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David Alan Harvey


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Thank you for your support!
Our Cuba Book & Print Sale is now closed.
We will begin shipping in early January.




I am very excited about the recent developments between the U.S. and Cuba and feel it has been long overdue for a real dialogue that would lift the U.S. economic embargo on Cuba. I am sure it is not on fast track, yet at least it is moving.

Since Cuba was one of my most favorite projects of all time and since it is Christmas and also Burn’s 6th Anniversary, I thought this might be a good time to celebrate all of the above with a super good deal print and book sale. Some of my esteemed colleagues found out about this and have suggested I am underselling the market. Well I always do this with every book for example. I sold (based on a true story) high, and with the profit gave it away free in Brazil. So for this, and I do expect to sell very well, I am giving a break to the emerging photographers for whom Burn is all about. It’s holiday time. My now old Cuba work is appropriate for the moment. If I make a profit, I will take the money and go shoot pictures in Cuba…How could I not.. My only choice for sure. There goes relaxing at home. Karma

So in this spirit of Burn, which supports mostly young, emerging photographers, I felt that I could give you really good art object deal on these prints for a low price, this one time. My gift to you. Business altruism I think. Make everybody feel things are right. That, my friends, is just me.

I first went to Cuba because Magnum secured for me an assignment for Time Magazine to photograph Cuban scientists. I am not a science photographer, but I was looking for any way to get to Cuba and to get my hands on the oftentimes elusive visa that was required due to the negative U.S./Cuba relations. It did not take me long to fall in love.

Later, I went back as a tourist and shot some on my own before getting a full on assignment from NatGeo. This led to three NatGeo stories and a tv documentary for them about me shooting on the island. From this also came my CUBA book.

For sure I will also head down to Cuba just as soon as I can. I want to be there for the next year or so as things move into a new Cuban realm. I do not expect everything to somehow suddenly be perfect. As a matter of fact I suspect some real problems will develop when inequality of income will cause some to go from socialist idealists to unhappy have nots. This could take Cuba from no crime to a bit dangerous. We will see. At the same time, overall I see a potentially booming island economy with more good than bad as the result.

In any case, if you click HERE you will see the details on the prints and CUBA book offerings I am making available exclusively through BurnMagazine.

Please go to Cuba! You will find a warm vibrant culture. It might be awhile before you can fly from New York to Havana, but easy enough to go in through Mexico or Canada. You may not bring back any goods, but you will bring back some great memories I promise….

Thank you Barack






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50 thoughts on “david alan harvey – cuba”

  1. “Trinidad” has been one of my very favorite photographs ever taken by any photographer since the moment I first saw it. Wish I could purchase the whole set, but, damn, I am going to purchase Trinidad!

    I’ve long wanted to go to Cuba. I think now I will.


    you definitely should go…..Cuba will change now drastically i am sure….at some point, i am sure i will have a bit of nostalgia for Cuba as it is….some of the “new benefits” are going to take away from the now self effacing culture…..i celebrate Obama’s decision….yet like everything it is not a straight line…good management of this decision will be required…..the entire population of Cuba THINKS they understand a capitalist culture, they see all the goodies, but they also have no idea what that means…i saw this before in East Germany when i photographed the Wall coming down…instant elation followed by a reality check of what it takes to survive and thrive in a capitalist aggressive society…those who cannot “make it” so to speak will end up disinfranchised and i do worry about that segment in the long haul….

    anyway, let me know if and when you go to Cuba…i am going as soon as i can ….meet in Old Havana for a cold beer?

    cheers, abrazos, viva Cuba, david

  3. a civilian-mass audience


    As a Civilian of the world …my passport was “good” for Cuba :)
    and now my fellow USA BURNIANS,your passport is “good” too…yohoooo, Cuba is on!!!

    FROSTY (where is my cat?)…oime,Cuba meeting, cold beer,MR.HARVEY’S book and history…

    …yoho,yoho, from Greece with lot’s of love !!!



    It’s funny, i can’t think of Cuba, visually, without a few iconic images in my head, and 2 of those images are Davids: 1) trinidad town dancer (extraordinary pic!), 2) boy w/scarf leaning out of car, 3) boy in front of church…and my all time favorite: horse on porch….

    david, i can NOT believe that Magnum hasnt let that pic to grace the cover of a novel about pics…Marquez would have loved that book for 100 Years of Solitude or Love in the Time of Cholera….

    and i hope someday that Horse pic is used for someone’s novel…if i ever finish mine, i want that pic on the cover…..

    cuba: it too has a special sway in my own life, from the years i lived in miami…from the meals at Versaille in little havana in miami, to the backyard wedding cermonies (dance and drink and cigars and beautiful girls running barefoot through the sawgrass) tomy cuban pals scratching to get back and for my beloved Cuban writers: José Lezama Lima, Alejo Carpentier, Reinaldo Arenas, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, some of whom are remembered in the houseparties….

    the three sad tigers are waiting and mambo kings sing songs of love and sea…

    congrats David, so please for this :)

    p.s. i’ll be going tohavanna for xmas next year….let’s meet! :)

  5. Thanks David. Seeing these wonderful images evokes the feeling of being there again. I went in Dec 2005 and have always wanted to go back. I think you’re right when you say there is a special spirit to Cuba though it’s hard to put a finger on exactly what it is – that’s part of it’s magic I suppose, and I’d agree that there are significant changes ahead – it’s perhaps just a matter of time scale.


  6. VIVA!
    and yes, David..
    there are many layers….
    you introduced me to CUBA, with your passionate slide show and talk in 1998…
    and then my love affair with the island grew…
    Your photographs of cuba are magical and beautiful…
    I simply adore them..
    all of them…

  7. I am still in awe of this development. I know so many of the older refugees are really angry about this, but completely cutting off ties has not worked in any way other than punishing the people. I will be excited to see what happens now. Economic sanctions would have to be lifted by congress, and is outside a Presidential executive action, so we will have to see. It’s so much easier to rattle sabers.

    If I had a way to do it, I’d be making airline arraignments now.

  8. Regarding Cuba, I recently read that Cuban doctors and other health professionals led the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone, sending many more than the rest of the world combined; and that that was not at all unusual during humanitarian crises. Over the years I’ve read of other benefits they’ve gotten from the embargo, such as improvements in micro farming.

    Hate to wish poverty on any large population, and I don’t. Hopefully they will follow something more like the European or Canadian model rather than the U.S. and increase their quality of life without losing the good things about their embargo-related culture.


    you can go as a tourist easy…..just be discreet on the streets, don’t look pro….without journalist visa you cannot do anything official like get into hospitals or any institution, but there is a lot to be done just walking around and hanging out…

    cheers, david

  10. Thanks, David, for letting us all join in the celebration! “Trinidad” has been one of my all-time favorite photos since I first saw it years ago. Now it will hang on my wall to inspire me. Muchas gracias mi amigo. Feliz navidad.

  11. MW

    Cuban doctors and nurses have been sent all over the world for years when there is a medical necessity….they rarely get credit, and they certainly do not ask for any….i too hope for an improvement in the daily lives of Cubans without losing their self effacing and generous spirit….i am an optimist by nature, yet can imagine this transition will also not be totally smooth nor without some bumps….

    Happy Holidays amigo, and hope our paths cross again in the near future….

    cheers, david

  12. WENDY

    thanks my friend..i am still remembering your inspiring slide show and work made in Cuba….i can in my imagination see us all having a cold beer in Havana at some point soon….let’s figure out how and when to do it….

    abrazos, david


    well the last two covers of Marquez books do happen to be my photographs, yet not from Cuba….both are from Divided Soul, yet both from Mexico….

    if you get your novel written, i would be pleased to donate the horse picture for your cover….

    yes!! Havana at Christmas next year!!

    Cuba has tugged at the soul of many….and i will be in love with Cuba forever…

    cheers, abrazos, david

  14. AND BTW, I AGREE (i think i made lots of typos) the Trinidad dancer pic has always been iconic…quintessentially Harvey and one i never tire of see so much in….:)…

    that’s great about the Marquez books, not surprised!…and that Horse if begging for a novel too! :)


    i think we actually pushed the “on” button on Dec 25th 2008…yet for sure it is our Birthday no matter how you look at it, or the exact time and date…you know we could just go look ha ha ha..

    wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a super 2015….

    we sure have had some fun here on Burn i think…done some things right, done some things wrong, but well here we ARE!

    big hugs, david

  16. Been wanting the Trinidad photo for years, so it was an easy choice until my wife gave her opinion. We had a big debate last night at home, my copy of Divided Soul was held up on the wall as I was made to go through the 11 images. Finally once again Trinidad came out once again as the true winner.

