Havana, Cuba

2/17/2020 - 2/22/2020

RMSP is teaming up with PhotoQuest360 to offer an amazing opportunity to photograph Cuba! Discover inspiring Havana during an immersive photography workshop, featuring authentic firsthand encounters with locals from all walks of life. The workshop will be led by veteran RMSP Instructors Doug Johnson and Neil Chaput de Saintonge, a Cuban guide, and the founder of PhotoQuest360, Mary Marks. This is an educational experience both photographically - and culturally!

There's nothing quite like Havana and the experience is bound to be unforgettable. We'll take in the sights and sounds of Old Havana in the historic alleys and plazas where one can experience the rhythm and pace of the fascinating Cuban culture. Spanish colonial architecture - alongside art deco and modern utilitarian buildings - speaks to the country's rich and compelling history. Places such as the famous Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza Vieja, El Capitolio, Gran Teatro de La Habana, and the Plaza de la Revolución make this city a must see when discovering Cuba and all its splendor.

The warmth and friendliness of the Cuban people ensure that visitors feel welcome. From history, culture, and nightlife, Havana has it all. The vibrant multi-ethnic society is suffused with visual art, music and dance that makes the streets come alive. Come walk along El Malecon at sunset and photograph fishermen along the seawall and the Castillo del Morro across the harbor. Stroll along the wide Paseo del Prado, an unforgettable avenue of photographic opportunities that stretches from El Capitolio to the sea. In Old Havana, enjoy the Cuban musical vibe at one of Hemingway's favorite bars and photograph boxers working out in the Rafael Tejo Boxing Gym. There's a surprise around every corner!

Featuring deluxe accommodations in the heart of Old Havana, our location will help us maximize our time, while also giving us a comfortable and relaxing place to call home. Our days will typically begin with an early morning photo shoot, followed by a late morning break before heading out again for afternoon and evening field shoots. The workshop will also include classroom lectures, editing time and critique of images shot during the workshop. Classroom discussion topics will include: light, composition, camera settings, editing and post-processing techniques. Doug and Mary will provide one-on-one help out in the field, and Neil and Doug will lecture and critique in the classroom.

Students in this workshop will learn:

  • Techniques for approaching and photographing people in a documentary style
  • Exposure techniques including: manual and spot metering for exposing landscape and architecture and using aperture-preferred mode with exposure compensation for photographing people
  • What to look for in choosing the proper lens
  • How to photograph dance
  • How to shoot and edit panoramas and HDRs.
  • How to work with natural light to greatest effect.
  • Composition considerations so that your photos are purposeful and impactful.
  • Low-light and night photography – in vibrant Old Havana.
  • The benefits of using mirrorless cameras for travel photography and photographing people

Students should arrive with:

  • A working knowledge of camera exposure controls.
  • An open mind for the unexpected. Because, as they say, "It's Cuba!"
  • An excitement to explore the best Havana has to offer!

Schedule

This workshop begins on Monday, February 17, at noon and ends Saturday, February 22, after breakfast.

Tentative schedule for this workshop:

Sunday, 2/16
Morning:  
Afternoon:  
Evening:

7 p.m.: Pre-workshop photo talk in Miami with Neil and Jeanne Chaput de Saintonge

Monday, 2/17
Morning:

Flight to Havana

Group Airport Transfer at 11:25 a.m.

Afternoon:

Welcome Lunch, Field Shoot and Lecture

Evening:

Field Shoot: Havana's Rooftops & Cityscapes

Welcome Dinner

Tuesday, 2/18
Morning:

Field Shoot: Old Havana

Afternoon:

Field Shoot: Afro-Cuban Dance

Evening: Field Shoot: El Malecon Promenade
Wednesday, 2/19
Morning:

Field Shoot: Parque Central & Paseo del Prado

Afternoon:

Lecture & Critique

Evening:

Field Shoot: Havana at Night

Thursday, 2/20
Morning:

Field Shoot: Art Deco Havana

Field Shoot: Rafael Trejo Boxing
Afternoon: Field Shoot: Colon Cemetery
Evening: Field Shoot: El Morro Castle - Havana Skyline Panorama
Friday, 2/21
Morning: Field Shoot: Ballet Rehearsal
Afternoon:

Editing Time

Final Images Due
Evening: Final Slideshow
Saturday, 2/22
Morning: Group Airport Transfer at 8:05 a.m.
Afternoon:
Evening:


Travel

Meet and Greet in Miami

Prior to the beginning of the workshop, we invite you to join Neil and Jeanne Chaput de Saintonge for a pre-workshop photo talk in Miami.

