St Lucia Photo Safari
The ULTIMATE St Lucia Photo Tour
Guaranteed To Get You Your
Best Photography Ever…
Once A Week On A Wednesday Only
This week I conducted my best St Lucia Photo Safari EVER and thought I’d review it to share the highlights of the new and updated St Lucia Photo Safari with you.
So this post is gonna be longer than usual however if you’re thinking about the ULTIMATE St Lucia Excursion then read on because this just might be it!
This St Lucia Photo Safari was particularly special for me because Jim who had signed up for the safari is someone I first met in Hawaii 8 years ago on a photo workshop over on The Big Island. With only 11 of us attending that workshop I imagined that no one would have known of St Lucia so you can imagine my surprise when Jim said that not only did he know of St Lucia, but better than this he had spent time in St Lucia as a young volunteer doctor back in the 1990s!
Pink Plantation House
So connecting with Jim again after all these years was really great and the fact that he chose St Lucia for a Caribbean vacation because I was down here was already the makings of a spectacular Photo Excursion. And because Jim was coming over with his wife, Suzanne I wanted to make our photo expedition really special so I popped up to the Pink Plantation House the day before Jim arrived and arranged for us to finish off our photo excursion up there.
Now if you have read any St Lucia reviews you know that The Pink Plantation House is probably the best restaurant in Castries, not just because of its excellent food, but over and beyond this because the restaurant is housed in an authentic “olde worlde” Colonial Plantation House and the garden surrounding the plantation house is stunningly spectacular with it’s Royal Palms, numerous varieties of orchids, travelers palms, lobster claws and so many other tropical flowers.
We got off to a bit of a late start as St Lucia had been brushed by Tropical Storm Chantal the day before and having busted a tyre the night before I needed to repair it before we set off.
Castries From 10 Floors Up
It was really wonderful reconnecting with Jim and finally meeting Suzanne as she had not been on our Hawaii trip.
Once we hit downtown Castries our photo shoot started from atop the Castries Car Park some 10 floors up then from here we headed down to the market for a wonderful shooting experience. Jim got pictures of fish vendors plying their catch followed by more market ladies selling the freshest organic produce you can imagine.
With mangoes, pineapples, wax apples and papayas in season the market was awash with colour which made for great shooting and while Suzanne bargained with a vendor for mangoes for Jim’s breakfast next morning Jim and I busied ourselves exploring the effects of shooting with the pop up reflector atop Jim’s Nikon SB900 flash.
Next we compared the histogram read out at different exposure compensation values to really drill down on how best to interpret the wealth of information within the histogram. I showed Jim how correctly interpreting the information displayed on the histogram was actually a better guide to optimum image exposure instead of depending on judging exposure by looking at the camera’s LCD screen.
Exploring The Castries Market
Walking through the market we went past the food stalls and as I called out to the ladies in Aunty’s #1 Food Stall Jim said that he had read a lot of great reviews about Aunty’s food so I popped inside and posed with the ladies for a souvenir shot for them compliments of Jim.
Next we headed across the street to the guys playing dominoes and stopped for some more pictures there. Now the fun stuff about all of this photography is the fact that I know so many of the people about town and so many of them know me too. This makes for a really great shooting experience as everyone who we encountered was so accommodating in letting us shoot pictures of them. And if you know anything of travel photography you will know that very often the locals can be reluctant to pose for you… Well not so when you’re about town with me!
Shooting Downtown Castries
From here it was off to the Roman Catholic Cathedral in the city center then on to the Castries Central Library with its distinctive architecture and striking colours. And all along the way we’d have people stop us and pose to have their pictures taken, from a pretty brown eyed girl to a blonde haired rasta man.
After retrieving the jeep from the parking lot we headed off to picturesque Marigot Bay and Jim’s immediate comment was “Wow, pictures just can’t do justice to the beauty of this place!” With a stand of palm trees growing on a tiny spit of land across the bay and yachts gently bobbing in the water ahead of us we were spoilt for pictures…and so too will you. Then there were the vendors selling their local craft, from bird feeders carved out of coconuts freshly fallen from nearby trees to necklaces strung from a variety of local and imported beads and so much more.
Photography At Marigot Bay
Somewhere along the way I had told Suzanne that it was important to buy from the local vendors as this was an significant aspect of the injection of money into our economy. Well Suzanne took me up on this and before long she had purchased quite a few souvenirs and Jim would jokingly comment that he’d probably need to charter a separate airplane to take home all the booty she had acquired, while Suzanne would respond “…but Kirk says that we must support the local economy!”
The beauty of it though was that everyone was happy, as the vendors made some sales, Suzanne had fun shopping and Jim and I didn’t have to feel guilty about all the time we spent shooting since Suzanne was occupied browsing and shopping and was never bored. Best of all the souvenirs that Suzanne got were not expensive at all.
Riding The Ferry Across Marigot Bay
We then jumped on the ferry and headed across the bay where we made some more pictures among the palm trees, again experimenting with camera angles, lens swaps and working to isolate single elements from within the broader scenes that would convey the beauty of this amazing location. One of the challenges that this location brought to light is the difficulty of shooting in a location that is simply beautiful in every direction you look. So the challenge was how best to showcase all that there is in Marigot Bay.
Off To The Pink Plantation House
From Marigot Bay it was off to The Pink Plantation House and it’s pretty Garden. Here again there was so much to shoot, from all the flowers in the garden to the architectural details of the house, the view from the front of the building overlooking Castries as well as the Hideaway Garden Deck which was a study in contrasty photography as the sun cam blazing through the open areas of the surrounding jungle cover.
After having our fill of shooting pictures we headed into the Restaurant where lunch was a sumptuous feast and Suzanne was blown away by the hand painted plates at the table, which then led her to go explore the selection of hand painted china on offer. And as you can well imagine this resulted in another injection of money into our local economy as even Jim agreed that it would be sacrilegious to come this far and not carry home some of the beautifully hand painted plates on display.
By the time we were through with lunch it was nearly 3:00 PM and Jim told me that he knew quite a few other photo enthusiasts who would absolutely love this Photo Safari with the best part being that St Lucia is only 5 hours flying from most US east coast states and in the same time zone compared to Hawaii which is 16 hours flying and 6 hours behind. Jim then told me that quite a few of his friends often headed for Hawaii for when they wanted a tropical photo shoot and that St Lucia ranked right up there with the best that he had seen in Hawaii.
So I think that we are about to get rather busy down here with the St Lucia Photo Safari and I’d love to have you come hang with us.
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