  17. I feel a little bit of apprehension towards all the good news about Cuba. Basically I’m sure all the privileged Cubans will see the changes straight away. Sadly I doubt the poor will see much apart from what the upper class deem as acceptable. Hope I’m wrong, but I feel the poor will end up feeling poorer than ever when they see and won’t be able to afford all the bright and shiny modern capitalist crap we can’t live without.

  18. PAUL

    yes..i am worried about the same thing….right now there are few privileged …so there really is no “upper class”..YET…people get along well with each now, because nobody has a lot….by the way, there is no what i would call gut wrenching poverty in Cuba..nobody homeless…i can see that in Africa, and Mexico and Brazil and many other places, but not in Cuba….Fidel has had his doors open for the world to see for many years including for Americans to come and take a look and take pictures of everything except military bases…you see anyone with super poverty pictures from Cuba? peeling paint yes…abject poverty, i do not think so…

    the current government in Cuba is i think very aware of what we are worried about…and they will try to maintain their socialism along with a better economy…we will see…i don’t think we have to worry about Americans taking over though…China already owns the prime water front in Havana, Canada owns the airport, Germany the railroad system…the U.S. is late to the game….anway, let’s see…maybe the story will indeed have a happy ending…let’s hope so…

    i hope you will enjoy your Trinidad print..Mike Courvoisier is a quality control maniac with his printing…so this will be a good one i can assure you….

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!!

    cheers, david

  19. a civilian-mass audience

    MR.HARVEY, I do lists,I am checking all the essays…I am Here and There and yes, here WE ARE and it’s our
    BURNING BIRTHDAY …Evolution,Revolution…This is BURN !!!

    THANK YOU,THANK YOU and THANK YOU !!! It’s the little things that matter most!Happy Holidays to LYLA MARYANNA
    Enjoy the Holidays. Wishing you and your family
    peace, health and happiness
    throughout the years !!!

    your civi
    (no proofread)

  20. a civilian-mass audience

    FROSTY,MR.BILL…I am next to you…wishing you ALL THE BEST!!!
    give my love to my family and keep my cat warm…

    one kilo of olives and two chickens are here for you…

    from broken Grecolandia
    with love
    your civi

  21. a civilian-mass audience


    Love to All…Happy Holidays
    and don’t forget
    We Can Do MIRACLES !!!


  22. DAVID. In my short time there I came across 2 disheveled/homeless looking beggars. One in Havana and one in Santiago de cuba. Now they may just have been alcoholics and not technically homeless, but they were beggars whatever way you cut it.I have photos on a drive somewhere. Also I remember vividly eating at an outdoor ‘tourist’ restaurant in old Havana when a woman and child called to us across the low wall. They pointed to the leftovers on our plates and begged us in sign to give it to them. Ashamed at my tourist status(it was a steak and chicken feast that cost about $10 equivalent) I went to give her some money instead but she was chased away by cuban hotel security.
    I saw no graffiti that was not pro Castro/revolution and there were no pirate radio stations or visible youth counterculture….but I am damm sure they were there…somewhere.
    Not one person would say anything negative about the regime, instead parroting pro slogans..Do I think there is no dissent? Of course there is…we just dont get to see it.
    I wonder how many other things outsiders dont get to see.

  23. Hello,

    I was in Cuba last year and it was an incredible trip. I stayed in cuban houses instead of hotels (some people rent a room with a delicious breakfast and dinner), and I was travelling with my wife in a rented car. The experience was great.
    I am Spanish so I could have long talks with the people there: in the houses I stayed, in the street, when i picked up some one who was waiting in the road hitch-hiking.

    And I think you leave the country without knowing how they really live… As David said you don´t see poverty as in other places, and there is a large “black market” where people can buy things they don´t get in supermarkets. People has free healthy care, education (they are very well educated). Many people receive money form relatives outside the country.
    My wife has family there and we spent one day with them. Her cousin is a surgeon and university professor and he earns about 50$/month, but he could be treated of a cancer some years ago without costs…
    And they are also proud of the safety of the country compared with other countries around them.
    Beautiful country and very friendly people!
    We have to wait ti see what happens in the next few years.