We look forward to seeing you at 7 p.m at:

Courtyard Miami Airport*
1201 NW Le Jeune Road
Miami, FL 33126
phone: (305) 642-8200
Marriott.com

*The Courtyard Miami Airport is a convenient hotel option for those who plan to overnight in Miami prior to the workshop.

Air Transportation

RMSP is not responsible for cancellations due to medical or other emergencies or reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets/hotel rooms in the event of a course cancellation. Travel insurance is a must for this international workshop.

The Miami International Airport is the closest U.S. airport to Cuba.

Miami International Airport
5200 NW 21st Street
Miami, FL 33122
Miami International Airport

Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, is located approximately 9 miles from central Havana and your hotel.

Jose Marti International Airport
Avenida Van Troy y Final
Ranchos Boyeros
Havana, Cuba
Havana Airport

Here are the recommended flights for arrival and departure to Havana: (Please note that flights are subject to change.)

    Feb 17, 2020 from Miami to Havana
  • Delta Flight #625 (MIAHAV) 9:05 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.
  • American Airlines Flight #1441 (MIAHAV) 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
  • Our hotel transfer will depart the Havana airport at 11:25 a.m.

    Feb 22, 2020 from Havana to Miami
  • Delta Flight #650 (HAVMIA) 11:20 a.m. - 12:27 p.m.
  • American Airlines Flight #1334 (HAVMIA) 11:45 a.m. - 1:05 p.m.
  • Our airport transfer will depart the Havana hotel at 8:05 a.m.

    OR Via Fort Lauderdale:
  • Feb 17, Southwest Airlines Flight #3924 (FLLHAV) 9:25 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.
  • Feb 22, Southwest Airlines Flight #3922 (HAVFLL) 12:05 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Group Airport and Hotel Transfers

On Monday, February 17, the group hotel transfer will depart Jose Marti International Airport at 11:25 a.m. On Saturday, February 22, the group airport transfer to Jose Marti International Airport will depart the hotel at 8:05 a.m.

Participants should plan arrivals and departures into and out of Havana accordingly. Students should avoid booking early morning or mid-afternoon/evening flights so as not to deviate from scheduled activities. Those who deviate from the recommended flights should be experienced travelers who can comfortably navigate through airport customs, baggage claim, to the taxi-transportation area and on to the hotel in Havana without the assistance of RMSP/360 staff or the Cuban guide. For those who arrive later than the group airport transfer, the charge for a taxi (for up to 2 people) to the hotel will be $55.

Details

SPECIAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Please read these Special Terms and Conditions thoroughly and carefully before booking this travel photography workshop with us because you will be bound by them.

In consideration of the services Rocky Mountain School of Photography, Inc., their officers, agents, employees, and stockholders, and all other entities associated with this business hereinafter collectively referred to as "RMSP", I as the participant ("you", "your", "I", "me", or "participant"), acknowledge and agree to the following Special Terms and Conditions in addition to the RMSP Standard Terms and Conditions (available at this link).

UNIQUE CONSIDERATIONS FOR CUBA

This special Cuba photography program and workshop will be different from other RMSP workshops on which you may have previously participated. The workshop qualifies for travel to Cuba under both the "Support for the Cuban People" category and the "People to People" category under a general license issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control and, as dictated by U.S. law, all participants are required to adhere to a full-time schedule of activities designed to inform, educate and promote meaningful interaction with the people of Cuba. Deviation from the itinerary by individual travelers, even in part, is not permitted. Per the general license requirements, this is a full-time program with many inclusions and there will be little free time on most days of the workshop.

Specific itinerary inclusions (visits, meetings with individuals or organizations) are dependent on outside factors and host availability; therefore, it may sometimes be necessary for RMSP and its suppliers to substitute with alternatives of equal relevance and interest. Things work differently in Cuba, and activities that had been scheduled far in advance may sometimes become unavailable for a number of reasons. Therefore, flexibility is key and it is very important to go into this experience with an open mind. Your local guide will be adept at swapping activities for others when and if needed, but do not be disappointed if something in your program changes - it is likely to happen. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit a country that has been inaccessible to Americans for a long time, so you are encouraged to make the most of it and enjoy every moment.

While we at RMSP may provide information or recommendations about visas, vaccinations, climate, clothing, baggage, special equipment, etc., in good faith as a courtesy to you, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions as to the information provided.

