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Hello Ferg fans!

I shall be a mystery guest blogger today as Ferg has foolishly left his WordPress account open on his computer, and I have decided to write a little blog whilst he is peacefully snoring away.

He is feeling a little under the weather today.  Before you begin to feel too sorry for him I must impart to you, dear reader, that his current state of health is totally self-inflicted after a few too many 10 Saints last night.  I also am guilty of the same crime, but we did have a lot of fun with some friends, and met a rather special young man on the dance floor that I wanted to tell you all about.

When we arrived at the Dover beach party that was our destination of choice yesterday evening, the first person we saw up on the dance floor was rather smaller than we might have expected.  Dominic is an 8 year old boy with a talent for dancing, and after seeing him dancing on his own for a short while, Ferg could not help but have a little chat with him to make sure he was alright.  His parents weren’t obvious in the crowd, and his body language told us that he was not a stranger to holding his own on a dance floor as the only child.  For those of you that know Ferg, you will understand that seeing this child dancing at a party by himself at gone 11 o’clock at night upset him deeply.  So Ferg chatted to Dominic, and after a while the little child opened up and told him all about his love for dancing, and how he is very much looking forward to taking dance classes soon.  They were friends for life after Ferg asked Dominic about his favourite dance move; he took delight in showing off his special move and began to dance around with the free abandon that you would expect from an eight year old, losing the mask of the super cool dude that had previously adorned his little face.

We did discover that his mother was indeed around, as after Leecia had asked him if he would like a Coke, he replied “I’m going to ask my Mummy” and zoomed off in the direction of the bar.  She evidently didn’t mind him having a drink, but rather bizarrely did not deem it necessary to come and check out her son’s new friends.  That he met at a party.  On a beach.  At 11pm.  Now, this poses a bit of a conundrum for me, as I think it is fantastic that here in Barbados the atmosphere is such that kids can hang around at an adult party without great cause for concern regarding their safety.  I also think it is great that little Dominic can mingle with adults in the evenings in the same way that you see in family-oriented societies such as Spain.  However, in my opinion – and it is not, of course, the only opinion – I find it troubling that this little one didn’t have anyone to play with, that he was in an environment that is more suited to adults (dancing around with a bottle of beer in your hand in front of a lone child just seems wrong), and that his parent and/or guardian did not seem to think it was inappropriate for her to remain unseen whilst her child chatted to a bunch of strangers.  The most upsetting thing for Ferg was the fact that Dominic seemed completely used to this scenario, which of course conjures up the image of his mama taking him to bars and living it up whilst he entertains himself.  This assumption could be completely wrong of course…but it might not be.

At around 1am Dominic did head off with his mother, and Ferg did get to have a bit of a party and a boogie.

But this little one has stuck in his mind, and when he woke up this morning the first thing he said to me was “Poor Dominic”.  I absolutely love the fact that whilst everybody else danced round, drink in hand, singing along at the tops of their voices, Ferg was sitting on the floor talking to an eight year old boy about his favourite dance moves because he couldn’t bear to see him alone.  This is despite the fact that this particular dance night only happens once a month, and Ferg has been looking forward to it all week.  That is one of the qualities about Ferg that makes him so special, and one of the (many) reasons that I married him.

I hope my slightly hungover ramblings have kept you entertained, and given you a little to ponder over this evening.  I shall pass the pen back over to Ferg again for the next installment, until then keep smiling 🙂

Love Sian…oops, I mean the mystery writer! x

Ok, so for those hardcore blog fans of mine may remember this guy from a post I made about Oistins a few months back:

We were down at the Fish Fry and saw Dwayne dancing – I showed him the shot off the back of my camera and said we could do a lot more with him if we booked a proper shoot.  He then injured his wrist, and it all went a bit cold.

Until Thursday.

We have shot a video for him which will be going up on the Colorbox Studio Facebook page (like away if you haven’t already!) Sian was an amazing assistant on camera number two, and the footage already looks incredible…I can’t wait to piece it altogether for Dwayne early next week…

But as well as the video, I wanted to take some photos, so I roped James into coming down with us and being chief flash holder and lens caddy. As always, Jim rose above and beyond the challenge, and he helped Sian and I get some wonderful stuff.

I wanted to do the shoot down at Oistins again, not only because  that’s where we met, but the place has so much character in and around the fish stalls…Lighting was obviously an issue down there – lots of neons chucking red into your lens, and on the whole rather dingy.  As such, we popped my SB800 onto a boom and just played with the setup…it was really good fun.