    I would like to come back next year…

    Cheers and Merry Christmas for all of you!


    i do not doubt the experiences you had….and for sure Cuba is not Switzerland….and yes, pro Castro/Che posters graffiti etc are everywhere….for sure you do not talk openly about politics in Cuba…yes, a doctor on every block and 10 spies on every block as well….Cuba is a closely watched train….i have been in other “happy” societies like Ghadafi’s Libya not so many years ago…so i do know the drill…i have spent countless hours being interrogated by Cuba security police as well for taking the simplest of pictures, or visiting one family perhaps too many times…i was also banned from a journalist visa after my Cuba book came out because they did not like the TEXT of the book written by Elizabeth Newhouse….at this very same time i was persona non grata, i also had the first photo exhibit by an American since Walker Evans 40 years prior…yes simultaneous to my book being banned and me officially banned i had the exhibit attended by Alberto Korda, Salas, and all the top culture people..yes i was there too, but not allowed a journalist visa….so no, it is not a straight line…many mysteries…..i even worry about writing this comment here!! since in fact i do want to go back soonest!!

    i think because there is so much negative criticism about Cuba here in the U.S. and i do support a normalisation process, i do tend to write of the positive things in Cuba which are many….all of the islands within a stone’s throw of Cuba have conditions often much worse, crime, homeless, and always a good chance you might be robbed at knifepoint or gunpoint..that’s not happening in Cuba…at least not yet…ironically when money comes in society will become more unequal of course, and i do suspect that Cuba too will become a bit more risky in the streets….

    please remember the one uprising in the streets i think about 10 years ago maybe more….when the economy of Cuba was at rock bottom with no more Soviet funding….locals did hit the streets in protest…it looked like it might get out of hand as we see on the news every night one place or another…what happened? Fidel himself walked into the middle of it…..i could not believe it..yes, he walked right into the jeering angry crowd….somebody put a box in the street and he got up on it…and asked for calm please…he did not arrive with any visible security….no military no uniformed cops…the crowd went silent…why? well i think the Cubans who are still in Cuba actually have a deep love for Fidel….sure they are pissed off at him, like you might be pissed off at your father, because they want more, but i think most do view him as an overall benefactor…he did bring electricity to rural areas, provided a first class education, and medical services, and he got rid of Batista and the Mafia and major corruption…yet alas it went from a few rich and many poor to everybody poor…now it will go back to a few rich and many poor again…i can see it coming….

    if you eliminate all of the history and all of the potential problems coming, i think for sure John you must have found a warm people who love their almost perfect climate island and their art, music,and athletic prowess…Cubans in general are a resourceful bunch..the ones who came to Miami after Fidel own Miami..own Florida…..Cubans are very strong in business and politics….

    i have a lot of respect for Cubans…both sides…the ones in Miami i love, and the ones in Cuba i love as well even though they may not be loving each other…strip away dogma and politics and you have a great people in my view….

    cheers, david

  25. DAH,

    In all my excitement about the Cuba news and trying to decipher the political ramifications that I forgot to add a “thank you” for offering such beautiful prints at great price. A real bargain. ¡Feliz Navidad!

  26. marcin luczkowski

    I have only one problem with the changes in Cuba; during the constitutional changes always are committed again and again the same mistakes. With the devastation of the environment inclusive. Cuba will face many turbulent years before they reach a state of satisfaction. I’m sure Cuba will commit the same mistakes that Western countries have committed many years ago. But surely it is inevitable.

    Ps: for site admin. I cannot post a comment on my home computer. I don’t know why my IP is blocked. Can be fixed?


    i agree 100%…there is just no way around it…some lessons never get learned…smart people keep making the same old mistakes…i guess it is just all about process…

    cheers, david

  28. Cuba has long been the “poster child” for organics and self sufficiency too. With the sanctions put on them they had no choice to become self sufficient in food; and that is exactly what happened. It’ll be interesting to see if the opening up will mean that Macca’s “golden arches” and their ilk will start popping up all over the place……

  29. In an unrelated matter, Christmas is upon us and so I wish one and all a very Merry Christmas. In that spirit, here’s something from the archives to bring us all up to speed with our Christmas cheer.

    There are twelve days of Christmas, and I’m sure if you’ve somehow managed to forget that fact over the course of the year retailers from one end of this our Great Republic to the other will forcibly refresh your memory for the next few weeks. Whether you want to or no, you will hear in great detail about lords leaping and laying ladies while pipers pipe and voyeuristic geese pay five gold rings just to watch. I’ve always wondered why just about every picture of Times Square before its current incarnation as Disney World North had a goose or two in the background. There were just too many of them for this to be some sort of odd ornithological coincidence.

