One of the things about my trip to Cuba, in comparison to other destinations I’ve been to recently, is that I was going in a bit blind. I didn’t have a whole lot of information to go on for the country in general, so my 2 weeks were a bit of a crap shoot. Cienfuegos was the first town I went to after leaving my Intrepid Travel group and headed off on my own. I didn’t know anything about Cienfuegos except for what I read in the Lonely Planet on the bus ride in from Havana. On the whole, I thought the city was beautiful. It seemed a bit wealthier than other places I’ve seen in Cuba, and there were a couple interesting things to shoot. I spent 2 full days in Cienfuegos, but the truth is, from a photography perspective, I probably could have done everything I needed to in just 1 day.
This is what I got up to.
The Malecón of Cienfuegos
The afternoon I arrived, I headed out to the malecón of Cienfuegos to shoot the sunset. I was hoping to get some shots across the water of the colonial center, but the views weren’t great and there was a plant puffing smoke into it all. It just didn’t work. To add salt to the wound, there was the craziest light and sky I’ve seen in a really long time, and I really didn’t have anything to shoot in the foreground of it. Had I gone downtown, the light would have been amazing over the cathedrals and old architecture. That said, I did get one or two images from the malecón that I liked.
I really liked the look of the plaza in Cienfuegos. In fact, I actually sat there and shot time lapse almost all day. It was a cool little place to hang out. Once the light started coming down, I shot some photos. I didn’t get the greatest sky – like the night before – and the lack of clouds made the photos it a bit dull, but I did do some play with the sun coming down and got a couple decent blue hour photos of it all.
Some Thoughts from Cienfuegos
As I mentioned in the intro, I really enjoyed Cienfuegos. But, it was another example of how planning a destination you’ve never been can be so hard. I really didn’t need 2 full days in town. Sure, if you’re a regular tourist you might want all that time to visit the various museums and such, but I really only needed a sunrise and sunset to capture what I needed. It kind of became the story of my Cuba trip, I planned too much in advance and was kind of stuck to my schedule. That’s what I get for trying to be organized. I think, had I known the lay of Cuba a bit better, I probably could have added another full destination into my schedule. But, alas, I know better for next time.
What’s Next on the Travel Photography Blog
I’m not done in Cuba. I’ve got at least 3 more episodes. I’ve got a piece from Trinidad, one from Camaguey and Santa Clara, and one about shooting portraits in Cuba. Then, I might do a bit of a round up on my Cuba imagery as well. We’ll see. Post-Cuba, I’m heading up to New York for a bit, and then back to Canada for the start of winter.