I love these two shots – with the hard light coming in and the flare pushing through, but we decided to move the flash further around, towards camera to offer more side than back light:

And then Dwayne told us he could flip:

This sequece was taken with the flash positioned directly above Dwayne at about 1/16th power.  We shot through an umbrella to give a much more even and soft light.  We tried various different setups – but these came out as my favourites.

The final shot of the evening was one that I had been puzzling over for some time…I wanted to freeze Dwayne in action during a long exposure in the traffic heavy road that runs by Oistins…but we found that the headlights of the cars washed him out during the exposure…we got something – but it wasnt exactly what I was after…I need to go back to the drawing board on this one.  If at first you don’t succeed…

And that was that – a great fun shoot, with a very nice (and talented) bloke – thanks Dwayne!  All of the photos and video will be going up on the Colorbox Studio Facebook page, so be sure to check back  over the next few days 🙂

As always, thanks for reading guys – hit the subscribe button if you fancy it…I will be giving a special present to my subscribers when we hit the fabled 25!

Baby steps…baby steps.

 

Keep on snapping

 

 

Ferg x

 

 

Yesterday, Sian, James and myself poodled on down to the Spring Garden Highway, to see the end of the procession of the legendary ‘crop over’ festival.

Crop over celebrates, as you’ve probably guessed, the final harvesting of the year’s sugar cane crop.  Traditionally it was a celebration of the end of a gruelling and long season, and has now developed into the massive festival that it is today.  We went down for the grand finale – ‘Kadooment day’ but our plans were some what dampened by the weather.

It’s hurricane season out here at the moment, and so we are periodically treated to massive down pours and electrical storms. Yesterday was no exception.

We had hoped to get down to see the end of the five mile procession, that starts at the Gymnasium and finishes down on the Spring Garden Highway, but seeing as how I am not the biggest fan of swimming, and the fact that I didn’t really want to drown the camera, we waited a few hours in the hope the rain would stop.  It certainly died down towards mid afternoon, so we resigned ourselves to getting wet and headed down.

As with all festivals, especially ones of this size, (they reckon about 20,000 people come to Barbados for Kadooment) there is money to be made.  Lots and lots of money.

So what happens is various bands are formed.  These bands offer a racy costume, and access to a number of parties before the big Kadooment procession.  On the day, you wear your costume, which can cost anything between $300 and $2000, and join your other band members on the jump.  This basically means following a truck, loaded with an awesome PA, crap load of rum and beer and dancing for 5 miles.  It’s pretty awesome.

By the time we had got there though, we feared we had missed the procession. Waiting for the rain to die down had meant we got there later than planned, and as we walked down the highway we saw a lot of ‘jumpers’ walking back to their cars, soaked through and looking, quite rightly, exhausted.

We stood around and had a few beers, and just as we turned to leave, a procession picked up, and we were thrown into the frenzy of Crop Over.

The general rule of jumping, or ‘winding’ as it’s called, is very simple.  Ladies rub their behind provocatively in the crotch of a bloke, who stands behind pounding her mercilessly.  I thought that they played dominoes aggressively, but this is a whole new level.

And that’s the national dance.

It really isn’t very pleasant – and what’s worse; there are young kids of 5 and 6 standing on the street side doing it themselves…I’m afraid to say that I  felt very British as I tried to find other, more savory things to photograph – during which time Sian got ‘wound’ herself:

The costumes were pretty awesome though, and fair play to the band members – they had been jumping since 6am that morning – were all soaked through and had danced for well over 5 miles – yet when they came back through us, the energy was simply amazing.

As you can probably tell, the light was really, really dull – we had massive storm clouds above stopping any available sunlight dead in its tracks.  This meant that there was no definition in the photos – they looked lack luster and drab…so I popped the old flash remotes on, held the flash as far away form the camera as I could (you know by now how much I hate using on camera flash) and got these bad boys:

After the frenzy of the parade, a few usable shots and couple of beers later, the heavens opened and we ran for the car – desperate to get ourselves and our kit dry.

Despite getting there late, and seeing only the very end of the festival, Sian and I have promised each other that we will jump ourselves next year…I need to start working out though – I’ll do my back in with all that thrusting in my current physical state, and judging by the amount of shoes that didn’t make it…I’m not too sure how well my flabby carcus will fare…

Back to work tomorrow – be back soon 🙂

Ferg x