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You may have noticed that I have been a little quiet lately.  This is mainly due to the normal reasons – work crazy, loads of shoots, team members on holiday etc.  However, this time there is a new reason/excuse for my tardiness.

An excellent reason in fact.

After nearly six years of living in ships and hotels, from the sublime to the down right ridiculous, we finally thought ‘enough is enough’, and we bit the bullet and got a small cottage way out in the sticks where no one can find us.

It is beautiful.


For the first time in six years, Sian and I have a little piece that is ours.  We don’t have to share anything, we don’t have to abide by rules imposed by the powers that be…we can just ‘live’.

I know this sounds ridiculous and I feel almost callous as I write this.  We have been so, so lucky to have the opportunities and lifestyle that we have had for so long.  We wouldn’t change a thing.  And we aren’t really – we will be staying at the hotel at least four times a week, because that is what our job demands and there is no way that we could keep things going if we were based out here.

Seriously, we’re in the sticks.

But for those long weekends, for that time when we just want to lock the door and get away from sun burnt tourists, the taxi vendors desperate for some business, and the questions and questions and questions you get every time some one hears you live here. “What, in the Hotel?…How lucky you are!”

Yes, yes, yes…

Like I say, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful – and I am not.  We have a fabulous room in our hotel, the staff look after us, and as I mentioned, our operation would not run If Sian and I were not there 24/7.

I’m just hoping it will if we’re there 24/5.

Because with a view like this to come home for, the weekend just cannot come quick enough.

Thanks for reading guys – here’s to a new, super chilled out Ferg in the future 🙂

x

Hi guys,

Just a very quick link to our Youtube account (Colorbox Caribbean- www.youtube.com/colorboxcaribbean) We have had a crazy busy few weeks here, as ever, hence the lack of posts recently.  Anyway, please pop over to the Colorbox Youtube account and see some of the work we are doing out here.  This one is a wedding I shot with Charlie and Bill the other day – lovely couple and a lovely day, hope you all enjoy it 🙂

Thanks for reading – more posts soon, I promise!

Ferg

x

In my last post, I talked about the family of monkeys that are setting up shop here on our resort, and how the baby – affectionately named ‘Monkini’ by my dear wife, is growing up at a rate of knots.  Well, just after that post, we had another family start anew on resort – this time in the form of the beautiful, if not tiny Hummingbird.

Here is mum, precariously perched on the end of a bush, in front of the sugar mill and undoubtedly on the busiest pathway in the resort.  We are all a little bemused as to why she would want to setup here, but it is not an uncommon place for the Hummingbirds to nest, so clearly evolution has a plan…whatever that plan is.

Anyway, mum is sat here, in front of the sugar mill basking in the shade and fighting the breeze that is coming in from the sea.  It is really difficult for me to portray just how tiny this bird is – I was hoping that the Sugar Mill would help give a little perspective, but as it is so far away, it actually makes her look even bigger!

To give you an idea, she is probably about 9cm long, beak to tail.  (That’s just 3 and a bit inches for our American friends) And her nest is just as slight.  I stood around at a good distance as she flew in and out of her nest, bringing back twigs and fluff to build her abode.

She would only leave for a few moments at a time, and a closer peak revealed why:

These two eggs are TINY!! Barely the size of a mento each, and left unattended for the briefest of moments whilst the nest is added to and mum eats…Why she picked such a busy and open spot for her nest again?  I have no idea…

So we now have (hopefully!) at least two families growing with us here whilst we soak up the sun and shoot our weddings.  I will keep you posted how our Hummingbird family get on, and will snap away at the monkeys as and when we see them.  I have a whole host of blogs to get round to, but wanted to get my David Attenborough bit out of the way first.

Massive thanks as always for reading guys, hit the subscribe button, tell your friends and generally be merry.

Will be back soon

x

So as a lot of you know, Sian and I went home over October so we could enjoy Andy and Emily’s beautiful wedding day, and also indulge ourselves with a cheeky ‘us time’ for our very first wedding anniversary.   The trip home was awesome, and my boss was kind enough to let me road test a new video camera we may be rolling out amongst the company ships in the not too distant future.

It was great, because we got to make Andy and Emily a video of their day, and I got to try out a new bit of kit.

