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Caribbean Photography: Light, Movement and time
07th February 2013 - 0 comments
Caribbean Photography
Light, Movement and time


The waves crash into Hope Bay, Bequia. The movement slowed down using a strong neutral density filter, a 10 stop, ND110 filter.

Following on from this weeks visit to Hope Beach, I thought it a good idea to use it as a demonstration of slowing down motion in bright lighting conditions.

One of the challenges of shooting in the Caribbean is the very bright light that we all love. When shooting seascapes where you may want to slow down the motion of the crashing waves up the beach, the speed of a shot become very important... and challenging.

To capture the crashing waves on Hope Beach, I wanted to get to a shutter speed of around 1 second. Normally to achieve this Id go out at dusk or dawn and capture the movement more easily due to the lack of light, but in the morning sunshine, its more difficult.

The answer is to use a very strong neutral density filter which drastically reduces the amount of light entering the camera.

A 10 stop filter, also known as an ND110 is what I chose to use. This reduces the shutter speed by 1000 times, so a shutter speed of say 1/500th without the filter becomes 2 seconds with it. There are Iphone apps (NDCalc) to help you calculate this, or charts are regularly printed in photographic magazines.

On the beach, the waves were doing two things that I wanted to capture; they were surging up the beach and then running back into the sea and directly in front of where I was standing, there were a range of rocks, which were catching the water and creating some nice patters as the water returned to the sea.

To see what shutter speed worked best, I took series of shots to capture different speeds; 1,2 and 3 seconds. Each speed gives a slightly different result and its up to personal choice which is preferred. My own preference, the initial shot at the top of this blog, was to blend the 1 & 2 second shots to get good patterns in both the rocks and coverage of the beach.

1 Second
The waves crash into Hope Bay, Bequia. The movement slowed down using a strong neutral density filter, a 10 stop, ND110 filter.

2 seconds
The waves crash into Hope Bay, Bequia. The movement slowed down using a strong neutral density filter, a 10 stop, ND110 filter.

3 seconds
The waves crash into Hope Bay, Bequia. The movement slowed down using a strong neutral density filter, a 10 stop, ND110 filter.
Caribbean Photography: Island Hope
06th February 2013 - 0 comments
Caribbean Photography
Hope Bay, Bequia


Waves crash into Hope Bay, Bequia, are turned into mist by the use of a ten stop, ND110 filter

This week I headed off the beaten track and down through the scrub-filled hillside to Hope Bay, on the windward side of the island.

A beautiful sweeping bay, lined with Palm trees and a good sandy beach, with rocks coming out into the sea at either end of the bay... Lots to photograph. Hidden in amongst the palm trees were a couple of small 'shacks', no doubt setup a few years ago by an enterprising local trader to sell what he could find on the beach, which was laden with fan corals.... as well as all the ocean jetsam that gets blown in on the prevailing winds and tides.

A local traders shack, setup on Hope Bay, Bequia, with its selection of fan corals, sponges and other jetsam

A local traders shack, setup on Hope Bay, Bequia, with its selection of fan corals, sponges and other jetsam

A local traders shack, setup on Hope Bay, Bequia, with its selection of fan corals, sponges and other jetsam

A wide format panorama of entire Hope Bay, Bequia

As this was my first visit, it was more a reccy trip, finding out what was around so that I can return another time with more colourful lighting conditions.

The winds were blowing and the sea were rolling in, waves crashing across the bay and spray covering the camera and lenses. With the wet, slippery rocky conditions at either end of the bay, it made for challenging mornings shooting. It was a good opportunity to use the strong ten stop filter to slow down the motion of the crashing waves, but I'll cover this in another blog post.

Waves crash into Hope Bay, Bequia, bringing lots of flotsam and jetsam and even driftwood logs

Waves crash into Hope Bay, Bequia, bordered by rocky outcrops on both sides of the bay

One of the questions I get asked a lot here as the breeze comes down the valley into the main bay, is "does the wind really blow that strong?" I think this tree tells you the answer.

