Tag Archives: Barbados

The End of an Era…

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This week two of my best friends Sian and Ferg who I have been lucky enough to work with for the past 2 years out here in the Caribbean have gone home.

They have moved back to the UK (with the cat) to start some very exciting personal and professional adventures and I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank them both from the bottom of my heart. I have progressed in so many ways with the help and support of them both.

While we were sat waiting for the time to pass before I had to drop them at the airport and say our final good byes we took a few shots to with the epic view.

034-Leaving

Thanks, good luck and I will see you both hopefully in the not too distant future xx

 

In other news Michelle is going up for the Saint Lucia Carnival Queen 2013. We need your support so if you could follow the link to the Facebook page and like her photo that would be great. The more likes she gets the more points she gets so feel free to share :)

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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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Kat’s Vist (Better late then never :)

I have been trying to make some space on my laptop today by clearing away some old RAW files and the like and I came across some photos that I completely forgot about (sorry Kat x)

I took Kat to the Bottom Bay, the place she sent me on the very first Exchange!

Back in March Kat came out to see me in Barbados for my birthday and we had a blast! On the day itself we went on a boat cruise and if you look very carefully on my Facebook profile you will be able to find an amazing video that hungover Ferg did for us :)

During Kat’s stay we did things properly! On our first day we visited the Mount Gay Rum Tour, after that rum kind of became our unofficial theme to our holiday.

You got a free rum punch with every flier, good job I packed a few :)

Kat learning about legs

Mount Gay Extra Old by far both of our favorites

We drank a fair bit of it for a start, we stopped off in old rum shops and we found this.

During Kat’s stay the country had just kicked into harvest mode, you will find tractors towing rows and rows of cages filled to the top with raw sugar cane slowing the traffic on the high ways trying to get there white gold to the sugar factory’s.  After taking the very informative rum tour we found that this is very relevant to our rum drinking quest! Sugar and Rum are two of Barbados main exports and a third is molasses which is a by product of the sugar process which they use to make rum. Now I think this is incredible, they have turned a by product of one of there main exports in to two others!

I am very sorry that this has taken so long to come out but it needed to done! Better late then never!

More to come soon as Mike is getting here on Tuesday and I will be having some time off :D

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Brian The Unofficial Barbados Tour Guide

Quite pleased as Brain has managed to be the 1000th photo uploaded to the Barbados Photographic Societies facebook page :)

I have a confession to make! I have actually put out this post and my last post in the wrong order :s The shoot I did with Brittinee was later on in the afternoon, all this stuff happened first, this post should have really gone first but I got a bit excited as Brittinee’s photos came out so good… anyway I am not sorry but I thought I should just let you all know :D I have also been told off as the first location I took Brittinee I actually found with my Mum when she was here and she was very upset not to have a mention (Hi Mum… wave…) who knew there was so much policitcs with blogging!

This is Brian, Brian is an unofficial tour guide for Barbados. I also worked out after the day was through that he was also a bit of a lier! See if you can spot them ;)

If you want to hire a car over here in Barbados you have a wide selection of Japanese imports from big pick up trucks to small run arounds but all hire cars number plates star with a big letter H. This means when your driving your hire car around everyone knows its a hire car. This does have its advantages, if you ever got lost and need to pull a big u turn in the road or you end up in the wrong lane on a round about people don’t really think twice as you have H plates on. Very handy! But even if you have been living here for nearly 12 months and are a wonderful driver (most of the time) because you are driving around with massive H’s on your car people will think your a tourist!

Brian did just that and as he saw me driving along with the two girls in the back of the car with my H plates all over the place he shouted as we drove past “Road closed, Road closed!” which of course immediately caused some discussion in the car and me to stop to try and work out what was going on. This gave Brain the chance to come over and have a chat. We were trying to find the Animal Flower Caves in the north of the island (and one day I will get straight there without getting lost!) Brain asked us where we were going and asked if we wanted to go and see some special places that most tourists don’t know about. We where all lucky as he was going that way anyway because he had some business down there and needed the lift, we wanted to go and see some nice views so two birds with one stone and all that. We set off down the road that we where heading down any way and as if by magic the road seemed to be open again. Must have been because we had Brain with us. While we where driving we got the chance to try some locally grown sugar cane that Brain had conveniently chopped up in a little bag and was very kind to share with us.