Because said camera was new to me, I am not entirely happy with a lot of little niggly things..there is unnecessary shake where I was battling with the bizarre focusing system, there is noise where I would not expect there to be, and the thing in general is not as ‘polished’ as our usual work, using the immense D7000s we have here in Barbados….but I am happy enough with it to share with you here.  All the sharp, and artsy looking shots are by Sian, with Josh’s very kindly leant D7000 – you’ll spot them a mile off!

As always, looking forward to the feedback and sharing some adventures with you all over the next few weeks 😉

Thanks for reading guys 🙂 x

Tedders and Mel

So, a few months back (all the way in February!) my awesome brother, Ed, and his wonderful fiance, Mel came to visit us as we settled down in Bimshire.

I insisted they have a quick studio shoot and walk around the gardens before they went home, and they have had to wait all this time for me to finally get round to editing them…so really sorry about that guys.

Anyway, I am sure they won’t mind me sharing my favourite shot of the day with you all – this was taken on the tried and true D80 on the kit lens, so apologies in advance for the fluffy nature and high noise…but I was extremely pleased with the REAL lens flare I got – hope you agree?!

More adverntures to come when we finally get on top of all this work, thanks for reading guys, and hope you have a great weekend

xxxx

Hey guys, nearly on top of everything now, so business will resume as normal in the next few weeks.  As some of you know, one of the reasons we came back to the UK was to celebrate our first year wedding anniversary.  After Andy and Emily’s wedding (film to come – promise we haven’t forgotten about you guys!) Sian and I headed over to Hartington Hall, where we got married on the 10th October, 2010. (10/10/10 – so no excuses for me to forget!)  It was lovely to see the place, and we were really spoiled because a lot of friends and family came to see us, and share a wee mini reunion.

Amongst these wonderful travellers were Lucy and Duncan, and their gorgeous baby girl Edith.  When we saw her last, at the wedding, she was a few months young and tiny tiny – the youngest of our guests.  Now she is a lot bigger, and getting a wonderful smiley – sometimes a bit bulshy, but all round amazing attitude.

This is the happy family at the wedding last year...look how tiny she is!

As always, a million things on today, so I can’t stay long – but I wanted to get the pictures up now to share with you all, as I finally begin to conclude our trip home, and can get back to exploring Barbados with you all – armed with a new book and loads of info, I am really excited about the months to come – so stay tuned!

Until then, I give you Edith, Duncan, Lucy and the horse…and a guest appearance from Jenny – keen eyed spotters will remember her from previous posts such as these.

 

Enjoy – and hope you are all having a great weekend 🙂

A post!! It feels like months since my last, and to be honest I have really missed not sharing with you all here on what is fast becoming my personal diary  more than anything else.  But I hope you have been well and will allow me a moment of egocentricity as I think that maybe…just maybe, some of you have missed me posting too?

Or not.

Anyway, as I am sure you have all gathered, Sian and I had a very brief trip back to Blighty a few weeks gone, and I have finally got round to editing some of the pictures for you all to see.  As you all know, we do love our jobs out here in Bim, but there is an awful lot about old Liz’s Kingdom that both Sian and I adore; and coming from the evergreen flora of  the rock we now call home, we were utterly delighted to be treated to a good old autumnal country walk with one of my best friends Eddie, up in Carlisle.  We took Will’s dog Lois (MASSIVE POST TO COME) as he taught kids drama at William Howard – a secondary school in Scaleby.

Truth be told, I’m afraid I didn’t really listen to where it was we were going.  Will and Ed had discussed where the best place was to go for a walk, and after many hours of being shown various routes on Google Maps, I lost interest and let my best man do all the navigation.  We got to – wherever it was-at about eleven thirty, and all of a sudden the hours of Google maps and concise directions seemed more than worth it.  We wandered down through a valley to be met with this beautiful bridge – the water fiercely running down the fell.  Lois, the awesome, decided to run through the gushing water, and we all felt our hearts leap a beat at the thought of her getting washed away (it really was fast)

But she was hardcore and just took it all in her stride.  She soon got bored of the ‘random-people-who-have-put-me-in-their-car,-brought-me to-this-strange-place-and-are-now-calling-my-name-incessantly-game’ and came back to the river bank.  But only when she was good and ready.

