Thursday, March 31, 2016

Instant App imitates the workflow of a real Polaroid Camera

photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved

I once owned a Polaroid OneStep SX-70 which I had purchase on line in the early 2000'. Instant film were still available and it was quite enjoyable to see immediately what I had just photographed on paper. I took it with me wherever I went, always handy inside my backpack to take photos of stuff I found to be interesting - I mostly used it for still photography (not professionally) and  took snapshots of places to keep a record like a personal diary made of polaroids. Using the Instant app, for both apple and android only cost $4.99, and is close to using a real polaroid camera. Depending on the event, at times I am not up to taking an SLR with me, just a few snapshot for my archive - Last June 2015, the Annual Pride Parade route happened to to be on west 8th street and Avenue of the Americas, right in front of a health food store I worked for a few months. With the landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same sex marriage throughout the US, I took a few shots for my records using the Instant polaroid app.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Petite Riviere, next to Layé Beach in the Grand Anse

photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved
This was the highlight of my 2 year photo project in the Grand Anse initiated by Francois Chavenet. Dame-Marie is about a 2 hour trip from Jeremie. The road is unpaved, very bumpy ride- you need a four wheel drive for this journey- It's one of the most forested area in the Country. With roughly 4% of forestation left in Haiti, the Grand Anse should be protected at all cost- in any case, tall trees line up the road on both sides until you get there. I couldn't help to wonder what this place must have been like going back in the 50's. I was told by elderly residents that at one time, you needed a machete to chop through dense forest depending on where in the countryside you were going.
photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved
On arrival in Dame-Marie, my host insisted that I go to Layé, and I definitely agree after visiting, that it is one of the most beautiful, pristine beach in the Country. White sand, crystal clear turquoise water, and deserted. I sat on the beach for a good while, one of those rare moments on assignment when you actually forget about the assignment. In the distance I saw a handful of children playing on the sand, as I gotten closer I noticed they were playing in fresh water flowing into the ocean  from a nearby spring. Some were fetching water, young girls washing their clothes, and this little boy came along with a horse - I obviously didn't leave without making a picture.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Cockfighting ring in Jeremie, Grand-Anse

photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved
Haiti is one of the few countries in the world where cockfighting is still legal. I am not sure when and if stiff laws regarding cruelty to animals, illegal animal fighting, ect., in the US and elsewhere - could be implemented  down here. Cockfighting is a widely popular pastime throughout the Country, and it attracts a big crowd, mostly men who also gamble. On a Sunday afternoon, about a mile from where I was staying in Jeremie, my guide pointed out there was a (gaguere) down the road and I should have a look. I didn't go inside the arena where the fight was being held, it has already been photographed, just google cockfighting - instead I was looking for something up close and personal.The guy in the photo happens to be friends with my guide and he reluctantly accepted. I am happy with what I captured.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

On the outskirts of Anse Du Clerc, in the Grand Anse

photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved
We were on our way to Les Abricots, the assignment this time was to focus on opportunities ranging from agriculture to land development. The locations I had to go to were accessible only via motorbike and all the arrangements were already made-this assignment was the last one to finish the Grand Anse  Photo Project which was initiated by Francois Chavenet and took nearly two years to be completed. It was a two day shoot to illustrate a document which would be made available to potential investors interested in projects which would definitely be beneficial-half a mile before you reach Anse Du Clerc, right before the road abruptly starts to descend, there is quite an impressive view as the charming seaside town gets closer.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Food story shoot in the L'Artibonite for Le National

photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved
This on going project was well received and approved right away. Gouter Aux Voyages involves traveling across Haiti with a writer, Jean Euphele Milcé, who happens to be a very good friend of mine.The Newspaper agreed to pay all the traveling expenses + salary and at the end of the year or next January, all the articles and photos will be publish in a book. We get to decide which part of the Country we'll travel to and when we go. Gouter Aux Voyages is an excellent platform to promote Haiti different regions, its local products and specially the food culture.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Seeing familiar places with new eyes

photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved
The assignment in Marigot was done a day early, the client was happy with the pictures I emailed and there was nothing scheduled for the next day. Late the following afternoon, I ended up in Jacmel where I have gone numerous times to photograph Carnaval. With 2 hours of daylight left, I had to get rid of my creative block. I needed to look at Jacmel differently, I needed to be like a photographer on his first visit. We sometimes go to places that have been photographed before, and it's important to view what has already been done. So I began to look at my surroundings with fresh eyes,  and noticed stuff that I failed to see in previous visits. There is so much beauty in the ordinary, everyday sights that we overlook - the time of the day we go out to shoot is as important, I have walked up and down the road where I made the photograph above and never noticed the beauty in the deteriorating old house, the mood late afternoon can produce.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Travel Photo Diary - Smooth sailing to Labadi in Cap Haitian

photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved
Being on that sail boat was actually the best part of the assignment which involved going to Cap Haitian. On our way back to the main land, we made a stop to a deserted beach which can only be accessed by boat. White sand, crystal clear turquoise water and sea food for lunch of course.
photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

All sorts of Artists come to Pen Haiti

photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved
Wilson Delianne, whose work is displayed on the floor is Zephirin's bother, the concierge of Pen Haiti. We've met numerous times, usually when he comes to visit we engage in small talk but I never knew he also paints. He started doing sketches at an early age and sold his first painting when he was 19 years old. On his last visit about a week ago, Wilson brought with him several of his work which I happen to like, to make a small presentation for Flo Jallier, (woman on the right w/purple dress) a writer who lives in Paris and stayed at the Pen Haiti residence for 2 weeks. Before she left on her trip to Haiti, her brother asked her to bring back some Haitian Art. She chose the painting of the vases on the right.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Black Photographers and the emergence of a people

"It's the culmination of years since 1972, I've been researching African-American photographers and the history of black images in terms of looking for black photographers and images that told a different story that has been normally seen of black people." Deborah Willis 
African-American photographers are central to telling, preserving and reclaiming stories long distorted or hidden. NPR recently spoke with Thomas Allen Harris and Deborah Willis about the film, a project that's taken 10 years to complete.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Travel Photo Diary - 32 h 38 min 1,475.5 mi via AMTRAK

photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved
First week of March 2015 - I seldom fly within the US, I usually like to travel by bus so I can see the Country. I get on a Greyhound, I have been lucky to always get a window seat and take to the open road. I don't mind at all how long it takes me to get to my destination, to leave everything behind and and hit the road. On this trip from Fort lauderdale, Florida to Burlington, MA I thought I would take a train for a change and booked a seat on Amtrak. The day before my trip I had to go to the station and check in my luggage since Amtrak doesn't go directly to Boston from Fort lauderdale. I was exited to leave,  a week in Boca Raton gave me plenty of time to go shopping for a winter jacket, reconnect my Sprint Cell phone service and touch base with  the friend I was going to stay with in MA. The train was running behind schedule, the Clerck at the window informed me it would be about an hour late because of mechanical failure. I have taken the habit of always being early when I am traveling just in case of traffic, long line at the check-in counter and whatever unexpected complication that may come up - I have never missed a flight, bus or train ever since I have been traveling. Two hours or so later, I heard the train blow its air whistle, when I looked over it was approaching from around the corner and I could hear the squeaking sound of its breaks. A handful of passengers got up from the benches in the waiting area on the platform, I grabbed my backpack and got on the train. I was on my way to Burlington.
photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

