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Cuba/March/2016

Taken during "Dawn Patrol"

Taken during “Dawn Patrol”

While the experience and images of Cuba are still so fresh in my mind, I wanted to share this wonderful country with you in a visual presentation.

For the third time, the Santa Fe Workshops asked me to lead a group to Cuba, and for the third time I was as exited as I was the first time I was asked. Together with their point man Kip Brundage, a top photographer in his own right, one couldn’t ask for a more professional experience.

These photos were all taken by my fellow photographers that had signed up for me to shoot with them through the streets of Havana, as well as smaller towns that were withing an hour’s ride from our hotel.

Many of them had taken my online class with the BPSOP, or had been with me in one of my own “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops. For three, it had been their second time in Cuba with me.

To be sure, things in Cuba are rapidly changing and just within a couple of years, the differences for me were very apparent.  From the new Paladares  (privately owned restaurants) offering cuisine for even the discerning foodie, to the increase in tourism shown by the endless line of huge tour buses.

For the first time I saw cranes rising above the narrow streets, jutting into the blue skies over Havana, and of course the beginning of traffic jams. I walked by huge cruise ships that were either docked in the harbor or on the horizon waiting to come in.

What hasn’t changed is the people. They are still warm and friendly and anxious to invite you into their small humble homes for coffee and conversation. For the most part, they are willing to be photographed and only once in a while ask for something in return.

I had many people refuse money (a CUC…about a dollar) but would smile when you offered them, a pack of gum or a candy bar. There’s nothing like the feeling you get when you see the joy of a child you just gave a small toy to.

I can tell you that they absolutely love people from the United States, and eager to talk and spend time with you. Havana is still well worth the visit, but if I were you I would go sooner rather than later.

Btw, I happened to be there at the same time as President Obama, and watched his motorcade drive by hundreds of cheering Cubans. It was very cool and definitely part of history.

Enjoy the show:

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2016 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime. The end of July marks my twenty-eight year at the Maine Media Workshops. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself for a week and think about nothing but photography.

It’s the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland, and offers a completely different set of photo ops than the beautiful Maine coastline, amazing lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages. The full description is at the top of this blog.

I have added a new workshop to my 2016 schedule. On September 21st, ten photographers will get together with me at my evening “meet and greet” to begin a fantastic five-day workshop in New York, New York. Check out my description at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me.

Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com and I’ll create a video critique for you.

JoeB

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