Because of the U.S. embargo on Cuba you, as an authorized traveler under this general license, are personally responsible for complying with U.S. laws. Please refer to the Pre-Travel Documentation provided to registered participants and the U.S. State Department for more information.

Your additional responsibilities include strictly complying with all local laws, respecting customs and culture, assessing your abilities, respecting other trip members' privacy, and if on a guided trip following the suggestions and advice of the guide. On guided tours, the decision of the local guide or local supplier is final on all matters that may threaten the safely or interfere with the well-being of the group or individual travelers.

As part of your obligations as an authorized traveler under the general license, you are obligated to comply with certain requirements, including maintaining a record of your activities and expenses for five years. We encourage you to keep a travel journal. In addition, there are limits on what you can bring to Cuba, what you can spend and what you can bring back from Cuba that are explained in more detail in the Pre-Travel Documentation.

AIR TRANSPORTATION

Airfare is not included in workshop pricing. It is your responsibility to arrive and depart at the specific workshop program days and times as listed on the itinerary. RMSP is not responsible for any losses due to cancelled or missed flights, changed flight itineraries, late arrivals, or early departures. All air carriers are independent contractors and are not owned, managed, controlled or operated by RMSP. Your airline ticket constitutes a contract between yourself and the airlines and not RMSP. RMSP is not liable for, and does not assume responsibility or accept claims with regard to, seat assignments, name changes, schedule changes, flight changes and/or cancellations. Should you change or cancel your air transportation arrangements before or after your travel begins, all airline change and cancellation fees will apply as applicable to your ticket and your airline and are outside of the control of RMSP. You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with those terms and agree that you are ultimately responsible to the airline provider for any reservations, changes, cancellations, and disputes regardless of how your reservation was made on your behalf.

Baggage and personal effects are your sole responsibility and carried at your own risk throughout the program, and RMSP assumes no liability for lost or damaged baggage. Please check with your international carrier for other baggage restrictions and fees applicable to your international flights.

DOCUMENTATION, PASSPORTS AND VISAS

Registered participants will receive Pre-Travel Documentation. It each participant’s sole responsibility to confirm that they qualify to travel to Cuba and obtain and have available when necessary the appropriate valid travel documents. All participants are advised to check with the appropriate government authorities to determine the necessary documents. In addition to travel documents, this Special Terms and Conditions agreement, the RMSP standard Terms and Conditions, the Release of Liability and Assumption of Risks agreement, and, required medical forms must be signed and submitted by all travelers. It is your responsibility to obtain valid and effective documentation, including passports, visas, permits, and vaccination certificates, where necessary. If you fail to obtain and produce proper and necessary documentation prior to departure, RMSP reserves the right to treat the booking as cancelled by you and impose cancellation fees. A valid passport is required for U.S. citizens traveling with this program. Passports must be valid for six (6) months after the return from your workshop and should also have sufficient blank pages for visas and immigration stamps. Visas and authorization for U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba must be obtained prior to arrival in Cuba. Non-U.S. citizens should contact the appropriate consular office for entry requirements pertaining to their journey. You may be refused boarding or disembarkation from a vessel without proper documentation. RMSP will not be liable to provide a refund, payment, compensation or credit of any kind if you do not have proper documentation, and you will be solely responsible to pay any fine or other costs incurred and assume full responsibility for any adverse consequences that result from missing or improper documentation or noncompliance with applicable regulations.

TRAVEL AFFIDAVIT

U.S. citizens participating in this workshop must sign and return a Travel Affidavit to RMSP confirming that they are traveling under the auspices of an OFAC-authorized, people-to-people general license. This Travel Affidavit form will be sent to you in your Pre-Travel Documentation. Non-U.S. citizens should contact the appropriate consular office for entry requirements pertaining to their journey. You assume complete and full responsibility for checking and verifying any and all passport, visa, vaccination, travel affidavit, or other entry requirements.

TRAVEL ADVISORIES

It is your responsibility to become informed about the most current travel advisories by referring to the U.S. State Department's travel website at travel.state.gov or by phone at 1(888) 407-4747. In the event of a State Department Travel Advisory against travel to the specific stops or destination location(s) of the trip, should you still choose to travel, notwithstanding any travel advisory, you assume all risk of personal injury, death or property damage that may arise out of the events like those advised or warned against in the Travel Advisory.

