Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mi gone ..........

Well not quite but I am surrounded by packers (literally) and they are closing in on the computer!!!!!! No time in recent weeks to post a blog as we prepared to leave and now the day has almost come. I will soon have my iMac prized from my fingers and then gently packed and put gently into a container and then gently shipped to the UK... yeah right..... pray for my computer and photographic gear!!!!!

It's going to take maybe 6 weeks or more to get the container to the UK and I will have to arrange internet connection etc so it may be a while before I get a chance to post anything. And then be prepared for shots that are predominantly grey, grey skies, grey landscapes, grey people.... oh s**t do I really have to go back?

So it's goodbye to my Jamaican bredrin' but as they say 'I'll be back'! Jamaica will always have very special memories for myself and my family. Please stay in touch via this blog and e-mail and I hope to see some of you on my home turf sometime.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Black River............ and another year older!

Birthdays..... I seem to have reached the age when you don't really seem to celebrate them quite as vigorously as before... in fact if truth be told I am generally content to let them pass me by quietly. Maybe it's something to do with realising that you probably have less years ahead of you than you have behind you!!!! 

Almost certainly I would not be mentioning my birthday but the cat was let out of the bag by Julian when he blogged about our Black River jaunt. I had stayed overnight in Mandeville with my family and had showed the boys how to skateboard 'old school' style. This did involve me falling quite a lot and meant my hip was so badly bruised it was too painful to roll over in bed! I was glad for the excuse to get up early and drive to Black River.... I got to escape further skateboarding and spend some quiet time in a boat on the river. A nice way to spend your birthday!

So here are some of my shots from that morning ... all of them were taken from a moving boat so I upped the iso to 400 to achieve a higher shutter speed to compensate for the boat's movement.

200mm  f5  1/2000 sec

340mm  f5.6  1/1600 sec

120mm  f4.8  1/4000 sec

340mm  f4.8  1/3200 sec

135mm  f4.8  1/2500 sec

70mm  f6.3  1/2500 sec

200mm  f2.8  1/8000sec

Monday, February 22, 2010

Milky Waterfall...............

Over two weeks and no posts!!  Well just a quick one to prove I'm still alive.

She who must be obeyed: Ministry of Home Affairs: 'er indoors: the missus: Sexy P. I refer to my wife in many different ways depending on my mood and the situation. Exactly what I was calling her earlier in the month I cannot recall but she was the catalyst for this photo. She declared that she would like to have a photograph of a waterfall where 'the water looks all smooth'. She explained that when we return to the UK she wanted a nice relaxing picture in the home office/study where she can spend some 'me' time. (thats me as in her not me as in me if you get what I mean!)

So I uttered those three special words that are important for every man to learn when dealing with their wife/girlfriend: 'Do it yourself ' sorry I meant  'Yes, my dear' and set out to do as I was bid. I managed to find a suitable location thanks to my good friend Franz and tried out a few shots. It could have been nice and relaxing but I took my two son's with me - I guess the kindest thing to say is that they made it less relaxing but it was still fun.

One arrival the sun was causing some exposure problems with the rocks to the right of the fall getting blown out. I did bracket some exposures and may try and blend or perhaps HDR them another time (or find someone who's good at that stuff!). After a while though the angle of the sun changed and I was able to get the last few shots without the need for bracketing. Didn't hang around too long though as the mozzies were biting and the kids were getting restless. This is a single shot processed in Lightroom. The longer exposure was achieved by using an ND filter. On reflection I wish I had tried some shots with a polarizer but I forgot about it at the time. Mrs J likes it but not sure if it will be good enough to make it onto the wall of her office - may need to try some other falls before I leave! This is the full image - now I'm looking at it again I'm thinking that it would probably benefit from some cropping on the left and top to give more attention to the waterfall - decisions, decisions! Any views?

