Over the summer, I worked on a personal project that involved going back through my images from our visit to Havana, Cuba in late January of this year and creating a new portfolio of portraits – cropped to square format. I worked on a few images each week – ultimately resulting in a portfolio of twenty portraits that I titled “Faces of Cuba”.
I recently assembled these images in a Blurb book – also in square format – 7×7 inches in size. I used Lightroom 5′s book publishing module to edit the book and send it to Blurb for printing. I was very pleased with the result – this “proof edition” of Faces of Cuba!
Earlier this week, I finished up a print version of my Faces of Cuba portfolio and sent it off to Blurb for printing. This was an end of summer personal project where I went back through my photos from our trip to Cuba in late January and tried to create twenty portraits that captured some of the moods we experienced there. These kinds of projects help keep me fresh – and, when I can’t be out shooting a lot of new things, then working on photos from my existing archive is very therapeutic!
About half way through that Faces of Cuba project, I began experimenting with a couple of the black and white film emulations in the VSCO Film presets. For most of them, I settled on the Agfa Scala 200 that in VSCO Film 04. I love the look it has – although I do back down the grain.
This is a tightly cropped (and, thus, perhaps not as sharp) image from our very first afternoon upon arrival in Havana. After briefly settling out stuff in the hotel, we headed down the Prado, the main street just next to the hotel and we quickly felt immersed in Cuba! I love his look – “attitude” I called it – and think it looks great as a monochrome with some subtle platinum toning in the shadows. He didn’t make it into the first print edition of Faces of Cuba – but perhaps he’ll be in the second edition!
Here’s another image from the afternoon of our first full day in Havana. The light was streaming in through high windows into the public market warehouse space. It provided some striking contrast for us.
I believe this particular vendor was cracking nuts and using that screen to separate the nutmeat from the rest. But, to me, he’s always been “The Boss”.
He’s part of my Faces of Cuba portfolio. Shot with a Nikon D600. Post-processed using Lightroom 5, VSCO File 04, and Photoshop CC.
On the afternoon of our first full day in Havana – a day that was chock full of activities – including the 6:15 AM “Dawn Patrol” – we headed to one of the public markets in Havana. It was a very interesting place to shoot – with some very cooperative subjects and some who didn’t want us to come close.
This woman caught my eye – she was selling vegetables at the market and was watching what we were doing. I tried a bit of that weird shorthand – holding up my camera and giving her a questioning look. She said it was fine to take her picture. She was a beautiful subject – and the light inside the market was perfect for this shot.
She is part of my Faces of Cuba portfolio. Shot with a Nikon D600. Post-processed using Lightroom 5, VSCO Film 04, and Photoshop CC.
On our second full day in Havana we visited Taller Experimental de Gráfica de La Habana and spoke with several graphic artists. This particular shot is the last in a series of the printmaker pulling this print through a very large press – and then holding it up for all of us to see.
The Printmaker is part of my Faces of Cuba portfolio. Shot with a Nikon D600. Post-processed using Lightroom 5, VSCO 04 Film, and Photoshop CC.
In Havana our hotel was just off the Prado – a busy place with lots of interesting people out and about. On this day, we were heading to lunch at a local restaurant – walking up this sidewalk – when I saw this guy ahead. It’s not a perfect shot – it’s not in crisp focus, there are some processing artifacts because of how much I had to pull the image to make it interesting. But I still like it.
I call him the Watcher. Maybe he’s actually doing other things – but when I walked by him he was observing everything pretty intently behind those – red – sunglasses. He has ATTITUDE!
The Watcher is part of my Faces of Cuba portfolio. He almost didn’t make it because the image quality is a bit marginal but I decided to let him into the club! Shot with a Nikon D600. Post-processing using Lightroom 5, VSCO 04 Film and Photoshop CC.
On Sunday in Central Havana, we had some gloomy skies and just a bit of drizzle. I loved this old wall and was standing across the street from it – hoping to use it as a “stage” – when this woman walked by, gaze down.
She’s a part of my Faces of Cuba portfolio. Shot with a Nikon D600. Post-processed using Lightroom 5, VSCO 04 Film and Photoshop CC.