HT Cuba Photo Contest 2011 Winners

Woman on the balcony. Photo: Jim Ziemer

By Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES, August 5 — One thing is clear about the Havana Times Cuba photo contests is that each year the selection process is going to get harder with the increasing competition.

The winner of The Color Red in Cuba category was Byron Motley with the photo: “Cooling off on a hot day”.  Orlando Luis Pardo took both Second Prize and the Special Mention with “Libertad vs. Bloqueo” (Freedom vs. Blockade) and “Hoy como ayer” (Today like yesterday).

In the Cubans Working category the winner was Michelle Rankin with her photo “Shoeshine”.  Second prize went to Angel Yu with the photo “Vendedores en el Latino” (Vendors at the Latinoamericano Stadium).  The Special Mention was awarded to Carlos Durá for the photo “Trabajando en  mojado” (Working wet).

In the Cuban Women category the winner was Sergio Leyva with his photo: “Napping on the bus”.  Second Prize went to Carlos Durá for his photo “Mirando tras la reja de la ventana colonial” (Looking from behind the bars of the colonial window).  The Special Mention was also won by Sergio Leyva with the photo: “El último sorbo” (The last sip).

In the category of Cuban Beaches the winner was Alexis Trigoura with the photo “Fishing net”.  Second Prize went to Chris Lewis for “Havana Beach” and the Special Mention to Angel Yu for “Playa Baconao”.

The selection process 

After painstakingly reviewing the more than 300 photos submitted by 40 participants, in the first two elimination rounds the jury reduced the selection to 13 photos in each category (see the finalists below).

On the final round of selection the 19 HT judges picked their first, second and third place favorites for each category and these were awarded points on a 10, 5 and 3 point basis.

In the coming weeks and months many of the photos submitted for the contest, be them prizewinners, finalists or entries, will be published accompanying different HT articles with credit to the photographers.

Havana Times looks forward to holding its fourth photo contest in 2012.

Statements from the winners:

Michele Rankin: I am from Quadra Island, British Columbia, Canada, and a member of a local amateur photography club. I travelled to Cuba for the first time in February 2010 and fell in love with the colours, character, and people of the country.  I am currently studying Spanish and have been returning to Cuba as often as time and funds permit.  Ultimately, I would love to spend part of each year submersed in the culture and practicing my photography!

Byron Motley: I am a Los Angeles based singer/fimmaker/author/photographer and activist.  I love traveling to Cuba and have adopted it as my second home. I have been fortunate enough to have had my photos exhibited in the U.S., Europe and Cuba. I am also an avid baseball fan, and I’m currently producing a television documentary on the history of the Negro Baseball Leagues.

Sergio Leyva: I was born and live in Havana.  My photographic work is concentrated mainly in documentary and social photography, with a style centered in the use of natural light and black and white film, which helps me to achieve a natural atmosphere in my photos.  I began taking pictures of the daily life of Havana residents, an obsession that came out of my endless walking in search of unrepeatable moments and unique characters in as sincere a way as possible. My photos are a small testimony of my city and its inhabitants, and my humble effort to preserve them for posterity.

Alexis Trigoura: The winning photo was taken during my añual vacation to Varadero with a nikon d 80.


The Color Red in Cuba

First Prize

Cooling off on a hot day. Byron Motley

Second Prize

 Libertad vs. Bloqueo.  Orlando Luis Pardo
Libertad vs. Bloqueo. Orlando Luis Pardo

Special Mention

 Hoy como ayer.  Orlando Luis Pardo
Hoy como ayer. Orlando Luis Pardo

Cubans Working

First Prize

 Shoeshine.  Michelle Rankin
Shoeshine. Michelle Rankin

Second Prize

 Vendedores en el Latino.  Angel Yu
Vendedores en el Latino. Angel Yu

 Special Mention

Trabajando en mojado.  Carlos Durá
Trabajando en mojado. Carlos Durá

Cuban Women

First Prize

 Napping on the bus.  Sergio Leyva
Napping on the bus. Sergio Leyva

Second Prize

Mirando tras la reja de la ventana colonial.  Carlos Durá
Mirando tras la reja de la ventana colonial. Carlos Durá

Special Mention

El último sorbo. Sergio Leyva
El último sorbo. Sergio Leyva


First Prize

Fishing net.  Alexis Trigoura
Fishing net. Alexis Trigoura

Second Prize

Beach in Havana.  Chris Lewis
Beach in Havana. Chris Lewis

Special Mention

 Playa Baconao.  Angel Yu
Playa Baconao. Angel Yu

HT Photo Contest Finalists

Click on the thumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery

Click on the thumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery

Click on the thumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery

Click on the thumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery

4 thoughts on “HT Cuba Photo Contest 2011 Winners

  • When I first saw the image of the old lady with the cup of coffee checking to see if there was just one more drop. I had the urge to get into the picture and pay for another cup of coffee for her. Powerful image!

    also the image of the peanut seller’s at Latino Stadium. Even when the bars of prohibition are there people find a way with their tiny hands going thru the irons. Because they need to survive. Life always finds a way.

    The guy shoe shinning is so symbolic! Surrounded by total decay(the state). The atmosphere is decadent but still individuals care for themselves. Care enough to still shine their shoes! Wonderful! It is a hopeful message.

    The kid licking the red lollipop is just stunningly haunting image. So much poverty and so much innocence concentrated in just one place.

    All great pictures!

  • Hi Circles,
    phantastic pictures!
    I have one question though. Please do not take this as criticism but as an expression of concern.
    How do you protect the privacy and the rights of the people portrayed in the pictures?.
    Cubans, and no offence meant, can be very innocent about the dangers of the Internet.
    I give you an example. By sheer accident I found a picture of my Cuban niece on a Canadian website selling images of Cuba. No doubt when she posed for the photo she thought it a compliment to be photographed, not knowing that she could be exploited commercially for the benefit of others.
    Happy for you to repjy in private and not post this on the website.
    Best wishes, Hubert

  • Circles, thank you for publishing my comments but you still have not answered my question how to protect the images of Cuban people in a medium, the Internet, that most of them do not understand. Thanks.

    • Hubert, I haven’t answered because I don’t have an answer to your interesting question. Maybe some rules and regulations will be established on Cuba’s side when the Internet becomes more of a reality on the island.


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