Cinematic Cuba

I’ve spent three weeks traveling through Cuba and visited so many beautiful places which I documented with my camera. During my travel I visited Havana, Trinidad, Santiago de Cuba and Vinales. The pictures that I took consists of street photography and portraits with an cinematic approach.

For this project I took my Sony A7RII and combined it with old M42 lenses, these 70’s lenses are perfect for documenting Cuba with all of the old building and classic cars and gives a perfect flare and beautiful bokeh.
In previous projects it was all about street photography, so for this project I wanted to add something extra by shooting portraits of the Cuban people.

As explained above I used the Sony with M42 lenses. I only carried 2 lenses with me, a 28mm and a 50mm. Because the lenses are really old there is no auto focusing available, this means that the lenses aren’t great for snappy pictures. It takes some practice to get the focus right. I Really like the wide angle framing and used the 50mm mostly for portraits. Back home I then edited all pictures in Lightroom. The final collection still exists of more then 400 pictures.

I published my pictures on my new website and on my Behance profile and I got a lot of positive respons on the project. I’m currently designing a photobook with a bigger selection.

The best thing i learned is to always ask someone before taking their picture, the Cuban people are extremely friendly and will let you take their honest portrait.

Visit Cuba, there will be many changes in the future so this is the best time to go and still experience the old Cuba.

Stijn Hoekstra

Freelance cinematographer and photographer based in Amsterdam