I was wildly determined to do at least one portrait project for this Lensbaby Circle during my stay in Cuba so I packed my Lensbabies especially for you 😉.
In San Diego de los Baños, a small village deep in the Cuban countryside we met Pedro who was very happy to show us how cigars are rolled. I decided that this would be THE opportunity to do a small series of portraits.
Pedro works in the back of his house, in a small room with barely enough space for three people moving around (and we were six) so as to not disturb him more than we already did with our cameras and shuffling around we mostly stayed in the first spot we found ourselves in. The back of the room was quite dark and we had to stay clear of the door so we did not block out the light.
Not the best conditions to experiment with manual focus - let me tell you!
Originally I expected the lens to be the right choice for portraits, I really love the colors and the softness of the bokeh would help separate the person from the background.
In real life I found it quite hard to focus in this relatively dark environment, even with the Fuji providing some excellent focus peaking (THANK HEAVENS for that!). I mostly worked wide open so the depth of field was really really shallow.
So I am not absolutely happy with the results, I had loads of outtakes due to motion blur (I should have found time to look for the shutter speed but the focusing took all my concentration so I did not think of that) and I am rather unhappy with the portraits of Pedro himself because of the glare in his glasses.
But this is nothing I can blame on the lens - I stood in a completely poor angle for taking those pictures and saw the glare immediately while photographing.
But this was a moment I had a meetup with myself as a photographer: although I realized that the glare would be bad and kind of destroying the portrait, I felt it would be completely inappropriate to ask Pedro to take of his glasses just because I was standing in the wrong place and could not move.
So I did not ask him and therefore I have to live with a missed opportunity.
Still - the cigars turned out fine and are enjoyed!
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