Sunday, March 27, 2011

Of Birds, Surfing and Sunsets

A friend who surfs on the south coast invited me to catch what he guessed would be a spectacular sunset and get some shots of the surfers as well.  I had fun, though the best shots are probably the bird shots...they put on a little show for me and were actually quite brave as I approached.  The 70-300mm lens helped with these.  The surfer shots aren't as successful, but then, they weren't doing very well with the smaller than expected waves and it was my first time shooting surfing.  The sunset was really nice, though and all told I think I'll return to South Point sometime soon to try my hand with all three subjects.  The photography purist would probably narrow this selection down to about 5 or 6 but I have no restraint!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Post-processing Diary

These shots all share one thing in common:  I used my recently repaired 17-85mm lens and want to keep shooting to see how well it holds up.  I'm not terribly hopeful.  The 17-85mm, of which this is my second copy, seems to give up on life if ever it registers the dreaded "Error -99".  This one just came back to me on Thursday, thanks to my brother Allan's help.  While I'm getting used to working with it again I find that it can produce some very nice post-processed images.  Shooting Raw images with this lens usually yields "ok" images but processing makes the difference between shots that would normally be acceptable and images with a bit more distinction...well, in a few cases anyway.  For those who don't know, post-processing images is like taking the digital equivalent of a dark-room and working with the Raw image by tweaking any of dozens of different settings until you actually get what you want.  Its not a magic bullet to replace careful shooting in the first place but means a good shot can be better (or excellent).  These shots all have a hidden life, revealed by the tweaking described above, which is no different than changing the darkroom process after the shot has actually been taken and working it until the desired result appears.  That's my excuse anyway...maybe you'll like one or two of these, even with the mystery revealed (if ever there was one)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ambling through Speightstown

Some sunset shots of Speightstown this Sunday.  The light was so rich I was unsure what to shoot.  Some shots are just for texture or pattern, others show the warm golden light, and still others are a peek into the usual quiet of a Sunday afternoon in Speightstown and its unique architecture.  Sorry for this earlier omission....the windsculptures across from the old pharmacy art gallery were done by American Lyman Whitaker, based in Utah.

Wind scultures by Lyman Whitaker (based in Utah)

Wind scultures by Lyman Whitaker (based in Utah)

Wind scultures by Lyman Whitaker (based in Utah)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday morning saunter

Walked along St.Lawrence Gap this morning, the quiet aftermath of weekend partying.  It always seems to be a quiet reminder of what this area used to be, and strives to be, before the masses of tourists came.  It is a place of refuge, but only in the morning.  Come sunset the crowds will re-assemble and the rum flow.  The others images here are from a brief walk around Six Cross Roads, usually not a place I look for photographic material.  Today, the few pedestrians, passing shadows and hidden colours spoke to me.  The friendly coconut sellers were oblivious to my camera, cool runnings...As usual, pattern and colour predominate.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Rest of the (Cavans Lane) Story

It occured to me that for those of you beyond the shores of Barbados (and indeed some islanders), the Bridgetown Screw Dock is not much to look at or investigate.  This morning's visit was largely about re-interpreting the standard views, but were lacking the larger picture.  So here are two afternoon shots to show the dock in its entirety (apart from the entrance, which would have required me finding a rowboat or some such).  These two views are, indeed, as close to the entrance as a land-bound photographer could get.  A brief historical sketch of this relic would situate it in the mid- to late-18th century (I think, please correct me if necessary) as a means of repairing the hulls of ships that had sailed across the Atlantic or from other Caribbean islands.  It is, as I understand, one of only two of its kind in existence today (the other in Singapore) and while not functional is a part of the heritage inherited from the British Empire.  It is mentioned on the Bajan World Heritage website as a part of our country's bid for World Heritage status.  (

Cavans Lane Morning

As per my usual, little planning was involved this morning.  A sudden fit of inspiration led me to Cavans Lane in Bridgetown, from which one can access the historic screw dock, the waterfront and some old alleyways and warehouses.  While the first few shots are simply exploration of the colours and texture of the area, I concentrated mostly on the screw dock which I last photographed ca.1995.  This time around I avoided the obvious difficulty of photographing such a site by focusing on close-ups and abstracts, and this in spite of my using my 24-105 mm lens which lends itself more to wide shots.  So its a slightly more creative interpretation of  historic area.

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