And as we climbed the steep valley on the other side, we were treated to the stunning views that only the north of England can offer, all tinged with the tell-tale signs of decay as Autumn slowly sweeps in over the next few weeks.

At this point I would like to quickly apologise – we have just bought a couple of AMAZING new lenses (EVEN BIGGER POST TO COME) but they are both massive, and as such we have no filters that will fit them at present…so all grads are done post, which I think is, upsettingly, fairly obvious.

As we got to the top of the hill, the view opened up.  There were a few houses dotted around, which sparked the question why anyone would ever want to live there – slap bang in the middle of nowhere.  I quite liked how this image captured that utter isolation that we were disparaging…but it must appeal to someone – because the houses are there…

We then found the obligatory ‘dead tree’, surrounded by stone walls and wheat growing wild.  I actually really like this shot – a lot more than I did when I was composing it:

And by about this time we realised it was three and we had not even turned back yet! So we upped the pace and got back in time to greet Will home from his hard day’s toil, kick off our boots, and drink some posh cava…it truly was a magic few days.

Massive love to the boys for looking after us – and I very much look forward to filling you all in on all our other vacation shenanigans soon.

As always guys, thanks for reading 🙂

 

Ferg x

Hi guys.  As you know, things have been crazy busy this end what with coming back to the UK for a few days, filming our friends’ wedding (which was truly, truly awesome) enjoying a cheeky wee first year wedding anniversary with my beautiful wife, and generally scatting up and down the country like a couple of jack rabbits in a bid to see all the dear friends and family that we left behind here in the UK.  As I write this, we are sat on a Virgin train taking us from Euston to Carlisle to see two of my best friends Will and Eddie…no doubt a blog to come about that later.

Meanwhile, I have been very conscious of the fact that I have written nothing for over 10 days now, and have been sitting on some wonderful pictures that I would like to share with you all.  So, without further ado, I give you: An outing with the Barbados Photographic Society…

The last weekend before we left for the UK, Sian and I were ecstatic at the thought of a proper two days off.  The wedding calendar was surprisingly empty and the studio had nothing booked, so we glamorously planned to get all our laundry sorted, our stuff packed and make sure everything was in place for the guys to ensure smooth operation during our time away.

And then I turned on Facebook and it all went tits up.

I had heard of the Barbados Photographic Society in the past, and somehow I stumbled across their Facebook page on Thursday night.  I joined up with the friendly bunch that evening, and before we knew it, Sian and I were signed up for a 5 am start on Saturday morning to meet right down on the West Coast in a little alcove of the country called Conset Bay.

Idiot.

So long to a lie in; bye bye all the laundry time…but it was totally worth it.

The reason for the savage start time was not because the BPS are made up of a carnally evil people, hell bent on ripping you from your much needed slumber when you have booked a lie in, of course.  The timing was down to the wonderful soft light that a good sunrise in Barbados can produce.  I once went over to the South East coast (to The Crane beach) at four in the morning when my dear brother Ed was over.  We waited patiently for a spectacular sunrise, but were treated to a hilarious thick fog that hugged the water line and hid any magic light that may have given us a good snap.  We saw absolutely nothing.

But the BPS had clearly booked the sun for that morning.

There was a lovely pink tinge in the sky, and the boats in the bay listed peacefully as the 50 strong group marauded around the marina.  Everyone looking for lines, and compositions, and ‘that’ shot…And I found this both very funny and very odd.

I have never been on a photo walk per say, and I quickly started asking myself how I would create different images to everyone else.  The point of the walk was ultimately a social one;  it was great to meet such a lovely bunch of people, and to put faces to the names of the people who I had been semi speaking to on the Facebook page…but ultimately we were all there to take great pictures, and it was an interesting experience for me having so many people, all in one place, all trying to get the same thing.

We started out at Conset Bay,  with the wonderful and friendly Ainsley telling us about the history of the bay; the cliffs overlooking the bay are a very high and dry place, and are prone to regular fires as the dry grass is scorched by the long sun it is treated to.  It was also host to a train station that serviced the line connecting Bridgetown and The North.

We followed the old railway line to find another bay -the name of which escapes me.  We were on the cusp of morning light. and that beautiful pink was still there, but this was the last snap I got before the sun was in full force and the harsh light we are so used to in Barbados was back.