Trees bent over in the strong winds of Hope Bay, Bequia
Caribbean Sailing Photography: Perini Navi Luna
21st January 2013 - 0 comments
Caribbean Sailing Photography
Perini Navi Luna

Super yacht Luna from Perini Navi moors up in Admiralty Bay, Bequia

Today I continued my long standing love affair with the superyachts, in particular,those from Perini Navi in Italy.

This afternoon I watched a glorious yacht motor into the bay and moor up, raise the yellow customs flag and settle into Caribbean life in Admiralty Bay, Bequia.

I immediately noticed it, with its easily recognisable lines, polished hull with the water reflecting of its hull and its superstructure gleaming in the afternoon sunlight.

This yacht is now called 'Luna' but was originally 'Galaxia' and that's where it gets interesting. A few years ago I visited the Perini shipyard and was shown around three of the yachts being built and refurbished, Galaxia being one of them. I was shown around and on board and to say luxurious doesn't even begin to capture this amazing boat.

A very happy afternoon dreaming ...

Super yacht Luna from Perini Navi moors up in Admiralty Bay, Bequia

Super yacht Luna from Perini Navi moors up in Admiralty Bay, Bequia

Super yacht Luna from Perini Navi moors up in Admiralty Bay, Bequia

Super yacht Luna from Perini Navi moors up in Admiralty Bay, Bequia

Super yacht Luna from Perini Navi moors up in Admiralty Bay, Bequia
Caribbean Photography: the Super Yachts come to Bequia
31st December 2012 - 0 comments
Caribbean Photography
The Super Yachts come to Bequia

The sun sets behind super yacht Athos

Following on from the arrival of 'Andromeda' earlier in the day, another large yacht sailed into Bequia just as the sun was setting this evening.

Superyacht 'Athos', a 62m Hoek Design schooner which was only launched in 2010. She arrived as the sun was setting and moored up in Admiralty Bay. Being such a large yacht, she had to moor up way out in the bay so it was difficult to get a great shot of her, but she did provide an interesting foreground for those of us who love sailing.

If nothing else, she stood out for having one of the highest masts in the bay at 201ft!
Happy New Year from the Caribbean island of Bequia
31st December 2012 - 1 comment
A very Happy New Year from the Caribbean island of Bequia.

Superyacht Andromeda provides the perfect Happy New Years present

Some of you may know that as well as being a photographer, I am also a qualified Yacht Skipper and ran yachts for a number of years, including one here on the island of Bequia in St Vincent & the Grenadines a few years ago.

As well as being a Skipper, I have had a love affair with some of the larger yachts for many years too, with my own personal dream yacht being one of the Perini Navi yachts from Italy.

So today as I relaxed on the beach down at Lower Bay on Bequia, I watched intensely as a very beautiful yacht cruised into the harbour and moored up just off the beach. It was 'Andromeda La Dea', one of the 47m Perini Navi Superyachts. A great New Years present if there was ever one.

Have a great New Year wherever you spend it, and whoever you spend it with. Here on the island, it is called 'Old Years Night' to celebrate the passing of another year. I'll be raising a rum punch or two to all tomorrow night.

Here's to a fantastic, fun filled and successful 2013.
Caribbean Photography: Playing on the dock
30th December 2012 - 0 comments
Caribbean Photography
Playing on the dock


Children play on the dock in Admiralty Bay, Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines

As its the holidays and the schools are out, the young people and children on the island here take to playing in the water and in particular, playing on the many docks around the main bay.

I'm sure you remember the days of younger years when the game was to soak your friends, either by pushing them in, or jumping in yourself and causing such a splash as to get them wet. By the time sunset comes along, everyone is soaked anyway, but they still carry on jumping, swimming, boarding, splashing..... its just great fun.

