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Hey all – sorry about the complete lack of posting lately – the days seem to get shorter and shorter at the moment, and the jobs are starting to come in thick and fast.  Not something to grumble about, but these next few months are looking mental and I fear the blog is going to suffer.

So, whinging aside – here is my current nemesis – the setting sun that signals the end of the day way before I have even got close to finishing my work.  It is beautiful, but I wish it would just stay up in that sky a little longer!

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Thanks for reading guys, more stories to come soon 🙂

The last week we have had our fantastic friends Ade and Lou over to stay.

Sian and I went to school with Adrian and we were all firm friends.  Ade, now a proper writer (seriously, check out his book The Marineron Amazon…it is definitely worth a read) was responsible for my love of the theatre – writing a play at the age of 14 and asking me to direct it.  Amongst Much ado about Cutlery, a camp rendition of Dracula, an adaptation of Lord of the Rings and various other shenanigans, we had a great time together.   We then went to college and, as time seems oh so well to do, we got stuck into our own thing and drifted apart.

Until Krissy’s wedding.  We were utterly, utterly delighted to catch up with our dear friends of old, and between some speeches, some dancing and a lot of champagne, we hatched a plan for the pair to come and visit us in Barbados.  And I am so glad they did, not least for the company, and the drinking and the stories and the memories and the debates – but just because it is great to hang out and re-kindle lost friends.

…And speaking of lost friends, Ade and Lou have a camera ever-so-similar to my first.

Well, this is a photography blog after all 😉

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When I started shooting, I did what anyone does – I bought the best camera I could afford with a kit lens.  In my case, it was a Nikon D80 with an 18-135.  Ade and Lou have the more modern, albeit much smaller D3100 with an 18-55 lens, and very nice it is too.  We were all relaxing on the beach together on Friday and as the sun started setting, Ade asked if I would mind taking a few shots with his camera.  I was, of course, happy to oblige.

However.

I now shoot with an amazing full frame camera, and have at my disposal a host of wonderful lenses and accessories (you all know how much I love my flash) – so you must forgive me for being a little hesitant at the results I would be able to achieve.

In a desperate bid to prove that the photographer makes the picture, not the camera – I present this series…and, to be honest, I am pretty darned chuffed with myself…Shall we discuss?

First thought for me was, of  course, to shoot silhouette.  I hate the horrible and hard light that the little pop up flash produces, so the first thing we did was run around in the water a bit whilst I framed nicely and shot fast, to emphasise the colours of that wonderful sky.

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Following that, we sat together on the beach, and I covered that wretched, small light that sits atop the viewfinder and craned my hand around to bend and bounce the light into a softer, more flattering light…it’s no speedlight through a 32″ umbrella – but it is better than nothing.AdeLou_077

 

And as the sun set, and the light disappeared, and we played a little more, I noticed that little street lamp up on top of the pier…

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A quick shift of white balance, a little bit of posing…and I got my favourite shot of the evening.

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(Hopefully) Proof that “the camera a photographer maketh” is not true!

Thanks for a fabulous time – it was wonderful to catch up, re-acquaint, and generally remember just how awesome you are.

Oh – and great to see Ade and Lou too 😉

Thanks for reading guys – have a great week x

Firstly, a happy new year to one and all – I hope you all enjoyed ending 2012 and beginning 2013 as much as we did.  As you know, my folks were over, which was utterly amazing.  I am working on a video on that one.  But truth be told I have a horrible cold so wanted to share some pictures from a ‘save the date shoot’ I did with the wonderful Dan and Kelly a few days back.

Dan is our best friend Ally’s brother, and he proposed to the utterly beautiful Kelly shortly after they were last here in Barbados on holiday.  They very kindly did a shoot with James while he was here doing some training with my studio staff at the time.  They loved the shoot so much (and Dan saw a real opportunity) that he suggested doing another one while they were here, in exchange for being excused from some of the dance classes Kelly had lined up for them prior to the big day.

Smart man.

And so the date was set, and we headed out to a few spots.  We had a great time showing Dan and Kelly around the north of the island, and despite it being very overcast, we still got some lovely stuff.

