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Ex­cuse me for brag­ging about my re­cent 11- day peo­ple- to- peo­ple cruise tour in Cuba with Lind­blad Ex­pe­di­tions-Na­tional Ge­o­graphic, but I hap­pen to have sev­eral pho­tos wor­thy of in­clu­sion in the end- of- cruise slideshow. This, for me, was mo­men­tous. De­spite land­ing a de­cent shot once in a while, point- and- shoot is my mi­lieu. I had jumped at the op­por­tu­nity to do a Photo Expedition with Lind­blad, not only to ex­pe­ri­ence Cuba on an in­ti­mate small ship (the 44- pas­sen­ger Panorama II) with the line’s ex­pert nat­u­ral­ists and cul­tural guides on board, but be­cause on th­ese cruises you can rub shoul­ders with some of the best pho­tog­ra­phers on the planet. On my sail­ing, Bob Krist, win­ner of nu­mer­ous awards for his Na­tional Ge­o­graphic work and known for his peo­ple pho­to­graphs that leave last­ing im­pres­sions, was the big draw. “If he hears your cam­era do­ing too many clicks, he tells you,” gushed a woman from Cal­i­for­nia, who had cruised with Krist be­fore and had come on this cruise armed with an im­pres­sively big lens. Armed my­self with a nearly ob­so­lete widean­gle Olym­pus and my iPhone, I quickly learned my

best bet for a great shot was to fol­low Krist around — even if he tends to wan­der — such as when a guide was giv­ing a lec­ture on the his­tory of colo­nial Trinidad. De­tails like the in­ter­play of light and shadow draw Krist’s at­ten­tion.

Our cruise tour to Ha­vana and Cuba’s south­ern coast com­bined ex­tra­or­di­nary ex­changes with lo­cals, his­tory, cul­ture, and wildlife. Photo opps abounded — from clas­sic cars and color­ful build­ings to danc­ing kids and tiny hum­ming­birds.

Krist, who was rarely seen with­out a cou­ple of Sony cam­eras around his neck, told us in a lec­ture that re­la­tion­ships with the sub­ject of­ten lead to bet­ter pho­tos.

“You will get more co­op­er­a­tion if you share a lit­tle of your­self,” he ad­vised. “Shoot­ing peo­ple is a skill and a chal­lenge.”

Okay, so maybe we can’t all be Na­tional Ge­o­graphic pho­tog­ra­phers. Still, on th­ese Photo Ex­pe­di­tions, you can learn skills ap­pro­pri­ate to your skill level. And it’s all very low key. Krist didn’t tell us what to shoot, but he was there to help.

“It’s kind of like if you had a walk­ing, talk­ing pho­tog­ra­phy guide in your pocket,” he said. “If you come up to a sit­u­a­tion and you are con­fused on how to make the most of it, you have the re­source right there. But a lot de­pends on the mo­ti­va­tion of the guest.”

Me? I asked lots of ques­tions, of course. And I got bet­ter pho­tos.

Lind­blad’s next Photo Ex­pe­di­tions in Cuba em­bark Jan­uary 10 and Fe­bru­ary 28, 2018 (on the 49- pas­sen­ger Har­mony V). Or fol­low a Na­tional Ge­o­graphic pho­tog­ra­pher on cruises in Alaska, the Ama­zon, Baja Cal­i­for­nia, the Gala­pa­gos, or the Pa­cific North­west on depar­tures through­out 2018.

Bob Krist, who was rarely seen with­out a cou­ple of Sony cam­eras around his neck, told us that re­la­tion­ships with the sub­ject of­ten lead to bet­ter pho­tos.

Pho­tog­ra­pher Bob Krist cap­tured th­ese amaz­ing shots dur­ing our time ashore in Cuba.

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