February 2020 Cuba Tours

Hola, amigos! I am happy to announce that I am planning to lead photo tours in Cuba again next February. I had intended to start promoting this earlier this year until the US government announced that new and more restrictive travel policies to the island would be coming. The new regulations have taken effect and the policies that my clients and I traveled under last year are still in place, so US citizens are still allowed to legally visit Cuba as long as the reason for travel falls under one of these approved categories. Rest assured that we will be abiding by these policies and for this reason, the tours will likely include more cultural and humanitarian exchanges.

 As of now, I am looking at starting the tours on or around February 1, 2020 and people will have the choice of either a 7-day or 11-day tour, with an optional day of yoga and Thai yoga massage after the first 7 days. The tours will start in Havana followed by 2-night stays in the cities of Cienfuegos and Trinidad before returning to Havana. Guests taking the extended tour will spend two extra nights in Havana with me and then travel to Viñales for two more nights. Once all the details are worked out, I will add the links to my website and share them here.

 Please contact me if you are interested in joining me in Cuba or if you have any other questions and feel free to share this with your friends.

 Gracias!

 Colin


Vegas Grande, Cuba’s tallest waterfall

Vegas Grande, Cuba’s tallest waterfall


Farm Tour in Viñales

Farm Tour in Viñales


Classic car in Havana

Classic car in Havana


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


_CTB0677.jpg

Happy Unicorn Day!

It has come to my attention that April 9 is Unicorn Day (it's a real thing, check it out: https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/unicorn-day/). I've said before that I believe in love, I believe in magic, and I sure believe in unicorns, which is why I was able to capture this image near Hofsós on the northern coast of Iceland last year.

Have a magical day and be sure to mark your calendars for the next big holiday - Hug a Sheep Day, celebrated annually on the last Saturday in October (also a real thing: https://happydays-365.com/…/national-hug-a-sheep-day-octob…/)

Colin


_ROB0824-U.jpg

Kia Ora, New Zealand

"People make magic happen." Graffiti with a positive message. Today my thoughts go out to the people of New Zealand after yesterday's senseless act of violence. I took this in Christchurch five years ago and it's a good reminder the resilience of the Kiwis. This was taken in one of the cordoned-off sections of the city following the 2011 earthquake. Despite the loss and damage, the people of Christchurch came forth to rebuild and move forward after that tragedy and I have not doubt they will do the same now.

Kia ora,

Colin


_CTB2330.jpg



“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

 
_CTB0764.jpg

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

_CTB0279.jpg

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

_CTB6978.jpg
 
_CTB6984.jpg
 
_CTB7004.jpg

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

_CTB0768.jpg
_CTB0594.jpg
_CTB0677.jpg

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

_CTB4935.jpg
_CTB0493.jpg
_CTB6848.jpg
_CTB6869.jpg
_CTB4929.jpg

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

_CTB6880.jpg
_CTB6922.jpg
_CTB6967.jpg



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

_CTB0555.jpg
_CTB0566.jpg
_CTB0509.jpg



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.

2018 copy.jpg

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/

_CTB0569.jpg
_CTB0571.jpg

Icelandic Horses

I arrived in Hosfós, Iceland on the afternoon of what was my final day in-country and knew immediately that was where I would remain until nightfall, exploring the area and soaking up the north coast sunshine. One of my favorite subjects turned out to be the many horses in and around the town, something that Icelanders seem to take great pride in. I had envisioned an image with the ocean as a strong element in the background and am very pleased with what I captured that day.

Have a magical Monday out there and thank you for following along!

Colin

Images taken with the Nikon D850.

_ROB0977.jpg
_ROB0824.jpg
_ROB1015.jpg

More Aurora from Iceland

I was editing through photos from my Iceland trip last night and came across this eery aurora image taken on the foggy drive from the north coast back to Reykjavik. It was a short, action-packed trip and I am just now catching up on sleep and settling back into this time zone. I was able to use the long flights to work on senior portraits and create my Cuba slideshow, which I presented last night at the Anchorage REI store. I had another person register for the February 2019 Cuba Tour after the program, so it looks like I’ve only got one spot left!

If you are interested in joining me in Cuba this coming February, details can be found here: http://www.colintyler.com/phototours-and-classes/

Gracias!

Colin

_ROB1159.jpg



Iceland Aurora

Well, apparently the Norse gods are smiling upon me because I couldn't possibly leave Iceland without seeing the aurora. We were under clouds during a big display a couple nights back but I did manage to get a few shots on my overnight drive from the north coast back to Reykjavik - I captured this image on the edge of Reykjavik just a couple hours ago. Now I begin the long journey home. Many thanks to William Janecek and KB Tambo Travel for including me on this adventure. Until next time, Iceland, ha det bra!

Colin

_ROB1196.jpg

Mountain Biking Iceland

Hello from Akureyri, Iceland! We made a long drive over the country yesterday, stopping for a quick hike/bike up to a glacier for photos with KB Tambo Travel. The weather has been rainy and from what I'm seeing from my friends back home in Alaska, I missed out on some nice auroras last night. Despite the wet weather, our spirits aren't dampened and we were able to come away with a few nice mountain bike images. Have a great day out there, wherever you are on the globe!

Cheers!

Colin

_CTB0218.jpg
_CTB0257.jpg


Halló frá Íslandi - Hello from Iceland!

Hello from Iceland - where giant waterfalls are abundant and off-road driving takes on a whole new meaning! I arrived early yesterday and will be here until Thursday. It was a very spontaneous trip to meet a friend and help scope out new locations for his mountain bike tours, which also gave me an opportunity to explore Iceland for the first time and research/plan future photo tours here. I will be posting when I am able. As always, thank you for following along!

Takk (thank you),

Colin

_ROB0655.jpg
_CTB0013.jpg

Farewell, Washington!

Farewell, Washington! I've had a wonderful time here, both at the yoga retreat in Gig Harbor and also visiting friends while exploring a new part of the world but as always, I look forward to returning home to Alaska. The air has been filled with smoke & haze from wildfires in the Pacific Northwest recently but thankfully the last couple of days have been better and we were treated to a nice sunset & moonrise on Whidbey Island last night. Until next time!

Namaste,

Colin

_CTB9584.jpg
_CTB9667.jpg