Sunday, May 20, 2012

Something Old, Somethning New

Ever so often in my rather short photography career, my progress is stopped by some unseen force that causes me to question if I've learned anything at all.  Usually I am unable to say what has created the new uncertainty and rely on the critical eyes of others to "see" in my work what I am not seeing, which occasions a renewal of my own vision and sets me on the next stage of my journey.  Most recently it has been suggested that my work is too diverse, too scattered and I agree...I need to "re-set" my vision.  With wide ranging interests in the visual world around me I am hard-pressed to pick and choose, to really communicate at the highest of creative levels, at least as far as my technical abilities with the camera will allow. Of course there are themes I revisit from time to time but perhaps one theme is more topical than others: The Changing Face of Bridgetown.  As we approach the actual Inscription Ceremony, ratifying the status of Bridgetown as a World Heritage site of global interest, my eye seems to have picked up on the "buzz".  Now Bridgetown is one of my favourite subjects and while my photography is still in need of that technical and creative "re-set", I hope these more documentary images will inform you on the national and international narrative of which we are now, officially, a part.  Yes, some images are more flattering than others, but in someways, the story is centuries old, in others it is in progress, and in yet other ways, its just beginning...(Corrections welcome to my captions)

Looking across the entrance of the Careenage.  Barbados has one of the world's oldest and largest collection of cannons dating to colonial days.
Looking west towards the start of Broad Street (our main street)
Again, looking west up Broad Street
A worn out vestige of the early post-colonial days of Bridgetown
Sprucing up on Swan Street, one of the oldest streets dedicated to commerce in the city
More of Swan Street, which was the subject of an urban renewal effort in the 1990s
Looking south towards Broad Street
In the background is the Barbados Mutual building, ages old and still standing firm...
I've always liked this corner...don't know why, but the light was perfect to accentuate the volumes today.
Another colonial building, now the main branch of CIBC First Caribbean Bank
Seeing the old in the new (reflected image of Parliament Buildings)
Another reflection of the West Wing of Parliament
Beautiful old turn of the century building that will soon need help if it isn't to be lost
The relatively recent improvement to Swan Street
I actually enjoy Swan Street today which is a pedestrian mall...in my childhood it was noisy, dusty, crowded...
Another bit of history, the snow cone vendor...how long will they be with us?
Another view of the Mutual Building...
Art creeping in...
New and old (looking through the archway towards the centuries old Suttle Street
This actually dates back to the late 80s and is a modern relic, of sorts.  It was the planter for a Neem Tree
Pride of Barbados, the National Flower of Barbados, adorning an ancient gravesite.
Another sign of urban renewal, Jubilee Gardens, which occupies the location of what was once the slave market
Looking across a 300 year old grave yard at a sign of modern Barbados, our first multi-level car park, which goes back to the 1980s.



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day Musing

I had spent most of this day, a holiday in Barbados, regretting that the weather was so overcast that my friends and I had to cancel our morning photo-excursion.  Truth be known I was tired and weak for most of the day anyway, but found my spirits returning with the bright afternoon light appearing.  Set off for Bridgetown (4th or 5th time this year), determined to get a bit of visual therapy and enjoy the fading light of the day and if the spirit moved me to take a few photos...  And so the results are below...  My musing on the charms of a city we love to hate, combined with an insistence on seeing the city from new angles and with a new attitude, lead to this series of documentary photos - an inhaling of the urban breezes of our capital city.  Somehow, I think I've been more inspired in the past but for the record, if I hadn't followed my muse today I would have missed the dozen or so motorcyclists, their bikes screaming up Broad Street as more than a couple of them popped wheelies as easily as they did our eardrums!  I would also have missed the poetic vignette of the two children fishing off the boardwalk as their parents kept a watchful eye.  For the record, just a few hours earlier in the day, while I was still at home, was the May Day parade and labour union rallies.  Much to see and hear in Bridgetown, maybe next time I'll be a photojournalist.










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