MEDICAL INSURANCE

Medical insurance is required for all travelers from the U.S. to Cuba in case of emergency. Cuba-specific medical insurance may be included in your airline ticket for a $25 surcharge. If you do not opt for this coverage, you must provide documentation of other Cuba-based medical insurance coverage. Should you encounter any medical emergency during the course of the program, RMSP will not be able to guarantee that local representatives will be on hand to assist you. Please note that, should medical treatment be needed, you will likely need to show your return air ticket and passport in order to receive treatment.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Travel insurance is not included in the price of the program and is highly recommended, although RMSP cannot recommend or endorse any specific company. You should expect that the cost of coverage will be calculated based on the total cost of your travel arrangements and may be available for purchase through a major air carrier along with your flight reservations, through your credit card company or via a third party such as Travelex Insurance Services or those listed online at: travelinsurance.com. We recommend that you purchase a comprehensive travel protection plan that provides coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, emergency medical expenses, medical evacuation and repatriation, and more.

SPECIAL REQUESTS

Specific requests, such as adjacent or connecting rooms, bedding requests, smoking rooms and special dietary needs, should be advised at time of signing up with RMSP for this workshop program. Please note that while every effort will be made to secure a special request, it cannot be guaranteed.

PHOTOGRAPHY DURING TRAVEL

RMSP likes to include candid imagery (still and motion) of participants in its catalog, on its website, and in other publications, advertising, commercial, and marketing materials. By booking this travel workshop, you and any guest accompanying you hereby grant to RMSP, its agents, successors and assigns, the irrevocable and unrestricted right and permission to use, re-use, publish, and re-publish photographs or videos of you, or in which you may be included, in whole or in part, in print and on the Internet, without restriction as to changes or alterations and in conjunction with your name. You understand this imagery may be used for the promotional purposes of RMSP during or after this program or for promotion of other programs or instructors. Works containing your likeness may also be shared on websites, in advertising, in social media, and for any other editorial, promotional or commercial uses. You agree that RMSP may obstain copyright for works containing your likeness or image in its own name.

This authorization is expressly free of charge and without your right to inspection or approval. You hereby waive any right that you may have to inspect or approve the finished product or products and the advertising copy or other matter that may be used in connection therewith or the use to which it may be applied. Participants who prefer that their likeness or images not be used must notify RMSP in writing upon paying their initial deposit and are asked to identify themselves to the instructors at the beginning of the program.

By agreeing to these Terms and Conditions you release, discharge and agree to hold harmless RMSP, its agents, successors and assigns, from any and all liability by virtue of any blurring, distortion, alteration, optical illusion, or use in composite form, whether intentional or otherwise, that may occur or be produced in the taking of said photograph or in any subsequent processing thereof, as well as any publication thereof, including without limitation any claims for libel or invasion of privacy.

You further agree that RMSP may use, re-use, and reproduce and make derivative works from any photos or videos that you send to us in any medium. This authorization expressly extends free of charge and without your right to inspection, to all uses in print, electronic media, or on the Internet, and for promotion and publicity purposes worldwide related to RMSP workshops, photography educational services, and travel services.

ACTIVE ELEMENTS AND CONDUCT

Some physically active elements have been incorporated into select workshops. To enjoy the workshops as intended, a minimum level of fitness is required. Therefore, RMSP requires prior notice if any participant has any physical or other condition or disability that would prevent them from participating in physically active elements of any trip and/or could create a hazard to him or herself or to other members of the group. By paying the deposit, you certify that you do not have any physical or other conditions that would create a hazard for yourself or other travelers or affect other people's enjoyment of the workshop or program. RMSP, its suppliers, or the local operator or guide, shall make the ultimate determination of an individual trip participant's fitness to embark upon, or to continue a trip.

During program or workshop activities, RMSP, as well as the local guide or local supplier, have the right to remove anyone who we a) judge to be incapable of meeting the rigors and requirements or participating in the activities; or b) determine to detract from others' enjoyment of the activities. In addition to program or workshop removal, RMSP also reserves the right to remove from the trip, at the participant's own expense, anyone whose physical condition or conduct negatively impacts the enjoyment of the other guests or disrupts the trip. No refunds will be issued for individuals removed under this section.

TUITION

Tuition is $5450 per person, single occupancy*. Although not expected, published prices may be modified due to unexpected significant external factors not forecasted at the time of printing. RMSP is under no obligation to give a breakdown in costs of any journey.

