Today was too good to pass up the opportunity to photograph the rain to help prove that it sometimes rains needles and pins. I used a tripod to hold the camera and a mango tree was positioned at the back of the rain. The photo was shot on location in Trinidad and Tobago using a Pentax K-7 fitted with a Pentax 50-200mm zoom lens at 1/80s and f6.3.
Clouds on the move – St. Augustine 2012
Only last week I tried the “Interval Shooting” feature on the Pentax K-7. I mounted the camera on a tripod, left the focus on manual, and set the interval time for 1 minute. I set the amount of images to 11 and used Adobe Image Ready 7.0 to produce the GIF using 9 of the shots captured. Image Ready was also used to reduced the size of the final GIF.
Trinidad Carnival 2012 - A Carnival Cup
I don’t have much time for blogging these days because I am very busy with house repairs and hard-to-avoid cousins vacationing in Trinidad. However, those who keep track of mayarobeach.com must have noticed two Trinidad Carnival 2012 photo albums. Taking photographs during Carnival Monday and Tuesday has always been fun and difficult with the biggest challenges being thick crowds, midday sun and the price of beer. Because of a reduction in my Carnival inspiration this year and being followed by irritating cousins, I took less photos. Nevertheless, here are the links to the two Trinidad Carnival 2012 photo albums. One is iPad friendly and one is not.
I suppose it is only the well trained observer who can see how much Carnival has changed over the years.
Looks can be deceiving as well as pleasing
The thing that separates humans from the rest of the animal world is our ability to be creative. To express our creativity and to appreciate or drool over the the creativity of others are natural human tendencies. However, to deny these tendencies make life less fulfilling. Maybe the best authors can do the picture above justice with their words but for any man, the picture says almost enough.
As shaky as the World looks right now, I want stretch my optimism and use the popular quote by Joey Adams to say to everyone “May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions!”
Here is another photo-project which I am calling “Trini Christmas.” I will start with a few photos and as I find more time I will take and post more shots. The photos shown are some of what I observed during this Christmas season. Christmas in Trinidad has a high content of foreign decorations, foreign movies and local pigs. None of this is a criticism since nearly everybody is happy with what we do during the Christmas season with the one exception being dying and killing with drinking and driving. Local Christmas music is mainly the Spanish influenced Parang, White Christmas and Scrunter wanting A Piece of Pork for the Christmas. Sorrel is the most popular drink in Trinidad and Tobago at Christmas time after Scotch and coconut water. Sorrel drink is made from the fleshy red calyx of the hibiscus sabdariffa (ttltt.com). Ginger beer is popular but not something I am fond off so I will not try to big it up via blog.
There are several new trends developing over the years in Trinidad and Tobago for the Christmas Season such as avoiding the malls and streets and instead depending on Amazon and skybox addresses for everything from books to underwear for that special someone. There are now a number of these skybox services available in Trinidad and Tobago, services that can easily frustrate customers with unreliable delivery during this season of buying affection with credit cards.
The best way to describe the weather in Trinidad in December is tropically cool. Only last week I heard thunder then got soaked but generally the skies are sometimes blue and even bluer if a polarizing filter is used – no Photoshop is necessary for the season.
Christmas time is the best time of the year in TnT for those who have some money. Even if a person fell through the cracks and was never able to make any money because they lacked the skills and health necessary to get a job and live like people, there might be short-term charity made available by the rich and the Government. Nobody wants to be poor and in an attempt to combat poverty and unhappiness some public servants, politicians, and contractors team up to dabble in the corruption field at the expense of even those who don’t have any money.
Fishing Boat at Mayaro Beach
Mayaro Beach beach
St. Peter's and St. Paul's Church Mayaro Beach - 2011
After some years of a drought of photos of Mayaro Beach, I finally posted a new album. The beach looks the same and possibly a bit cleaner, except for the odd pen or cigarette lighter. I also paid a visit to the church for photographic reasons and found out from the priest the church, which is 167 years old, may be demolished soon as the owners of the land is interested in bulldozing the building. I don’t know if I got this part right but I think he said the land was sold by the church several years ago. Well, Mayaro could always do with another hideaway for families etc.
- Mayaro Beach II (akalol.wordpress.com)
Mayaro Beach II
For unknown reasons I decided to call this photo Mayaro Beach II but the alternate name is Mayaro Beach 2011.
This 1999 photograph provided by Chrisitie's shows the Rhine river by German artist Andreas Gursky. Titled "Rhein II," the chromogenic color print face-mounted to acrylic glass was sold for $4.3 million Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, at Christie's in New York City, setting a record for any photograph sold at auction. (AP Photo/Christie's, Andreas Gursky)
WTF! exclaimed akalol. “$4.3 million US dollars for a photograph!”
I was not complain only surprised that someone paid so much money for a photograph in these uncertain economic times. I also wondered why this photo. Was it the camera – Pentax, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, or Sony that some like to pointlessly argue? Was it taken with film or digitally recorded on a super-fast Sansa SD card bought from Amazon? Was it a scene that can never be captured again? Did the Rhine evaporate since 1999? Was it the 81 x 140 inches size since size does matter despite claims by the unfortunate that it doesn’t? Would the answers to any of these questions affect the price? I doubt it. If the photo looked the same but was a picture of the Caroni River and not the Rhine would the photo even fetch a price? It might if the photographer was Andreas Grusky, photographer of Rhine II and who ” is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential photographers of his generation.” I never heard the name Grusky until this week but thanks to Google I found out he is quite famous despite never doing weddings.