Brain took us to a place called Cove Bay and the views there where amazing, it was right off the road down a long beaten track but it was well worth the drive.

Living the dream!

Brian was telling us that from that very spot you can see 7 different parishes and to mark that point the tourist board put in a little marker, while it was drying Brain managed to write his name in and put the date! We walked back to the car and I felt pleased we had found a new spot and had given to a local to help him out with his business! We got into the car and then Brain got in to…

“I thought you had some business to take care of” I said,

“nah I have one more spot to show you first” said Brian,

“Oh…”

So by this point I started to think we were going to have this little stow away in the car with us all day but luckily he got the point very quickly that I had had enough of him.

The second spot he took us to was amazing, its a place called Little Bay. The tide had managed to carve out these pools where sea water would get caught in and you could sit and bath safely while allot of dramatic wave crashing was happening just a few meter away. Another really good find and somewhere I will be taking my sister I think! After we took the sites in we got back into the car, Brain then gave us the directions to the Animal Flower Cave not before telling us where we could drop him off. When we got to the drop of this is where it came to a climax and finally Brain told us who he really was;

“As I have given you this wonderful tour” he said “could you spare a fifty for the trouble”

We paid, he got out happy and then we left for the caves.

Answers on a post card please ;) Don’t forget my sister is coming on Wednesday and I am really hoping to get some Exchanges sorted for when she arrives (Lena I will be in touch :) so if your interested drop me a line. Also if you have enjoyed reading please don’t forget to subscribe.

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Brittinee… hey?!

I am very lucky over here as I am starting to get a very nice friendship group and when they have visitors it feels like I have visitors to :) so when people come over you get to show off where you live and go and see all the cool places that you don’t get to go to everyday! When my new Canadian friend Ally and her visitor Brittinee asked if i wanted to come with them to the Animal Flower Cave (one of my favorite places on the Island) I could not really say no… hey?! When i first met Brittinee a couple of days before at dinner we got talking and she was telling me how she has always wanted to have her photograph taken and the Animal Flower Cave’s seemed like a great place to start.

It was a bit of an adventure (another blog coming about that soon!) but it was well worth it. Brittinee kept telling me that she had never done anything like this before and that she had no idea what to do… she must just be a natural then! After a couple hours of walking the cliff tops we head home ready to take advantage of the sunset and headed to the beach. That was it we had a new woman infront of us and Brittinee really came into her own.

I love this shot and think this is the moment Brittinee really started to enjoy herself!

Thank you to Ally for being my flash caddie :)

I think you would agree we got some good stuff :)

 

Now! Speak of visitors i am getting an important one of my own! My sister is coming over to visit me in March which i very excited about :D she will be coming over for 2 weeks which also includes my birthday and i am going to be having those 2 weeks off which i am equally excited about! Regualar readers of my blog will know that Kat did the very first Exchange Photo Challenge with me (to be honest she helped come up with the concept) so i thought it would be really cool if we could do one together in Barbados with one of you guys! So if you have been reading about the challenges and have been thinking that you may like to have ago at that one day this is your chance! It will be epic!! Drop me a line if your interested…

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Long Pond – Lena’s Exchange

Its been a while but I have recently completed an Exchange. Just before christmas a local girl called Lena left a message on The Exchange page asking if she could take part, it took me slightly longer then i would have liked to get back to her (Sorry Lena) but a few weeks ago we started to email and set some locations. Lena is the first person to take up the challenge from Barbados and i had never really looked at the island from that point of view before. As the chances of the locations not being new to Lena i choose 3 so that she could visit somewhere she has not been to before. As i write this now i am still not sure what she has gone i only know she went out to visit the location on Saturday so i am going to keep it as a supirse for myself and you guys to!

As i sent Lena a couple of options she did the same to me my choice where as follows, Long Pond, Gun Hill Signal Station and Oistins. I have been Gun Hill before with Sian and Ferg and we are regulars at the Oistins fish market so that only left one choice… Long Pond.

