Cuba for

Photography

It’s hard to imagine a more photogenic destination than vibrant, trapped-in-time Cuba. Here are some iconic shots that capture the best of Cuba’s fabulous architecture, stunning landscapes and colourful culture.

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t The distinctive palm trees and mogotes of Valle de Viñales

Valley Vista

For the most beautiful scenery in Cuba, shoot the Valle de Viñales from the hilltop Hotel Los Jazmines. The valley is framed by the distinctive towering mogotes (steep, round hills) and the scene is studded with thatched bohios (farmsteads). Palms rising over rust-red tobacco fields complete the scene.

¡Viva la Revolución!

Billboards and murals nationwide capture the spirit of the Cuban revolution, with Che Guevara as the most popular subject. One of the most famous images of this iconic revolutionary adorns the concrete façade of the Hotel Habana Libre in Vedado. Use a slow shutter speed to punctuate your photo with a passing classic American car.

Street Life

Don’t leave your camera in your hotel – Cuba’s streetscapes are made for photography. The calles (streets) of La Habana Vieja and Centro Habana are stand-out subjects. Look for the details – locals chatting on steps, or businesses tucked inside tenement stairwells.

Classic Americana

Havana’s Malecón is the perfect place to photograph pre-revolutionary American cars as they rev their way along the sea- front. To capture them in motion, stand on the ocean side and follow a car’s movement as you click the shutter, or use a telephoto lens to capture the whole boulevard with Vedado behind.

Cuban Pastoral

With its ox-drawn ploughs, thatched bohios (farmsteads) and weathered farmhands, Cuba’s countryside transports visitors back in time. Don’t be shy! For the most impactful images, engage the farmers and ask if you can take their photos. Get up close. If you’re lucky, they’ll be wearing a well-worn straw hat and holding a half-smoked cigar.

Photo Tours

To learn how to perfect your photography skills, sign up for a tour led by a professional photographer and Cuba expert. Jim Cline Photo Tours (www.jimclinephototours.com) specializes in Cuba and features hidden venues and unique local spots.

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Insider Tip

Working with Tropical Light

To avoid Cuba’s intense sunlight, try to shoot photos during the “golden hour”— the hour following sunrise and before sunset. At midday, shoot in shadow to avoid extreme contrast.

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