After this, we headed to what is affectionatley called ‘The Puff’, so called because of the impressive spurt of water that the waves create as they crash up through the small holes they have carved from the coral.  We were very lucky to see some fisherman down on the coast, which helped give context to the sheer size of the coral and spurting water.

I was shooting with the 70-200, which is a beast of a lens, and as such my polariser won’t fit on it.  This meant that we were getting a savage glare from the water’s surface as the now midday sun beat mercilessly down on us.  As such, I tried to make a feature of the reflection, rather than try and fight it.

As we headed back from The Puff, I was keen to find some bits and bobs to shoot in the shade, as the sun was far, far to harsh to look for any more panoramics or views.  I’m not mad on flower shots to be honest, but I found these knocking about back outside the fish market of Conset Bay, and thought they were quite fascinating being made up of seemingly hundreds of tiny little flowers:

And then I found this guy chilling out in the trees…anyone who knows me will be fully aware of my utter fear of spiders…and so I am even more proud of this shot, as I had to get quite close!

I love this guy – if you zoom in on his rump, I swear you can make out the head of and orc – it looks like he has a black studded helmet and big grin…can anyone else see it, or am I going mad on this Virgin train?!

Anyways, that’s that for now – LOADS of stuff to share with you since our time home, and can’t wait to get you all up to date, along with lots more photos 🙂

As always, thanks for reading guys, and feel free to SUBSCRIBE 🙂

Ferg xxx

As you all know, I have been away in the beautiful island of St Lucia for the last five days, and as such we haven’t been able to go on any adventures together this week.  I did take a few snaps out in SLU, which I will share with you all soon, but work has been crazy since getting back and I have not had the chance to even look at them yet…but I will. Promise.

So in the meantime, I thought I would share a couple of pictures we took on a past adventure.  A few months back, we headed up to the Gunhill Signal Station.  These were flag stations dotted around Barbados before the telephone was invented, and they represent a beautiful solution to a serious problem.  I believe there were seven on the island in total.  The idea was that if someone spotted an aggressive looking ship approaching the island, the flags would be raised, and each station would relay the message to the other, meaning that within a few moments, the entire island was aware of a possible threat.

Pretty genius stuff.

This also means, of course, that you get incredible views from the Signal Stations, and fortunately it was a truly beautiful day.

The station has, of course, undergone some serious renovation work to get it into the state that we see it today, and this is one of the things that Sian and I find increasingly frustrating in Barbados…there is very little recorded ‘history’ here.  The island that we live on has been inhabited for over 600 years and was a colony setup to produce tobacco and then sugar, but it is very, very hard to find out much about this.

The very hotel we live in used to be a sugar plantation, the only tell tale sign left for us now is the beautiful sugar mill that we now use as a wedding venue…but I cannot find any documents, articles or accounts of what the area used to be like before the Almond Beach Village.   For all of my super sleuthing, the most I have managed to gleam is that the mill was erected in 1859…which I ingeniously deduced from the plaque on the mill itself.

And I don’t understand why.  Barbados’ first income is duty.  Everything that we buy here has a ridiculous mark up, clothes have an 80% odd duty applied to them, and fresh milk costs $20 for 4 pints.  The second biggest income is in the form of tourism.  There’s a crap load of us Brits and Yanks and Canadians that visit the island, yet we have no real historical sites or monuments to visit.  There’s the odd tourist attraction – the Mount Gay Rum factory, the Banks Brewery, Harrison’s cave…but there is nowhere, to my knowledge, that celebrates or indeed denounces the very foundation of this nation, the sugar trade.

Being tourists (and massive nerds) ourselves in this alien land, we are desperate to understand the roots of the island.  Not just in its population, but how the land was carved up and cultivated; how the sugar trade worked, how the enslaved Africans fought for their independence, and how we now have – despite the barbaric past, such a close and ammicable relationship between London and Bridgetown…

But I guess that the Barbados Tourism Authority knows its audience.  And most people who visit the island just want to go to the beach.

And every time we visit a tourist attraction like the Gunhill Signal Station together, I can’t help but think there is a bit of a pink elephant in the room.

