Canstruction 2013 Hits New York City

The 21th Annual Canstruction NYC Competition was held in New York City October 21 to November 8, 2013 boasted very creative art pieces made entirely from...

Dining At The Gap Café

Tucked away deep in the Jamaica Blue Mountains is a small cafe called The Gap Café...

Stunner Conquers Sigma 2013

In my last post I wrote about my intentions to run the annual Sigma Corporate Run this year and my hopes to even try to get

Getting Back Fit for Sigma 2013 and Beyond

My Running sneakers It has been many years since I blogged about doing the annual Sigma Corporate Run!

Toscanini - Italian Dining Experience In Jamaica

When you think of Jamaica you think of jerk chicken, jerk pork, oxtail, rice and peas and the many colourful and delicious Jamaican meals guaranteed to tantalize the palate. Fine dining to delicious Italian...


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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stunner Does Roaring River & Mayfield Falls

Roaring River Westmoreland

On Sunday it was time for the monthly Jamaica West Indies/Lover's of Photography Flickr group trip. Earlier in the week I was looking forward to the trip, but I certainly was not ready in any way or form for the 6:30 am departure time! After preparing and looking forward to the trip all week, how could I not be ready?

Flashback to Saturday night... My neightbour is moving to the US to work and it will be for an extended period, so he and his friends had a send off party to which I was invited. I knew I had the trip in the morning and that I should get some good rest, but a few hours to show my face shouldn't have been too bad right? Wrong! I ended up drinking more than my fair share of alcohol and stayed up way too late for someone who had a trip early the next morning. I had about four cups of Appleton Rum and Pepsi (1/2 cup rum 1/2 cup Pepsi), a glass of wine and a shot of some strong Cuban Rum! As if all the liquor before wasn't bad enough, that shot certainly topped it off, as I felt it clear off all the mucus in my throat and warmed my blood like a heater on steroids! I didn't reach home until 3:00am and I didn't fall asleep until about 4:00am when I disposed of the liquor in my system and my head stopped spinning.

Back to Sunday... The alarm clock went off at 5:30am, but that was of no use as in my daze and total confusion I turned off the alarm and went right back to bed. I didn't get up until about 5:50am when I got a wakeup call from one of my fellow group members who decided to call after several Blackberry messages and pings went unanswered. I staggered out of bed and barely got myself together as everything I was doing seemed to be going in slow motion. If I hadn't payed my money I doubt I would have even bothered to go based on how I felt. I must admit, even though it was a good trip with great photos and social interaction, it was my most miserable trip! I was suffering from all the effects of a hangover, except for the headache, thank God. I was groggy all day and then this was compounded by the severe heat and humidity the day dished out! I sweat like a fat dude in a sauna all day long!

Nevertheless I did manage to survive the day and got quite a few good photos. We went to Roaring River and Caves in Westmoreland and to May Field Falls in the hills of Westmoreland or Hanover. Took only a few scenic photos as during the day is not the best time for such photos and I didn't go on the tour of the falls. However I did get in quite a few portrait shots of the models and other photographers that were there. So here are a few photos from the trip, you can see more on my flickr page.

A tour guide diving in a pool inside the cave.

A view of in the cave

A fellow photographer taking a shot.

Two women and a baby... on a bike!

One of the many portraits I shot on the trip.

I even have a little brawta for you all, no not more photos, but a video, recorded by yours truly, Stunner! Enjoy!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Come Back Mojo! Come Back!

Joel Finnigen Photography

I know it has been a while since I last posted and that my posts have been so far apart, but I am trying to find my Blogging Mojo. It seems I lost my Blogging Mojo and I must find it back! It's not like I have been swamped with work so much that I haven't blogged, but I just can't find that inner blogger, that fire that I used to have, that, that, that Bogging Mojo I used to have. But I will try to get it back and stop lurking in the blogsphere and in the land of tweets.

Apart from that I am here, trying to make it through another day as time goes on. By the grace of God, The Most High I go though each day in my still ongoing unemployed state. Nevertheless, I am still busy with my photography, experimenting (nuff experimenting!!!!) a lot and also doing one and two projects which pays a bill here and there. I have decided to enter the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Festival 2010 Photography competition. I hope my entry will win, which would translate in a lot of recognition and even some well needed money! I have already received great encouragement as seven of my photographs were selected to be a part of a photography collage. The collage will be displayed at the Jamaica Trade and Invest booth at the World Trade Expo 2010 in Shanghai China. I will not be gaining financially from that, but I would get some exposure as well as it has given me a little more confidence in my work. Now I am currently focusing of getting some great "winning" photos for the JCDC Festival competition as the deadline in just over 2 weeks away. For more of my photos, you can visit my flickr page here and you can join my Facebook group Joel Finnigen Photography. I will begin selling prints in a few weeks time so if you see any you like drop me a link.

