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Greetings from Soufriere…

Aug 18

In Friends at 4:47am

Garvey’s hands, with the duty board of the Soufriere Fire Station.

Been coming to St. Lucia for almost 18 years, now, ever since Travel Holiday magazine sent me to paradise in 1994 to shoot a leafy place called Anse Chastanet. I have been here maybe a dozen times since then, and have dear friends on the island. The place is now called Jade Mountain/Anse Chastanet, and it remains remarkable in its’ beauty, made complete by the warmth of the St. Lucian people.

Wandering Soufriere about three years ago with Scott Kelby, who was guest lecturing at a lighting workshop I gave here, we literally just stumbled upon the Soufriere Fire Station, and thought we’d take a look inside. Nothing was planned, and they weren’t expecting us. So needless to say, when firefighter and avid photog Garvey Charlemange realized Scott Kelby was actually in his firehouse, he went to four alarms.

Garvey is one of Scott’s biggest fans, and needless to say his jaw hit the floor faster than a dropped rock. It was as if Garvey had just clicked “” and, via the magic of the internet, there was Scott, saying, hey, maybe we could shoot together.

We’ve been visiting the fire station now every year, shooting pictures of Garvey and his mates, who are terrific. Last year, we had wrapped our day there,  finished the workshop and gone home when Hurricane Tomas hit. It was a massive storm, and the aftermath was a tough time for the guys at the house. Lots of round the clock rescues and recovery efforts were done, all with limited gear and equipment.

The photo business is about giving back, right? I’d never even know these guys if it weren’t for photography. When a photograph is made, at least some of time, a bond is also created. They invited our workshop into their shop. So, right after the hurricane, we sent workshop money back to the fire house. They were very grateful, and Garvey told me yesterday that the dough was directly used to help victims and buy new gear.

Garvey also invited these young lads into the firehouse for a quick portrait session. They combine to prove that kids in front of a camera are the same anywhere in the world. They can only hang onto it for just so long.

This is a lighting workshop, but all of the above were shot with available light. The shot of Garvey’s hands was actually shot after the sun was well and truly down. ISO 1000, D3S, 24mm lens, Lexar cards.

Home Sunday. More tk…..

kyle jerichow says:

on August 18, 2011 at 7:25 am

This blog has an air of familiarity to it…..

ISO 1000, what is the world coming to?

Hope you guys are able to dive a few times while you’re down there.

Safe travels.

All the best,

Tim says:

on August 18, 2011 at 9:41 am

Hey Joe

Those twin peaks bring back fond memories, we were there briefly on holiday but remains a fav to return sometime hopefully to jade mountain, it looks amazing there. Can’t wait to see the photos

Richard Haber says:

on August 18, 2011 at 10:28 am


Thanks for taking me back to Soufriere and that firehouse. It was a memorable experience for all of us…

Lorri E says:

on August 18, 2011 at 10:36 am

Joe, thanks for giving back so generously. The photos of the kids are wonderful and made me smile.

bausmans says:

on August 18, 2011 at 11:42 am

hope to see more stuf from you ,your the best lightning goeroe love to lurn from you

Charlie says:

on August 18, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Awesome stuff Joe. Great expressions in the kids. Looked like a lot of fun :)

Bob says:

on August 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Joe – your post has done it again to me…just keep on keepin’ on…beautifully done. You are a giver.

Stan says:

on August 18, 2011 at 7:32 pm

I love the ballerina photograph! I love the contrast of the setting with the frilly tutu and toe shoes, and the very selective lighting. A really interesting photograph!

Jim says:

on August 18, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Hands Pic…Terrific.

Garvey Charlemagne says:

on August 18, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Joe continues to push photography to its limit.His personality/ character impacts on the lives of people wherever he goes. he is well accomliished as a photographer and he remains a people’s person.To say the soufriere was devasted by the passage of hurricane Thomas would be an under statement. Soufriere was completely isolated, no communication to and out, access roads blocked,water and power was out completely. For almost a week we were unable to receive outside assistance. The people of soufriere were great, for they assisted us in in carring out our duties. Mr. Joe Mc Nally made a donation to us when it most needed. the money went a long way in providing water and food to some of the persons affected. the ballance of the funds went towards purchasing of ropes , hand shovels and bassic rescue equipment.We AT THE SOUFRIERE FIRE STATION ARE VERY GRATEFUL FOR THE ASSISTANCE FROM Mr. MC NALLY AND WE WOULD LIKE TO EXPRESS OUR HEARTFELT THANKS TO JOE FOR HIS ASSISTANCE.

Richard C says:

on August 19, 2011 at 6:01 am

Come now, Joe, those kids in the second frame didn’t have just a weensie bit of help from Papa Joe in “going off the rails”? Just a little? 😉

Karen B says:

on August 19, 2011 at 6:55 am

Joe, In this particular post you remind me that the pictures are secondary your heart is number one! You and your crew are true gems.

Chanel says:

on August 19, 2011 at 7:33 am

I like it very much!!Those twin peaks bring back fond memories, we were there briefly on holiday but remains a fav to return sometime hopefully to jade mountain, it looks amazing there.

Joe McNally says:

on August 19, 2011 at 7:42 am

oh, gosh…maybe… a little….:-)

Eric Politzer says:

on August 19, 2011 at 10:03 am

Garvey and his colleagues were so generous with their time, energy and spirit when we went to photograph at the fire house. the fondness between Joe and the firefighters was palpable, and it created so much warmth and good will for all of us students. Thank you Garvey and Joe!

Fotograf Håkan Ivarsson Göteborg says:

on August 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Wonderful expressions in the boys!
// HÃ¥kan Ivarsson

Chris says:

on August 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Wow! That is real skill – shooting images using available light and let them look like they were shot with flashes. Fantastic!

outkasted says:

on August 23, 2011 at 11:37 am

the hand picture is kid of shaky ..not sharp at all. ..just sayin’

Doğum Fotoğrafçısı says:

on September 3, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Crimson background is almost catchy as the expressions of kids.

Espn says:

on October 16, 2011 at 5:07 am

Superior thinking doemsntraetd above. Thanks!

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