ISO 200 29mm  f16  1/2 sec ND filter

Saturday, February 6, 2010

To Buff Bay ......... and back

Everything was set-up.... I had a pass from the Ministry of Home Affairs (thanks Sexy P) and someone was researching accommodation options. I was cleaning lenses, charging batteries and looking forward to two nights at Black River with some fellow photographers  - leave on Friday (yesterday) and come back  Sunday - perfect! Or at least it would have been if I had paid attention to the dates on the e-mail -  the trip is actually next weekend (when I can't make it) and I only realised on Wednesday night! 

Julian Dadag - an accomplished Jamaican photographer was arranging the trip - check out his work - especially the landscapes.

Disappointed to be missing the outing but with Friday already booked as a day off work I was determined to do something and decided to take an early morning drive  - and ended up driving to St Mary and a bit of Portland.

I'd been hoping for some nice morning light but I got drizzle and grey skies for the first few hours. I did however manage to get a couple of portraits that I like - the first is a guy who sells pots and pans from a roadside shack on the Road from Annotto Bay to Ocho Rios. And as today is Bob Marley's birthday it seems fitting to post a photo of a Rasta. Unfortunately I did not get his name but he remembered me from two months ago when we bought a coalpot and frying pan from him - it would have been better with some direct eye contact but here he is:

 ISO 1600   150mm f2.8  1/160 sec

This next shot was taken at Devons Pen - the gentleman was sat at the side of the road watching the world go buy. Again I forgot to ask his name but just around the corner from him I stopped for a cup of crayfish soup and showed the lady serving the picture and asked if she knew his name - she recognised him immediately and said his name is Isiah. I started laughing to myself as this is the name that I had already jokingly given the man as it appeared to me that one 'eyes higher' than the other!! 

ISO200   116mm   f2.8   1/800 sec

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Downtown - Waterfront, Ocean Boulevard

Two more from 2006 - Mr Brown was living by the waterfront in downtown Kingston -  under the carcas of an old overturned boat - I must re-visit and still if he is still around. His was a hand to mouth existence. He was boiling some little pieces of vegetable when I was there and preparing a rather large 'smoke' for the night ahead. Again I feel that I rushed this shot as I felt a little awkward imposing into his world - if I had more time (or confidence!) I would have changed my angle to improve the litter strewn background but it was really just a grab shot that caught his short lived smile.

A short distance way is the remains of a dock/pier destroyed years ago by a hurricane (Ivan? or maybe before that?) and as you can see I attempted a nice sunset shot shooting at 10mm on the old D70s - I remember being unhappy with the sharpness of the poles in the water until I revisited and realised that many of them were not fixed and I'd used a 10 second exposure hence the softness! But the 10 seconds helped make the surface of the water nice and smooth...... 

ISO 200   70mm   f4   1/250th sec

ISO 200 10mm   f16   10 seconds

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery...........

Still back in 2006 - I'm finding it difficult picking out pictures from the past - I guess that it is human nature to only really want to show your very best images and to my mind they are generally my most recent shots (although I'm not always too pleased with them).  Anyhow here is a shot of the statues at Emancipation Park, Kingston on a moonlit night.

ISO 200  40mm  f14   30 sec

Monday, February 1, 2010


Ok.... enough of the models - it's back to 2006 and a shot of  a man known in Walkerswood as 'Grey Beard' and his friend chilling after work. I love the Jamaican pet or nicknames that you come across, it seems anyone who has had the misfortune of losing an eye, or a leg or an arm immediately becomes known as 'Oney' - sort of obvious and maybe a little insensitive but you immediately know who they mean. Among my personal favourites was the guy with extreme bow legs who was nick named 'Legs Diamond' and the all time classic 'Shit-a-bush' who apparently must have been witnessed answering a call of nature in the roadside vegetation!

This was one of my first attempts at street photography/portraits which meant engaging with the subjects in order to get to take a picture. It is not an easy thing to do and I remember feeling under pressure to get the shot quickly and trying not to draw to much attention to myself which lead to a somewhat disappointing shot. The point of focus was not great, I think I left it on autofocus and it probably needed a different aperture to get a greater depth of field. So not perfect but all part of the learning experience - I loved the Wray & Nephew Brandy wall painting which really puts it in context for me.  

D70s ISO 200  18mm   f3.5    1/50th Sec