I have seen Long Pond many times before on the map and i have always wanted to go and check it out so it was quite pleased it was an option. The only day i had off last week was Sunday so i was determined to do the shoot then, Sian was at a loose end and is always up for an adventure so she came with me to check it out. I had decided before i went that i wanted to put a bit of a twist on things. As you know the camera i have (Cannon 7D) can also shoot video and i have not done any video work since i bought my new lens and i have been very keen to try it out. Sian and I parked the car on the side of the road and started the walk down the beach to Long Pond, as we walked down we could not help but notice the mountains of drift wood, old coconuts and rubbish that has been washed in from the sea. In some parts it was like an obstical course just to get past. Long Pond has a mouth onto the sea and stretches back in land and has a few streams coming into it, i set up my tripod and started to film some shots not overly happy with my dision of mediam as it felt like it had no direction. Then in my ear i heard Sian mutter “it kinda reminds me of the Elephant Grave yard but for coconuts” i stopped what i was doing and had a look around and she had a very good point and there our story was born…

As i said before i am still not too sure where Lena has gone but this is the link to her post so go and check it out! I can’t wait to see what she has done :)

Thanks as always for reading and if anyone is up for the challenge of The Exchange send me a message and let me know :)

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A visit from a very special lady!

I know i have been very quite over the last few weeks but i have had a couple of very good reasons. First of all i have recived a promotion at work :) You are now reading the blog of Colorbox Studio‘s new Studio Manager! We have also opened up a new studio location on the island which has taken allot of work (and allot more to come i think) but all very exciting stuff. Secondly this loverly lady has come to visit me!

Thats right this is my Mum, she came out on the 18th December to join me for Christmas. I am so very pleased she did as I had a complete blast yesterday.

We went over to Sian and Ferg’s apartment…

Sian with a potato bottom!

Ferg getting ready to carve

Opened many presents…

Louie and Stewie

Sue opening a scarf

Ate and drank far to much…

Played this fantastic new dance game on Ferg’s new PS3, watched a film and then finally went to bed!

All to much for Dave!

There will be more to come very soon I promise but for now i would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and if i don’t speak to you before a Happy New year!

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The Exchange – photo challenge

So I have finally come up with a name for this little project! I have also just finished a page with details of The Exchange, what it’s all about and how you can take part!

To officially lunch the project, I have asked one of my friends if he would like to play. Ever since i did the first Exchange with my sister I have always had Joe in mind, Joe is an old school friend. He was part of the TA and did a 6 month stint in Afghanistan. He came home safe and sound but wanted to put his skills to further use and ever since has been working for a charity called The HALO Trust clearing mines and other dangerous stuff left over from the war and is curently based over in Angola.

Now the reason why I have always thought about Joe is because he is doing what he loves to do and so am I but the contrast in the locations and jobs could not be more different! Interesting??

The Exchange I have set with Joe will be the location of his next call out! :o

Watch this space…

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Waterspout

I am very sorry there has been a massive delay between my blogs we have been stupidly busy with weddings as 11/11/11 has been and gone and it has taken a bit of time to catching up. I have got some stuff coming to show you all real soon but i just wanted to share this with you in the mean time.

It was shot on my iPhone but i have never seen one before and thought it was very cool! More to come real soon i promise!

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Fishing Trip

This weekend we had a chance to chill out a little and because Ferg’s cousin Den is over we got to go deep sea fishing as its something he (and me) has always wanted to do. It was really interesting to see how it all worked as Barbados has been a fishing island for a very long time. Captain Sammy has been fishing all his life and he passed on a little of his knowledge down to us (as much as he could to wanna be fisherman for the day!). What really impressed me was how in tune he was with everything, he knew what they had caught before it was even reeled in. There was also signs of historic passed on knowledge, one way they know they have caught something is by tying an elastic band around the line and attaching it to something. When a big fish gets caught the elastic band breaks and its all hands on deck.

Captain Sammy

While Captain Sammy was trying to find the fish Hatch was catching them

 Den did the best as he hooked a King Fish that was longer then my arm! At the end of the trip Hatch prepared fillets of Tuna, King Fish and Barracuda that was all caught on our trip which later that evening we cooked and ate! From the line to the dinner table, amazing!

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