The next three days are going to be busy for me as I will be going on a shoot with a great photographer, Courtney Chen, to assist him with a shoot on Saturday. On Sunday it will be the Jamaica West Indies/Lovers Of Photography Flickr trip to some attractions in Westmoreland, looking forward to that! And on Monday I will get to relax and be pampered as I won a day at the spa courtesy of Social Lingua! Yay! Will drop a post on those events in the coming week. Then it's back to some more photography for the rest of the week! So even though I am still unemployed, I still have a lot to be thankful for!!! Hey, who would have thunk (thought) that I would be able to post my own eye candy on my blog!

Wow! I said quite a bit more than I thought I would when I just started writing this post! Could this mean my Blogging Mojo is coming back....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wet Wet Carnival!

Sunday was the finale of the Jamaica Carnival season, the anticipated Road March, a parade of a kaleidoscope of colours, infiltrating music, and the scantily clad women dancing as they make their way down to the streets of Kingston city. I got up at approximately 10:00am and after a few rounds of consultations with other photographers, I decided to meet the Road March at Trafalgar Road in New Kingston, which did not happen until about 1:00pm. However, before I could hear the music and see the the big trucks and colourful costumes I beheld an ominous sign!

I looked up at the sky towards the Blue Mountains and the sky was mean, a striking contrast to what I woke up to earlier in the day! The hot, bright sunny skies was replaced with shades of gray and huge heavy clouds which began to burst over the mountain range. By the time I saw the marching band and the first of the big trucks, I had already experienced a short drizzle, but yet I was still hoping for the best. So I readied my camera and my trigger finger and as the procession came down the road I started to shoot. I got in a few photographs, trying to compose my shots instead of just shooting wildly. But only a few photographs I got before it happened.

I had just crossed of from Trafalgar Road unto Waterloo Road when the first few drops started to fall, but I was still hoping for the best and continued to shoot selectively and then it happened! The skies burst open and unleashed a torrential downpour! I had only a few seconds to throw my camera in my backpack as well as my flash and cellphone, as the rain came down with a vengeance! There was nowhere on Waterloo road to find cover from the onslaught of water, not a shelter in sight. All I could do is walk along the street helplessly as me and my fellow photographers tried to navigate through the crown to the safety of the car, not for our own good, but for the survival of our expensive gears! However, while we walked along the already flooded streets, the revelers did not seem to mind at all! The harder the rain poured the more the danced, the more they wined and grind to the music of the big trucks. For all those who missed being soaked while the party at the Water Party, the Road March certainly made up for it and more!

Despite betting soaked down to my draws (underwear) and only getting a handful of useful photographs, I am happy that my waterproof camera bag stood up to the elements and my gears are still functional. So without further ado, here are some of the photos I got of the Jamaican Carnival 2010 Road March.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I Say No to Water Party!

I just had to say something about this, I was going to leave it alone, but i have to say something. I am not bad mouthing or fighting anyones party or means of making that paper, but I just can't support this party. My last post and one some time before were about the harsh conditions that Jamaicans are now facing due to the prolonged drought affecting the island. If you read the posts you will realize that a lot of people in the corporate are have had to do without piped water for the majority of the day, every day of the week and even sometimes do without water for more than a day! But what does all this have to do with me not supporting a party?

Well a it's approaching the climax of the Carnival season here in Jamaica, the final weekend of this Soca filled period of the year. This means three things, Jouvert, the Road March and of course right between those two is the annual Water Party, which is tonight. Now the Water Party is just what the name suggest, a party with music, wining, grinding,  gyrating and of course a whole lot of water! I have been to a Water Party before, last year actually, and it was some good wet fun, and when I say wet I mean wet! There were at least two (2) huge water tankers continuously spraying water from one end of the venue to the other, soaking patrons from head to toe! It was indeed a great party; there is just something about wining to some sweet mixes of Soca and Dancehall when you are wet, your clothes are sticking to your body, skins sliding across each other fully lubricated by endless sprays of water!

