Category Archives: Cuba Travel Blog

Cool Cab – Hold It Right There!

Cool Cab Unshaken!
Camera: Canon EOS 7D | Lens: EF-S15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM | Date: 17-11-2010 23:43 | Resolution: 5407 x 3041 | ISO: 1600 | Exp. bias: -1/3 EV | Exp. Time: 1/6s | Aperture: 10.0 | Focal Length: 15.0mm (~24.3mm) | Lens: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM

I continue to be blown away by what modern AI-powered processing tools can do with early digital photos. This photo was taken from the back of a very jittery 1950s Ford Consul, by someone unfamiliar with my camera, in fading light which meant a 1/6s exposure time but still a high ISO. The result was a decent memory shot of an entertaining ride in an ancient Cuban cab, but it was a bit shaky, to say the least.

Cool Cab – Shaken but not stirred! (Show Details)

Mainly for my amusement I decided to see what would happen using the latest tools. First I re-processed the original RAW file with Capture One, to adjust the aspect ratio, lift the shadows and fix the blown highlights. Then I fed it through Topaz Sharpen AI in Stabilise mode, to reduce the effects of camera, photographer and platform (1950s Ford Console) shake. This produced an image which was much sharper, but a bit noisy. Finally I passed that image through Topaz Denoise AI, with a relatively low noise reduction setting (just 15%) but moderate sharpening. That seemed to be the best compromise to retain the original textures but remove the noise.

The result is above. It’s not only removed the blurring of my face & glasses, but also sharpened the lines of the scenery passing and the rain on the windscreen. I think it keeps the feel of the original, but is a bit less apologetic. What do you think?

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Does a Photograph Portray the Subject, or the Photographer?

Mike Johnston (no relation) over at The Online Photographer has recently run a number of articles discussing the extent to which the photographer adjusts the “look” of a photograph (see What Should a Photo Look Like?) His primary examples were Continue reading

Monday, March 28, 2016 in Cuba Travel Blog, Photography, Travel

Cuba Portfolio Now Online

I’ve finally managed to publish my photography portfolio from Cuba. Take a look and let me know what you think… Apologies if you use the RSS feed for my album – this will be fixed in a day or two. Continue reading

Thursday, December 8, 2011 in Cuba Travel Blog, Photography, Travel

It’s Only Taken a Year…

I don’t know whether anyone else has this problem, but it can take me an inordinate amount of time to process photos from larger trips and events. Today is the anniversary of my return from my Cuba trip (as I’ve Continue reading

Thursday, November 24, 2011 in Cuba Travel Blog, Travel

Something Fast, Something VERY Slow

After an inevitable delay while I set up my new PC, I’m finally back to sorting out some images. The new beast certainly does what I wanted it to. Processing an 18MP RAW file on the old laptop took up Continue reading

Thursday, November 17, 2011 in Cuba Travel Blog

Back to the Street

After a week of beautiful but desolate landscapes in Iceland, I fancied a bit of colour and vibrance from Cuba. This was the first shot in the list, and a bit intriguing. It’s definitely one way of keeping your car Continue reading

Thursday, September 1, 2011 in Cuba Travel Blog, Travel

Don’t Rush to Judgement

As soon as I’ve downloaded a shoot from my cameras, I do a quick scan of the in-camera JPEG files, and usually mark about half of the images for deletion. Those which are irrecoverable go straight to the wastebasket, the Continue reading

Thursday, August 18, 2011 in Cuba Travel Blog, Photography, Travel

Street Life – Cuban Style…

Just a quick update on the shots from my Cuba trip last year. This scene made me giggle at the time, and the photo amused me again. Does it work for you? Continue reading

Thursday, August 11, 2011 in Cuba Travel Blog

Image Stabilisation – Know Your Limits?

I’ve blogged previously on the other merits of Canon’s wonderful EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens, but not really its image stabilisation characteristics. This shot from Cuba shows how good the lens is in that respect. The above is an Continue reading

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 in Cuba Travel Blog, Photography

Back to Cuba!

Not literally, unfortunately, but I’m finally getting on top of my shots from last November’s trip, and I thought I’d share some of them with you. Here’s one I rather liked of a green car under dappled light on the Continue reading

Thursday, June 23, 2011 in Cuba Travel Blog

Cuba Travel Blog – Quick Update

If you want to read all my articles in chronological order, you can now do so at Continue reading

Thursday, December 2, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog

Cuba Photo Notes

“Photographer’s paradise” is probably putting it far too strongly, but Cuba does provide easy access to a great range of material in almost every genre: fashion and international sports might be a bit of a challenge (unless you bring some Continue reading

Wednesday, December 1, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography