Tobacco Farmer, Cuba.

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Richard Barnard 2 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #392048

    Richard Barnard

    Inspired by Maureen's recent posts of Cuba I thought it time to try a first post here.

    Fuji X-T2. XF 55-200 (200mm) ISO 400 1/200 5.6. RAW file edited in LR and converted to b&w in Silver Efex.

    Your thoughts and comments appreciated.

  • #392083

    chris pook

    You are a nightmare!   Mindful of the need to be critical, I’m not sure what to critique here… Technically, emotively, this is a really strong shot for me.  I wish I had taken it.

    Trying to find some useful dialogue to have, what were you trying to achieve, and did you get there?  What would you have done differently?

    Scratching around to find something useful, how would you caption this?

    Ummm… I need help from more sharks!

  • #392085


    Yea its pretty damn good. Some will say more room required at the top but really what difference would that make? A nit pick is the halo of light around the back of the hat. Would be nice if that was merged into the background.

  • #392093

    Rob Eyers

    Very nice first post Richard.

    My first reaction was too much space on the right side as he's looking into the left side. It's personal taste but I would crop half way between the right hand edge and the hat brim. Maybe even add a bit of space on the left with content aware scale.

    The blacks are crunched to the point that there's little to no detail in his hair or his mustache for that matter. The blacks everywhere else seem to be OK as no important detail is lost. I would try to regain the hair detail from the RAW as it's not there in this version.

    I agree with Billy that burning down the background highlights on the right side to match the BG highlights on the left would be an incremental improvement.

  • #392104

    Maureen Photograph

    Wow this is insanely good!  It doesn't follow the usual portrait “rule” to focus on the eyes, nor should it.  It's more about the gorgeous and characteristic cigar.

    About the crop, I agree to crop it a bit on the right.  I would also add a bit on both the top and the bottom, using content-aware fill if needed.  I'd like to show the bottom curve line of the t-shirt.

  • #392110

    Richard Barnard

    All helpful comments and appreciated – thank you.

  • #392129

    Federico Alegria

    This is indeed a really nice portrait Richard, thanks for sharing it with us. The framing is a bit too tight for my taste, a little bit of more air in the top side and it would be amazing.

    Although, this is indeed a truly fascinating portrait. You really captured the moment, and the smoke makes it even better, the natural attitude makes it very vibrant.

    About the post-production, I have nothing to add, the tonal treatment is gorgeous, there is nothing worst than a dull and flat black and white photograph. This on the other hand, is a great example of how black and white should be done, with tonal richness without falling into the hideous HDR looks.

    Thanks again mate.

  • #392130

    Richard Barnard

    Very kind of you to say so Frederico – Thanks.


  • #392156

    Erik Fransman

    Richard, Your portrait works really well and the black and white is spot on.
    ST: I think it might even work better if you make it a 1×1 crop. Crop at the left side just next to the smoke (leaving a bit breathing space) and that determines where the edge of the right side is, (keep the ear plus some breathing space). It brings the viewer a tad closer to the person and IMHO the image gets stronger.
    I can show you the crop, but you have your settings to “No” for other members to edit your image.

  • #392200

    Tom M

    This shot is fantastic. Love the smoke…


  • #392202

    Graham Hart

    It's all been said and I agree with everything. Wonderful picture.

    Crop the RH side a touch, more room above the hat, burn the halo look around the RH side of the hat. Personally, I don't mind the blacks which show enough detail for me when clicked for bigger. I made an edited version with all of the above and I think it does work but taking nothing away from this as is. Great pic.

  • #392203

    Roger Wehage

    Richard, you could sell this to a health magazine.

  • #392232

    Richard Barnard

    Thanks again for feedback on this. I agree that a tighter crop makes for a more impactful portrait along with reduction of some of the highlights around the hat brim. Appreciate everyone's input here.

  • #392676


    If you wanted to – highlight/brighten the smoke a little bit more, use a dodge layer with a layer mask set to black.  Set your brush to a relatively large, soft setting.  Set the blend mode the “Hard Light” and a ‘Flow' of about 3%.  The ‘Hard Light' will only affect the lights you are brushing over.  The 3% Flow enables you to gradually add the light to the smoke.

    For more accent, use a ‘Burn' layer with a layer mask set to black.  Use the same setting for the brush… You will find now that the brush strokes will only affect the dark around the lighter smoke.

    Or if you're familiar with  Luminosity Masks, that would work also.  Once the luminosity mask is finished, put it into – its own Group -.  Once done, add a black layer mask to the Group and add the amount of light you wish to have by painting on the Group's layer mask. By putting the Luminosity Mask into its own group, you are not altering the physical luminosity mask, but permitting only parts of it show through via the Group's layer mask.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 4 weeks ago by  bucweeet.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 4 weeks ago by  bucweeet.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 4 weeks ago by  bucweeet.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 4 weeks ago by  bucweeet.
    • #392788

      Richard Barnard

      Thanks for the advice here. My LR knowledge very limited so this is helpful. bw.

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