Strawberry and Chocolate

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Strawberry and Chocolate is a movie released in 1993.  It was shot in Cuba at this very building. The building is a favorite to photograph, however, in neighborhood where we are told to stay close to the bus. I was peeking out the window while others were shooting the iconic stair scene when I saw a red truck pulling into the garage. I quickly ran downstairs to see what was going on. Much to my delight it parked to load the debris from the renovation going on. Within minutes of making a few images, the truck pulled out and was on its way. 

On another note, we’ve just had a cancellation for our Tuscany/Venice Tour in May. It was not listed on the tour page as it was full before we announced it.  If you’re interested in joining us, please send an email and I’ll send you the details.  It is a 10 day tour starting on May 23rd ending on June 1st.

Posted in Cuba Tagged , , , , |

Red

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I’ve photographed this car in Havana on previous trips. It is hard to pass up, so here is another take.

I have noticed a fair amount of construction going on in Havana over the past three years. This is good news. The wiring we saw in homes three years ago looked dangerous. Now, we see lots of new electrical boxes and wiring that does not scare me. This year, many streets were torn up. It appeared as though work was being done on the infrastructure which is sorely needed. It will be interesting to see what changes are in store with the rekindling of our relationship with Cuba. I hope the “people” receive some benefit, but I have my doubts.

Posted in Cuba, Tour, Workshop Tagged , , , , |

Waiting

If you get up early enough, and you should, the streets of Havana are quiet and void of activity. And then, as you roam the vacant streets with dawn approaching, you’ll encounter small groups on their way to work, or to catch a ride, or to catch the bus, or to get a cup of coffee. It is during these early hours that you’ll likely find little vignettes such as this one.  Of course I was drawn to the wonderful red car with tons of character, but then the door opened and the woman poked her head out. Then she stepped out, obviously waiting for her ride. An already good image now a better one. And then, after she left, a neighbor stepped out of his home and shared that the car was his and did not run. It too is waiting, waiting for another talented, industrious Cuban to come and fix it, so it will ride again.

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I’d like to draw your attention to a very special new tour that Dan and I are offering in January of 2016.  A full week at The Hideout Dude Ranch in Wyoming!  Lots of details can be found on my tour page here!  (scroll down to the bottom when you get there.)  We are VERY excited about this one!

Posted in Cuba, Tour, Workshop Tagged , , , , , |

Early Morning on the Malecon – Havana Cuba

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A favorite spot in Havana along the Malecon with Morro Castle is in the background. The Castle was opened in 1589 to guard the entrance of Havana Bay.

Posted in Uncategorized

Cuba

I’ve just returned from my fourth trip to Cuba. It was an interesting time to be there with the recent announcement regarding our relationship with Cuba. The general consensus among the Cuban people I spoke with was one of hope, optimism and happiness.

The image below, was made in old town Havana well before sunrise just outside of our hotel. I feel it captures the essence of Havana. It really is like entering a time warp…

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Posted in Cuba Tagged , |

Mo’omomi

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One of the blessings of being a photographer, is the opportunity to see and experience places I might not have otherwise experienced. Mo’omomi on the island of Molokai is one of those rare and special places. It is not easily accessible, as such not many have been able to photograph from this perspective. Mo’omomi is a place where I would have been content to just “be” and not even make a photograph. It was a spiritual place. The waves this day were enormous as evidenced by what appears to be a crooked horizon. I assure you the horizon is not crooked. What you are seeing is the swell of the large waves! This image was made well before the sun rose that morning. The sky was pink and the image appeared quite blue on my cameras LCD. I liked what I saw and have chosen to keep it so.

I look forward to returning to Mo’omomi in October. Jonathan and I will be doing this workshop annually. Normally our week will be the first week of December, however, in 2015 Jonathan was asked by National Geographic to work a tour in the Galapagos so we have moved the dates to October 24-31. Many who came this year have already signed up again as have some from this years wait list. At this time we only have 3 spots left. If you’d like to join us for this wonderful experience, take a look at Jonathan’s excellent web page that outlines exactly what to expect

Posted in Fuji, Hawaii Tagged , , |

Welcome to 2015 – Happy New Year and Thank You!

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On our last day of shooting on Molokai, we went to the wharf. It was interesting to watch the group respond to a new place and see what they chose to photograph. Some were immediately drawn to the boats on the dock. Others were shooting details and close ups. Others walked away from the main group as they preferred to be on their own. Some photographed the people fishing off of the dock. I was drawn to the light on the water in front of the island of Maui and the warm tonalities in the sky. At this point in the week, after the thoughtful daily discussions and personal introspection, I felt everyone was comfortable photographing what they were drawn to. They seemed to be more open to finding the gifts that were there. 

Thank you, to all who faithfully follow my blog and sometimes even post a comment. I appreciate your choosing to make my blog part of your day. I wish you the best in 2015 and look forward to sharing and learning with you this year. Happy New Year!

