The afternoon heat can be a perfect time to find a quiet spot for a siesta – and at times, any spot will do. Locals down tools here – or cellphones at least – and grab the chance to relax on the back of a flatbed truck.
Bonaire – Photo Tip

Photographing a typical Caribbean tradition

Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Bonaire – Photo Tip Photographing a typical Caribbean tradition

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.

Jochem Wijnands
Jochem Wijnands Founder / photographer

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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Bonaire's population speaks a variety of languages. Papiamento is the local tongue, while Dutch, Spanish and English are all well used thanks to the island's colonial history. Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

NIKON D2X

Aperture
ƒ/11
Exposure
1/500
ISO
160
Focal
16 mm

Bonaire's population speaks a variety of languages. Papiamento is the local tongue, while Dutch, Spanish and English are all well used thanks to the island's colonial history.

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