Back from Cuba


Fuji X-E2 – 14mm prime ISO 3200 handheld f/11

I just arrived back home today from another successful trip to Cuba.  Tony Sweet and I brought group to visit Havana and Trinidad to meet the people and make photographs.   I’ll have much to blog about over the coming weeks, but for now, I wanted to share a favorite from Trinidad.  

On this evening, we were able to watch and outdoor wedding in the late day light. The golden glow was magical to say the least.  This was the car that either brought them or was waiting to take them away. When I opened the image in ACR, I didn’t make one adjustment. In Photoshop, I used Perfectly Clear for a very minor adjustment and then Nik Viveza to darken the sky just a touch.  With it being handheld at ISO 3200 I did use Nik Define to remove the little bit of noise.  Very little processing on this. Its good to be home!

[Tweet “Trinidad Cuba”]

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  1. Bruce Sorrell January 14, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

    Welcome home, John!

    This one is stunning, and I find it hard to believe it was shot with anything smaller than a 4 X 5 ! Even on a computer screen the exceptional detail and the gloss on the car come through so as to make it nearly 3 dimensional. And that’s not to mention the quality of the light. So did you shoot this with a Sinar or what ? 🙂 Slainte!

    • john8276 January 14, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

      Thanks Bruce. Don’t know if you read the recent interview with the head of Fuji. He said their mission is in fact to create a 3D look in digital. To create for digital what Velvia was for chromes… They don’t want to be just another digital camera manufacturer but rather create files that feel different… So your comment is interesting.

  2. Susan January 14, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

    Welcome back! The ISO on this image was 3200?
    Impressive, the 14mm appeared to be wide enough….
    I hope everyone had a wonderful time.

    • john8276 January 15, 2014 at 1:59 am #

      Yup, wide enough but I have the 10-24 on order non-the less. That will give me effective 15 versus 22. 🙂

  3. Carla Francis January 14, 2014 at 11:42 pm #

    Wow! Can’t wait to go there!

  4. Stephen McCullough January 14, 2014 at 11:48 pm #

    Welcome back. Bruce nailed it. I mean, it’s an attractive photograph by all means. It would make a good print. But without being all gear head about it, that’s an impressive performance from the Fuji.

    I have a chance to go to Havana for two days. I know, I know, only two days. It’s just an opportunity that came up. Can you recommend a hotel that’s well located for someone with photography in mind?

    • john8276 January 15, 2014 at 1:47 am #

      The Park Central or Parque Central is PERFECT. Make sure to ONLY go into the OLD HAVANA section. Its and Iberostar Hotel

  5. Scott Oberle January 15, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    Very good vision JB. May I assume you were pleased with the Fuji?

    • john8276 January 15, 2014 at 1:53 am #

      Very pleased Scott. I see no reason to bring big gear to a place like Cuba.

  6. Donnie January 15, 2014 at 2:36 am #

    Wonderful IQ indeed, John. This might be the only Cuban building I’ve seen with fresh paint. Are there many renovated structures or do photogs just tend toward pealing paint? I have to echo your enthusiasm for Perf Clear- it is cutting my workflow time by more than half with outstanding results. Of coarse, being a lowly Nikonian, my images need all the help they can get.

    • john8276 January 15, 2014 at 2:54 am #

      Actually Trinidad had many nicely painted buildings. And in addition they were preparing for the 500th year celebration as we were there. So an unusual amount of new paint this year there. Havana does not have new paint on the outside of many buildings. Trinidad is a UNESCO World Heritage Site too so they get some money for that.

  7. Michel Taupin January 15, 2014 at 3:54 am #

    Welcome back John. Looking forward to seeing the rest. Brought back memories of the colors and sounds from last year.

  8. Jack January 15, 2014 at 5:06 am #

    John, how does Perfectly Clear compare with Clarity?

    • john8276 January 15, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

      Good question Jack. I would say they do a similar thing but in a different way. Two different algorithms. Perfectly Clear does its job easily and quickly and includes the ability to sharpen and reduce noise with one click. You can build presets beyond the ones they give as well. Clarity gives you much more control when it comes to the contrast adjustment. Its Tone adjustment sliders are a big deal. All this said, I tend to run everything through a LOW level Perfectly Clear nowadays just to see what will happen even if I’ve already used Clarity.

  9. Larry Richardson January 15, 2014 at 5:17 am #

    Magnificent color and great perspective.

  10. Stephan Dietrich January 15, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

    Welcome home!

    WOWmazing of an intro image! Snap, Crisp and Pop! Amazing lighting, glow, intense colors, detail and the classic perspective fading back with people showing life within the image – truedimensional! From the celebratory balloons, preserved Chevrolet and freshly colorful classic detailed building … your image shows so much pride and attention to detail! WOWmazing JB!

  11. mrsammy7 January 16, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

    Handheld? Love it!

    • john8276 January 16, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

      Yup, I shot 90% handheld on this trip. Imagine that!

  12. Ray January 18, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    Such an impressive image John. From the composition to the processing, just amazing!

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