Thursday, January 11, 2018

Car details

Sometimes when you see an interesting subject you first take the wide angle and then you are compelled to capture the details.

After taking a few photos of this taxi. I wanted to capture some details. The headlight/grill composition was my favorite.

This taxi driver had been driving us around for most of the week in a different car. Tom showed such an interest in his car that he eventually communicated with us that he would bring his older more special car out on the 25th Feliz-i-dads. What a treat to be able to ride in these old cars!

From that front headlight/grill image I duplicated the layer and flipped it, and then made it square

Then I applied filter, distort, polar coordinates

and then duplicated that layer, flipped it and changed the blend mode

and with that version I saw faces, pareidolia galore...

Sunday, January 7, 2018


Sometimes when we come upon a scene we are lucky enough to be granted a sequence -- and we can capture a series of photos to tell s short story.

One (of the many) things that was really endearing about Cuba was the baskets. Most of the "casas" require walking up/down several flights of stairs. So when the doorbell rings the owners look out their window or over the top of their terrace and see who is there, and then they will lower down a basket or a rope to let their guest access the key. These baskets are also used to buy bread and flowers and such from vendors walking the streets. The last photo with the shadow is one of my favorites...

For this second series, I decided to ask the subject to move into better light, which in this case was a challenge since my spanish is very very limited. I pointed to my camera and sort of mimed and used Italian (my hands) to indicate that I wanted to take their photo "over there" LOL I smiled amd mimed and hand gestured alot to make up for my poor command of their language.

I loved watching them but the light was just too contrasty...

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Cuba -- the people

When we went to Cuba we knew that we were going to love the classic cars (seeing so many driving around never got old, we usually see them in a junkyard here in the USA so every one was a treat), and we knew that we were going to enjoy the decayed architecture of this amazing place. We knew that we would find empty chairs waiting to be sat upon and interesting old people to photograph, But we wanted more, we wanted to make sure that we intereacted with the people on more than a tourist level. And what a joy that was. The people were open and friendly and just amazing.

You can check out our galleries for more images, although we have sooooo many great images yet to edit, we will be updating this gallery for a while. 

I loved taking photos of the children. I asked the parents first, they all said yes, I took a lot of the photos in the early monring hours, often catching the mom or dad walking their child to school in the morning.


Cuba -- Tom's favorite image

This was Tom's favorite photo from our recent trip to Cuba, it was from a small village where the people were "not poor" (our guide told us, but they have nothing, no shoes for the kids, no toilets, nothing). We brought puzzles for the kids and since it was Feliz Navidad we brought chocolate and we brought cheater glasses for the adults. Our guide said that they were "not poor" because that had enough to eat. There is a sort of irony, with so many children in the USA going hungry every day, that even in the poorest village where the people had nothing, that the children were not hungry.

This was Tom's favorite image because the couple ended up comfortable enough with us that towards the end of our visit, after introducing us to her children's families she sat on her husband's lap and Tom created this image of the two of them. Tom earned this photo, because of who he is inside.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Lisa Cuchara, PhD, Cr.Photog., HonNEC, and Tom Cuchara, MNEC

When we presented at the (awesome and well run) Smokey Mountain FotoFest our title slide up before my introduction, and the audience inquired "what are all those initials after your name?"

Lisa Cuchara, PhD, Cr.Photog., HonNEC, and Tom Cuchara, MNEC

The Photographic Craftsman (Cr.Photog.) degree is awarded by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) for service as an orator, author or mentor. This degree shows that you have gone beyond the creation of images and dedicated your time to move the industry forward and encourage education. Cr.Photog. is one of the highest recognitions for speaking, writing, or mentoring on photography; it positions the photographer as an authority in the industry.

MNEC is awarded to those who have performed exceptional service for the Council during a period of not less than five years, and/or have substantially advanced photography in the New England area through lecturing, teaching, judging, and through other administrative activities in photographic organizations for the same period. This honor is limited to a maximum of five each year. The New England Camera Club Council (NECCC) is a non-profit umbrella group for over 70 camera clubs in the New England states. Tom and I were awarded MNEC in 2010.

HonNEC is awarded for superior leadership in the operation of our Council and superior photographic leadership in the New England area. For achieving substantial and outstanding recognition in the field of photography through activities for a minimum of ten years through lecturing, judging, writing, and administrative activities in the New England area. Lisa received the designation of HonNEC “in 2015 For her outstanding dedication to New England Camera Club Council using her extensive organizational skills and knowledge to serve as its blog master, social media liaison, webmaster and executive board member; for her longstanding continued service in many diverse roles for local camera organizations; for her tireless efforts to promote the photographic arts; she routinely lectures for New England Camera Club Council and camera clubs and conferences in the New England area; she constantly provides formal and informal teaching leading classes in photography concepts in the classroom as well as in field workshops; for her role as a sought-after judge providing dynamic and constructive critiques; for her photographic achievements and exemplary exhibition records. With her commitment and vast knowledge of photography, Lisa epitomizes the concept of the dedicated professional.”

and lastly, I have a PhD in Molecular Immunology, after which I worked at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland and then at Yale University School of Medicine where I was in charge of the Organ Transplant Laboratory.