All Access Pass: Havana, Cuba

Journeys, Featured


It’s good to know not only what you know, but also who you know. I recently returned from being a “companion” on a photography trip to Havana, Cuba. I accompanied Nancy on her comprehensive workshop which meant in some ways I needed to be behind the scenes and on my own. I went along on each excursion to a ballet school, a boxing gym, inside people’s homes, in the streets of Havana, and at a regional dance event, but was not involved in any critique of my work.

I watched photojournalist  Peter Turnley instruct the 12 students in Havana and I also learned so much from Nancy and appreciated all the help she gave me along the way; focusing on my composition as well as ISO, shutter and F-stop. Nancy invited me to be a guest blogger here on her popular blog and I am pleased to show you some of my favorite photographs out of the 2,500 I took!

I am a “car guy” and I am sharing some of those images below. My favorite era happens to be cars from the 1950s, which is convienent since there has been a ban on exporting American cars to Cuba since 1959. Nancy asked me to do another blog post down the line on just cars.

One thing is certain, next time I believe I’m participating as a full-fledged photography student. I really want to learn much more.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 11.48.41 PM

The taxi stand in Old Havana

A taxi stand in Old Havana, lots of Chevys, one Chrysler.


Old Havana

Old Havana


Afro Rumba Dance in Vedado. Rumba is an amalgamation of several transplanted African dance and drumming traditions, combined with Spanish influences.

Dancer in Old Havana


Purple car

A rare and beautiful 1957 Chevy wagon, as a taxi. These showroom quality cars charged $25-$35 per hour to take you on tours of Havavna.


Old lady selling her wares

We spent some time with this woman.


Old woman

A closeup


Rafael Trejo Boxing Gym

Rafael Trejo Boxing Gym


Blue car

A not so restored 1955 Buick.


Rumba dancers at our first lunch

Rumba dancers at our first luncheon


White car

1959 Ford Thunderbird


Old Havana on a stroll

Old Havana on a stroll



A neat hood ornament


Typical traffic jam

A typical traffic jam, 80-90% of the cars in Cuba seem to be American. Here is a 1954 Ford and a rare 1951 Cadillac also not so restored


Ballet school

Ballet class at Centro ProDanza Ballet School


Ballet school

More ballerinas


©Steve Gordon-2558

Even more grace


Regla, Cuba

Regla, Cuba


First day in Havana, look at this welcome

First day in Havana, look at this welcome.

Steve took all of these photographs with the Canon EOS 7D.

Want more posts like this? It’s easy. Sign up here to get them delivered to your inbox.

If you like what you read, please share using the buttons below. Thank you!

23 responses to “All Access Pass: Havana, Cuba”

  1. Steffie G says:

    WOW, Just so proud of you both. These photos are perfection. Love the portraiture abd of course, your soecialty: the colorful old school cars. Love the guest blogger idea! Can i be next? 😉

    • Steve Gordon says:

      thanks stef, you know how much i loved those cars. it was like a moving car show.

  2. Tara Crowley says:

    wonderful photos – well thought out and well executed, Steve! The hood ornament shot is spectacular, with your narrow DOF you zeroed in on it and yet showed Havana in the background. Nicely done!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      tara, thanks for appreciating the ornament shot. let me see…how many shots did it take to get the final one?

  3. Raffie says:

    Wow all of these photos came out incredible. Amazing job Steve 😉 So happy that you are finally taking interest and taking your photography to the next level. Great blog post! Can’t wait to get some photos in Spain.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      thanks raffie. it was great fun as well as a lot of work learning all i could about my new hobby.

  4. Nancy Moon says:

    Fantastic well-rounded blog, wonderful photographs. I think you have the photography bug now!

  5. Pamela Miles says:

    The colorful photo’s are impressive and I love the use of black and white for the close up portrait of the beautiful woman you spent time with… lucky you to have been able to join in on the journey with Nancy!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      i was really lucky. i this cuba was one of my favorite 2-3 trips ever. i definitely recommend it.

  6. Laura says:

    Excellent pics Steve!! Love the black and white of the lady ~ ohhh the stories I am sure she could share:) And the hood ornament with the vibrant colors in the background and the feeeeel of the couple dancing! Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to seeing your blog /pics on cars too. Keep it up! You have a wonderful eye 🙂
    ohhhhh and the places you will go with the Amazing Nancy Moon!!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      thanks for your great comment. it was really special to be in a place where i could take these photographs.

  7. Good job Steve! It’s nice to see your pictures and that you enjoyed the trip. Big hug for you and Nancy.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      thanks wini. it’s nice to finally get to share them. your album is fantastic.

  8. Dotti C. Rinehart says:

    Fantastic, Steve! Hanging around with Nancy has paid off. 😀

  9. Elisa Smith says:

    Steve, I adore and admire your photographs. You and Nancy are inspiring! I look forward to seeing more.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      elisa, thank you so much for your generous comment. it’s nancy who inspires and teaches me. i still have a car blog in me. i will be discussing the time with my host.

  10. Katie Settel says:

    I am absolutely impressed not only with your images but the fact that you were able to get these from “behind the scenes”. Your images are beautiful, crisp and so alive. I really just love them all, but if I had to pick just one, I would say the Dancer in Old Havana just blew me away. I look forward to seeing the upcoming car post and maybe even some more future adventures, but next time in the front seat. Very impressive, courageous and well done.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      thanks katie. i was pretty lucky to have caught that dancer’s whole image in the shot and at the right shutter speed. i’ve seen many of your wonderful photographs so i consider your comment particularly great. nan has told me so much about you. i look forward to meeting you.

  11. Phil says:

    Such an amazing job! Photo selection was really well rounded and impressive! Who knew you had this hidden talent?! Glad you enjoyed.

  12. very nice – you have a really good eye Steve – and a great appreciation for these 50s four-wheelers frozen in time –

    • Steve Gordon says:

      thank you doreen. i hope you know i value your opinion obviously because of your background and talent.

  13. These are fantastic Steve!