Last January, I headed to Havana, Cuba with my photo buddy Doug Kaye for a wonderful week of photography organized by Kip Brundage of Santa Fe Photographic Workshops.
One of the best things about this week was that we had Cuban photographers out with us as we walked the neighborhoods in Havana. They really helped us see – and opened our eyes to the beautiful people and places in Havana.
One of the Cuban photographers we really benefited from working with was Raúl Cañibano. It was such a treat to be out in the neighborhoods with him – and watch him as he captured images along with us. Raúl works very quickly – with minimal gear. He’s got a great gift for seeing an image in the moment – and capturing it quickly.
While we were out working with him in Havana, he had a small portfolio book of his photography that he shared with us. It’s a beautiful small size – with some amazing black and white photography both in Havana and out in the countryside in Cuba. We wanted to buy a copy of this book – but he couldn’t sell it to us.
Raúl’s book recently become available for ordering on Amazon.com – and it’s a real delight. I keep it in my home office alongside my desk – for inspiration! Raúl’s eye and capture is a real treat for the eye! If you enjoy great black and white photography of real people, you’ll really enjoy Raúl’s small book!
On Sunday, January 27, 2013, I was in Havana, Cuba – heading out into Central Havana. We had an amazing day photographing – a light rain came down.
Late in the afternoon – after a rest stop – a few of us headed out again. Just around the corner from the hotel is this boulevard known as the Prado. As were heading out across the street, I caught this shot. Such a perfect red convertible captured my eye!
The light was amazing inside this market building in Havana. Coming in from the west over his shoulder. We made eye contact briefly before as I sought his permission. Then someone walked by and his eyes briefly followed. Shot with my Nikon D600.
Every few months, I try to mix things up a bit here by changing the header image at the top of my blog. You can see the history of those images on this page – dating all the way back to January 2004.
For this latest update, I chose one of my favorites images from my recent trip to Cuba – one titled “Happy New Year” because of the words written on the wall just above the sidewalk. While out in the central Havana neighborhood on a Sunday in January, my photo buddy Doug Kaye happened to notice the writing and the scene behind. We stood on the opposite side of the street – treating the venue as a “stage” – and waited for the world to walk by.
Here’s another image from that very special Sunday morning in Havana a few weeks ago.
We were out in the Central Havana neighborhood when a bit of light drizzle started falling. Not enough to get any of us particular wet – but enough to wet down the streets and make for some nice reflections and saturation – and some beautiful diffuse, soft light.
This image was post-processed using a touch to Topaz Simplify 4 and few of our Lab color tricks to brighten up the colors just a bit.
From an amazing Sunday morning walk in Havana a few weeks ago. I just love the red/green colors – and the look in the driver’s face!
This was a lucky shot – two pink cars with a pink building in the background – in Central Havana a few weeks ago! Shot with my Nikon D600 and adjusted in Photoshop CS6 using Topaz Simplify, Lab color, and some contrast/sharpening tricks.
This is one of my favorite shots from Havana. As Doug Kaye and I toured the Museum of the Revolution with the rest of our group, some ceremonial music started playing and I peeked out the window to see this honor guard marching across the street. I loved the sun angle and their shadows.
In this version, I did a quick pass through Topaz Simplify 4 – using one of the black and white presets – and then brought it back as into Photoshop using a Luminance blend mode. A beautiful example of how Simplify works its magic!
You can see the original here.
One of the unique things about Cuba is the lack of advertising.
When you’re out on the street, there just aren’t any billboards, signs, etc. No Coca-Cola signs, no big billboards, none of that kind of thing. Once in a while you’ll see a propaganda message – but otherwise there’s none of the usual media we’re used to seeing plastered everywhere.
While walking Central Havana, we came up on this billboard – an unusual sight in Havana.
Here’s another image from our evening out in Havana at the Tropicana Club. This was near the end of the floor show – shot with my Nikon D600 and the Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 prime lens, ISO 3200, 1/250 at f/4. Post-processed using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2 and a number of other tweaks in Photoshop CS6.