Shot straight into the sun a half-hour before sunset, the top right is a little burnt out and the tones are golden from the setting sun, but I just liked the scene.
Caribbean Photography: Sunset across Admiralty Bay, Bequia
15th December 2012 - 0 comments
Caribbean Photography
Sunset across Admiralty Bay, Bequia

A golden sunset across the yachts moored in Admiralty Bay, Bequia

A wonderful golden and pink sunset last evening as the clouds were forming amazing patterns in the skies above, catching the glow of the sun once it had disappeared below the horizon.

Sitting outside the Whaleboner Bar enjoying a rum punch only added to the wondrous spectacle going on in front of us all.

They say that you know its a great sunset when the locals stop what they are doing and come out and join you to watch, which is what happened last night. We all enjoyed the show.

A golden and dusky pink sunset across the yachts moored in Admiralty Bay, Bequia
Caribbean Photography: Sunset over West Cay
14th December 2012 - 0 comments
Caribbean Photography
Sunset over West Cay

The sun sets over West Cay, across the boats moored up in Admiralty Bay, Bequia

It was a golden sunset yesterday, with a thin strip of cloud along the horizon catching the glow.

I was driving around to the far side of the bay here, when I stopped to watch the sunset over the yachts moored up in Admiralty Bay.

If you look closely, you can see a commercial boat which has run aground between the 2 islands at the far end of Bequia, Big Cay & West Cay. It was trying to squeeze through the gap as a short cut, but ran aground and yes yet to be salvaged.
Caribbean Photography: Into the fires of hell
06th December 2012 - 0 comments
Caribbean Photography
Into the fires of hell


The golden sunset across Admiralty Bay, with the Royal Clipper ready to enter the fires of hell

Have recently watched the Pirates of the Caribbean, At Worlds End, with its links to the underworld, green flashes, turning the world upside down etc, it seemed fitting to name this small series 'Into the fires of hell'.

The sunset tonight was awesome, the clouds spread across the sky in such a way as to catch the colours of the setting sun. Once down below the horizon the sky lit up with golds, oranges, pinks and yellows, that went on for about an hour. An amazing show and one Im getting used to out here on Bequia.

The Royal Clipper cruise ship was moored out in the bay, out towards the western end of the island, providing a good point of interest, but with the colour spreading across the entire bay, it was difficult to know where to look and which scene to shoot. It was definitely one of those times when you were spoilt for choice and even the tourists were out with their compacts catching the moment.

A glorious end to the day.

Wherever you looked tonight, you caught sight of this magical sunset across Admiralty Bay, Bequia

The Royal Clipper entering the fires of hell - the glorious golden sunset across Admiralty Bay, Bequia

The gold turns to pink and dusky pink as the sun sets further across Admiralty Bay, Bequia
Caribbean Photography: Golden Sunset Strip
04th December 2012 - 0 comments
Caribbean Photography
Golden Sunset Strip

A golden sunset across the horizon, lights up the boats in Admiralty Bay, Bequia

It was a colourful sunset last night, but only in a small part of the sky. A thin strip of cloud, of differing types, sat along the horizon and probably up to 10% of the sky above, forming a horizontal band of colour, that progressed from orange, to pink, to the real dark dusky pink, before disappearing all together.

It also lasted quite a while, which was good as I was meeting with friends and kept running out to take a shot or two, but they are already getting used to me here, camera in hand.

All of the shots are taken from the shoreline in Port Elizabeth, Bequia, out across Admiralty Bay and the boats and yachts moored there, out towards West Cay, the western most point of the island.

A golden sunset across the horizon, looking out across Admiralty Bay, Bequia

A golden sunset across the horizon, silhouettes the boats moored up in Admiralty Bay, Bequia

Even the old fuel barge makes a great silhouette against the golden sunset in Admiralty Bay, Bequia
Caribbean Photography: Sunset over the Old Fort, Bequia
01st December 2012 - 0 comments
Caribbean Photography
Sunset over the Old Fort, Bequia


Sunset over the Old Fort, Bequia, with the dusky pinks and blues catching on the clouds

It was a lovely dusky pinky blue sunset here a few days ago and I decided to head over to the Hamilton Old Fort, overlooking the bay and out towards West Cay and the end of the island. Built in the 1770's as one of three forts defending Admiralty Bay, the original fort has long since gone, but French and English cannons, recovered from the waters around Bequia, now adorn the site.