If you know of someone who you think might enjoy my work and or blog, please feel free to share with them.

Posted in Hawaii Tagged , , |

Mindful Photography

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One of the participants at our recent “See the Light” workshop was Flint Sparks. For many years, Flint has been leading his own workshops at the Hui Ho’olana (on Molokai Hawaii), teaching mindful embodiment and meditation. This time he was a participant wanting to learn more about photography. On the first day as we got to know each other, Flint shared his lack of camera knowledge as well as his excitement about learning. He portrayed himself as a “new” or “beginner” photographer. Later that night when the participants shared their 10 favorite images, I was anxious to see Flint’s. His first image came up and I heard an audible gasp from the group. My reaction was the same, the image was magnificent. Then, 10 seconds later as the slideshow continued, his next image appeared. Another gasp, another stunning image. In the end, all 10 of Flint’s images were truly amazing. They were full of emotion and connection with his subject. They were not just snapshots from a “beginner,” but rather images that clearly expressed who he was, what he saw and how he felt. I sat there wondering how could this be? Flint had made it clear that he was a new or beginner photographer.

The next morning we had our first “porch sharing session.”  In this session we asked the participants to think about and then share why they photograph. It was a lively and interesting discussion during which Flint and others shared insightful, thoughtful and meaningful ideas. The next day we had another porch sharing session. This time with the focus on connection with subject. Again Flint shared marvelous pearls of wisdom. Really good pearls, pearls that got me thinking. Here, I was a “leader” clearly being taught by a master teacher! And then, in quiet reflection after the sharing session, it dawned on me why Flint’s images were so good. Flint had already done the work we were asking the group to consider. The work of becoming a mindful photographer. The work of learning to be still, quiet and open. Flint embodies these principals. He teaches them, he lives them, he is them. As such, Flint is already in that place where images just being to appear.

Flint shared his thoughts on the way we have evolved as humans. And to humanize what our brain is constantly doing said, “our brain is like wifi that is constantly scanning and asking the world these three questions. Are you there? Do you see me? Do you choose me?” Isn’t photography much the same regardless of the subject? I can imagine the person in the street that I’ll be photographing in Cuba next week essential asking these very questions. Hello, are you there? Do you see me and do you care about me? Do you choose to photograph me and will you be careful with me?  And while it might be more difficult for some to think of a a dune at Mesquite Flat in Death Valley this way, is it not the same? Isn’t the dune asking, are you there, do you see me, do you choose me?

It was said during the week that we don’t take a picture, rather the picture takes us. Freeman Patterson says, “when we take a picture, the camera points both ways.” During the week, we invited participants to pay attention to what turns their head. In other words, what grabs your attention so viscerally that you must make a photograph. So, I ask you, what are you being taken by?  And, are you being mindful enough to be open to what you are being taken by, so that you can make an image that makes your heart sing? Or that others will connect with and that will make their heart sing?

As a side note, Flint has done and excellent Tedx talk which you can view by clicking on this link.  You might also check out his excellent blog where you can read his comments about his week as a student in our workshop.

Posted in Hawaii, Inspiration, Workshop Tagged , , , , , |

Sunset at Coconut Grove

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First, thank you to all who attended my Topaz Webinar yesterday. For those who would like to try the new Topaz Glow you can save $20 by using the code BARCLAYGLOW at checkout. To save 25% on any other Topaz software, use the code BARCLAYWEB14 at checkout. This includes those who already own one or more of the individual plug-in’s and want to upgrade to the entire bundle. A great Christmas gift!

The blog image today, is from the beach at coconut grove on the island of Molokai. As is often the case, when we arrived at the palm grove, (which is right in front of this beach) the conditions were not optimal. When I made my way to the beach, I quickly ran back to let the group know the water was still and encouraged them to explore there. The water is very shallow, making it easy and fun to walk out in it. Some decided to head home when it looked like there would not be color in the sunset sky. As is often the case, about 20 minutes after the sun set, a band of pink began to appear in the western sky. I ran for the boat scene and started doing a happy dance! I’d have done the hula, but I had not learned that yet! Needless to say, this is one of my favorite images from the Hawaii trip.

 

Posted in Hawaii Tagged , , , |

Topaz Webinar Today 5PM EST.

I will be presenting another webinar for Topaz today. At the request of many, I will work on fewer images. This will allow me to cover more detail as to how I use Photoshop along with Topaz Plug-Ins. I will spend a bit more time covering layers and layer masking which allows me to add or remove an effect that I have created in Topaz.

I will cover B&W Effects 2, the new Impression (Image below created with Impression) and Clarity.  I will also introduce the brand new GLOW!

I hope to see you there. 

There is still time to sign up today, click on this link.

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Posted in Topaz Software, Webinar Tagged , |