Pictures of Cuba — Numero Uno

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Lenny Wollitz 3 months ago.

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  • #390345

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    I recently returned from Cuba where I took a lot of good pictures (hey it's hard not to, especially in Trinidad town, with the beautiful colors, plus the people love to model (or at least don't mind having their photo snapped).  I plan to enter some in competitions and juried shows, so am interested in critique.  Super-nit-picky is fine, as are more general remarks (e.g. “good travel photo! but not really special”, or “what were you thinking!?”).

    Settings: 70 mm, 1/500, F8, ISO 250.

    In this shot, I'm liking the way the man is angled, and the bike sort of curves, as opposed to a straight-on flat shot.  Oh and the colors too.  Thanks gang.

    Settings: 70 mm, 1/500, F8, ISO 250.

    In this shot, I'm liking the way the man is angled, and the bike sort of curves, as opposed to a straight-on flat shot.  Oh and the colors too.

  • #390356

    billyspad
    Participant

    Maureen yep a nice general sorta Cuba street shot. Personally would have liked some involvement with the BMX man. Its a bit like a candid snap shot saved by some cool photographic surroundings. The angle of the man etc looks perfectly natural to me but you see what you see. For edits I find its more comfortable to view from left to right so flipped your picture for starters cropped a little to place him exactly on the thirds line boosted the color a little and added a very subtle vignette to lead the eye into the guy. If it was mine with a Raw file available I would lift the shadow on the guy.

  • #390367

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    Very nice.  I had already done most of the things you mentioned (cropped, vignetted, boosted color, lifted shadow (yes I have a RAW file).  But not to the extent that you recommend, which looks great.

    • #390368

      billyspad
      Participant

      Remember flipping makes writing on shirt back to front so if you take this route you have that to sort out

  • #390375

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    right …. I can photoshop the letters with flipping or erasure.  It does look much better with the flip.

  • #390377

    Graham Hart
    Participant

    Hi Maureen, I think Billyspad's flipped version is better. He's right about the way the mind looks from left to right. In his flipped version, we enter the pic (from the left) to be met with the man's gaze, but in the original we enter the pic from the left, sweep through it only to find the guy looking out of the frame.

    What really appeals to me as well are the wall's worn and faded colours and textures. They seem to juxtapose the healthy looking muscle-bound guy. Personally, the bike doesn't do much for me. It feels like it detracts from the character in the rest of the shot…almost like a prop, even though I know it isn't.

    Taking Billyspad's edit, I went to town on a crop, highlighted some colour, lightened the shadows roughly, flipped the lettering, added a vignette and then applied a pin-light layer to bring up the light hitting the guy from the right. Don't know if this is too much removed from your original vision though?

  • #390465

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    Thanks Graham!  Looks like I have more experimenting to do.  I don't think I will crop so much though, because I like more colored walls and the whole bike.  I had already cropped it somewhat.  And although I have a lot of pixels and a good deal of leeway to crop, I don't like to go too far in diluting the quality.

  • #390539

    Richard Barnard
    Participant

    I’m afraid this doesn’t scream Cuba to me nor am I seeing anything special or stand-out that would make me think competition entry or salon. The image has a ’snapshot’ feel about it, a quick grab shot taken before he noticed you rather than something carefully composed with clear intent.

    I’m not sure if this is about the man, the bike, the cobblestones, or the background colours. As it is, it feels a compromise between all four such that no single element stands out but nor do they work as an integrated whole. The side on angle feels a little awkward to me and results in a rather unbalanced composition, particularly as bottom half of the frame is dominated by the highlights of cobblestones and pavement which compete for attention but have little to contribute in my view.

    Those wonderful wall colours contrasted with the mans red shirt and blue shorts look like they may have had potential and the crop above comes closer to this but is still a compromise. Sorry but this just feels to me like a missed opportunity. Just my view of course.

  • #390592

    Tom M
    Participant

    I do like Billy's flip,don't like Grahams crop, but love the building colors. I hope you got some building shots without any people in it when you were there, with some of those great old 50's autos…

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  Tom M.
  • #390681

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    Thanks Richard for your thoughtful and articulate comments!

    Tom M. – not to worry the car pictures are coming!

  • #390694

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    Thanks all for all your help —  here's the new Final version.

  • #390737

    Mistyisle
    Participant

    Have been reading through this, Maureen, you have been given some very good advice by others.  The ‘final' (don't settle for second best!)  result seems a bit over-sharpened to me.  What program did you use ?  Lightroom, Photoshop, Affinity Photo or …..  and what method …  Unsharp mask, high-pass filter?

  • #390872

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    Heavy credit to Billyspad.

    Mistyisle – I have not applied any sharpening, yet.  I generally wait til the last minute when I'm about to enter a competition or print, because in the meantime, I'll probably make more tweaks and sharpening should always be last.   I suspect all the adjustments I made to contrast and etc. had a sharpening effect.  Also when I compared mine with Billyspad in PS, his actually looked sharper, maybe not sharper, but more attractively detailed than mine.  I was wondering how he achieved it.

    When I sharpen I use Unsharp Mask, and sometimes take it off some areas.

  • #390878

    billyspad
    Participant

    Maureen I used recipe of NIK filters on your shot. If you have NIK I will pass the recipe onto you.

  • #390895

    Maureen Photograph
    Participant

    Oh thank you.  I do use Nik filters (the old free version).

  • #391227

    Lenny Wollitz
    Participant

    RE: the old Nik version.  Is there any difference between the old and the new?  I wrote them and asked what I would gain if I paid for the new version and their reply was unclear except to say that if I was having problems with the software the new version would fix it.  I don't have problems so I didn't buy but if there was some kind of advantage I would.

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