On location photo shoot to promote Myabél Cocktails and Sauces

photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved
When the alarm went off at 4:45 am, I was cursing up a storm - I barely got two hours of sleep, it was already after 2 am and I still hadn't fallen asleep. Fifteen minutes later I touched the snooze button on my phone and hit the shower. I packed very light, one camera body, 2 lenses, extra batteries,portable on camera flash and memory cards - by the time I was done it was already after 6 am but still had plenty of time to get to Kafou Marassa, Croix Des Bouquets where I would be picked up at 8am. There's hardly any traffic early on a Sunday morning but playing it safe I left a little bit earlier since I was using public transportation and I was given directions on which (tap tap) to get on to get to Croix Des Bouquets. I made it at exactly 8 am even though I missed my stop and had to take another bus heading in the opposite direction.
photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved

We were on our way to the the first location at around 8:30am, the sun was already way up in the sky and I suggested that we first do the outdoors shots because we were losing the soft light very rapidly since it was a sunny day. The Products, sauces and cocktails, were set up on an old ox-wagon, and I was grateful the oxen attached to the wagon behaved, the models were very easy to work with and we began our first shoot.
photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved
11:25 am - We packed everything up and headed to the second shoot  at a very nice location by a lake, lac Azeui, located in Fonds Parisien, a 30 minute drive from downtown Croix Des Bouquets. 3:45 pm - And to wrap it up, a party was organized, late afternoon at Myabél Cocktail Bar & Restaurant located in Croix des Bouquets,where the guests would be serve sauces and the different variety of cocktails. In a future post, I will publish the PDF of the final edit once the graphic artist designs the brochure.

Monday, March 7, 2016

A little glance into Haitian life - Thomassin

photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved
One morning I noticed we had early visitors at the library at Pen Haiti, a Residence for writers and artists. About half a dozen school kids from a nearby Lycée came in since school was out very early that day. Photographing strangers in Haiti is a lot easier when it comes to children and the setting the school kids were in at the library helped a lot, they were so captivated by what they saw in the story books that any of them paid any attention to being photographed. I can't remember the name of the photographer whom I met briefly who flew to Haiti and wanted to do some street photography. I never saw him again but I hear that he rather gave up very quickly because of people hiding their faces and expressing their anger for being photographed on the streets.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Post card from the L'Artibonite,Haiti - Savane Désolé

photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved
"Our job as a photographer is to make an interesting image of whatever we decide to immortalize. There is no such thing as a boring subject, just boring ways of photographing it. An interesting subject also demands an interesting or unique view point." Nevada Wier - I had spend the whole day in Gonaives a while back shooting an assignment for a non profit that provides free meals to the needy. Certain assignments we reluctantly accept because it feels our subject privacy is being violated. To be desperate and dependent upon relief food to survive and have a stranger shooting pictures must not be very pleasant. It was getting late and we hit the road as soon as I was done. About a mile outside of the city, the sun came out for just a few seconds and I only shot 3 frames since the car was moving.The photograph above is one of them.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

I still go out and make images of guede in Port-Au-Prince

photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved
Annually Haitians flow in the Port-Au-Prince National cemetery and throughout the country to celebrate day of the dead.Voodoo practitioners pay tribute to Baron Samedi, known as the gatekeeper of the cemetery.The celebration also involves ceremonies to honor their ancestors. I usually photograph this religious holiday and the ideal place to be is at Port-Au-Prince National Cemetery.Throng of foreign photographers flocking Baron Samedi at the cemetery have died down over the years.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Travel Photo Diary - Landing in Port-Au-Prince Sept 2015

photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved
That so common  shot of the wing from the window seat when you're about to land - Flight Attendants please prepare for landing - And you can hear travelers buckling up, a passenger reached up to the overhead compartment to get her carry on, the lady sitting in an aisle seat opened her eyes, she didn't talk to anyone but held on to her bible during the whole trip from Fort Lauderdale. The airbus finally came to a full stop and the adventure began.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Blue Afternoon

photo © patrice dougé All rights reserved
Certain assignments once completed are merely opportunities,almost pre arranged,to capture through personal work moments of conscience @Haiti with the eye of the heart, moments that just can’t be re experienced.