Charlston, Nevis was our first stop after leaving the BVIs, and an extremely welcome port after a brutal 30 hour passage through gnarly squalls and 8-9 foot swells from Peter Island. (more…)
After an awesome time in Saba, our trip was finally coming to a close, and it was time to return home to the BVIs. We arrived at about 8:00 am after a starry overnight passage from Saba.
Saba was the Fifth stop on our Leeward Islands tour. It was easily the most bad-ass place we visited. Surrounded by a sheer rock face hundreds of feet high, covered in dense jungle, and with roads so steep you could barely stand up straight, it is an imposing place to say the least. It’s also the home of the Saba Triathlon, one of the most intense races I’ve ever heard of. Even so, Saba still has plenty of good Caribbean chill, and everybody there is super nice. It also has a very diverse local ecology, with lots of fruit trees and a wide variety of plants, birds and animals. All around, it was one of my favorite stops.
After a long night of partying in Gustavia, the next day was “Surf Day!” I’d never surfed before and was very excited to try it out. I couldn’t have asked for better weather or a more beautiful beach, and I had a lot of fun paddling around and trying to catch waves, although I only managed to ride a few. (more…)
The fourth stop we made on our voyage was the French island of St. Barthélemy, or St. Barth’s. The island is an “overseas collectivity,” making it basically a part of France. As such it really felt like a little piece of Europe in the middle of the Carribean. It was easily the most expensive island we visited, due in part to a not-so-favorable dollar-euro exchange rate, but it was well worth it, as we all had a great time feasting on crêpes, going to bars, trying to speak french to drunk locals, surfing, and shopping for souvenirs.
This summer I did a 20 sailing trip with Sea|Mester. We sailed from the British Virgin Islands to Nevis, Antigua, St. Barths, Saba, and back to the BVI’s. It was a thoroughly excellent adventure, unlike anything I’d ever done before. It was my first time flying alone, first time leaving continental North America, first time being on a boat for more than a few hours, first time visiting a foreign country other than Canada, first time sailing, first time surfing, first time cooking a meal for twenty people, and probably a bunch more that aren’t coming to me at the moment. Because I have so many pictures, I am going to split my account of the trip into several parts, and because I haven’t developed some of my film yet, I am starting with part three: Antigua.
These photos, of the house in which I lived the past year, were taken as an exploration of the concept of “constructed landscape.” Taking these pictures was an interesting experience for me. At the time, I had already signed the lease for a new apartment, so the project, which had started as a school assignment, also became a last chance documenting of a place I was about to leave. It also gave me a chance to explore a new way of photographing – seeing a landscape as a unique space in time impacted and brought about by various forces (people in this case) – that has informed the way I look at the world in the time since. The images are scans from 4×5 negatives.
These were shot with a 4×5 view camera, scanned, and printed digitally for my photo II class at TCNJ.
We have class in a brand new building, and the facilities are really nice, but unfortunately they are also really unfinished. The darkroom is not dark, has no chemicals, and has sinks that aren’t yet hooked up to the building’s plumbing. As such, I had to get these developed at a shop, and some mysterious black drips appeared on them. I actually like the way they look though, especially in the following one.
The class is going really well regardless, and I love working in large format. I’m currently scanning and editing another series of still-lifes of memory-charged foods, which I will be putting up soon. We also have a class blog, which can be found at:
Our Valentine’s Day Breakfast: Spiced French Toast, Scrambled Eggs with Mozzarella, and Potato and Yam Home Fries with Rèmoulade Sauce
“Due to severely inclement weather that is anticipated for later tonight and tomorrow, TCNJ will be closed on Wednesday, February 10, 2010.
All campus events scheduled for that date are canceled or postponed.”
I only got to miss one class, but it was still a great day. I sat around inside, looked out the window, made some noodles and cookies, watched TV, and went outside for a little while to take photos while Christie, Jerico, and Zoë sculpted a snow dong:
They should have canceled school again for tomorrow, but someone made the bad decision to open at 12:30, just in time for my Biology exam…
Yaki Udon (Japanese stir-fried noodles) with vegetable and egg, topped with “chicken-less nuggets” (not as lame as they sound, I assure you) and sri racha sauce.
I went camping in Absecon NJ a couple weekends ago with Christie, Polly, Devon, Evan and D. Finally got the film developed. Check it out.
The other day I found a mysterious roll of exposed film in my desk drawer, so I had it developed and was pleased to discover photos from a show I went to last winter. It was cold and foggy and the show was pretty much outside (it was in a barn), but it was a good time nonetheless, and some of the photos I took came out really well. There were a bunch of people taking pictures there so I tried to time my exposures to catch flashes from other cameras, which resulted in some pretty interesting double images.
On April 4th Christie and I took a bus to Washington D.C. for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, Sakura Matsuri. Despite wind strong enough to blow over a porta-potty, and a less-than-awesome parade, we had a great time. There was a street festival with several blocks full of wonderful Japanese things, martial arts demonstrations, and musical performances from a traditional koto ensemble to kumi daiko to j-pop, and (though we had some trouble finding them), hundreds of cherry trees in full bloom.
These images were recently exhibited at the TCNJ Photo Minor Exhibition. They are from a series I did on strip malls in Ewing, New Jersey for my Photo I class a semester ago. Despite the sagging economy and the fact that many existing strip malls sit nearly empty, new ones are continually being put up, filled with stores and, after a few years, more or less abandoned. I’d always felt that strip malls were kind of sad, a product of the unnatural separation of residential and commercial space characteristic of the suburban landscape I’d grown up in. Through the images I hoped to use this feeling of emptiness to comment on what I take to be a curious economic practice, responsible at least in part for the wasteful lifestyle necessary to survive in suburbia. Each of the images is scanned from a gelatin-silver print made from a photograph taken with a Holga on Kodak Tmax 400 film.
This summer has been different so far:
I graduated from high school. Its pretty nice to be given $50 checks for doing absolutely nothing all year, but I dont think it’s sunken in yet. I still kinda expect to go back to Ewing next year. I think i’m really gonna miss high school. Of course i’ll still talk to a lot of my friends, but there are some people that I havent hung out with as much over the years, that I will definitely miss. I hope I get a chance to see some of these people before they all move away.
That said, I am excited for TCNJ. I had orientation on monday, where I picked the following classes: Psychology 101, Spanish 103, Astronomy 161, and “The Movie That Changed Your Life.” I’ll be free almost every night after about 3, except for a Spanish conversation hour on wednsdays at 5. College should be fun, as long as I dont slack off, and as long as my roommate isnt a tool.
Christie is in Florida, Darin and Polly are in Cambodia, and I’m going to Minnesota with my fam on saturday. I’m excited for the trip, but not so excited to be gone for two weeks. Its gonna suck being away for that long. Maybe I’ll be able to stop at the shows in Ohio.
When I get back, I want to go to Sicksflagz, and the beach, and Philly, and other cool places. Who’s down?
I really want spring to come, but I hope it snows once more so i can go sledding. I wish i could’ve gone last night. I really feel like going somewhere for a while. Like the mountains, or the beach, or Mexico, or something. Senior trip should be fun. When is a room full of boys not fun? Four d00ds, two beds, and one shower? Whats not to like?!
Ok enough of that. Breakfast at Devon’s this morning was a lot of fun. Scrabble and choco choco chip waffles.