Category Archives: Exploration

St Lucia Jazz – HOT Couture Fashion Show

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Last night I went to my first cat walk fashion show and it was very exciting as Michelle was one of the modals :D

I love going to see Michelle when she doing her thing! Its like watching a different person out there as she changes to the different  roles that are required of her. The first time was last December when she took part in a Bikini Bombshell competition. She was the first girl to walk out (must have been scary to go first!) Everyone went crazy for her and that was not just because Simon and I were in the audience telling people to haha. She was able to make the whole crowd fall in love with her just by walking out with a beautiful smile on her face. She of course won the competition!

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Last night was a completely different story. It was all about selling the cloths and of course she rocked that to! Her first out fit was part of the forth collection and I remember feeling a mix of excitement and nerves waiting for her to walk out from behind the wall on the run way!

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I know what your all thinking a biased opinion from her boyfriend but its all good ;) I am very proud! The St Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival is one of the biggest festivals not only in St Lucia but in the Caribbean so I have a great deal to be proud of :)

I was also surprised to see another friend of mine Chacho who is the Activities Manager at Smugglers a resort I work at.

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I started the night going to the show to support Michelle not knowing really how it was going to go but I left 100% enjoying myself. The free wine and the after party might have had allot to do with that to ;)

 

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Birthday in Kent

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It was my birthday this weekend and I went to see one of my best friends Thom down in very sunny Whitstable. I love being near the sea and love how different it can look in different parts of the world and at different times of the year. I have been on this same beach in summer and had some amazing BBQ’s but this weekend we walked along the coast in two jumpers and a snowboard jacket!

He may not agree with this but I like the fact that we often wake up to the same view, even if it is many miles apart!

Quick thank you to all the boys who came down for our night out as eventful as it was :)

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Leon and Alfie

So I am back at home :) and the weekend just gone my Mum, Sister and I went up north for my Grandads 80th birthday dinner. Sadly he was not well for the dinner, he is on the mend now but I wish him a speedy recovery! The weekend was not a complete lose at all we had a great family meal and I got to meet this little fella for the first time :)

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This is Leon and he is awesome at blocks! Sadly I am nothing cool to Leon, he is my great cousin (so my cousin’s son) which is a shame but this is the first time I got to meet him and we got on like a house on fire. We played blocks…

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Then this awesome game where Mummy was the start line and jumping on me was the finish line…

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Now if I mention Leon I can’t forget his little brother who the last time I saw him was Leon’s size and that’s Alfie. He was always a smart little kid but now he can talk and has more energy then a nuclear reactor!

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Kat is still bigger then him though!

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First weekend down and allot more planned! Was really great to spend some family time with everyone. Jo you have a beautiful family :)

More soon!

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Running Down to Choc Beach

I know its been a long time and I am sorry about that! We have had allot going on over here in St Lucia that has required my full attention. I have some exciting news though… I AM GOING ON HOLIDAY :)

I am going home for 3 weeks! It will be the first time I have been home in 2 years so its a well over due trip!

I have been promising Michelle that we would go out and do a photo shoot since Christmas so we set a deadline for before I left.

We got up at 5am to catch the beautiful morning light and it did not disappoint!

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She makes it look all so easy :) Just a short one for now but hopefully I will have some stories to share once I get back on UK soil :) Can’t wait to see you all.

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Beach Fire

Grabbing me a Piton from the awesome new cooler! :)

I have visited allot of beaches since living over here in St Lucia and been faced with a couple of problems. The first, once you find your self a nice spot you either have to walk a million miles to get a drink or bring it with you and it gets very warm very quickly and secondly, you find some coconuts or other amazing fruits that you just can not get into! (the tough problems I face huh :) Yesterday I fixed both of these problem I bought a cooler and a cutlas :D

The new cooler

Last night Michelle and I were sat in the room trying to work out what to do with our Saturday night. The cooler was in the boot of the car and quietly calling both of us to go and try it out. Very quickly we both agreed that we should buy some beers and go to the beach to test it out.

That day I had just put my 50mm 1.8f on to my 400D and put it in the back of the car. Every day is a photo shoot :)

We arrived at Vigie beach (the one near the small airport that I have mentioned before) and got sat down. Michelle went for a wonder and started dragging this big dead palm tree leaf and said she wanted to make a fire…

Awesome… The small boy in me who went to scouts (purely to learn how to set things on fire properly) came rushing out! If my girl wants a fire I am going to give her a fire. Now leaves don’t burn for too long but they were a good start. Resting up behind one of the beach restaurants was an old pallet which I quickly grabbed and started to chop up using our new cutlas!

Not drinking shandy…

It did not take long before we had a raring fire that only took 1 match to light! (Dingle my scout leader would have been very proud)

We had such a romantic night under the stars by the sea with our open fire and we got to use both our new toys!

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Meadow’s Battery – 1898

When you land at George F. L. Charles Airport in St. Lucia on the left you will see what I now know to be Meadow’s Battery. I have flown into that airport more then a few times now doing the job that I do and I have seen it every time and always wanted to know what it is.

