Ever run into somebody you just really all of a sudden need to photograph? Such a thing occurred last week in St. Lucia, at this year’s edition of our class that should be called, “let’s take some flashes and go someplace really, really nice.” That really nice place once again was Anse Chastenet and Jade Mountain, truly a piece of heaven nestled by the Piton Mountains in St. Lucia. It routinely ranks as one of the top destination resorts in the world, and exists because of the audacious creativity and tenacity of its’ owner, Nick and Karolyn Troubetzkoy.
My good friend Michael Allard introduced me to Barbara Cadet, who at that moment was sending beautiful sounds from her alto sax into the Caribbean night from the Jade Mountain Club. She has long been a fixture in the island music scene, a powerhouse not only with her saxophone in her hands, but also in terms of nurturing Carib musical talent. She exudes sweetness and soul, and when I shook her hand, I was pretty determined to get her in front of the camera.
Turns out it was a fortuitous meet, as she is coming out with a CD, and needed a picture. I kinda said, hey, you know, I’ll shoot it for you. She thought I was doing her a favor. Turns out, it was the other way around.
That’s ’cause there’s certain folks out there who just step in front of the camera and own it, plain and simple, and she’s one of them. Lighting was dead bang simple. Quadra pack into a deep Octa, Drew holding it on a paint pole.
I’m of course sitting in the surf, flopping around like a Beluga whale who took a wrong turn, with the incoming waves funneling sand into my shorts with the speed and urgency of a high powered cement mixer. My wife Annie, who found herself at the shoreline with a new P7000, managed to run some mildly embarrassing video while I was, as I noted at the time, in the process of being involuntarily exfoliated:-)
It was a great week in the islands. Scott Kelby came down, and did his usual amazing class in Lightroom and Photoshop, making the mysteries of post production truly simple. He had a blast, check out his post over at Photoshop Insider. The class had a great time as we also visited the guys at the Soufriere Fire Department. Garvey Charlemange is in the middle, flanked by Shian and Henry. Many thanks go out to the SFD, as they really rolled out the red carpet for the class.
We managed to tackle shooting groups, hi speed sync, dragging shutter, flash and blur, gels, flash at sunset, light shaping tools, you name it. We used Tri-grips of various sizes, Lastolite panels, hot shoe flashes, Quadras, c-stands, and VALS. We did lots of experimentation with very expensive electronics near or in large bodies of water, with no casualties, I’m happy to report.
All in all, for the folks who live down in St. Lucia, it was just another week in paradise. For us, though, it was truly special as the hotel staff once again bent over backwards to help move us about in vans, boats, in the jungle, on the beach and in town. Back home in the Northeast now, happily watching the leaves fall. Have a big lighting class at PPE this week. LIFE Guide is out–went to top in three categories last week for a bit, which was fun, at least for a few minutes:-)