Rad A. Drew Photography: Cuba! November 7-15, 2018

Continental Divide at Dawn

Continental Divide at Dawn
Continental Divide at Dawn

Cuba! November 7-15, 2018

Dancer, National Ballet de Cuba
© Rad A. Drew
Fuji X-E2


Rad A. Drew

November 7-15, 2018

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Taxi, Old Havana
© Rad A. Drew
 Fuji X-E2

A photography tour for traditional and iPhone photographers

Experience Cuba in all her glory and grit during this extraordinary photography experience with a small group of fellow adventurers.  Imagine yourself in Cuba, looking through the camera lens, warm air on your skin, a smile on your face, and the excitement of shooting in one of the most beautiful and fascinating regions of the world, one that has been off-limits to most Americans for decades! I've visited Cuba 11 times since 2013 and during that time I've developed relationships with local photographers and artists, and learned where to go, and when, for great photo opportunities of people, landscape, and architecture.

In adapting to the most recent US travel requirements, we'll travel under the OFAC's Aid To Cuban People designation. (For more information read my blog post.) You'll book your own flight to Havana, or work with our agency to arrange your flight (your preference). Our group will all meet at our Casas in Havana, where we'll explore historic plazas and architecture in Havana and Trinidad.  Most importantly, we'll have the opportunity to meet and enjoy the hospitality of our neighbors to the south.

Sea Weathered Casa, Cojimar, Cuba
© Rad A. Drew
From the moment you set foot in Havana, you'll feel that you are in another world; in place, in time, and in history. Once one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Havana is today a city with a rich culture, a complex past, and an uncertain future.
Night Game, Trinidad
© Rad A. Drew

1951 Pontiac in Havana
© Rad A. Drew
iPhone 7 Plus

On this trip, we'll stay in "Casas" in Havana and Trinidad, where you'll have the opportunity to interact intimately with our Cuban hosts. Our Casas have been vetted by our travel agent and afford modest but clean and private accommodations, similar to what you might expect at a Bed and Breakfast in the United States. You will have your own private bath (no sharing). 

We'll roam the streets of Old Havana, stroll down the Prado, and walk along the Malecon, the boulevard by the sea. In the evening, old cars from the 40s and 50s cruise along the Prado providing opportunities for "Panning on the Prado!"

Panning on the Prado!
© Rad A. Drew

Our exploration of Havana will include numerous sites that prompted UNESCO to name Habana Vieja (Old Havana) a World Cultural Heritage site.

This old center of the city contains a mix of Baroque and neoclassical monuments, and includes many homes with arcades, balconies, wrought-iron gates and internal courtyards.

We'll visit the five plazas of Habana Vieja – Plaza de Armas, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de San Francisco, Plaza del Cristo and Plaza de la Catedral – each with its own unique architectural character.

The image below was made in Central Square shortly after sunrise before many people were out.
Central Square, Old Havana
© Rad A. Drew
We'll explore the Jose Marti Stadium, built in 1940 under the new government of Fulgencio Batista. The field and track are still used by residents today but the structures are in a state of disrepair.
Cojimar Castle
© Rad A. Drew

Latinoamerican Stadium
© Rad A. Drew
Outside of Havana we'll visit the small village of Cojimar and the Cojimar Marina, where Hemingway moored his boat, The Pilar. This charming village was a haunt of Hemingway's while he wrote the Old Man and the Sea. This is one of the most serene and picturesque spots in all of Cuba.

As we travel from Havana to Trinidad, we'll stop at interesting sites along the way, some planned, others serendipitous, spontaneous. The image below is of boats at a small fishing village near Trinidad.
Sea-Side Home in Cojimar
© Rad A. Drew

Fishing Boats near Trinidad
© Rad A. Drew
And then there's Trinidad herself! Founded by the Spanish in 1514, Trinidad is one of the best-preserved cities in the Caribbean from the time when the sugar trade was the main industry in the region. We'll walk the cobble-stone streets of the city and visit the Plaza Mayor at the center of town and eat in small restaurants, some in the homes of Cuban families.

Patricia, Cuban International Ballet
© Rad A. Drew
The woman pictured below was selling straw hats in front of her home. When asked if she made them herself, she invited me into her modest home and began to show me. Her hands flew as she demonstrated her art.

This shot of the city is an iPhone panorama taken from a rooftop restaurant owned by a local family. It was the rooftop of their home, and meals were prepared in their family kitchen. This was not only one of the best views afforded of the city, but some of the best food as well! 

iPhone Panorama of Trinidad
© Rad A. Drew
Hat Maker, Trinidad
© Rad A. Drew
These trips will be my 6th and 7th since 2013. I've learned where to go, and when, what to see, and how to spot spontaneous opportunities. My goal is to provide you with an experience of authentic Cuban life and culture. We'll avoid heavily touristed areas and visit some sights at times selected to avoid large numbers of tourists.

Butcher, Trinidad
© Rad A. Drew
As an added treat on this trip, you'll meet and shoot with renowned Cuban photographer, Ramses Batista. We'll visit Ramses' photography studio in Old Havana where he'll show his work, and then we'll walk the streets of the neighborhood under Ramses' guidance. Ramses will take our group to areas rarely visited by non-Cubans, and we'll have the opportunity to photograph dancers from the Cuban International Ballet.

Merci, Dancer with the Cuban International Ballet
© Rad A. Drew

Workshop Leader

Rad A. Drew
Rad A. Drew lives with his wife, metalsmith Nancy Lee, in an historic community in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. He has come to know and love Cuba and her people through trips there since 2013. 

Although a passionate traditional camera photographer much of his life, since 2010 he's explored and harnessed the capabilities of the iPhone. His creative and imaginatively processed iPhone images have fared well in international mobile competitions and have prevailed in traditional photography events as well, leading to numerous awards and showings in galleries around the world. He is author of the fine art books, In Good Light, Images of the Circle City, and Rural Indiana, A Beauty all its Own, and is a contributor to today’s most comprehensive volume of iPhone instruction, The Art of iPhone Photography: Creating Great Photos and Art on Your iPhone. Rad enjoys teaching photography around the world serving individuals, corporations, and professional organizations. His destination tours are great ways to learn while photographing beautiful areas of the world. 

Travel Itinerary Overview

Day 1 – Arrive in Havana
Days 2, 3 – Havana
Days 4, 5, 6 – Trinidad
Days 7, 8 – Havana
Day 9 – Depart for Miami

Tour Cost

Fees include:
  • 8 nights in Casas in Havana and Trinidad
  • transfers to and from airport upon arrival and departure
  • 87 in CUC upon arrival (approximately $100 USD)
  • ~ 80% of meals
  • Ground transportation in Cuba
  • Spanish Speaking Guide 

Fees DO NOT include:

  • Travel Insurance (for cancellation and trip interruption; highly recommended) 
  • Travel Card (aka Visa) purchased at airline ticket counter
  • Personal Expenses 
  • Luggage fees 
  • ~ 20% of Meals 
  • Alcohol
  • Gratuities


Documentation Requirements
A valid passport, and an Travel Card (aka Visa) (purchased at airline ticket counter) is required for Cuba. 

Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC)
Trips to Cuba are strictly governed by the OFAC. We work with an experienced travel agency to ensure that all of the appropriate documentation and OFAC licenses are obtained for each participant for travel to Cuba. 

Terms and Conditions
A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is required at the time of booking. Once fees are paid-in-full cancellation penalties apply.

60 Days prior to arrival date, deposit $500.00 
59 to 45 days prior to arrival date - 50% of total cost.
44 days to arrival date - 100% of total cost


Email Rad Drew for payment instructions.

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