The sun had already set, but the colours were being caught by the clouds across the entire sky. It was a shame there weren't more clouds!

The canons make it an interesting viewpoint, with the guns pointed out across the incoming waters, a great defensive position.
Caribbean Sailing Photography: Bequia Youth Sailors
30th November 2012 - 0 comments
Caribbean Sailing Photography
Bequia Youth Sailors



Two new portfolio's added:

Bequia Youth Sailors : Young Island Regatta
Bequia Youth Sailors : Weekly training

I have launched a new series of gallery portfolios to cover the Bequia Youth Sailors program.

The program offers young schoolchildren on Bequia the opportunity to learn to sail. Although its a small island, there are many people here who have never sailed, or learnt to sail, so this is a unique program. It also give the youngsters experience of many life skills too, e.g. teamwork, racing, competition & preparation.

The program has been so successful it has received the attention of Sir Frederick Ballantyne, the Governor General of St Vincent & the Grenadines, who loves the opportunities for the children, to get them 'off the streets' and give them a worthwhile purpose. He would like to see the program extended onto St Vincent.

Mr Ballantyne is looking to the program to deliver some serious athletes to the next Olympic Games, in the Laser class of sailing boat.

The galleries will be extended as required to incorporate new images and news from the program and while their own website is upgraded.
Caribbean Photography: Surging waves at Lower Bay, Bequia
29th November 2012 - 0 comments
Caribbean Photography
Surging waves at Lower Bay, Bequia

Surging waves wash the beach at Lower Bay, Bequia, in the Grenadines.

Another from yesterdays shoot down at Lower Bay, with the waves really surging up the beach, almost reaching the decking for the bar and definitely washing the legs of the sun loungers.

A beautiful spot and if you're thinking of coming to the Caribbean, this is one of those must-see spots in the Southern Caribbean. The Grenadines are definitely the unexplored and unspoilt part of the region.

Surging waves wash the beach at Lower Bay, Bequia, in the Grenadines.
Caribbean Photography: A day at the beach
28th November 2012 - 0 comments
Caribbean Photography
A day at the beach


Lower Bay beach on Bequia, in St Vincent & the Grenadines

It was a glorious day yesterday, sunny, blue skies, white fluffy clouds and after a frustrating day or two, I decided it was to be a day at the beach: a day for relaxing, so I headed down to Lower Bay on Bequia, which is one of the most beautiful beaches the country has to offer.

Its long expanse of golden sand, a sandy-bottomed bay provides the turquoise backdrop and while its still 'out of season', there are few people around so you get the place to yourself. Well almost.

It didn't take too long for the relaxing day to be interrupted by the waves crashing in and surging up the beach, forming some great scenes that I fancied capturing, so I headed off and setup the camera. I went back to the same driftwood log/tree trunk that I found last week during a passing storm, but the weather was so much better today.

Once setup I played around with filters to get the effect I was after - water streaking down the beach around the log.

It was a hot day, and after it all, I got some great images, but also got sunburnt badly. The moral for today: remember to keep applying the suntan lotion!
Caribbean Photography : Sunrise Part II
25th November 2012 - 0 comments
Another from the sunrise shoot over Spring Bay last week.

Sunrise over the fishing boats tied up in Spring Bay, Bequia, St Vincent & the Grenadines

This one in vertical format to bring in the lines of the palm trees and their curving trunks and the fans of leaves spreading out to form the canopy.
Caribbean photography: Sunset across the harbour, Bequia
23rd November 2012 - 0 comments
Caribbean photography
Sunset across the harbour, Bequia

Golden sunset over the boats moored in Admiralty Bay, Bequia, St Vincent & the Grenadines

A quick golden sunset last night. There was little cloud and I was chatting to the guys from the Bequia Youth Sailors program as the sun was getting closer to the horizon, so I got out the telephoto lens and focused on one of their locally made, Bequia specific boats, the Double Ender.

