Most travelers strive to capture stunning photos of all their adventures. Working hard to get just the right frame, the right light and while traveling find inspiration in the colours and sights of culture and life. For some, photography is more than just a way to take memories home; it’s a passion and a craft. Havana, Cuba, once the perfect escape for writers like Ernst Hemingway will capture the heart and eyes of any avid traveler photographer. The back drop of old cars, mash-up of architectural styles and magical Caribbean light makes for an ideal location to get behind the lens to make some photographic memories that will last well beyond your vacation. While Hemingway was buried in his writing while sipping on mojitos, anyone with the photography bug will find the hours whizz past roaming the electric streets of Havana.
Of course the beaches of Cuba make for a great respite from the long, cold winter. But after a few requisite white sand and turquoise water photographs, those with a passion for being behind the lens might need a landscape with more dynamic inspiration. Wandering the historical streets of Havana will do just that. An easy city to explore on foot, travelers can make their way on their own or if you’d rather be guided, book any number of professionals to take your hand through the town.
One of the best places to snap away is from the seaside road, the Malecon. Here the old buildings directly juxtapose the blue crystal sea making for a bright mix of colour and life. Historical American cars whizz past on the street side, making for great action shots if you plan your moment well. With a large stone fortress at one end and miles of oceanfront on the other, it’s a place to spend hours perfecting your shot.
Another great vantage point is from the top of the Gomez Vila Building, in the heart of the city. Once the home to the Foreign Trade Ministry and built in 1909, the eclectic design while imaginative is not the main reason to pay a visit. The spectacular, sweeping views of the bay and city below make this a great stop on your photo adventure of Havana. These expansive views are the reason why the building is home to a Camera Obscura, part of a global project set to capture magnificent photos of locations around the world. Using original photography techniques, the great lens of the camera captures beautiful and unusual scenes of Havana. While you may not have equipment as sophisticated as the Camera Obscura, your shots from this prime bird’s eye view can be stunning.
Old Havana makes for a stunning visual walking tour. The mix of brightly coloured buildings and white washed brick will spark interest. One masterpiece of architecture to spend time capturing is the Cathedral of The Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception located in the Plaza de la Catedral located in the centre of Old Havana. Impressive Baroque style columns constructed from coral rock found on the ocean floor in the Gulf of Mexico are stunning to behold. The curves and double curved columns, iconic of Cuban Baroque architecture, make for fantastic detail shots. Inside the cathedral, the many paintings and frescos will also have you snapping for hours.
Beyond the buildings, the cars and the sea, the local people with their friendly smiles and open hearts make for great subjects. Be sure to ask before you snap. From street artists to market sellers and bartenders swinging the best mojitos around, the people of Cuba are welcoming and open to sharing their home and stories. Wandering Havana with lens in hand will leave you inspired for weeks to come, especially with amazing images to bring home and share.
Created by Lynn May Gosselin