Martinique

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by arigram, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I will be attending an EU conferance as a journalist at the island of Martinique in the Caribbean. I know very little about it apart from being french territory, occupied mostly by africans and the common language is french.
    I am not sure if I will be in the capital of Port de France or elsewhere but I will have free time and would like to take photographs of mostly the people and their surroundings in BW (not really interested in the postcard style).
    I will be probably carrying both my Nikon F90X with a zoom lens for the typical shots for the paper and my Hassy with 80mm lens for my own work.
    I will also be bringing a voice recorder for interviews and such.

    Does anyone have any information that will help?
     
  2. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Matinique

    Arigram-Martinique is a very pretty island. It has mountainous and jungle areas. How's your French? You might need it. There are quite a few old structures on the island that are worth photographing. It usually rains at least once a day but only for a short while. Will you have a car? It would be worthwhile to rent one for a day or two just to drive into the mountains. I particularly liked th south side of the island. I hope you are going to do some black and white. My meter crapped out on me when I went so alot of my negatives were overexposed. You should also be able to get a good French meal. Have a great time!!!
    Regards, Peter
     
  3. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Thank you Peter!
    As I am going with a group of other journlalists I won't have private transporation, but they will take us on an excursion. I plan to "escape" though and do what I can by myself. I am more interested on the people than the countryside which I am sure is gorgeous.
    Yes, I will be doing BW, I'll carry with me lots of TriX and FP4+.
    I will rent a car if its not expensive.
    My french is very basic as last time that I took classes was in elementary school.
    I am practicing some basic vocabulary though.
     
  4. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Faces

    Arigram-no problem-plenty of interesting faces as the local people have co-mingled with the foreigners. The major city; Port o something has lots of action going on including open air markets, etc.Plenty of portraiture potential.
    Regards, Peter
     
  5. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    Enjoy- but don't assume that Martinique is typical of the Caribbean.
    When in St Pierre remember that it was once anihilated by Mont Pelee.
    The French influence in the architecture is colourful.
    Mark
     
  6. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I came back from Martinique a week ago but it took me some time to rest, develop 19 Kodak TriX 320 films and print some fiftyfive prints. Oh, yes, also prepare the article that is going in the newspaper. Good thing we are doing a special large edition for Easter so I will have pleanty of space to put the photos up.
    I loved the place. Coming from an another island, the experience was not mighty different and I've been to the Caribbean before so I was more or less prepared to suntan and enjoy the waters!
    Unfortunately our schedule was full and we had little time there so I got only an appettiser to the full Martinican experience.
    Some notes:
    - Not a problem carrying and working with the Hasselblad handheld.
    - Good thing I got pleanty of film. I only shot the TriX and not the FP4+ I had with me. If I had a second back it would have been different.
    - It was a challenge shooting dark skinned people which I had no previous experience of. First time my subject -was- the shadow and I was extra careful to get detail there. That also meant that the background would be grossly overexposed because of the strong light and that it would requite some darkroom magic to balance things. Also, when making prints I had hard time deciding how dark to print a face!
    - The people had all ranges of reaction to me from brotherly intimacy and enjoyment of posing to sheer hostillity just seing me with a camera. I was advised early to ask before and I did ask everyone I took photos of.
    - The language was a problem. Unfortunately my elementary school french helped me little. Be certain you know some basic french before you visit otherwise you might even have trouble getting around french airports.
    - I found a driver who seemed to know half the people in the island and was happy to provide all sorts of information. I asked him to take me to a three hour drive to take photos of people and he also acted as a translator. Without him I wouldn't have taken all the nice photos I did.
    - Photos will be posted in my gallery (already some have been).
    - I am never flying with Air France again and setting my foot on Charles de Gaul airport even again (bad experiences).