Havana Adventure

My parents, Michael, and I recently returned from a one-week vacation in Cuba. We spent the first three days in Havana and the rest in an all-inclusive resort in Varadero. 

While in Havana, we had a local tour-guide, Umberto, drive us around the city. This made it a lot easier to visit almost every tourist attraction there is to see. 

It goes without saying that Havana is a photographer's Disneyland. Its old-world charm, preserved in part by the recently-lifted American embargo, is seen in every aspect of Havana life. I wouldn't say that the city is stuck in time; its people are very modern in many ways. But its architecture, the old cars, and the pace of life,  gave us glimpses of what it must have been. 

For me, the most enjoyable part of taking photos in Havana is the absence of commercial advertisements. There are, of course, political murals and posters, but rarely did I see advertisement, except maybe for Havana Club!

ISO 200 / 19mm / f8.0 / 1/250sec - The Cathedral of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception. An amazing example Spanish America Baroque architecture, completed in 1777. 

ISO 200 / 30mm/ f2.8 / 1/400sec - Many Cubans make a living on the streets of Old Havana playing music to tourists. 

ISO 200 / 30mm / f2.8/ 1/200 - The famous Cigar Lady. She is there solely to be photographed - for a fee, of course. Every photographer who has been to Havana likely has a photo of her.  

ISO 200 / 32mm / f2.8 / 1/800sec - Trumpet player on the streets of old Havana. Notice the American flag?

ISO 200 / 35mm / f7.1 / 1/250sec. - Pretty walls with colourful doors line the streets of Old Havana

ISO 200 / 23mm / f2.8 / 1/400sec - Silhouette of my dad taking a photo of a display. 

ISO 200 / 55mm / f18.0 / 1/160sec - El Capitolio taken from the roof of the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi. 

ISO 200 / 17mm/ f14 / 1/100sec - This is the Capitolio up close. It is currently under renovation by a German contractor. Cubans like to boast that the Capitolio is slightly taller than the United States Capitol building in Washington D.C. 

ISO 200 / 31mm / f4.5 / 1/1000sec - Service window at the top of Hotel Abmos Mundos where the Ernest Hemingway lived for some time. 

ISO 200 / 38mm / f6.3 / 1/640sec - View from the rooftop patio of Hotel Ambos Mundos. 

ISO 200 / 45mm / f2.8 / 1/500sec - The Malecon is a roadway-seawal along the coast of Havana. Michael and I were walking along the Malecon when I spotted this lady reading. You can see the fortress and lighthouse overlooking the city behind her. 

ISO 200 / 55mm / f3.5 / 1/500sec - On nice cool afternoons, the Malecon is full of tourists and local alike hanging along the seawall. Here is another trumpet player. 

ISO 200 / 55mm / f2.8 / 1/250sec Along the Malecon, you will also see people with fishing polls. This was taken as the sun was about to set. 

ISO 200 / 31mm / f3.2 / 1/160sec - Havana is full of interesting sculptures. This was taking across from the Malecon. I particularly like how it is looking down on the tourists. 

ISO 200 / 17mm / f2.8 / 1/2000sec - Paseo del Prado is a street that divides Central and Old Havana. It is lined with local artist stalls and vendors. 

ISO 200 / 40mm / f2.8 / 1/2000sec - After the revolution, many of Havana's streets and buildings were left to deteriorate. Here you can see on the right a newly renovated building and across from it an abandoned one. Also taken along the Paseo del Prado. 

ISO 200 / 35mm / f2.8 / 1/6400sec - The Paseo del Prado is lined with old American cars. You can drive/ride one for a fee. This is a popular tourist activity in Havana.

ISO 200 / 55mm / f4.0 / 1/1000sec - I am not a big car fan, so I probably did not fully appreciate the beauty of these cars. For car photographers, Havana is definitely a must-go destination. 

ISO 200 / 17mm / f2.8 / 1/100sec - Ceiling of the Great Theater of Havana where you can watch ballet shows on weekends for 30CUC.

ISO 200 / 17mm / f2.8 / 1/100sec -  Grand stairwell of the Great Theater of Havana. 

ISO 200 / 44mm / f2.8 / 1/50sec - These are members of the St. Francis of Assisi Orchestra warming up before the big show. 

ISO 200 / 23mm / f2.8 / 1/60sec - Musicians at the Floridita - another Favourite hangout of Ernest Hemingway. 

ISO 200 / 17mm / f7.1 / 1/100sec - Cuban flag hanging in the Museum of the Revolution. The building used to be the Presidential Palanace before it was stormed by the Fidel and his guys.