All I can assume is that the photograph called Rhine II fetched that record price since it was considered “art” by those influential ones who know what art is, or at least pretend to know. Works of art are works of creativity and the photo above is creative to some and probably represents more than just bands of grass, road, grass, water, more grass and then dull sky. One can only assume this photo represents something very deep to the buyer and hopefully even the photographer but to the average blogger, looking at this low quality small photo, it simply looks kind-ah-nice.
Long before Anya Ayoung-Chee made Trinidad and Tobago proud for a third time, there was a Trinidad postage stamp from 1847 selling for around US$29,999.00. The stamp features the paddle steamer called the Lady McLeod which sailed between Port of Spain and San Fernando from 1845 to 1854. This rare stamp can be bought on eBay from a seller based in New York if you are interested in boosting your collection. Like all collectibles, its value is based on what collectors are willing to pay which is determined by how rare an item is and the condition of that item. The price of these collectibles are somewhat subjective but not as subjective as the price placed on works of art by those with money.
Happy Diwali 2011 - Saheena hot from the pot
Saheena and Chutney (चटनी)
Decorated wax diyas
Happy Diwali to all!! May all your saheenas be hot and tasty.
Hopefully I will post photos as they happen or as I have the time. Stay tuned.
Harrods Horse and Buggy
Some toys from the UK - made in China
In about ten thousand years from now, the toys shown in the photos above may be worth the price I paid for them in the tourist trap known as the souvenir shop. I am not complaining since no tourist will ever feel fulfilled unless he or she buys souvenirs for friends and loved ones that will look cheap and tacky in even the cheapest and tackiest parts of any home. Giving someone a tacky souvenir is the way we tell people how we felt about them while we were having a good time in a foreign country.The only souvenirs that are not tacky are toy cars as toys will be toys even if made in China.
Photographing toys is almost as much fun as playing with them and even more fun than buying them. For men, there is something very compelling about toy cars and I suppose it is the same compulsion women feel when they see shoes, handbags, clothes, a sign marked SALE or the able wallet of a man. The photos were taken with a Pentax 50mm 1.4 FA lens. The light was natural and the table top old.
Sunrise - St. Augustine, Trinidad - July 13th 2011 at 5:36 a.m
The photo above shows a typical sunrise in Trinidad and Tobago when looking east. Typical sun rays are shown.
Facing east at around 6:33 p.m rays - from the sun? - can be seen
The photo above shows sun rays in the east but this time it’s in the evening at around 6:33 p.m of July 25th 2011. I never saw that one before.
Digicel Girl - Trinidad and Tobago 2011
The Digicel Girls are as popular in Trinidad and Tobago, or even more popular than their island-wide coverage and superior ability to hold a call instead of dropping it like the other provider does so well. With Digicel being a sponsor of the West Indies Cricket team, the Trinidad and Tobago Digicel Girls make appearances at all the internationally televised matches featuring the West Indies and are now the only reason to look at a cricket match featuring the West Indies.
I took some photos of the Digicel Girls during the Carnival season using a point-and-shoot camera I grabbed from a nearby person just to preserve an important part of our local culture. I had to set the camera on voyeur-mode to take these photos so as not to be restrained earlier.
The video below was made with the point-and-shoot camera and it is a clip lasting a few seconds repeated over and over and over just to irritate.
Trinidad Carnival 2011 - Getting Ready
Trinidad Carnival 2011 Photos - click here!!!
It seems that the country is getting ready for Carnival 2011 with many taking advantage of the 20% off sale on books at RIK while others are flying out with precious foreign exchange to have a foreign holiday that is used to create an impression they have wealth in the minds of all those they could tell. Our beaches and bars are already flocked with real visitors, returning foreign-accent Trinis and disgruntled public servants. The climax of Trinidad Carnival is mas on the streets of mainly Port of Spain on Carnival Monday and Tuesday with the foreplay being the various competitions and fetes starting weeks before the actual event. When anybody ask me what I will be doing for Carnival this year, I say backing up. I will spend some time backing up my hard drives which is the curse of the digital torrent age. As for photographs, I say “hopefully” as the motivation is getting less and less every year but I will be in Port of Spain on Tuesday. However, I did include some never-before-seen photos for Carnival 2010 at mayarobeach.com in a new album. Click here to see.
Around the Savanna
After years of procrastination, I finally went to The Savannah early one Sunday morning to take photos of the area as my Pentax K-7 begged to be used. I managed to get the typical tourist shots plus some that were not in my mind before. The aim was to take advantage of what some photographers call the Golden Hour – the period just after sunrise and just before sunset. Non-photographers call that period the Jogging Hour but the majority of Joggers with shorts came later than the sunshine. On that Sunday, the sun, like a teenager, struggled to wake up but the light was interesting enough for me. On Carnival Monday and Tuesday the Golden Hour will be earlier but should still make for interesting photographs. Click here for my photos.
For those who are interested, I extracted some interesting information from Wikipedia and the NALIS website about the Queen’s Park Savannah which is included below.
“Port of Spain‘s largest open space—and the world’s largest traffic roundabouts—is the Queen’s Park Savannah, known colloquially simply as “the Savannah”. It occupies about 260 acres (1.1 km2)  of level land, and the distance around the perimeter is about 2.2 mi (3.5 km)” – Wikipedia
“In 1817 the parcel of land known as Paradise Estate was sold by the heirs of Madame Peschier to the governing body of the day, the Cabildo, for 6,000 Pounds Sterling as a recreation ground for the citizens of Port of Spain. Seven years later, the Cabildo transferred Paradise Estate for 10,363 Pounds Sterling to the Colonial Government and what is now known as the Queen’s Park Savannah was laid out” – NALIS
“In 1882 the Queen’s Park ordinance was passed to regulate the use of the Savannah. Historical accounts mention that besides cricket and horse racing, athletics, football, hockey, polo and until 1936, golf were played in the Savannah.” – NALIS