Over looking the harbor, if you waited long enough you could also get a very close look at the planes landing at the local airport.

One weekend Michelle and I had bought some take away chicken and we were looking for a nice place to eat it. We took a drive around Vigie. Up on a hill there are some tight winding roads with some beautiful houses and this old Battery.

The Battery was built by the British in 1898 to defend the island from the French and over looks the Castries harbor. (“Vigie” ironically being a french word for look out) We had a good look around the old abandoned buildings, ammo stores and gun placements looking out to sea then climbed down a bank to have our lunch on our own private little beach that we found. (I am not going to tell you exactly where that is as that’s for Michelle and I :)

A couple of weekends later we packed the kit bags and went back to shoot some of the awesome locations.

I was getting Michelle to walk up and down like she was on a catwalk, shot this one as she was resetting.

We where there most of the afternoon and their are still plenty of other spots we could have gone with amazing backgrounds. Its only a short drive from the airport and well worth a visit if you are around :)

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Trip to Barbados

I am a little behind on my blogs at the moment and I am being told off left right and center as I have been sat on these photos for quite some time… sorry haha

Back in August… (cough) we had a bank holiday on the 1st, as there are no weddings on bank holidays we had some time to have some meetings over in Barbados. Luckily these did not take very long and we got to go out and play for a little bit ;)

A couple of weekends before Ferg came over to St Lucia and we had the chance to explore some of the island and show him some of the amazing sites. Along the way he took some beautiful photos of Michelle and I, he did not bring his own camera so opted to use my Canon 7D for the first time… and review it…

Now it was my turn. It was very exciting as I got a chance to use the Nikon D800. This has been long awaited and people around the world are still on long waiting lists to get their hands on one so a real privilege.

As you all know I have recently upgraded my camera to the full frame 5D Mkiii and Ferg has been hoping that this was his chance to finally convert me from Nikon to Canon! He didn’t…

While I was waiting for the guys to get ready I was having a play with the D800 getting an idea of where everything was. I put my eye to the eye piece and the little focus square started darting across the screen. I looked down to see what was going on and it was my noise pushing on the joy stick! Not a great start for me.

We set off on our trip to see what backdrops Barbados had to offer and quickly found our self’s at Welchman Hall Gully. At the top you had beautiful views over the rugged east coast where we set up first.

This is also my first time using a 70-200 so a big day for me so I found our first location set up a shot and got shooting.

As I am sure most of you know by know I am a massive fan of flash. This is where we hit our first problem, Ferg has the same set of pocket wizards that I use on my 7D but the D800’s hot shoe is a little further forward to the eye piece so the wheel for the pocket wizard ends up digging into your forehead. Not nice! I can’t put this solely on Nikon though, if pocket wizard are going to make different units for each brand this is something they could have accounted for??

Sadly it got very uncomfortable very quickly so we packed the lights away and went oh natural for the rest of the day :)

Now entering the Gully you truly felt like you had hit the tropics with plants and wild life every where.

Ferg found some nutmeg and mace

Apparently it smelt amazing :)

We found a spot on a fallen log where the beautiful morning light was beaming down through the trees and the full frame of the D800 with the compression at 200mm could really start to flex its muscles.

My next issue was I found the play back very sluggish, when you hit the play button the camera uploads the full file to that little screen, not only does it does it take a while but its not fully rendered the photo or something. To check you what you have focused on is sharp you have to zoom in at least once. Now this took me screaming back in time to my very first wedding I shot in Barbados.

(Que wavy lines and flashback music :)

I got back to the lab after my wedding and uploaded the photos to the computer and opened Photoshop’s Bridge to start my editing, I was flicking through the photos and every photo looked blurred. I had my head in my hands as I thought I had just messed up my first Caribbean wedding on something very very basic as not being able to focus. I could not sit there forever so I opened the first photo in Photoshop to see if I could fix it and to my amazement it was perfectly sharp.Bridge only shows you a preview and as the 7D files are so big it compresses them and they look awful, lesson learnt.

Heart attack over but those bad memories came flooding back! Even using some of the best kit around isn’t going to save you if you can’t keep your shots in focus!

“but it’s a 85mb file” Ferg kept telling me which is impressive and of course can come in handy but when you are trying to catch those little moments extra time checking your shots can mean allot.

The D800 has how ever got this face recognition system on it, when you zoom in you can skip from face to face to make sure no there are no blinkers. Very helpful!

By this point we were deep into the Gully and had spotted one of these creepy looking things.

Once you got your eye in we started to spot them everywhere!

Ferg then very helpfully informed us that he thought they might bite and be poisonous so a nice peaceful stroll looking up through the trees very quickly became a quick march back to the car with our eyes firmly glued to our flip flop cladded feet. (After some research on the internet Ferg found out that it wasnt those that were poisonous but if your going to the Gully I would recommend wearing trainers just in case)

I have always said I love the ergonomics of the 7D by the time I had got to the car my third finger was crushed from holding the D800. It’s still hurt at the airport a few days later! If you had that in your hand all day it could do some serous damage! I did have the 70-200 on it however and Ferg informed me later that he holds it by the lens…

By the time we got to the car we where hungry and very much ready for a beer :) We set off to the east coast to have lunch and finish off our photos at Bathsheba.

