Facing Fears: A Cinco De Mayo Adventure

All of my friends know that I love to travel. But while I love seeing new places and countries, I don't feel the same way about flying....or rather the act of flying. And the smaller the plane, the more I tend to get that sinking feeling. My friend Bruce has been a bit of an aviation buff for many years. He can easily tell you the names and paths of just about every type of plane landing at the airport. So when a mutual acquaintance of ours made a suggestion to take a short flight around the island (for his pilot's license requirements), he was ready to jump at the chance. I will admit that I was lukewarm to the idea but their enthusiasm was infectious. 

Maybe it was time to try something new. So, even with the initial misgivings, I decided to jump in. The first flight got cancelled due to the weather but the second one looked good. So on May 5 2018 (Cinco de Mayo), I decided to bite the bullet and packed up my camera to take in a side of Barbados not seen by many. I've been on a plane to and from Barbados before, but never circling the island at around 2,000 ft. And what an experience it was. For the aviation buffs reading this, our plane was a reliable Cessna 172 Skyhawk courtesy of the local aviation club. It's a four seat, single engine aircraft and surprisingly easy to push (easier than a car). Total flying time was exactly 30 minutes to complete a rough figure 8 shape. 

I came away from this experience with a greater appreciation for my beautiful island and a few aerial photography pointers:

  1. Figure out your flight plan, ask questions and do your preparation. How long is the flight? Do you take or require medication?
  2. Take a good zoom lens.
  3. Follow your flight safety rules and listen to your pilot. 
  4. Be patient.
  5. Fast shutter speeds above 1/500s. 
  6. Remember the glass (assuming that you are in an enclosed aircraft) and the location of the sun. 

Special thanks to our fabulous pilot, Mr. Ade Alleyne who kept us entertained while pointing out some famous landmarks. And finally thanks to the Barbados Light Airplane Club for hosting our group as visitors for the afternoon. 

Please enjoy the short video that I put together and the images in the gallery below. I might do this again, never say never.

Video Link:

Camera and equipment details:
Camera: Nikon D7200

Lenses:  Nikon 18-55mm G VR DX AF-S Zoom

Lighting: Natural Light

Video: Lenovo TAB 2 A10-70L

Video Editing Software: Adobe Premiere Elements

Until next what scares you. 


Horsin' Around: Easter Monday Jaunt With Some Horses

I have been trying to get back out to shoot again. I've always found one of the best ways to cure a creative drought is to find a personal project. A personal project may be a short term assignment or a longer term exploration of a particular theme. This may be easier said than done, as with most creative endeavours. For me, the idea of having a long term goal tends to allow the creative mind to periodically reset. For the longest time, I have observed some horses tethered on a pasture on my usual route to work on most mornings. I have wanted to be able to photograph them in early light. So when I finally saw an opportunity on Easter Monday, I grabbed it with both hands. Rising early with camera in hand, I packed up the car and headed out to my location. Luckily the main attraction in this area is the beach. The other people who were around at this time, were on the other side of the road enjoying a dip in the cool seawater.


Why did I choose horses? Well, why not? Horses are such powerful, dynamic and enigmatic subjects, in my opinion, with any number of meanings in classical and contemporary artwork. And in this regard, I felt it worthwhile to do something a bit different in the post production and convert this series into black and white and monochromatic images (generally speaking). Also I made sure to choose one lens for my minimal gear as I had a short time frame to work within.


After my short time outside, I feel that I've barely touched the surface of this theme. Thus it bears revisiting in the near future and I'm excited about that prospect. Don't be surprised if you see more of these popping up in future blog posts....


Camera and equipment details:
Camera: Nikon D7200
Lenses:  Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 VR DX AF-S
Lighting: Natural Light

Until next time...


Something Different

In my last post, I briefly mentioned that I had the opportunity last year to go to my first vintage car show. Now I must admit that I had never considered shooting cars before this even after a few invites from my very talented friend Byron Morris aka Vizionz '93 (@vizionz93photography on Instagram. But ever the explorer, I decided to grab my camera and give it a quick try on a Sunday afternoon outing with friends. Even with a long time between the shoot and editing, I must admit that I was pleased with the results. See how they came out in the gallery below.

Regarding the editing process, I used Photoshop Elements 11 for such things as exposure and colour correction. Some images required a more technical approach. For these images, there was replacement of the sky and background and some cloning and spot correction. I don't consider myself to be a photoshop/editing expert but I was glad for the chance to exercise this creative muscle. I'd love to have a bit more gear to experiment with, next time around.

Sometimes necessity is the mother of invention and this quick shoot was a great learning experience for me. At any car show, expect to see a lot of people milling around and sometimes drifting in and out of your shot. I've discovered that if you're shooting at a car show, you either need patience, some good editing skills or both! And people can add to your shot, depending on what kind of story you want to tell. A car show isn't necessarily just about the cars unless your focus is strictly advertising work. Whatever the direction you decide to go in, be sure to try stepping out of your comfort zone. Take the opportunity to practice those skills which you may be weak in or consider to be intimidating. 

Camera and equipment details:
Camera: Nikon D7200
Lenses:  Nikon 18-55mm G VR DX AF-S Zoom, Nikon 55-300mm VR DX AF-S
Lighting: Natural Light

Be sure to check out Byron's work on his website. I can only endeavor to be this good one day.