Ominously called 'Worries' I decided to cover up the -ve name and go for gold with the sun showing brightly throwing the boats into deep shadow.
Caribbean Photography: Sunrise over the fishing gear
22nd November 2012 - 0 comments
Caribbean Photography
Sunrise over the fishing gear

Sunrise over the fishing boat, Spring Bay, Bequia, St Vincent & the Grenadines

A bright and early start out here in the Caribbean compared to sunrise in the UK currently, but with so much interest, its worth it.

The cloud formations here recently have been little of no cloud for sunrise, and that which is ere is very low lying, so I was hoping for something a bit different this morning. I was heading out when I saw a small band of cloud against the horizon, so was hoping for some additional colour as the sun hit the cloud.

Using a telephoto instead of a wide angle lens, I found this small fishing boat lying up on the beach, with its fishing gear hanging out to dry between a couple of palms, along with a make shift hammock. Idyllic. Well worth the early start.
Panorama Across Bequia, St Vincent & the Grenadines
18th November 2012 - 0 comments
Panorama Across Bequia, St Vincent & the Grenadines

Panorama across the entire harbour and all three bays of Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines

High up on one of the hills overlooking the bay, I was being shown a brand new house that's being built.

Due to the lack of flat ground here, many of the house are built directly on hills-sides and the access is normally a road going straight up the hillside. These roads can be very steep and sometimes whilst the house is being built at the top, there is little or no turning circle, so sometimes you have to reverse back down too!

The house is up to its second level and will be stunning when complete, but what caught my eye was the fantastic view from the site.

It shows the entire bay of Bequia, from the ferry port on the left hands side, around the Belmont Walkway, a small 'boardwalk' along the bay side, then into Princess Margaret Beach (also called Tony Gibbons beach) and onto Lower Bay beach, before running into the tree covered hillside of the island which runs all the way out to the right hand side, which is in fact the Western-most point of Bequia, West Cay.

The bay is full of the yachts which come and go on almost a daily basis, along with some of the smaller cruise ships, ferries and other boats and craft. Its a busy harbour.

At night, the scene changes again, but that's another shot to come.
Caribbean Photography: Sunset across the yachts
16th November 2012 - 0 comments
Caribbean Photography: Sunset across the yachts

Sunset over the western most point of the island of Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines

I was out trying to capture the sunset, and the scene was developing nicely, with some clouds breaking up around the horizon, a golden glow developing and a few boats coming and going.

Just I setup the camera and tripod, waiting for the 'perfect' moment, the heavens opened it started to pour...... allbeit only for 15 minutes, but it was the 15 minutes over sunset. I managed to get off a couple of frames before I ran undercover.
Caribbean Photography: The Long Walk
16th November 2012 - 0 comments
Caribbean Photography
The Long Walk

Big Cay on the western most point on the island of Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines

As a past sailing visitor to the island of Bequia, I have often sailed down past the end if island, a place called West Cay, so on this visit, I wanted to walk down there and see the view from the end of the land.

I understood that there was a pathway that led most, if not all the way down to West Point, but that it went through the private resort of Moonhole, so after checking with the security team there I set off with another intrepid explorer.

We had been told that it was a 15-20 minute walk down to the end but as we strolled along the pathway out into the forested and overgrown areas of the western side if then island, that this was not going to be an easy or short walk.

There is a pathway, of sorts, almost to the end, but it was put in probably 40 years ago and although maintained since, much of it is now overgrown, or turned to rubble, so the walk took us the best part of an hour and we both wished we had come better prepared with walking boots and a few gallons of water to replace that lost.

Finally we made it out to the rocky outcrop on the Western tip of the island, overlooking the first of 2 cays, Big Cay, where we could watch the yachts and boats pass closeby and even one of the local women had made the trip to fish for her dinner.

A great walk, but one that needs more preparation.

the Western most point on the island of Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines

Wild cactus growing Western Point, on the island of Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines

Big Cay on the western most point on the island of Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines