On April 27, 2011 I flew down to Jamaica to photograph Paradise Bikini’s 2011 collection. I packed quite a bit of gear including four Canon lenses (50mm f/1.8, 24mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/4.0, and a 10-22mm f/3.5 5.6), my tripod/heads and numberous flashes and light modifiers.
Our plane left from JFK Airport and it was a very nice flight. I highly recommend Jet Blue. Excellent service and a television for each seat. It also helped that some of the movies included Harry Potter and TRON. We all hopped onto a shuttle bus after arriving at Montego Bay and drove to Negril.
Jamaica is a beautiful island country. Most people I met were a lot friendlier than your average human being. I think the vast amounts of marijuana being smoked on a daily basis helps keep it this way. (There are a few people that try and scam you here and there, but that’s because they know tourists have money. That’d be the case anywhere. That sort of behavior is much more common at tourist locations like Rick’s Cafe.)
On Wednesday, October 6, 2010 I was invited to photograph a collection of swimwear by Paradise Bikini in a swanky Manhattan venue called Hudson Terrace. I woke up fairly early so I could get into NYC and run a bunch of errands. First stop was Sonic Boom where my friend Steve Melanson works. Sonic Boom is an excellent company that puts out kick-ass video games! He let me dump a bunch of my photography equipment at his desk. I had three bags loaded with camera bodies, flashes, lenses, diffusers…you name it. My back thanks you, Steve!
It was time to grab lunch so I stopped at Twins Pub for a Guinness and a cheeseburger. The cheeseburger was one of the best I’ve ever had and people had authentic Irish accents, which made the whole experience even better.
Then I headed over toward B&H Photo to sell off my old Canon 18-55mm f.3.5/5.6 IS lens. I knew it was time to switch to the Canon 24mm f/2.8 because that night I’d be shooting in an extremely dark environment. I also realized that I had been shooting toward the middle of the barrel of the 18-55mm for quite some time. Why pay the premium on a wide angle zoom if you’re not even using the damn thing as a zoom lens?
I handed out two of my trusty Kodak Zx1 pocket video cameras to Chris and Frantz from Paradise Bikini. Rich from Paradise Bikini had a little flip cam on him. In total, three video cameras at the event. I edited all of the footage into a decent format and uploaded to vimeo. Vimeo is everything that YouTube should be.
Then I went north to visit my friend Jane for some coffee and to catch up on all her wedding plans for January. Interesting fact: She does not want to refer to it as “HER BIG DAY” or “HER SPECIAL DAY”.
Ok time to walk back down to Sonic Boom and pick up my equipment. That was about 30 blocks. Then I began my trek to Hudson Terrace. Another 30 blocks. I underestimated how long that would take carrying three bags, but I was still on time and that’s all that mattered. Got inside and started getting both of my cameras setup. Very low light environment indeed. But I pulled through thanks to the brand new 24mm f/2.8 and my always reliable Canon 50mm f/1.8.