*This program is open to all. Non-photographer significant others are welcome, but will need to register at the same time as the photographer and pay full price for the workshop. Listed tuition is for single room occupancy. If you are planning to share a room with another attendee, please call our office at 406-543-0171 to register and receive a discount of $455/person. Please see below for a list of what is included in the tuition cost. By accepting these terms, participants warrant and represent that they have the authority to accept and bind their companion traveler; however, RMSP will require documentation described herein for all travelers.

Because we have arranged these travel dates and published the tuition nearly a year in advance, we may occasionally be faced with significant cost increases due to factors over which we have no control. As such, we reserve the right to impose surcharges or price increases due to changes in exchange rates, increases in fares or other transport costs, taxes, or government requirements. If any surcharge results in an increase of more than 10% of the tuition cost excluding travel protection plan premiums, you have the option of contacting RMSP to cancel the booking within 14 days of notification of the surcharge and obtaining a full refund less administrative fees in the amount of $200.

MINOR POLICY

The minimum age to participate is 18 years old.

WORKSHOP ITINERARY

RMSP reserves the right to modify the workshop schedule, including arranged field shoots, and substitute accommodations, at any time due to unforeseen circumstances or circumstances beyond RMSP’s control. While RMSP uses reasonable efforts to provide travel services as advertised, reasonable changes in itinerary may be made where considered necessary. RMSP reserves the right to change any of the services and facilities described in the workshop descriptions before a booking is made. If we make a major change after booking, we will advise you as soon as possible if there is time before departure. A major change is defined as a change affecting the entirety of one day in five of the itinerary. If the major change is due to Force Majeure or other circumstances outside of our control, including a change by a supplier, no refund or compensation is payable.

The itinerary is only an indication of what each group may accomplish and is not a contractual obligation. You acknowledge that the nature of this type of travel requires significant flexibility and should allow for changes. You understand that the amenities, type of transport, route, schedule, and itinerary may change without prior notice due to local circumstances or events, which may include mechanical breakdown, flight cancellations, illness, strikes, political disputes, weather, border crossing problems and other unforeseeable factors.

INCLUDED IN THIS WORKSHOP PROGRAM TUITION
  • Airport meeting and assistance in Havana, group hotel and airport transfers in Havana
  • Ground transportation as indicated with ground assistance
  • 5 nights deluxe hotel accommodation in Havana
  • 5 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner, bottled water
  • OFAC approved activities
  • Applicable entrance fees
  • Instructor-led field shoots and photo walks featuring instructor:student ratios of 1:8 and occasional one-on-one instruction
  • Lectures and critiques
  • Services of a licensed Cuban guide
  • Applicable taxes

NOT INCLUDED IN THIS WORKSHOP PROGRAM TUITION
  • Airfare
  • Additional airport transfers
  • Passport or visa fees
  • Baggage fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not listed as included
  • Add-on or optional services
  • Pre/post hotel accommodations in Miami or elsewhere
  • Room upgrades
  • Early check-in/late check-out
  • Internet fees
  • Anything not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Gratuities
  • Items of personal nature
  • Applicable change fees
  • Holiday surcharges

PAYMENT

A $1500 per-person deposit is required at the time of registration. The balance of the program tuition is due 100 days prior to departure. For enrollments within 100 days of departure, full payment is required at the time of registration. Payment may be made in the form of check, money order, bank transfer or credit card. RMSP accepts all major credit cards. If the balance is not paid by the specified due date, RMSP reserves the right to treat the booking as cancelled by the participant and impose the cancellation fees below.

ACCEPTANCE OF BOOKING

To register for this workshop program, please click the "Register" on this page. During the registration process, you will be required to read and agree to RMSP's Standard Terms and Conditions by checking the appropriate box during the check-out process. In addition, by registering for this Cuba workshop you are agreeing to these Cuba-related Special Terms and Conditions. Once we receive your registration and deposit, your booking will be accepted. If a booking is made within 100 days of departure, the full trip amount is due at the time of booking.

CANCELLATION/CHANGE FEES

Participant initiated workshop program cancellations must be received by RMSP in writing and will become effective on the date of receipt, fax or email. Workshop cancellations received by RMSP are subject to the following rules:

  • For cancellations received in writing more than 100 days prior to the workshop program start date, RMSP will retain 50 percent of the deposit amount. No exceptions will be made to this policy.
  • There are no refunds of deposits or balances within 100 days of the workshop program start date. No exceptions will be made to this policy.
  • Relative to partial room cancellations: If a guest cancels the workshop program and a roommate remains, an additional supplement may apply to the price for the remaining guest.

