12th October's meeting saw an interesting talk on the often lauded photographers paradise of Cuba. Ex-BPS president Paul Richards had entered a competition run by a leading UK photography magazine to win an all expenses paid photographer-led trip to Cuba.

                     Havana Harbour

Paul had long forgotten entering the competition when he got an email saying he had won a prize and giving a contact number.  As would all sensible people, Paul put it straight into the trash bin fearing an obvious scam. Later a follow up phone call from a leading photography tour company convinced him that he had indeed won a fabulous trip to Cuba.

Paul had won a tour for a small group of photography enthusiasts who had each paid £5000 for a three centre trip. The tour was led by two experienced professional photographers and a local Cuban guide. The trip would take in the Cuban capital of Havana and two other centres including the beautiful Island’s coast.

                     Ballet of Cuba Girls Rehearsing

Havana provided the opportunity for those characteristic photos of the beautiful crumbling 19th. Century Spanish colonial infrastructure and those pre-revolution, often restored classic American cars. Paul also told us that Cuba is a heaven for street photography devotees and showed us some wonderful examples of the characterful faces of the Havana population. Paul also usefully warned us that those visiting this city would be well advised to pack a large torch to avoid a hospital visit from trying to negotiate the poorly lit and maintained Havana streets at night.

                                     Sunset in Trinidad, Cuba

Being a photography trip the guide leaders were keen to encourage the group to take advantage of those “golden hour” sunrise and sunset moments. Paul however made it clear that he is not given to early morning rising but still however managed to show us some incredible shots of those classic moments.

                                          The Beaches of Cuba

The evening had, I’m sure, left members envious of Paul’s good luck in wining this incredible prize, as his talk had not only given members an insight of into the photographic opportunities of Cuba but also included tales of luxury hotels and enjoyable social evenings making for an unforgettable holiday experience.

Photographs by Paul Richards

Report by Michael Myers