I didn’t even have to ask her to do that

One thing I do love is they have put the horizon finder in the view finder! Sadly when I get tired I seem to lean to the right so that was very helpful.

And how can forget. Everything is backwards! Zooming in and out, twisting lens on and off, increasing and decreasing shutter speed, the light meter everything! There are options on the D800 so you can swap all this around to help people like me but even that feels like a bit of a cope out. You should stick to what you have chosen haha

These are all little things of course and at the end of the day I have grown up with Canon DSLR’s. From the first time I borrowed a camera at university to the wedding I shot yesterday. I have used them now nearly everyday for quite some time so its going to take allot to get me to change that (you where close Ferg until I tried it). You will check out forums and reviews and of course everyone has their own opinion on what is better. The D800 for example has one of the best sensors on the market and for people who are into that real technical stuff like Ferg then he has made the right choice. I think I have always had a more laid back approach to it all and I think that’s why Canon may suit me better.

The most exciting thing about the day was I got to spend the day with my two best friends using the using some truly amazing kit and hopefully I have created some amazing images for them to keep to but I will leave that up to you to decided :)

Phew…

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Happy Birthday Mum :)

Without really meaning to the Creasy’s have started our own family tradition! It started back in November 2007 when I was first on the ships. I was going to miss my sisters birthday and because we were doing two ports a day and I did not really understand the Greece postal system I was not able to send her something so I set out on a mission to get as many of the Cristal’s crew members to wish my sister a happy birthday as possible!

This thing got everywhere, even when I was shooting!

Then in 2011 the same thing happened again! I was again back on the ships and Kat was in Australia. On my birthday Kat had got all her friends together and shared her album on Facebook, much to my surprise and delight! She even got a Kuala bear to stop and pose!

Today was my mum’s birthday so it was time to bring her in on the action! Mum is a fan of picture postcards and I was desperately trying to right her a birthday message in the sand with a nice blue St Lucian sea in the background but every time I got close to finishing the sea just (predictably) washed it away.

So the search was on! I needed a birthday message! I needed letters that would not wash away!!

Then it hit me the letters where every where :) The rest of the afternoon was then set on driving around collecting these letters and there you have it!

Happy Birthday Mum :) xxx

 

 

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Toraille Falls

This weekend has been a little bit epic! Ferg was over from Barbados, we did not have much on work wise over the weekend so we went out to play :) Its been really good for me, Ferg got a chance to meet Michelle and the three of us all have something in common. Ferg and I love taking photos and Michelle loves to be in them! A perfect combination!

We drove down from the wonderful coast road down to the Toraille Falls near the Pitons. Ferg was unable to bring his camera over so he asked if he could have a proper go with mine, now any one who knows Ferg will know that he is a Nikon junky with a kit bag to die for so this was a big thing wanting to use a Canon 7D for the day!

During our time there I had to grab it back real quick and fire off these shots :)

More to come soon! Don’t forget to subscribe ;)

 

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Carnival Time in St Lucia

Its a very special time of year over in St Lucia! Its Carnival Time!

This is my second carnival season in the Caribbean, my first was Crop Over in Barbados which happens during one of the busiest times in the wedding calendar so I did not get a chance to jump. This year sadly with the move to St Lucia and the new job and everything I did not get a chance to join a band and take part. I did how ever know a young girl who did :)

Onika is Michelle’s sister and she did join a band, she had to meet her group out in the cinema car park and then jump with them down the long road all the way to the centre of Castries.

After we met up with her so Michelle could help her with the finishing touches to her outfit we set off up some of the back roads to see her come through the city.

The first stop for the bands is a big stage where they can strut there stuff for the judges and the TV crews.

Then they make there way down through the streets where hundreds of people have turned out to see them.

I have to say I am a massive fan of Caribbean street parties! You get people of all shapes, sizes, ages and everything come out dressed up to have a great time!

Some of the costumes are incredible! Your stood there on the side of the road and you see in the distance a massive pyramid coming towards you with this guy dressed up in the middle. Any costume that is so big it has to have is own wheels is just outstanding :)

It was the middle of the day and the guy looked so hot but he kept dragging his pyramid from one side of the road to the other so people could take photos! Thats commitment!

As always I had some help, this is Michelle’s debut as my assistant and she did a great job getting my flash in the right place for me. There was a moment that really made me laugh though, this guy miss understood what she was doing and thought it was her that was taking the photos so gave her a great pose! And then got a flash on 1/2 power right in the face :s he did not seem to mind too much and its a great shot!

4pm came and we had been out in the sun for 5 hours (Sian I had my suncream on before you ask!) and there was a hold up at the back so sadly we did not got to see Onika coming through but she came ahead with her friend to see us before we left and they seemed to be having a good time!

All that was left to do was get home and go for a well needed swim to cool off!

Next year is deferentially going to be the year! No excuses haha

 

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