Travels in the Caribbean Sea

Ferry Ride, 2015

Horizontal color photograph of a ferry taking people between St Martin and St Barts.

In this photograph is a ferry transporting people from St Martin to Saint Barthélemy. The boat was bouncing roughly in the high swells, so much so, I had to position my body against 2 parts of the boat to make sure I didn't fall onto someone else or worse into the hard metal of the boat. I also needed to remove the vibrations and shake from the boats bouncing on the sea. A funny aspect of this image is that the viewer has little sense as to how jarring the ride was while it looks relatively peaceful as the ship's captain is steering the vessel while passengers are holding onto the rails and watching the view out the back of the boat. In reality, we bounced from one swell to the next until we finally came into the outer landmass and protected harbor of Gustavia.

I find it's on the way to someplace else where I find images that I want to shoot. To think that great images have an on/off button and it's not until you get to a specific place that one becomes inspired is the wrong attitude and many missed and wonderful shots will be lost. I have prepared myself to have my camera and bag easily available and ready to use. I leave my camera in my favorite sensor speed of ISO of 200, white balance in bright sun = 5500 degrees Kelvin, and the camera's shutter speed setting at 250. Knowing that the camera is in this setting allows me to quickly adjust to whatever I start to shoot next with whatever the varying light conditions might be. Special moments exist for only a very small moment, and if I hesitate, these moments disappear very quickly. There have been enough times that I when I have left the camera at the last settings I used, when I pick it up to use sometime later, it's set differently than what I might need quickly at the next opportunity.

One of the things a photographer develops over many years of shooting is acknowledging when a situation has the potential to be unusually interesting. I find it's often a combination of juxtapositions of people to people, objects to objects, shadows, gestures, and all with mixed and varying degrees of light coming in from various directions.