Why do I like this image?  The elements of the composition and the perspective.  These older cars are a regular fixture in Cuba and everyone expects to see them so the car was a given.  The couple on the bike next to the car was a bonus.  They might be native Cubans, or curious tourists.  It doesn’t really matter, the juxtaposition of couple on the bike, side by side with the car, was brilliant and I’m sure not that easy to capture.

Panasonic G1 @f6.3 1/320th 45mm ISO 100 (photo credit to Akulka)

Just as the holidays started regular contributor Akulka sent me a series of images from Cuba.  As soon as I saw them I knew I wanted him to turn them into a feature (which you can read below, Viva Cuba!) and that several of the images were worthy of being Feature Photographs and further discussion.  This image is my favorite.

I asked Akulka to send me the RAW image so I could process the image for effect and discuss it here in the Feature Photograph section.  Soon I had the raw image and I spent some time looking at it and trying different methods of processing.  There are a zillion ways to process an image, but I wanted this one to keep with the colorful and flamboyant theme of Havana Cuba.

Why do I like this image?  The elements of the composition and the perspective.  These older cars are a regular fixture in Cuba and everyone expects to see them so the car was a given.  The couple on the bike next to the car was a bonus.  They might be native Cubans, or curious tourists.  It doesn’t really matter, the juxtaposition of couple on the bike, side by side with the car, was brilliant and I’m sure not that easy to capture.

The perspective is topping on the cake.  Notice how you can see under the car as it loom’s towards you in the frame, while the couple on the bike look very natural.  The cloud cover and background building were the perfect backdrop.  The wet concrete, shadows, and shiny reflections all compliment the scene while providing an interesting foreground.  The license plate clearly showing “Cuba” is another bonus.  This is a textbook image.  In my opinion timeless.

 

Let’s look at the original image.  The camera’s meter exposed for the bright sky behind, underexposing the main subjects (couple on bike and car).  Akulka could have dialed in some positive exposure compensation to correctly expose the main subjects, but this would have resulted in a blow sky.  I think he balanced it nicely, such balancing is a fact of life with digital cameras.  Yet, it leaves you with an unremarkable flat image.

 

Let’s look at the original image.  The camera’s meter exposed for the bright sky behind, underexposing the main subjects (couple on bike and car).  Akulka could have dialed in some positive exposure compensation to correctly expose the main subjects, but this would have resulted in a blown sky.  I think he balanced it nicely, such balancing is a fact of life with digital cameras.  Yet, it leaves you with an unremarkable flat image.

My goal in the processing was to bring out the natural colors of the couple on the bike and the car, while further reducing the exposure of the background sky.  I wanted the main subjects to stand out in the frame and fit the theme of flamboyant Havana.  What do you think, did I succeed?