The 9th HT Cuba Photo Contest Winners

By Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES – Its time to bring you the winners and special mentions of our 9th Havana Times Cuba Photo Contest. The competition was very close this year with many excellent photos in each category.  The 19-member jury worked hard to come up with their final selections.

Interestingly in the final round all of the 64 photos received at least 5 points in our system of giving 10, 5, 3, 1 points to first, second, third and fourth places.

Also two participants won two categories each.

Here are the final contest results.


Winner: Yaniel Tolentino (1061) 77 points
Special Mention: Yeni Miranda (1078) 54 points
Third Place: Frank Gil (365) 40 points
Fourth Place: Alfonso Aguilar (43) 38 points

As on a relief map, it looks like small mountains on the face of her memories. Sometimes older people end up abandoned by their children and grandchildren. Visit them, you are their greatest illusion in life. 100% of the prize money from this winning this category will be donated to this lady. –Yaniel Tolentino



By Yeni Miranda;



Winner: Gabriel Garcia (383) 56 points
Special Mention: Alfonso Aguilar (46) 50 points
Third Place/Fourth Place: Eglys Bouza and Jaime Arbella (272 & 486) 41 points

The picture is of one of those street dance troupes that perform from time to time in Old Havana and delight the tourists. I was with my 7-year-old daughter, I told her not to let go of my pants pocket and I looked for a place to take the photo. I am sure that at that moment there was no one more cheerful than those two women. I’m an amateur photographer. I work in a vaccine laboratory. I entered the world of photography through a beginner’s course that a friend loaned me; then I begin to look for the work of the great ones and to study anything of photography that falls into my hands. I walk with my camera through the city capturing what draws my attention. -Gabriel Garcia Juarez


I captured this image attracted by the great noise that I heard while walking through Centro Habana. It was a wedding, and behind the bride and groom’s car came a big rickshaw (bicitaxi) caravan with the family and guests at the celebration. I’m a photojournalist born in Mexico City. I studied journalism at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and currently reside in Washington DC. -Alfonso Aguilar



Winner: Gabriel Garcia (389) 64 points
Special Mention: Greg McDougall (449) 53 points
Third Place: Gabriel Garcia (387) 47 points
Fourth Place: Victor Valdez (1025) 34 points

This picture was taken in the Cuba Pavilion in Vedado, at a photo exhibition in August of this year. The humility and uncertainty in the eyes of the peanut seller, surviving in his “mini-business”, collides with the omnipotent figure and the merciless gesture (yes, but no) from the leader in the photo. -Gabriel Garcia Juarez


This photo was taken at the market in Humberto Alvarez, near Varadero. When visiting Cuba, I like to rent a moto and get away from the hotels to explore the small villages. The people at this market were very friendly and allowed me to take some wonderful photos. My love of photography began 50 years ago. I have always documented the events of my life and family as well as the world around me. My many visits to Cuba have inspired me to become even more excited about capturing the character of people I meet there. I am Canadian, living in Thunder Bay Ontario, and look forward to my next visit. -Greg McDougall



Winner: Paco Morillo (865) 54 points
Special Mention: Luisa Hernandez (618) 48 points
Third Place: Alan Friedlob (17) 43 points
Fourth Place: Wilfredo Aleman (1045) 42 points

The photo was taken in a pharmacy in Centro Habana. In reality, I first saw the woman arranging her hair with the play of the mirror and the space in the background, when, all of a sudden, a man was there touching his head. I liked the irony, of the similarity in pose and the dissimilarity as far as their hair. A contrast with empathy. My name is Paco Morillo, 55, and I live in Leganes, Madrid (Spain). I am a photographer and I dedicate myself to teaching, giving photography classes and holding workshops. I am happy to have my work recognized in Cuba a country with which I have maintained contact with for many years and where art has a very prominent place.


By Luisa Hernandez



Winner: Alan Friedlob (20) 55 points
Special Mention: Francis Chow (354) 41 points
Third Place: Laura Kelly (567) 40 points
Fourth Place: Armando Toledo (148) 38 points

This photo was taken in March 2016 around 10pm at the crowded San Rafael Wi-Fi Hotspot. in Centro Habana. Cuban youth appear absorbed in their individual devices no different than other kids around the globe. The only difference– Che’s image in the background. I found a quote of his that may lend itself to reinterpretation as the digital experience of the Cuban people expands: “Remember that the revolution is what is important, and each one of us, alone, is worth nothing.” -Alan Friedlob


This photo was taken in Vinales near the Jose Marti Plaza with wifi in April 2017. I’m an amateur photographer from Ottawa Canada who started doing serious photography a year ago, mainly as a creative pastime. I love this activity very much. I also love Cuba very much. -Francis Chow



Winner: Alan Friedlob (21) 68 points
Special Mention: Jose Cespedes (537) 61 points
Third Place: Yeni Miranda (1092) 56 points
Fourth Place: Bill Klipp (176) 39 points

With the contest categories in mind, this past summer I captured this decisive moment of separateness and disconnection in a distinctly Cuban setting, the Finca Agroecologica El Paraiso Restaurant, that serves delicious farm-to-table family style meals overlooking the Vinales valley; an unlikely setting to experience loneliness. I am a documentary photographer living in Bellingham, WA, USA. I feel that taking photos like these over the last three years has been possible because of my ability to travel independently in Cuba. I hope to continue to connect to Cuba and its people in surprising ways in the years ahead. You can see more of my work at


The photo was taken at the Havanan Malecon where a girl supposedly finds herself alone but at the same time surrounded by broken wires, sea and clouds in different ways. It is as if her mind coincides with everything that surrounds her. -Jose Cespedes

See the winning photos from previous years:

2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009

7 thoughts on “The 9th HT Cuba Photo Contest Winners

  • Great Shots! Love Cuba. It’s a beatiful place with a beautiful people. Saludos desde Brasil

  • Jenny, I keep promising myself that I will enter “next year” I think I’ll give it a go “next year”

  • Beautiful pictures…they all capture life in Cuba! Wonderful! Muchas gracias!!!!

  • A superb range of photographs, they certainly open one’s thoughts about life and the people of Cuba, well done.

  • I was thinking on entering but the winners humble me. Great photography with fine sensitivity!

  • I find it interesting that so many of the photos this year are black & white! The statements by the artists are also interesting and I commend winner Yaniel Tolentino for noting: “…100% of the prize money from this winning this category will be donated to this lady…” – the subject of his photo. Wonderful!
    I will be eager to learn what the categories are for next year, the 10th annual contest.
    ~ Jenny

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