    But avian porn is not the subject of this screed, so let us move on before the police arrive. The subject of today’s lecture is the twelve days of Christmas and what they mean to me in five easy lessons. For the better part of the late and deeply unlamented twentieth century it was the fashion among a certain set of people to bemoan the commercialization of Christmas, that the demands of Mammon were stifling the essentially religious nature of the holiday, even to the point where that great philosopher and theologian Linus Van Pelt had to explain to Charlie Brown what Christmas was all about by quoting the Gospel according to Luke. Charlie Brown did not seem impressed by this argument, falling, as it did, between commercials for Benson & Hedges cigarettes and the new 1967 Ford Mustangs.

    The fact of the matter is that Christmas has always been a commercial bonanza, a state of affairs that began when the Roman Emperor Constantine decided that maybe Christianity wasn’t such a bad idea after all. Constantine came to this conclusion after he’d had a dream the night before the battle of the Milvian Bridge in which he saw a shield emblazoned with a Christian cross bearing the words IN HOC SIGNO VINCES (in this sign you shall conquer). After the alarm slave went off the next morning, clocks being fairly scarce in those days, Constantine put Christian crosses on his soldiers’ shields; as the enemy army outnumbered by about four to one, Constantine figured any edge he could get was a good one; and then proceeded to march out and stomp on the competition big time.

    Having won the crown in a pretty convincing fashion—Constantine didn’t have to dangle Chad over a cliff or anything—the new emperor decided to return the favor God did him and make Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. Once a faith exclusively practiced by the most rejected and despised elements of Roman society, the Christian faith became the most inclusive faith in the Mediterranean world since now everyone and their Uncle Bob had to join, everyone, that is, except Constantine himself. Unlike the twentieth century Chinese warlord, Marshal Feng, who, under the influence of American missionaries, converted to Methodism and then decided that his army should convert as well, and sped the process up by using a fire hose to baptize his men, Constantine chose to exempt himself from the revival, correctly figuring that if he stayed a pagan he could go on doing all the fun stuff that pagans got to do like murdering his political opponents, seizing their property, and selling their families into slavery without this sort of thing bothering his conscience all that much. If he was still a pagan, after all, who could blame him for acting like one?

    Our current holiday problem started when Constantine decided that a holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus would be just the thing to make himself look good on The O’Reilly Factor. There was, however, one small problem: no one knew when Jesus was born. The Gospels simply say that the birth occurred when Quirinius was the governor of Syria. This might have been enough information in the hands of a competent archivist to pinpoint a likely date, but competent archivists were hard to find in ancient Rome due to the Roman mob’s insatiable appetite for watching overweight, middle-aged clerical types with the wife, the 2.7 kids, the dog, and a thirty year mortgage on a house in the suburbs try to stab each other to death with quill pens in the Coliseum.

    Constantine, having no solid information to work with, asked the Senate and the people of Rome what they thought of July 15th as the date for Christmas. The Senate and the people of Rome, mindful of the fact that Constantine had the bad habit of feeding people who disagreed with him to lions and tigers and bears, oh my, for the entertainment of the people in the cheap seats, told Constantine that July 15th was a wonderful idea. Roman retailers, on the other hand, mindful of losing the 4th of July and Bastille Day sales, told him that while his idea was wonderful, it would be even more wonderful at some other time of the year. One clever gent who owned a shoe store on the Appian Way suggested, after giving the matter some thought, that the Emperor make December 25th the date for his new holiday.

    Now it was Constantine’s turn to object. At a meeting of the Imperial Chamber of Commerce, he quite rightly pointed out that December 25th was already a holiday, the feast of Invictus Sol and his brother Herschel, the inventors of the pneumatic chariot wheel, upon which the good fortune of the Roman Empire did not rely in the slightest. Then Constantine had the Pope read the relevant portions of the Gospel of Luke. The Pope stumbled through the text, His Holiness being unused to reading anything longer than an address; he had come to Rome to get a job in the Post Office in Gaul and wound up as Pope for lack any other available employment; and after he finished reading Constantine asked the retailers how they proposed to get around the Gospel’s clearly pointing to a summer date for Christ’s birth. After all, first century Judean shepherds did not keep flocks of sheep out on barren hillsides by night in the middle of winter just on the off chance that a passing heavenly host with some free time on their hands would wander by belting out their rendition of Handel’s ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ in digitally remastered stereophonic sound. Clearly, December 25th did not meet the high burden of theological and historical proof required for such an august feast day.

    Then someone, possibly the shoemaker who first suggested the idea of the 25th, or maybe his twin brother—no one could really tell them apart—told the Emperor something that emperors, as a class, love to hear: he was emperor, therefore he could put the holiday anywhere he felt like putting it. And so he did, on the 25th day of December, the high burden of historical and theological proof bending slightly in deference to Constantine’s need for campaign contributions; not everyone in the Roman Empire thought that Constantine’s being emperor was such a good idea and he needed money fast; armies, then and now, don’t come cheaply.

    Well, over the centuries more and more days got added to Christmas; travel was slow in those days and most people had to use oxcarts that only got twelve miles to the dry gallon of oats, despite the best efforts of the ruminant companies to meet new government mileage standards. The retailers, however, loved the ever-lengthening Christmas season and did their level best to stretch the season out even more. Matters came to a head in 800 A.D., when on the first day of Christmas the Pope crowned Charlemagne Holy Roman Emperor and Charlemagne discovered that he and his entourage were stuck in Rome until the end of Christmas, which occurred sometime in the middle of April. This was a major source of annoyance for Charlemagne, who wanted to go home for the holidays, and so in his third official act, the first two being an announcement that alternate side of the street parking rules were in effect and the world’s first pooper scooper law, Charlemagne decreed that Christmas would only last for twelve days.

    Retailers throughout Europe objected, which seems to be a theme here, saying that a twelve day Christmas season would drive them out of business; there wasn’t enough time for the scribes to pump out advertising copy in a twelve day season. Charlemagne said, tough luck, pal, in Latin and French, and doesn’t almost everything sound better in Latin and French, and then left town with the imperial crown in his luggage, as well as a couple of counterfeit Rolexes he’d bought from a Senegalese immigrant who’d set up his blanket in front of St. Peter’s Basilica.

    The retailers, of course, did not go down without a fight. They’ve been pushing the seasonal envelope ever since Charlemagne rode Out of Town for a second place finish in the fifth race at the Roman Aqueduct. This explains why today, in our modern postindustrial information society, the official Christmas season begins with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and why we still have an annoying carol about the twelve days of Christmas. The unofficial Christmas season, of course, begins near the end of August. This may be why everyone is so happy when Christmas finally arrives—it means that we won’t hear about the damn day again for at least another eight months, something for which we should all shout, Hallelujah and Happy Holidays to all and to all, a good night!

  30. a civilian-mass audience

    Happy Holidays to ALLLLL…oime,now,I am going to read AKAKY’S post…
    I will finish by New Year’s Eve..BOBBY and other PHOTOPHILOSOPHERS ,please, 800 words max.:))))))

    Thank you MY BURNIANS
    don’t drink and drive


  31. David…
    Have you finally accepted and learnt to love your book Cuba? I remember reading years ago how you mentioned on RoadTrips how you found it too didactic… perhaps not abstract enough…always in the shadow of Divided Soul.

  32. Peter David Grant

    Happy holidays everyone! And thank you Akaky, I enjoyed the read. When ever your name pop’s up, I am always intrigued, wondering what will todays words bring to mind.

  33. PAUL

    very interesting question…well, i think CUBA has a place….for sure others seem to like it..it has a high value signed….i sold out fast the 50 copies we had here for sale in 4 days…quite remarkable and a surprise and of course this tells me once again others do put a solid value on it….truth is i am sure i undersold it..and that’s ok too…i have a very few copies left which i most likely will leave to my family …at the end Paul, it is a didactic book…and i am not sure that is all negative…sometimes didactic is just fine and honestly probably what most people want most of the time especially when its all about a place like Cuba where many just don’t know what’s there…i think i will go back to Cuba soon and find a very small story to do in b&w…no point for me to go again all over the island….CUBA was for sure the first book i had done that i liked even a little bit…and i learned a lot as well….i learned after CUBA that i would never publish another book unless i had 100% control over layout, design, and production….i had about 85% control over that book…i did manage to get the NatGeo logo off the CUBA book which caused great controversy at the time inside NatGeo…that little yellow square just killed it for me..fortunately David Griffin, who was editor of the book agreed and together we formed an unbreakable alliance to go against the norm and all the bosses…today is such a different publishing environment…from my view much much better that we can all self publish…just too too many compromises with a big publisher….my mantra to anyone doing a book, is get it your way 100% because if you do not it will haunt you forever….i have said this many times , but the rush to publish syndrome is the enemy…i have seen it ruin many a career…..

