“Thanks for the master class in photography. I learned so very much from you, particularly about context, ambiance and milieu to create a riveting picture.
SARAH S., Jim Cline Photo Tours, Cuba 2020
“Chris, you are a one of a kind. Really enjoyed you as a photographer, a guide, and of course as a fabulous story teller.
You have so much Cuba knowledge and I loved your positive energy“
ASA M., JIM CLINE PHOTO TOURS, CUBA 2020
“Chris was the perfect trip leader. His knowledge of the country and its history is vast and he enthusiastically wanted to share it with us along with his years of experience as a photographer… He’s talented, interesting, accessible, and fun to travel with. Plus, he really did seem to care about each of us — if we were okay, getting good images, too tired, too hot, etc. I would certainly travel with him again. He certainly kept up the high standards of a Jim Cline Photo Tour.”
JUDY B., JIM CLINE PHOTO TOURS, COLOMBIA 2018
Despite President Trump’s restrictions on travel to Cuba effective September 24, 2020, and still in effect, every U.S. citizen can still legally travel to Cuba, pre-approved and at any time, under the “support for the Cuban people” license. This program is designed in accordance with U.S. regulations intended to maximize “support for the Cuban people” through stays at private B&Bs, meals at private restaurants, and interactions with independent artists, private tobacco farmers, owners of classic convertible taxis, etc.
Cuba has a low incidence of Covid infections. Nonetheless, the same CDC recommendations and regulations are in effect islandwide. As importantly, Cuba has four Covid vaccines in late-stage testing and expects to begin vaccinations by April, and to be able to vaccination the entire population by November 2021
Experience Cuba with the locals in three of the island’s most iconic sites… Havana, Viñales and Trinidad.
Cuba’s frozen-in-time stage-set backdrop lends a twilight zone ambiance that Hollywood couldn’t dream up if it tried. It guarantees superb photography. But Cuba’s real magic isn’t its crumbling architecture, one-of-a-kind revolutionary icons, or spruced-up vintage cars. It’s the seemingly mundane, quintessential experience a lo cubano that provide for the most authentic grass-roots photography and which you’ll forever cherish as favorite take-aways.
No-one knows Cuba as well as renowned travel journalist, National Geographic photographer, and Cuba expert Christopher P. Baker. Chris has authored and illustrated six travel books on Cuba, and has written about and photographed Cuba on behalf of entities from the BBC and CNN to National Geographic, New York Magazine, and Playboy during three decades of travel to Cuba.
Chris will be joined by top local photographer-guide Claudia Corrales.
Throughout this tour, Chris and our professional Cuban photographer-guide will provide tips, guidance and help in compositional and lighting techniques, proper camera settings, and use of natural light to stunning effect. Plus, they’ll offer critiques on request. However, we will not be using technical lighting, nor provide any intensive workflow/post-processing instruction. We’ll offer a happy medium for those photographers who want to grow and expand their creative vision, yet for whom the sheer enjoyment of street photography and the cultural and travel experience is an equal priority
Chris combines great skill as a non-technical tutor (his focus on the art of visualization and composition and use of light includes a “How to Compose Stunning Travel Photography” presentation) with an unparalleled, all-encompassing comprehension of Cuba, and a capacity for concise, engaging and exciting explanation. (Most importantly, this includes the enigmatic complexities, eccentricities and ideologies of the Revolution; plus, the philosophical, humanistic, non-materialistic qualities that define the Cuban approach to life.)
Join Christopher on this memorable one-of-a-kind photo tour, inspired by research for his magazine assignments and guidebooks. Of course, we’ll get to see many of the finest iconic sights that Cuba has to offer. But Chris shuns the usual tourist locations to explore off-the-beaten-path Cuba and interact with Cubans from all walks of life, while taking advantage of the best light, and with a flexibility that allows us to make the most of opportunities as they arise.
We will start in Havana, with its world-class street shooting and so much more. We will organize photo shoots, such as the most important boxing gym in Cuba, Afro Cubano dancers in an old colonial building, and ballet dancers from the Cuban National Ballet posing in an old mansion. We will be assisted local Cuban photographers, and everywhere we go we will meet and photograph the friendly people of Havana.
Next we will explore the tobacco-growing region of Vinales – with its stunning limestone cliffs, or Mogotes. Vinales would be an important photo destination just for the scenery alone, but it is the traditional farmers that make it so great. We are friends with many of the farmers in the area, and they will invite us into their homes, affording photo opportunities that the typical group will never have. Also we’ll be working with a local photographer who was born and raised there.
Finally we will journey to the colonial city of Trinidad. Many consider this Unesco World Heritage site the most beautiful city in Cuba. With the backdrop of the perfectly preserved colonial buildings, we’ll photograph cowboys riding horses and pulling horse-carts through the cobblestone streets, along with the classic American cars. We’ll meet a local photographer there and visit a cowboy ranch outside of town, where we’ll be served an authentic country-style lunch. Trinidad also hosts a thriving local live music scene, and we will have the opportunity to photograph local musicians there.
This trip will comply with the U.S. People-to-People travel sanctions.
December 4-14, 2021 SOLD OUT!
February 27-March 9, 2022
March 13-23, 2022 ONLY ONE SPACE!
March 27-April 6, 2022 ONLY ONE SPACE!
November 5-15, 2022
December 3-13, 2022
LIMITED TO ONLY SEVEN PEOPLE!
ITINERARY (SUBJECT TO CHANGE):
Day 1: Sunday
Arrive on your flight to Havana, you’ll be picked up at the airport and transferred to our B&B in the heart of Old Havana. We’ll have a 5:30 p.m. orientation meeting, then ride along the Malecón in sexed-up Eisenhower-era convertibles for a welcome dinner at La Guarida—Cuba’s most famous (and photogenic) restaurant and the set for the Oscar-nominated movie “Strawberry & Chocolate.”
Overnight: Private B&B, Havana
Day 5: Thursday
We’ll get up for sunrise and visit tobacco farmers to photograph them in the early morning light. There’ll be rest time before lunch at a beautiful restaurant where all of their organic vegetables are grown in their adjacent farm. The early afternoon is free before we visit more farmers and photograph and interact with them in and around their homes and barns. We’ll have dinner at a tobacco farmer family “restaurant”.
Overnight: Private B&Bs, Viñales.
Day 10: Tuesday
In the morning, we’ll visit a “lost in time” mansion whose occupant lives surrounded by all-things pre-revolutionary: everything in the house dates from the 1950s (or older)! Here we’ll shoot one or more ballerinas of Cuba’s Ballet National or professional models for stunning travel portraiture in an astounding setting. We’re only three blocks from one of Chris’ closest friends–
Day 11: Wednesday
Today for an early evening departure for Miami and home.