Category: Cuba, 2014

Return and Reflections

February 5

Up very early to go on a last dawn patrol walk at 6:15. Lovely cool morning with a beautiful sky, so a good opportunity for some final photos, some of which are below, including some more “puddle shots.”

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Breakfast at the hotel and met with our group in the lobby. Jennifer had me read the fake blog I’d written, giving a very irreverent view of what we’d seen and poking fun at many members of our group. It was very well received and everyone wanted copies, which I promised to send to them when I get back home.

Van to the airport, where we cleared all hurdles two and a half hours before flight time. Sat with four members of our group, and passed the time over coffee and conversation. Now aboard our short flight to Miami, where we will spend the evening in Ft. Lauderdale with our close friends, Len and Elyse.

Reflections on the trip. Overall, terrific. Love Havana, excellent planning and very helpful support from staff and our leader, and great accommodations. Memorable moments were the first dance performance, showing of Raul’s photos, meeting with with Claudia Corrales, viewing of Luis Ernest Donas’ 13-minute short film “Oslo”, the Flamenco dance performance by Irene Rodriguez and final evening slide show. Just walking the streets of Havana was a great treat.

This trip was considerably different from my earlier one. First, having Carol with me made it infinitely more enjoyable. This trip was more focused on the subjects of art and music, whereas the first one was a general trip. The first trip included Trinidad as well as Havana, whereas this one was only in Havana. Our connection with the photographers on this trip, especially Eduardo, was much different and better than it was on the first trip, as was the connection to the Cuban photographic group that was our sponsor. I had anticipated that the “art “would include more of media other than photography, i.e. painting, sculpture, etc. I also thought there would be more pure music involved, rather than music with dance. That said, the events that were planned were really excellent and provided opportunities that we would not otherwise have had.

It helped greatly that our group got along very well, and was small. Though we were nine, we frequently were broken into two groups, and two of the nine members often did not participate. My impression was that the dance group of eleven pretty-much operated as one group, and I think this would have made the trip much less enjoyable for us.

This trip was not a “workshop,” so there was not formal instruction. Nonetheless, I think I learned a fair amount from talking to and observing others on the trip, from viewing images of other photographers and simply from shooting and thinking about what I was doing and, too often, failing to do. I know that I’d benefit from more formal workshops; virtually everyone else in the group had done many of them. I may do some of that in the future. Or not. I am enjoying the photography I’m doing and I’m just not sure that I want to complicate things by actually learning something.

Having completed the travel part of the trip, I now have a month or more of working on my photos to look forward to. And I do look forward to that. In a real sense, I don’t know what I have in the photos I’ve taken. The photos in the blog are a random selection of some that I picked out from viewing tiny thumbnails and, other than a bit of cropping I was able to do have not gone through the post-production phase, which helps greatly (I hope) to improve the images.

Thank all of you who took the time to email me or to write comments on the blog. I hope you enjoyed Cuba, and that you’ll decide to tag along with Carol and me when we visit Brazil in late April/early May.

Hasta luego.

Return and Reflections

  • Barbara Sandler

    Glad it was such a successful trip, Arn. Understandably enhanced this time,
    by Carol’s presence. Think you’ll be pleased by your photos. All the new
    techniques and perspectives you tried out. I love photos and, clearly, it’s
    turned into a major life calling for you. Bravo!

    Now, about going along with you and Carol to Brazil. I’d love to, but will need
    to know specific dates and what to pack, of course. So unexpected and gracious
    of you to invite me to tag along!

    Welcome home!
    Your Little Sister

  • leslie

    these are really great. loved all the photos. glad you enjoyed so much and traveled safely!!! love, les

  • Nkem

    Arnie, It’s really a treat getting to share your travel experiences through your blog. I enjoy reading all the posts and all the great photos. Looking forward to Brazil!
    Best, Nkem (from CGH)

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