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As you can see, the clear blue skies associated with Barbados are very much absent here.  Recently, the weather has been utterly atrocious out here on the rock, but I love the dramatic pictures the clouds paint…although I do understand it is not to everyone’s taste.

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We started off at the Animal Flower Caves, and after that headed to Heywoods beach.  This is where we used to live and was the first time Sian and I had been anywhere near the old resort for some time.  It is very sad to see all the old pools emptied out and doors boarded over, but we were here for the beach which, thankfully, was as glorious and deserted as ever.

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Being that we have been having such dump weather lately, we do normally get blessed with some interesting cloud formations and sunsets – thankfully today was no exception.

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And to finish off?  How about one of those salsa-esque dips you have got yourself excused from Dan?!

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Thanks a million guys – you were a blast, hope you like the piccies!

Fergx

Today is my birthday, and I type this feeling ever-so-groggy following on from the celebrations of my wife Sian’s birthday do last night.

Christmas is always a full on affair for us.

But despite the hangover and the ringing in my ears, I am utterly content.  Chowing down on a sausage sandwich Sian has lovingly prepared, and surrounded by torn wrapping paper and birthday cards, I have already begun enjoying another magical Christmas – made all the more special by the fact that my parents, Bam and Pops, are here to play too.

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It is the first time either of them have been to the Caribbean, and they have always been amazing at visiting Sian and I on our adventures.  They are utterly awesome and I love to show them off.  Mum loves her jokes, Dad loves his pocket trumpet (which he carries everywhere) and the two of them wander around in eccentricity, bringing laughter and warmth wherever they go…seriously, you must meet them.

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So I say to all of you; I hope you all have a very merry Christmas.  I hope you are able to surround yourselves with family, friends and festive fun.

Kittens help with Christmas too apparently.

Now if you will excuse me, I have a birthday to celebrate with my best friends.

x

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So, this weekend I am in St Lucia.  I am staying at the beautiful Morgan Bay resort, and catching up with James – newly appointed as manager out here.

He is doing a fantastic job, and things are well and truly being looked after for the time being…so that means I get a bit of time to myself – if it aint broke and all that.  But the pain in the arse thing is that I have left my camera at home in Barbados.

What a clown shoes.

But not to worry – I will use my time productively I tell myself.  I have been going through figures, looking at promotional material, and generally being good…but then my mind started to wander a bit, and I started to go through all of my photos on the laptop.

Big mistake.

Because this whole photography thing is a very, very steep learning curve.  The pictures I take today are, in my mind, amazing.  But I will look back on them in six months and think “did really take that sh**?”

If you’re not critical of yourself, you’re not serious…so imagine my rage when I saw this:

Yes, it’s nice – a big colourful, Bajan sunset.  But really pretty basic – under exposed to get all that drama…but nothing special.  So here I am, in the hotel lobby, muttering away to myself about how I should have made it more interesting, “bloody fool – put a tree or a guy or a boat, just something in silhouette to give it some freaking context. God damn rookie…” You get the picture.

And as I flicked through the next few images, I realised that the me of the past was not quite as out of touch with this whole photography thing as I had first surmised.

Hope you’re all having a great weekend guys…more gems to be uncovered soon, I am sure!

 

x

 

The last few weeks have been pretty awesome.  We have made some friends, (Big blog to come!)  have had some great news in the family, and some not so great, but all in all we are very happy.

The other day, we had to visit Virgin HQ, and being Barbados, it was in the back end of nowhere.  As we negotiated the twists and turns of the fabled ‘highway 3’, we stumbled across a massive factory.  And I got a little excited.  As my frequent readers may well know, I have, unfortunately, inhereted my father’s penchant for the industrial tech. Trains, planes, boats – anything man made that can rust slightly and I get a little weak at the knees.  Very sad, I know, but that’s me.

I have a really vivid memory from about age 9.  We were on a family narrow boat holiday and we chugged through the heart of this massive, massive factory.  It was one of the most fascinating and eerie moments of my life.  Being 9, it felt enormous – there was steam and smells and noises, a thick film of foam scudded across the murky green of the canal, but despite all of the activity and bustle – there was not a sole in site.  It reminded me of the cover of Michael Jackson’s Dangerous which I actually had in my discman at the time…I was a very spoilt child…

But I digress.

Desperate to take a snap of this new found wonder in otherwise picturesque Barbados, I waited for dusk, bundled my exhuasted wife into the car, and headed to the factory.

I fired off a few frames, and think this is the best one.  Unfortunately there is a massive fence (obviously) around the factory, so I couldn’t get too close, but I like this wide shot, and it is soooo very different to what we normally see him in Bimshire!

As I was standing there, snapping away, Sian called out from the car that she could see millions of fireflies.  I turned to see what she was talking about, and all I could see was the glow of the car’s headlights:

I crossed the road to see what she was talking about, and was amazed by what I saw.  The entire meadow was alive with fire flies.  It really was a sight to behold.  As we stood and gazed out, the grass flashed and sparked with these amazing little creatures.

Being English, I have never seen Fire flies before, and was shocked at just how much they glow.  I tried my best t get a shot of the scene, but unfortunately I think this is one of those moments that you can see with your eyes, and not your camera.  I think a video of the meadow would have worked brilliantly, but the amazing D700 is a photo camera, nothing else.

As I say, I don’t think the photo does the scene justice, but if you look in the lower third, you will see the little yellow spots dotted between the blades of grass.  We stood and watched the field glow like a massive Christmas tree set, and very quickly, the factory seemed boring and pointless.

We enjoyed nature’s lightshow for a good while, got back into the car and headed home.

And once again, we had experienced yet another natural beauty of our new home land all because of the engineers at Nikon that built our wonderful, wonderful camera.

Thank for reading guys

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

Hi guys, sorry, no photos today…but there is a cheeky video 🙂

Sian, Jimbly and I were shooting a wedding a few days back, and I was on film detail.  We were at a gorgeous resort called the House, and the wedding was scheduled quite late – 4:30PM…this makes life very difficult for us, because by 5:30, the sun has set and you have no light to play with…none.  So James did a great job of conducting the shoot quickly enough for us to get everything we needed in the small time window we had.

In between rushing from the sunset on the Beach, and a cake cutting shot in the hotel, we came across hundreds of red sand crabs.  They were just your ordinary, run of the mill crabs, knocking about and raising their comedy pincers in defiance of the hulking humans as we point and coo.  But one crab, James noticed, was very proudly carrying a lollipop stick.

And we thought this was hilarious.

In hindsight, and watching the video back, I am not too sure the comedy will come across, but rest assured – we all had a good chuckle at the sight and hope you do too 🙂

Massive blog in the pipeline by the by…we witnessed a weather phenomenon the other day which I cannot WAIT to share with you all…so please keep posted and I’ll hopefully share with you all over the weekend 🙂


Thanks for reading guys 🙂

As is now appearing customary, I start with an apology for the delay on things.  Work is getting really exciting – loads and loads and loads of stuff on, and with the world as it is at the moment I can’t grumble for a second.  There are thousands without jobs, so the fact that mine is depriving me of a privilege like ‘blogging time’  can’t be a bad thing.

So, a quick update.  My cousin Den came out to visit us last week, which was awesome.   We got some dives in that made me wish I could take my camera with me…but having already spent well over $3k this year on the camera, I thought an underwater housing would be the nail in the coffin with my very-understanding, but-only-human-after-all wife.  We dove (dived?) the Stavronikita, or Stav to the locals, and it really was up there in my top 5 dives of all time…

Den also insisted that we go sea fishing.  This is something I have always wanted to do, but we never get around to doing it.  One of the best things about having motivated guests is that we actually have to wander off resort (shock horror!) every now and then to go and do touristy stuff.  I will blog about the sport fishing properly soon, but in the meantime here are a few snaps of Den’s big catch.  A beautiful ‘Wahoo’

By the end of the week, we were all pretty knackered.  Work had been busy, and Den was keen to get as much in as possible.  On the last night of his stay  we were treated to a beautiful sunset and it only seemed right to have a lazy game of catch whilst we were bathed in the beautiful soft light of magic hour.

Thanks for a blast Den – I have finally caught up with my sleep now!  Oh – and the pictures we took of the moon that night down at Fowl Bay…I was pretty happy with the final result – hope you like it too! 😉

Thanks for reading guys…more adventures to come 🙂

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