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!
I’ve been trying some new kinds of monochrome conversions – and here’s an example – a shot from the ferry in Havana last January. He was fishing out the side door of the ferry – and working to bait his hook. This edition has a bit of platinum toning in the midtones and shadows.
On our first morning after arriving in Havana, we went out early on “Dawn Patrol” to catch the morning light. We walked down this street heading to the harbor – and came across this relic up on blocks collecting dust.
I like the juxtaposition of the car and the guy walking toward me. The gradient of the street light on the car body also adds some visual interest.
I processed it in Photoshop using some techniques I’ve been experimenting with – including platinum toning and selective sharpening.
In late January 2013, Doug Kaye and I headed for Cuba – for a week long people-to-people cultural exchange organized by the excellent folks at Santa Fe Photography Workshops. We had a splendid time, got some amazing pictures, and met some wonderful people – especially the Cuban professional photographers who accompanied us out into the neighborhoods of Havana.
We stayed at a great hotel in central Havana. It was a wonderful home base for us – very comfortable and clean rooms. On our last morning in Havana I was up early – and took this shot looking down at the street corner below from my room on the 5th floor of the hotel.
I’ve been experimenting with a number of post-processing techniques for taking images to monochrome – and this one seemed to work out particularly well.
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.