Creative: Teaching in Cuba

Cuban Juan Reyes teaching me about horses. Wyoming 1977. Juan is the “R” in MR Angus Ranch.

As many of you know, I’m returning to the teaching realm with stops at The Palm Springs Photo Festival in May as well as Maine Media Workshops in June. But wait, there’s more. CUBA.
None of the images in this post are from Cuba, but they are representative of the kind of images I’ve made while teaching or traveling.

I’m teaching in Cuba for The Santa Fe Photographic Workshops December 3-10. Just to give a little background, I’ve had an indirect relationship with Cuba since I was very young. My father’s ranch partner came to the United States as a Cuban refugee back in the 1960’s. When I was young I spent summers in Wyoming where I “worked” for this man. I was young, frail and mostly useless so Juan took me under his wing and kept me from damaging myself. He was the first person I heard speaking Spanish, and when his mother came to visit, was the first person who exposed me to black beans and rice.(A truly glorious find.)
Cuba has been on my list for decades actually. I’ve come close a few times, but was never able to finalize the deal.(Almost had a newspaper assignment in 1993.) The twist here is that Blurb is also involved. This is really an eight-day, government-approved education program, which gives us real access to a variety of people and places. AND, we get to work with local Cuban photographers. My teaching duties will be book centric, but I’ll also do what I can to help attendees with their photography. I also get to work with Kip Brundage who is the director of the SFPW Cuba Program. Let’s face it. Cuba is UNIQUE. I would go on this trip even if I wasn’t able to take a camera. Just to see this place, meet these people, write in my notebook would be more than enough to get me on the plane, but knowing I CAN take my camera and I can create a series of images from a place I’ve never been is about all someone can ask from life.

Several of my friends have expressed interest, and I’m hoping they are able to join the expedition. I’ve already changed my technique and equipment list a dozen times, and we are still many months out. Fuji, Leica, Blad, Leica, Blad, Fuji. I’ll probably still be changing the day before we depart.

If you are interested or want to know more either hit me up or follow the link above. I will be posting about this more in the coming months.

14 Comments on “Creative: Teaching in Cuba”

    1. Sean,
      Looks to be a great trip. Spoke to Reid the director who gave me a rundown. A LOT of shooting time. Two major spots a day. Should be so interesting, and more than enough to build a small body of work. Plus, getting to hang out with Cuban photogs, Kip and just experiencing the place. I’m already salivating.

  1. Cuba is a unique place. The people are wonderful and the culture very vibrant. Having a subjective tie to the place will help imbue your images with more emotion than the average tourist. Can’t wait to see what you come away with; on a personal and photographic level. Dusty locations abound 😉

    1. Mike,
      I would love nothing more than shooting my Leica with 50mm and Trix/Tmax. Not sure that will happen but I’m dreaming of it.

  2. This will be an amazing trip. Happy for you. And even happier in anticipation of you sharing images.

    Side note: dragged a souped up Japanese coupe in the Bolt. Slight incline. Smoked him 0-50 before I had mercy on him. He opens his moon roof and flashed me the peace sign as he turned left at the next light. I guess he had his tail between his legs…could bear to lose again. tee hee.

    1. Thanks TK,

      Hey, we might end up with Bolt. Told Amy about yours. The Prius won’t die, even with her driving it. 170,000 miles, hit three times and still not a single thing gone wrong since I bought it. Best urban car I’ve ever had.

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