Thanksgiving in Cuba by Travis W Keyes

want to go to CUBA with me! ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT!!!! I know it has been on my bucket list and as Cuba opens up, it will be changing, so the time is now to go!! So the trip is sponsored through SVA and if you are like "what am I going to do for thanksgiving this year?" What could be better than mojitos and Cuban sandwiches in Havana?? So besides free access to me to ask a million photo questions, my friend and mentor Jaime Permuth will be guiding us around for the week with Alex Garcia . Jamie is a brilliant published photographer and will act as our guide throughout the trip. Alexander Garcia is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer specializing in lifestyle and documentary imagery and will also guide us... Aside from our main destination of Havana, our group takes a day trip to Viñales, one of the most beautiful regions of Cuba. This province is where the best tobacco in the world is grown. We visit an award-winning estate and learn all about tobacco cultivation and cigar manufacturing.

So if you want to have an incredible photography experience in Cuba for a price that is ridiculously great!!!- you need to hook up with these masters of the craft Alex Garcia and Jaime Permuth #svacuba and me!!


The next SVA Destinations trip to Cuba is here, Nov 22-29. Apply and join us for a week-long, memorable journey. And no you don't need to be a student just a passion for traveling and seeking adventure!!!
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Sensor Gel Stick: Safely Clean Your Sensor Like They Do at the Service Center by Travis W Keyes


Sensor cleaning, especially if you’ve never tried to do it yourself, is a scary prospect. Sure, taking off your lens and using a rocket blower isn’t all that nerve-wracking, but start talking to someone about wet cleaning a sensors and beads of perspiration will immediately begin to accumulate on their newly-furrowed brow.

Fortunately, there’s a cleaning solution now available that is easy and safe enough that many a sensor-cleaning newb will want to give it a try: the Sensor Gel Stick.

The Sensor Gel Stick is nothing new. In fact, it’s what at least a few manufacturers use in their service centers (check out this video and skip to about minute 13:30 for proof). But until now, we’ve not seen it available for the average consumer.


The basic premise is simple: it’s a stick with a piece of sticky gel on one end that you simply press and remove over and over to pull all of the dust and oil off of your sensor. When the gel gets dirty enough, you pull out a piece of sticky paper, remove the dirt and keep going.

The folks over at Fstoppers got to take the gel stick for a test drive, and were pretty well impressed. Bellow you see Patrick Hall cleaning first an ND filter, then his D300s and then a D600 — and all seem to show remarkable improvement after just one go-around:


As you can see, it seems both easy and safe to use. Just stick and pull… over and over again. You won’t have to worry about leaving behind a residue like you might with wet cleaning, and since the big guys use this in their own factories, it seems likely they’ve deemed the process safe.

The one thing we wouldn’t do if we were you is clean the mirror like Hall does in the video above. Not that the gel stick wouldn’t take dust off well, but messing with that mirror could throw it out of alignment and then you’d have an entirely different set of issues to deal with.

To find out more about the Sensor Gel Stick, or if you’d like to pick up one of your own, head over to Photography Life by clicking here. The stick will cost you $40 and packs of the companion sticky paper are $13. If that seems expensive, just compare that to how much it costs to send off your DSLR to be cleaned at the service center… in very short order, you’ll end up ahead.