    wishing you and family a Merry Christmas…

    cheers, david

  34. David…
    You’ve mentioned many, many times here and on RoadTrips you never use photoshop with your RAW files And you continue to work as you did when shooting slide film by getting it exactly right in camera. In fact Panos once mentioned he was amazed you didn’t even have photoshop installed on your laptop. So what do you use to view your shots on your laptop? I ask you this question because I’m seeing signs at my day job that somehow the awful financial crisis has somehow ended or at least it’s beginning to get brighter. So that means I’m probably going to be busier than usual and I have absolutely NO plans of slowing down or putting my photography aside. So basically I need to be as efficient with my free time as possible. So that means shooting and editing as much as possible and sacrificing all work with Photoshop or Lightroom. Does this mean Mike Courvoisier doesn’t fiddle with them either? No color balance tweaking, curves or level adjustments?
    Thanks and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  35. DAVID
    >>>…today is such a different publishing environment…from my view much much better that we can all self publish…just too too many compromises with a big publisher…<<<

    I feel all that is true, but from my perpesctive the ideal would be to have the option of discussion with a professional book designer without being forced to accept his or her decisions. My perceptive is that of someone who has four unpublished book project, of which perhaps, with good editing perhaps two might just become publishable. The other concern about self-publishing is the lack of a distribution channel. That leaves the possibility of Blurb, but Blurb and other services of its kind don't have the size format that I want, which is full-bleed 3:2 (W:H) proportion.

    BTW, I have typed this on my laptop on which only 40% of the LCD screen is usable, as I cannot get a replacement lid/LCD until after New Years — so apologies is some of the text is garbled.

    Best wishes to everyone for the New Year.

    —Mitch/Pak Nam Pran (250km south of Bangkok)


    i agree this is a new day, and in my view a better day…and i had as publishers of my books prior , NatGeo and Phaidon and Powerhouse…all good publishers of course, but i would not go back to traditional publishing for anything in the world…why? well truth is i want 100% control over my books…if i hire myself out to a magazine for an assignment or on an ad shoot, i am not expecting total control…and in the end, i don’t keep around any of that stuff anyway…but for a book i want it to be “right”…a book is a book is my benchmark…people throw away the other things…

    yes, distribution is an issue…and Blurb is not the answer…too expensive….you have to charge somebody $75. for a book that is poorly manufactured and worth about $30. and you pay that much or more to have it made….print on your own on a real press, and you can manufacture a great book best paper and binding etc for much less than a Blurb book done on an Indigo printer….so distribution? well we do books at Burn, but we cannot do that many in a year…..create your own website and then use the hell out of the social media would be my next suggestion…one way or another anyone, everyone, must build their own personal audience….i do not see any way around this….heretofore a photographer could attach his/her name to a big branded publisher/magazine, but not anymore….

    one thing for sure Mitch, IF you have a great TOPIC (so so important) and great pictures as well, then your book WILL be noticed for sure….

    send me a link to work please..let me have a look at your 4 books…i will give an honest opinion…..

    Happy New Year

    cheers, david

  37. DAVID

    Thank you, David that is incredibly generous — and confirms what I have felt in reading your posts on Burn and earlier on Twitter, that your online personalty is the same as your real one.

    Happy New Year.

    —Mitch/Pak Nam Pran

  38. Hi everyone, great post about Cuba, amazing images! It’s been a while that I do not jump here to write… but I’ve read every single comment (as usual).

    Happy 6th birthday!! Feliz cumpleaños!! I do not know in which direction my photography would be without you. Every single essay was an inspiration in both senses… stuff that I’d like and things that I didn’t. Worthy experience since the very beginning.
    Have a good 2o15!

    @ DAH:
    Your (or my) signed Cuban book is in the shelf, I’ve tireless seen it dozens of times. I’ve discovered your work in Nat Geo in 1996 (I was 15) and that particular way of composing with natural light struck me since then. Gracias por terrible inspiración! Espero verte en el 2015 por Arles o Perpignan.
    Abrazo latinoamericano.

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