But this year, even though I love the Water Party I  can't support it at all, not with this drought, not with these constant water lock-offs that I have to face. In a time like this I can't support the waste of gallons of water being wantonly wasted in the name of fun and partying. Personally I think it should have been cancelled this year based on this crisis that we are facing. I am surprised the authorities actually gave the go ahead for the promoters to have this party... then again I am not surprised, a money run dis ting. This year Water Party is definitely going to miss me... unless they allow me to carry a tank and some buckets in with me or relocate the venue to my apartment so I can catch some water!

(Original Poster I saw)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

More Drought... More Water Lock-offs!

The fourth month of 2010 and the never ending drought still persists and so does the harsh measures implemented by the National Water Commission (NWC). As if loosing my supply of piped water at 12:00pm and even 11:00am on some days wasn't enough the evil NWC has devised an even more devious plan of torture! Now I will only be getting water between 5:00am and 11:00am, 12:00pm if I am lucky, every other day! The evil NWC has found an even more spiteful way to prove to Jamaican's that water is life, because they are certainly making our life more miserable with these inconsiderate water lock-offs!

Well, I do understand that the country has been experiencing a severe and extended drought, but having water just a few hours a day, every other day, is a bit too hard to swallow. I have been living out of bottles, bathing, drinking, washing my hands, cooking, brushing my teeth and the list goes on. It is even worse when the toilet can't be flushed more than twice per day... so now you know my pain! I would love a tank, but this dumb ass complex don't have such luxuries, so it's just straight bottle and pan for me. I dread the thought of what will happen if this drought continues another two months! By that time I will be getting water only once per week! Or better yet I may get a "No piped water until further notice" message from NWC!

Once again the shortsightedness of the Jamaican governments and authorities, including dutty NWC, has led to the despair of the Jamaican people. No the government and NWC cannot prevent a drought from hitting the nation. However, with proper planning to ensure the country and capital city has adequate water catchment and storage facilities they would have lessened the harsh effects of this drought. But all that is such wishful thinking with the idiots who have and are still running this country. So the suffering continues as the drought rolls on.

Here is a little video by Ian Lyn (doesn't look Asian to me), which will give you an idea why we are being hit so hard by the drought.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Third Decade Begins

So today I began my third decade on the face of the earth, thirty years in the short span of mans life-cycle. First of all, let me give God thanks for allowing me to live to see thirty years, a lot have not gotten this far. But as I begin this third decade in my existence, I look at my life thus far and find that I am very unsatisfied with how my life is after thirty years. I remember how my life was full of directions in my teens, hell even in my young 20's I still had an idea of the direction my life was going and what I wanted. Things used to be clear-cut, more black and white... a stark contrast to what it seems now, a meandering collision of uncertainty and several shades of gray mixed with even a full kaleidoscope of colours.

When I was much younger, in my early 20's (I'm laughing as I type that), I pictured that by now my life would have been much different. I thought by now I would be a successful employed man, married with children, living in my first home. Yeah back then it seemed far of, yeah, like I had a lot of time to accomplish this feat. But, it's so surprising how fast time goes by... they say when you are about to die all your life flashes in front of your eyes... I guess I have been dieing, because everything went by so quickly. It seems the time went by and I didn't even noticed it, I didn't even lived it. At thirty I am unemployed, still single with so many uncertainties of marriage and children due to my own fears and mistakes. As for my own home, that is just a figment of what was once my imagination. Life just doesn't turn out as one wish it would... but that's life for you.

Honestly I don't feel like I am thirty, lol, I don't even feel like I am 25... I guess when I'm 40 I'll be saying the same thing even though by then my body will begin to say otherwise. Now I have embarked on the third decade of an endangered specie, yes, there is only one me and there will forever me only one me. Still a lot of possibilities lay ahead, more disappointments, more surprises, more good times, and of course the ever constant changes as life goes on.  I want to be young forever, but that is not possible in this sinful existence of man, so the best we can do is appreciate every day that we open our eyes and have the health and strength to get out of that bed. I guess once there is still life, health and strength there are still possibilities and potential, one small step in the increment of time, one large step in the life of The Stunner. This may have just been a long post of endless rambling induced by Appleton and orange juice, so don't read too deeply. Hmm, so this is what 30 feels like...