The Cuba Travel Blog

Well I’ve reached Cuba safe and sound, and I’ve decided to undertake an experiment, writing a travel blog, with daily observations and hopefully at least one decent photo. Whether or not this works depends on my self discipline, the availability … Continue reading

Monday, November 15, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

Faded Grandeur

The end of my first full day in Cuba has left me feeling a little sad. You often hear the phrase “faded grandeur”, but never have I been anywhere where it’s so markedly and consistently appropriate as here. This is … Continue reading

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

Shaun of the Dead

Yesterday we went to visit the Necropolis Colon, Cuba’s largest cemetery (and effectively their national cemetery). It’s an interesting place, and I think I may have generated a couple of atmospheric shots, probably best in black and white. While I … Continue reading

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

Just In Case You Thought I Wasn’t Photographing Any Cars

Lots of pictures of cars, so it’s difficult to choose a favourite at the moment. Here’s one which worked, showing the Capitolio (a copy of America’s Capitol) reflected in the bonnet of a nearby taxi of ancient vintage. The foyer … Continue reading

Going Guerilla

After a long and slightly boring drive through Western Cuba, we’ve moved to Vinales, a wonderful valley between two ranges of low, rounded mountains known as “Los Organos”, because Spanish sailors thought the eroded limestone looked like church organs. Vinales … Continue reading

Thursday, November 18, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

Bolting Horse Cart

I wanted to use the shot of the old guy with the cigar to illustrate my main post, but this was arguably yesterday’s shot of the day. The buggy had just become trapped on the edge of a building while … Continue reading

Cool Cab

This doesn’t need much explanation. Forgive the slight camera shake, but a 1950s Ford Consul does vibrate a bit. Who cares! Continue reading

Mixed Fortunes

The update I wrote at about 7am yesterday turned out to be incorrect – the mist in Vinales Valley suddenly cleared, and we got some very good shots in the early morning light, with wisps of mist still visible. I’ll … Continue reading

Friday, November 19, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

Valley View

Another shot from yesterday: the view from my hotel balcony at the Hotel Los Jazzmines, a panorama stitched from 5 shots. Scary fact: the TIF file generated by the stitching software was 148MB. That’s the downside of steadily growing image … Continue reading

Normal Service Will Be Resumed As Soon As Possible

After Vinales internet connectivity became more and more of a challenge. The Hotel Jagua in Cienfuegos was elegant and well-equipped, but very poorly stocked and staffed. One of the things they were out of were the tickets for computer use. … Continue reading

Monday, November 22, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

A Diffraction of Photographers

I’ve found the right collective noun for photographers: it has to be a “diffraction”, because they do have a tendency to spread out from a point. Like setting a group of small dogs loose in a wood full of squirrels… … Continue reading

Economic Anomalies

It’s odd what economic anomalies are thrown up by a struggling economy. Before I came to Cuba I was told that I should bring soap as a gift/tip, so I’ve spent months systematically stealing hotel soap. However, the only people … Continue reading

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

Getting Wider?

Frances always says I’m getting wider. I hope this doesn’t give her too much evidence. Continue reading

Sunrise on the Palacio

This is the Palacio de Valle, a great piece of architecture inside and out with strong Moorish influences. It’s also home to a restaurant, one of Cienfugos’ finest, where we ate after our long drive from Vinales. That has to … Continue reading

Hasta La Revolucion

OK, this isn’t very PC, but who cares! Michelle spotted me at the top of the old tower in Cienfuegos and got me to wave. I think this matches the hat. I am, of course, making a list of people … Continue reading

Character-Full Trinidad

It’s about 50 miles from Cienfuegos to Trinidad, along the coast, which takes over 2 hours on a very bumpy road. However the drive is worth it. Trinidad is a very pretty town: different architecture again – based on two … Continue reading

That’s a Big Box!

Shot of the day for Monday. Everyone else in the party was shooting over this little fella’s head at the cathedral, but I happened to glance down. Bingo! Continue reading

Economic Anomalies, Part 2

Two observations from the last few days: Cuba has two currencies: the Convertible Peso, used by tourists and businesses which interact with tourists or trading partners, and the National Peso, used by Cuban Nationals for everyday activity. The buying power … Continue reading

The Last Post?

Back to Havana, so I’ve managed to catch up a bit. However, even this took visits to two hotels to find one with working internet service! I hope you enjoy the mega update. This will probably be my last update … Continue reading

An Uncomfortable Vision

I took this picture almost on auto-pilot, and was immediately torn about whether to keep it, or delete it. Was I guilty of exploiting the little girl? However, what happened next was interesting, and a tale worth telling. Another tourist … Continue reading

Thursday, November 25, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

Smokin’

I’ve heard it all now – a flamenco version of “Smoke on the Water”! Richie Blackmore would approve. Excellent. Continue reading

Cuba Reflections

I’m safely back home with a load of photos to process, so this is just about my last post on Cuba. There’s probably one more to come on the technicalities of photography there, but I thought it would be good … Continue reading

Friday, November 26, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

Cuba Photo Notes

“Photographer’s paradise” is probably putting it far too strongly, but Cuba does provide easy access to a great range of material in almost every genre: fashion and international sports might be a bit of a challenge (unless you bring some … Continue reading

Wednesday, December 1, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

Cuba Travel Blog – Quick Update

If you want to read all my articles in chronological order, you can now do so at www.andrewj.com/blog/cuba. Continue reading

Thursday, December 2, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Photography

Back to Cuba!

Not literally, unfortunately, but I’m finally getting on top of my shots from last November’s trip, and I thought I’d share some of them with you. Here’s one I rather liked of a green car under dappled light on the … Continue reading

Thursday, June 23, 2011 in Cuba Travel Blog, Photography

Image Stabilisation – Know Your Limits?

I’ve blogged previously on the other merits of Canon’s wonderful EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens, but not really its image stabilisation characteristics. This shot from Cuba shows how good the lens is in that respect. The above is an … Continue reading

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 in Cuba Travel Blog, Photography

Street Life – Cuban Style…

Just a quick update on the shots from my Cuba trip last year. This scene made me giggle at the time, and the photo amused me again. Does it work for you? Continue reading

Thursday, August 11, 2011 in Cuba Travel Blog, Photography

Don’t Rush to Judgement

As soon as I’ve downloaded a shoot from my cameras, I do a quick scan of the in-camera JPEG files, and usually mark about half of the images for deletion. Those which are irrecoverable go straight to the wastebasket, the … Continue reading

Thursday, August 18, 2011 in Cuba Travel Blog, Photography, Travel

Back to the Street

After a week of beautiful but desolate landscapes in Iceland, I fancied a bit of colour and vibrance from Cuba. This was the first shot in the list, and a bit intriguing. It’s definitely one way of keeping your car … Continue reading

Thursday, September 1, 2011 in Cuba Travel Blog, Photography, Travel

Something Fast, Something VERY Slow

After an inevitable delay while I set up my new PC, I’m finally back to sorting out some images. The new beast certainly does what I wanted it to. Processing an 18MP RAW file on the old laptop took up … Continue reading

Thursday, November 17, 2011 in Cuba Travel Blog, Photography