RMSP reserves the right to cancel any program for any reason. In particular, RMSP may cancel any program that does not meet minimum participant requirements, in which case participants will be informed as soon as possible and all money will be refunded. Once minimum participation requirements for fully paid participants are met, we will not cancel a workshop less than 8 weeks before departure except in the case of Force Majeure.

FORCE MAJEURE

"Force Majeure" means any circumstances beyond the reasonable control of RMSP, including without limitation acts of God, terrorist activities, insurrection, explosion, flood, tempest, forceful wind, fire or accident, war or threat of war declared or undeclared, sabotage, civil disturbance, labor strikes, requisition, sickness, quarantine, government intervention, weather conditions, and unforeseen circumstances.

If a workshop is cancelled due to Force Majeure, you may choose a) a full refund of all payments made; or b) an alternative workshop offered by RMSP. If the alternative workshop chosen by you is of lesser or greater value than the workshop originally booked, then you may be entitled to a refund of the price difference or be required to pay the price difference, however the case may be. Because the workshop is dependent upon a minimum number of persons participating, we may offer to consolidate the workshop with another, later program.

By clicking "Register" and submitting your registration to RMSP, you agree to be bound by the above Special Terms and Conditions. In addition to these Special Terms and Conditions, you also agree to be bound by the terms, conditions, limitations and releases found in the RMSP Standard Terms and Conditions available at this link and printable during the payment process.

A courtesy copy of these Special Terms and Conditions will be included in your Pre-Travel Documentation, but you are encouraged to print a copy of them for your records at this time.

As a reminder: THIS IS A LEGALLY ENFORCEABLE CONTRACT and TERMS, CONDITIONS OR CLAUSES CONFLICTING WITH OR CONTRADICTORY TO THE RMSP STANDARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS SHALL BE REPLACED AND SUPERSEDED BY THE PROVISIONS IN THE SPECIAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS WHICH SHALL CONTROL THE CUBA WORKSHOP PROGRAM.

KNOWING AND VOLUNTARY AGREEMENT

By clicking the "Register" link you are affirmatively indicating that you have read, clearly understand, and accept the provisions of these Special Terms and Conditions, the linked RMSP Standard Terms and Conditions, Liability Release and Assumption of Risks for Workshops Other than Those Occurring in U.S. National Parks, and you hereby acknowledge that this agreement shall be effective and binding upon you, your heirs, assigns, personal representative and estate and for all members of your family, including minor children.

You agree that this release and waiver is intended to be as broad and inclusive as permitted by the laws of the State of Montana and if any portion of this agreement is found to be void or unenforceable, the remaining portions shall remain in full force and effect.

You acknowledge that in calculating the cost of this travel photography workshop, RMSP has relied on your consent to these terms and their enforceability. In the absence of this agreement, this travel photography workshop cost would have been higher or, alternatively, RMSP would be unable to offer these services.

FAQ's

TRAVEL TO CUBA: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW AND HOW TO PREPARE

What is different about a support of the Cuban people workshop versus other RMSP workshops?

This special people-to-people exchange is different from other RMSP workshops on which you may have previously participated. During this rewarding - often life-changing experience - you will spend full days interacting with the Cuban people. Alongside your RMSP Instructors and knowledgeable Cuban guide, you will experience — in an authentic way — the day-to-day lives of Havana’s inhabitants. All participants are required to adhere to a full schedule of activities designed to inform, educate and promote meaningful interaction with the Cuban people.

What is the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and what does it do?

According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s website, OFAC “administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign policies and regimes … and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States.” This workshop operates as a people-to-people trip pursuant to a general license under 31 C.F.R. 515.565(b), rather than needing a specific license. Under the OFAC general license, this people-to-people educational exchange program adheres to the U.S. government’s current restrictions governing travel to Cuba among persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

Do I have to participate in all the scheduled activities?

Yes, you have to participate in all scheduled activities on your itinerary. Deviation from the planned itinerary is not allowed, as you are travelling to Cuba under OFAC’s people-to-people general license, and the U.S. government requires you to participate in the guided, educational activities. By not participating in any scheduled activities, you may be individually liable for criminal or civil penalties.

Can I bring my significant other with me as a non-participating companion?

Non-photographer significant others are welcome, but will need to pay full price for the trip and must particpate in all scheduled activities.

Will there be changes because of new government regulations for travel to Cuba?

Travel to Cuba on a group people-to-people program with an officially licensed tour operator is still allowed. RMSP continues to monitor OFAC and will implement any changes pending new regulations.

