Monthly Archives: January 2013


Last year, one of my favorite images was of the same man that is in this image.  I was happy to find him again as was the rest of the group.  So, what to do?  I already have a wonderful image from last year.  How do I make better one?  I stood back and let the gang enjoy the moment.  I moved out of the way and to the side to let others have the better location to shoot.  Then I decided to shoot wider this time as last years image was a close up.  After we left, a participant showed me his image that included the man’s wife.  I was happy for him, but disappointed that I didn’t get a similar image. His was excellent.  When I returned home and reviewed my images, I found this one.  I realized I was so focused on the man, I didn’t see his wife in the frame. What a pleasant surprise.  So, what is the lesson?  Sometimes we can get so caught up in the moment we don’t allow ourselves to see. By see I mean seeing beyond the obvious.  Seeing beyond our expectations.  Seeing beyond our visual memory bank of ideas.  I was so focused on him, I was blind to the other elements of the scene.

Posted in Cuba, Inspiration

More Magic

This beautiful little girl was more interested in the crazy photographers than we were in her.  She was about the best model you could hope for.  Cute as a button and willing to pose for a long time!  And then, the dog wanders into the frame…  MAGIC!

Below is a close up where I felt B&W would be stronger.  I’m also a big fan of the square format for many scenes.  Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0 for processing of the B&W image.

Posted in Cuba, Nik Silver Efex

Another Bike!


What would a trip to Cuba be without an image of a bike?  Bikes, in various states of repair are all throughout Cuba.  It is a common mode of transportation.  In the case of this particular bike, it belonged to a gentleman on the other side of the street.  He and his family were watching us photograph the wall without the bike.  I asked, in my very limited spanish, if we could move the bike to the wall.  He agreed, and laughed even harder at us crazy Americans photographing his bike with one pedal.  Then we showed him what we were doing which drew a number of ohhh and ahhhh’s.  It was great fun!

Posted in Cuba

Meet me at the Red Car

While shooting a wonderful scene on the 2nd floor of a building we gained access into, I looked over the balcony and spotted this scene.  As the saying goes, when you see red!  🙂   Shot with my Fuji X-E1. The RAW file was processed with Adobe ACR.  I share this information only because there is great consternation out there about the lack of RAW processing ability with the new Fuji sensor.  So far, I’ve have great success processing the Fuji RAW files.

I’m also adding an alternate LOMO version of the image below.  Always interested in your feedback.

Posted in Cuba, Fuji X-E1

Colon Cemetery

We took the group to a large cemetery on the outskirts of Havana.  It was quite the adventure.  The light was harsh as we did not arrive until late morning.  There were some groans about going and I have to admit, even I was not excited.  However, as is often the case, at the end of the two hours, many would have liked more time!  Here is one that I really liked.  Part of a tomb stone against the great sky.  Converting to B&W seemed like a logical choice adding to the drama of the sky.  Another favorite, below, is a detail shot of the side of a large tomb.  I just loved the aged feel of this and the pattern offered many compositional choices.

Posted in B&W, Cuba

Stumbling Upon Magic

Sometimes you just stumble upon magic.  While randomly wandering down yet another street in Trinidad we found this wonderful scene.  Could we have found a better scene? I think not! Come on, a blue car with its door open in a garage with colorful doors. And then, (see below) a young boy in his school outfit popped out of nowhere. Magic!  Don’t forget you can click on a image to make it bigger.

Posted in Cuba, Photo Tour

Chasing light again…

On another night, we were chasing the golden light yet again. Having been there once before, I knew this particular street and the direction it faced might offer some opportunities. And then we stumbled upon an old american car. And the sky was pretty terrific too, perfect!

Posted in Color, Cuba

Chasing the light

One evening in Trinidad, yes Cuba, we were in town as the sun was setting.  The gold light bathing the gold building was too good to pass up!

Posted in Color, Cuba, Photo Tour

Old Town Havana

If you get up early enough, you can beat the crowds that quickly fill the streets of Havana.  What I loved about this scene, was the yellow wall behind the red car.  As promised in my last blog post, I’ve created a video (click the link below) that explains how I created the look for this image using Nik Color Efex Pro 4.0.  Lots more Cuba images to come over the next couple of weeks.

To watch the video (in HD no less!) click on this link which will take you to the YouTube link. 

And don’t forget you can save 15% on all Nik Software by clicking this link and using the code JBARCLAY at checkout.  


Posted in Color, Cuba, Nik Software

I’m watching you…

Upon arrival in Cuba, we immediately went to lunch.  After we finished and were heading to the bus, this little scene happened. It was quite comical to see all the cameras pointed at this dog.  For one brief moment, he poked his head all the way out of the window and I managed to make this capture.  It was a great way to start the trip!   Image taken with my Fuji X-E1

My next post will include some creative processing ideas as I’ll show how I created the look of the image I’ll be posting.  Check back to see!

Posted in Cuba, Fuji X-E1, Photo Tour