Cuba #4 – Morning Chores


Fuji X-E2 – 18-55mm at 31, f/8 ISO 800 1/340

This image was made on our last day in Trinidad.  Matt and I went out together, just the two of us.  It really is a good idea to go out in small groups as it allows for scenes like these to unfold.  Large groups feel like the paparazzi has arrived and the mood changes.  Matt and I were on this street for quite a long time as it was rich with opportunities. Like the shoe shine scene, the woman acknowledged me as soon as she saw me, however, she was busy doing her morning chores.  The Cuba people take great pride in what they have and are constantly cleaning.  I was in love with all that was going on in this scene, so I kept pressing the shutter as she cleaned the wall, the window, the bars around the window, etc, etc…. and then….. the neighbor stuck his head out for just a few seconds, THANK YOU!

So the final question was, would it work better as a monochrome image or do I leave it in color?  I still can’t decide.  B&W included below.


[Tweet “Morning Chores in Cuba”]

This entry was posted in Cuba and tagged , , .


  1. Lunalovegood January 20, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    The colour gives the suggestion of life, and hope for a new beginning. BW to me suggests life past and a future in doubt.

    • john8276 January 20, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

      Excellent insight Cindy. Thank you.

  2. Lea Gallardo January 20, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    Color for sure!

  3. Gary Kohn January 20, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    I agree that the soft, pastel colors breath life into the shot, evoking a more accurate mood than b&w.

    • john8276 January 20, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

      Thank you for your input Gary. Much appreciated.

  4. Bruce Sorrell January 20, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    That’s some serious framing you’ve got there, John! Beautifully done. I’d vote for color in that it brings out the subtleties of the beautiful aging lady and building. If you continue to come home with shots like this, I may end up chucking my DSLR gear to join the Fuji fanatics. 🙂 Slainte!

    • john8276 January 20, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

      Remember Bruce, its not the gear, its the person behind the gear. The main reason for my switch to Fuji is weight.

  5. Adele January 20, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    I think the colours are beautiful and tell part of the story.

  6. Stephen Robinson January 20, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    Color for me. It’s beautiful. Thanks for using the Fuji X-E2. The posted shots from this camera “in your hands” are impressive.

  7. Jim Stephens January 20, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

    I prefer the color for this one. I think it would need a greater dynamic range of light to make the B&W pop.

    As to the Fuji, I love my X-E1. I originally got it to shoot our 50th class reunion without having to use the D800 in tight spaces. Now I use it 90% of the time which was not something I foresaw. It just seems to be an extension of me rather than a camera. For that reason I am getting better images. I say use whatever gear you feel comfortable with. It’s not the camera or technology, it’s the light and how you see that makes the beautiful image. For me the Fuji just works, even with a very few caveats.

    • john8276 January 20, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

      I feel much the same Jim. I liken it unto golf. I owned a set of Staff Tour Blades which I did not deserve as my game was not at that level, but guess what? I played better, why? Because I just felt so good with those clubs in my hands. The Fuji feels much the same, it makes me want to shoot more, it feels great!

  8. Barbara Lee January 20, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    John, this photo just sings in color! the colors really bring the people to life. So thats my vote!

  9. Steve L January 20, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    I’d normally vote for monochrome, but the color in this one seems more appropriate. And sets a mood. The neighbor seems lost in the door in the monochrome to me.
    Really like the scene!! Nice.

  10. Stephan January 20, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

    Interesting image indeed. The neighbor adds a definite touch. As to your inquiry about color vs. b&w: life is in living color. Provided the option of the two images, the color version definitely stands out and adds to this lady’s pride of her home.

  11. Chase Dallura January 20, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

    I like the pic with color because the Cuban colors are rich and textural. B&W makes the pic feel dreary and poor and flat. B&W does not make this pic pop.

    • john8276 January 20, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

      Thanks for your input Chase. 🙂

  12. al campoli January 20, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

    The color image brings out the warmth of the shot. To me the B+W is too cold.

    • john8276 January 20, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

      Okay, its been almost all day…. I must admit I love the color version… just wanted to see what the reaction was… 🙂

  13. John January 20, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

    Great shot! Both the woman and the neighbor seem more prominent in the color version and the color palette itself is too good to convert to shades of gray.

  14. Mimi Mann January 20, 2014 at 11:14 pm #

    I like them both, but the black and white is more dramatic.

    • john8276 January 20, 2014 at 11:51 pm #

      Ah ha! A vote for B&W! Thanks Mimi.

  15. Gary Cain January 20, 2014 at 11:51 pm #

    Color. The muted pastel colors give a vintage, historic look which matches the mood of the image.

  16. Michel Taupin January 20, 2014 at 11:53 pm #

    Nice one John. Definitely the color

  17. Peggy W January 21, 2014 at 1:15 am #

    I have noticed that poorer people put more color in their lives than we do. I see it as though they want to show a love of life and their lives with their colorfully painted houses and vibrant clothes. The houses in your image once colorful, now faded and stained show the culture past and present. The color is a very important aspect of your picture.

  18. Joan Herwig January 21, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    Terrific image John! I love it! I definitely prefer the color version as the B&W doesn’t tell the story well and comes across too cold. There is a warm homey feeling in those soft colors that completes the story of them being so proud & caring about their homes. The color is essential. Well done!

  19. Donnie January 21, 2014 at 11:46 pm #

    You got one BW vote John. Interesting. After a day or two, I came back to see if my original impression (strongly in favor of the color version) still held up. Yes, it did. Something about the muted colors that push the people front and center. They are lost, in this case, in the BW version.

  20. Lisa Sitko January 22, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    Color for sure. You really have a talent for capturing the essence of people. Great photographic storytelling.

  21. Bob Towery January 23, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

    Stellar catch with that guy looking out!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *