a few selfies and group pics, this is my compilation, my tribute to the city of Havana and its wonderful people who welcomed me with open arms.

Finally, many thanks to KB Cuba Tours and our guide Gelin for this incredible journey. I have every intention of returning and leading a group of photo enthusiasts, so please stay tuned for details on that if you or someone you know might be interested. Until then Cuba, mucho amor y hasta pronto!

Muchas gracias,

Colin

 

 

Vegas Grandes

Vegas Grandes - Tope de Collantes, Cuba. Just two weeks ago I was swimming right here, underneath Cuba's tallest waterfall (160 meters). I'm still organizing photos and looking forward to giving a presentation on my trip. I'll post the details as they come along. Viva Cuba!

Cheers,

Colin

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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 - 700 still images and 40 minutes condensed into 30 seconds. 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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