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Tag Archives: Buildings

Havana night

Photographers who put their cameras away right after sunset miss some cool stuff.  I know, because I used to be one of them.

Fortunately, no one seems to mind too much if you lug a tripod around in Havana.  I mean, you get a lot of quizzical looks just because you’re American, and you dress differently and talk funny.  (And despite over three decades of practice, I know my Spanish still leaves much to be desired!)  So the tripod and camera gear don’t add that much interest.

One thing that makes night photography that much more challenging in Cuba is that there simply isn’t that much light…even in Havana.  I thought the buildings would be much more brightly lit, and I had high hopes for the dome, but the lights were never turned on!

So even though this image was taken right in the middle of Havana, it has a different look than, say, an image taken at night in San Francisco or New York.  Times Square this ain’t!

With a long exposure, the light-colored buildings reflect enough light from the widely scattered streetlights and very occasional headlights (this was a 30-second exposure between sunset and dark–notice how little traffic there is on the street?) to give them a pretty and yet almost surreal glow.

So my night images in Havana weren’t what I was expecting…but I like them even more because of that!

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