Is a visa required for Cuba?

A Cuba visa (tarjeta del turista) is required to enter the country and can be purchased (currently $50-$85) at the airline check-in kiosks at Miami International Airport. Non- U.S. citizens should contact the appropriate consular office for entry requirements pertaining to their journey.

What currency does Cuba use?

Cuban residents use the peso, or Moneda Nacional (CUP). However, Cuba operates as a dual economy, and its hard currency is the Cuban convertible peso (CUC). Travellers must use CUCs to pay for personal consumption in Cuba.

Are U.S. dollars accepted in Cuba?

U.S. dollars are not accepted in Cuba and cannot be used for purchases. You will need to convert U.S. dollars to CUCs for use in Cuba upon arrival. The CUC is equal to the U.S. dollar at a 1:1 ratio, but exchange from USD to CUC is subject to a 13% surcharge/tax. This rate is subject to change at any time. Visit xe.com for current exchange rates.

Will I be able to use my credit card or debit card in Cuba?

It depends on your financial institution. While U.S. financial institutions are currently permitted to process credit card and debit card transactions in Cuba related to authorized travel expenses, currently most U.S. financial institutions and Cuban vendors are not set up to process such transactions. There are no ATMs in Cuba, so funds cannot be accessed electronically. Please plan to travel with sufficient cash; how much cash you bring is a matter of preference. However, prices in Cuba are similar to those in the United States, so this may be used as your guide.

Where can I exchange money in Cuba?

We recommend money be exchanged at your hotel. Do not rely on Travelers Checks because they are not insured and are not accepted from U.S. banks while in Cuba. It is therefore essential to travel with enough cash for your entire experience in Cuba. Given the schedule during a people-to-people program, opportunities to exchange money will be few and far between, including at banks and airports. For your convenience, the cash you travel with may be exchanged most easily and reliably at your hotel. Visit xe.com for current information about exchanging money in Cuba.

May I purchase items in Cuba and bring them back with me to the U.S?

Currently, there is no limit on the value or quantity of items you can bring home; however, keep in mind that you are subject to the normal limits on U.S. duty and tax exemptions for personal use. Due to new U.S. restrictions, certain shops in Old Havana are off limits to U.S. travelers and your Cuban guide can provide details. Keep all sales receipts for items purchased throughout your trip and try to pack all items that you will need to declare together. This will ease the Customs process upon re-entry into the U.S. Consult the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for more details at cbp.gov.

Are there any limitations with respect to personal consumption spending while in Cuba?

There is currently no limit on personal consumption spending (e.g., food, beverage, etc.) while in Cuba.

Will my cell phone, smartphone or PDA device work in Cuba?

Mobile phone use in Cuba is unreliable and intermittent due to a lack of infrastructure. However, the status of telecommunications changes rapidly. Check with your wireless provider for the latest developments before you travel. Any phone calls may be placed from your guest room in your hotel. Inquire about rates before placing calls, as they are generally very expensive and must be paid for in cash. Also, please note that satellite phones are not allowed in Cuba.

Is there Internet access in Cuba?

The hotel we use in Havana offers access to Wi-Fi for an extra charge. However, please note that access in some parts of Havana and outlying areas may not be reliable or up to the standards you are accustomed to at home.

Equipment & Supplies

We want your experience at an RMSP workshop to be full of learning and fun. We recognize that preparation is one important key to success. The following is meant to be a packing aid, not a shopping list. If you have questions about what’s needed, please call Bob McGowan, our Student Services Associate, at 800-394-7677.

For RMSP’s general list of recommended gear, click here:

Note: Not everything on the website linked above is required for the workshop. Use the list below as your guideline and the link above if you would like a recommendation on a lens, body or accessory to purchase. Also, please register for the workshop before buying gear, as registration will make you eligible for the B&H EDU program which will potentially save you hundreds of dollars on gear. Learn more here: https://rmsp.com/bhedu.

Required:
  • Digital SLR camera or interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera
  • Sturdy and reliable tripod
  • You’ll need at least one lens but please bring lenses that allow for a variety of focal lengths
  • Laptop
  • Memory Card Reader
  • Flash drive
  • Spare batteries for equipment (especially for your camera)
  • Extra memory card
  • Camera manual
  • Camera bag or backpack
  • Cable release/wireless remote
  • Camera & lens cleaning supplies
  • Note taking materials
Optional Accessories:
  • Dedicated flash (bring ONLY if you have one. Please do not feel obligated to purchase one for this workshop.)
  • Off-camera flash cord
  • Spare batteries for flash
  • Polarizer
  • Lens shades for all lenses
  • Professional air blower for sensor cleaning (eg. rocket blower)
  • Camera rain cover if your camera and lens are not water resistant
Personal Items:
  • Passport
  • Cash
  • Comfortable, casual, weatherproof clothing that can be layered underneath for warmth. Please note that evenings and mornings can be chilly – even in Cuba!
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Medications and OTC drugs, band-aids, etc
  • Sun protection – hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, lip balm, insect repellent
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tissue Paper (good to have your own at public restrooms)
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks for between meals in the field
  • Converters, Adapters (More information about Cuban electric currents will be sent to registered participants.)
  • Travel alarm clock and wristwatch
Tuition: $5,450
Deposit: $1,500
Possible Discounts:
Friend of RMSP:$50
Early Registration:$50
if registered before 11/19/2019
Tuition Notes:
Listed tuition is for single room occupancy. If you are planning to share a room with another attendee, please call our office at 406-543-0171 to register and receive a discount of $455/person. Please check the "Details" tab for a list of what is included in the tuition cost and for the strict cancellation policy on this international workshop. By clicking the "Register" link below, you are agreeing to the Special Terms and Conditions for this Cuba workshop as well as the RMSP Standard Terms and Conditions.
This course is FULL. If you would like to be placed on a wait-list, please call us at 800-394-7677.

Instructors

Doug Johnson

Doug Johnson is a Colorado native now living in Missoula, Montana. Before a life-changing pursuit of photographic art, he was an outdoor educator for more than 20 years, passionately teaching people backcountry skills in navigation, mountaineering, avalanche awareness and wilderness first aid. Since graduating from RMSP’s Summer Intensive program in 1996, Doug’s work has covered many diverse projects in the documentary, commercial, fine art and educational fields. Assignments have taken him from coyote shooting in Wyoming to the last stages of a woman’s life to the graffiti-covered alleys and abandoned buildings of Denver. He is currently involved in an ongoing project called Art Music, which fuses the art of photography with live musical performance. His educational philosophy is fun, intuitive and full of creative persistence. No matter where you are in your photographic journey, Doug’s balance of the aesthetic with the technical can help you further express your unique vision.

Website

Instagram

Neil Chaput de Saintonge

Neil Chaput de Saintonge, a former junior high science teacher, has taught photography for almost 50 years, to over 20,000 students. In that time, he has taught classes and workshops in the United States, Canada and New Zealand. He is well-known for his enthusiasm, technical knowledge and love of teaching. In 1973, Neil studied under Ansel Adams. In Professional Intensive, Summer Intensive and Workshops, Neil lectures, critiques student work, and meets one-on-one with students to talk about cameras and lenses, and - most importantly - he helps them find their own path in photography. Neil’s photography interests include ballet, documentary, people, landscape and fine art. In 1979, Neil founded the Southeastern Center for the Arts in Atlanta, Georgia, a two-year school that trained students for careers in graphic arts and photography. After vacationing in Montana in 1988, Neil and his wife Jeanne moved to Missoula and started Rocky Mountain School of Photography. Neil has also been a licensed massage therapist for 30 years, is a Reiki Master and teaches healing work.

Mary Marks

Mary Marks Over the years Mary has traveled and photographed in over 55 countries across seven continents. She embraced photography decades ago as a creative outlet to her fun yet demanding job as a travel buyer. It was during this time Mary envisioned founding a company that paired travel with photography workshops, and after the completion of her studies at Rocky Mountain School of Photography in 2014, Mary launched PhotoQuest360. Mary is recognized by her peers in both the travel and photography industries for her enthusiastic, down to earth approach and her ability to connect on an intimate level with people from a wide variety of culturally diverse backgrounds.

Perks of Registering For A Workshop

EDU Advantage Program

By registering and completing any course with us, you will automatically be eligible for EDU status with B&H Photo. EDU members can save money on select items sold by B&H.

Creative Cloud Subscription

The software you use in your workflow is almost as crucial as your camera. Register for any RMSP course and you will receive a code to save 15% on a Adobe Creative Cloud subscription for the first year.

What Gear Do You Need?

Want a specific lens for a workshop? Need some extra gear for your next shoot? Renting gear from Lens Pro To Go allows you to try before you buy! Upon registering for a course, you will receive a discount code for 10% off your next rental.