I wanted to capture the relaxed, mellow atmosphere of typical weekends on Bonaire. In the afternoon, locals bring their barbecue and head for the beach in their pick-up trucks.
Sorobon Beach, the Bonaire beach we're heading towards is not an attractive one; it looks like a parking lot close to the sea. The locals don’t bring sunbeds and lie in the sun with oiled bodies - that’s not what this is all about.
The pick-ups are a key factor in the whole experience. The car stereo provides the music, the cool box is filled with cold beers and the bed is for hanging out. Groups of friends stroll from one pick up to the next, kick a ball around or cool off in the surf.
To photograph a situation like this, I know I shouldn’t be in a hurry and should try to get into the same relaxed mood as they are. That means accepting a drink when a drink is offered while keeping my camera ready at all times.
I know the best opportunity for a good photograph will come when I am totally accepted and am part of the scene while being very close my subject.
In this specific case, I left my camera pack behind because I found it too bulky. I took one camera out, with a wide angle lens and a flash. A fill-in flash is very useful when photographing people in the tropics, as it flashes away dark shadows that obscure people’s faces. I set my aperture at F15 because I wanted to create depth of field.
When I started taking photos I took over 100 shots in a five minute period. I was hardly even noticed. Later on, when I said my goodbyes, I took their email addresses and sent them a selection of photos. It was a great Bonaire experience.
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