Travel Photography Before and After Covid

I don't know about you but for the last 20 years I've been a travel fiend always on the hunt for a travel photography opportunity! I had a long stretch where I would have two trips in planning stages while going on the next trip! That all came crashing to a halt in the early spring of 2020 and I have been hesitant to restart so far. I think it is possible to get from point A to point B safely now. But thats not the point. I want to go to far away places and experience everything they have to offer on a travel photography adventure. not just what is permissible during a global pandemic. I've watched all the videos of all the nomads out there traipsing around during the demic and frankly, it just doesn't look all that fun.

I have two places I want to go to that I haven't before for travel photography; Portugal and Ecuador. I also have the desire to see SE Asia. At the same time I have people whom I've known in a variety of places all over I want to see again. The only consolation I have right now is looking at all the amex points Ive earned without using the past few years! When the time comes I will be ready. I also have the desire to be somewhat nomadic when I do set out again. I want to go for a period of time. Not just a week or two. My marketing consulting work allows me to do what I do wherever there is an internet connection. After all, taking travel photography in the middle of the day is not a best practice. But working on the internet is... 

Much of my travel in the past 10 years has been purpose driven travel photography expeditions. There is something magical about diving into a strategy to find a particular destinations' special sunrise and sunset locales. I'll be digging into the places I've been and how I was able to capture some of the images I will be sharing here at my Collectors Club gallery with you in the future.

I've started my Travelscapes gallery with four of my most popular and best selling photos from Cuba. I envision the Cuba image curation for my gallery will top out around 10 to 12 photos. So another half dozen photos or so beyond these four. That is going to be a very hard decision! My trip to Cuba was transformational for me. I grew up during the "missile crisis." As I grew older I also grew to understand the plight of the people who got caught in the terrible isolated situation they have been in for all of my life so close to the "land of plenty." I was fortunate enough to visit soon after President Obama had begun his efforts to open up relations between Cuba and the USA. It was a time of exuberance and hope for the citizens of the island. I got to meet and talk with so many locals. Ive never met people who were so interested in having conversations with tourists. A few invited me right into their modest home to have a cup of coffee and talk about the possibilities of the future. Most "tourists" do not spend much time, if any, in the interior of the country. They fly in and go to beach resorts and then fly home. But things are different now, too. The USA did an about face on their support when the administration changed and another round of terrible strife for the citizens has ensued.



I was so taken by the people of the island that I made a short documentary from my time there; "Faces of Cuba." It is a combination of timelapse photography and video with the tune, Desde Mi Balcon, by Chambao which seemed apropos as the documentary came together :-)  I named my movie, "Faces of Cuba," because I took so many portraits while I was there. It was a mutually beneficial situation between the locals and visiting photographers like me. For 25¢ USD they gleefully posed and hammed it up wherever I went. No words were spoken. They would see me coming, I would fish for a quarter in my pocket. The transaction was consummated there and then. The image was captured. I repeated this over and over again. When the sun of the day would make the landscape photography troublesome it was time for more portraits!



I stepped out of Hostal Lola just before the sun came up and walked over to the intersection where the first rays of sunlight were hitting the brightly colored buildings. I set my tripod down and this gentleman came hurriedly out of the shadows and I was able to snap him as he made his way to a bus stop to get to work. My photo of  "Dawn Man" was the start of a magical hour! Wherever I pointed my lens was yet another unique way to tell the story of Trinidad, Cuba. The town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988 because it is one of the best preserved cities in the Caribbean from the 18th and 19th century sugar trade. The cobblestone that makes up the streets is from Connecticut. The Molasses ships and later, tobacco ships would arrive with the stones as their ballast and remove them to make room for sugar being shipped to the USA. Cuba's economy has been tied to sugar for centuries with Spain starting it in the early 1500's. From the late 1800's until as recently as the 1960's, Cuba was the largest producer of sugar in the world. After the 1959 Castro Revolution, the sugar was barred from US imports and the nation had to rely on the Soviet Union, where at one time Cuba was able to trade one ton of sugar for 4.5 tons of Soviet oil. It's a very messy history but fascinating to learn more about. The collapse of the USSR in 1991 heralded a very hard time for Cuban people that has continued through the decades and is known as the "special period" where the citizens had to learn how to fend for themselves to eat and subsist after 80% of their imports and exports were obliterated.


The black and white version of this photo is very compelling. I do not have this currently available in my gallery but can make it available if you wish.

My first morning of travel photography there in Trinidad concluded with a cup of strong Cuban coffee made by a couple who insisted I stop and share it with them so they could talk with me. They spoke very good English and were enthralled by my desire to view their country and lives. Most of their family had fled from Cuba over the previous decades and they were very hopeful of being granted the opportunity to immigrate to be with them. It seemed like it would be possible with the new relations our two countries were forging. I wonder if they made it before our country changed its mind a few years ago?



"Hung Out to Dry" is also featured currently in my Travelscapes collection. While Dawn Man was the first photo I took that morning in Trinidad, this quirky shot was the last of that session. I had passed it on my way to a church ruin but as luck would have it when I came back, the sun was hitting it in such a way as to cause all the awesome shadows which produced yet another layer in a pretty special scene already. I think people like it and buy it for their wall because it has a colorful Caribbean vibe and is naturally framed at a casual glance but then holds so many interesting pieces of detail that only comes from a closer inspection.

After a few more Cuba travel photography images to post in my Travelscapes collection, I look forward to showing you more from another trip. Maybe Scotland?!?!?


I share this remarkable music from one of my most favorite musicians over the past decade. Ever since I sailed around Mallorca, I have had a serious crush on La Mari of Chambao fame. The first time I heard this tune, I began a journey to discover all that I could about this new "Balearic Chill" sound. While I am still not very good with Spanish, I've found its also not entirely important to understand every word. in fact, it's quite possible their tunes affect my very soul because my conscious mind cannot fully comprehend the words themselves!