On the flip side though…never go to ANY attractions in Scotland if you’re English…you’ll only end up wanting to hang yourself with guilt…Maybe the BTA has got it right all along?…

Thanks for reading guys 🙂

Ferg x

I am sure that when Sian and I tell people that we live and work in Barbados, they think that we just chill out on crazy beaches all day.

But, unfortunately, like most people – the job gets in the way of the dream.  We work ridiculous hours.  I am currently in St Lucia meeting with our team here, organinsing new systems and structures to help the company prosper, and poor Sian and James are stuck in the lab in Barbados printing, making books, fixing albums and generally keeping the Colorbox machine running…whilst I sit in the hotel lobby punching this out.

It is 8:30pm, and I doubt they will get out until 10.  I feel guilt like you would not believe..the lab is a very lonely place when you have been there for over 12 hours, and there is nothing I can do this end to help. 🙁

And this is the problem we have with stupid ‘work’ – it gets in the way of all our fun. So it is always a pleasure when we do get the fleeting opportunity to visit the beach.  We knew that this week was coming (I miss Sian terribly when I’m away-even if only for four days, which is ridiculous but that’s the way it is) so on Sunday we made a really concerted effort to get to a beach – and what a beach it was!

I was out filming a wedding down at the Almond Beach Club a few days back, and the couple had decided to opt for some off property photography.  Bill, my senior photographer and oracle on anything Barbados, suggested a little bay up the road.  So we jumped into the car and took the couple to Gibb’s beach…it is amazing.

Needless to say, after seeing the place, I thought it would be more than appropriate to take Sian and James there – amaze them with my local knowledge and astound them with the incredible sand scape I had stumbled upon on my travels.  The charade lasted but a few moments as we drove down and James asked “So we going to that place Bil took you to the other day then?”

My plan foiled, and being exposed as the charlatan that I am, I grumbled that yes, we were going to “where Bill showed me”, and we stopped in the gas station (sorry – I have got all American having been here so long) garage, got some beers, and headed down to paradise.

And what a lovely day it was…we swam in the crystal clear water, watched the world go by…and then I went back to hide under the umbrella from the sun whilst James and Sian giggled like school girls.  It was magic.

I am trying to keep the technical stuff to a minimum on the blogs now, as I have been literally inundated with two mails saying that my technical guff is wasted on them, but I would like you all to know that all of these shots have been done through two grad filters.

A grad filter is essentially a piece of plastic that you put in front of your lens, which graduates from very dark, to completely see through – allowing you to underexpose, or “make darker” an area of your frame.  Essentially, this means that you can get a lot more detail in areas that would otherwise be blown out – or overexposed, because you are physically making them darker with the filter in front of the lens.  If you look at the umbrella shot above, for example, you will notice that there is a big white splodge between the boat and the umbrella.  My grad filter was covering the left hand of the frame. The graduation clearly stops a few centimeters before the umbrella – and that’s why there is that huge white ‘hot spot’ there.  I will do a much more technical ‘how to’ on grad filters in the future, I am sure…but for now I think that should cover it.  As always…any questions, you know where to get me 🙂

So anyway, after a time of being eaten alive by sand flies – without doubt the most evil and horrific of the Almighty’s creations, I headed back into the water with the now delirious-with-mirth-Sian and James as the sun started to set.

We decided we should head back before the sand flies came out in force – very much like the zombies in any good B-Movie, sand flies tend to come out when the sun has disappeared, and they eat your ankles, arms, face and anything else they can get their tiny jaws on very efficiently indeed.  We were in magic hour – bathed in the beautiful golden glow that only the setting sun can produce, and I got this corking portrait of Sian:

I can’t tell you how hard it was to decide between colour and black and white on this one…but eventually I decided for the BnW, beause the glow was SO golden, that it looked as if I had photo shopped it to buggery…I think it is a beautiful shot of my wife.

And as we walked away from what is renowned to be no other than Michael Flatley’s beach house (renowned in as much that Bill told me it was…and he knows everything about Barbados, so that’s enough for me) we were treated to some wonderful colours as the sun began to dip behind the horizon:

And that was that…another day at the beach; far from the stresses of the lab, the team and the bloody iMacs.  It was simply wonderful…

Thanks for reading guys

Ferg x