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...


Click below subscribe to my RSS


Powered by FeedBlitz

Friday, May 20, 2011

Judgement Day Tomorrow?

May 21 Billboard
Harold Camping and his organization,, has been creating quite a stir the last few days with their Judgement Day prophesy! Camping and his believers have predicted that Judgement day will be not in the distant future, not in a few years, but they have given the exact date! Yes, they have predicted that tomorrow, May 21, 2011 will be Judgement Day, and that all those who find favour in God's eyes will be caught up in a rapture while the earth will experience great earthquakes! But it doesn't end there as he further goes on to predict that the earth and the universe itself will all be destroyed in five months time, on October 21, 2011!

It seems Camping has not only mislead himself, but has mislead many others in his delusion, even here locally, as one of his believers stole the show on Religious Hard Talk just a few nights ago. The May 21 believers are so convinced of this that they have embarked on a massive campaign, which has resulted in many large billboards being placed all over the US and even here in Jamaica! There are also floods of Google ads and other forms of electronic media being used to propagate this baseless prediction.

Camping and his followers, however, despite claiming to be followers of God has completely disregarded the very word of God himself, which states that only God knows the exact time when He will brig fourth his judgement on those who fail to serve him. The Bible states in several books that only God himself can say when this great day will be:

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
-Matt 24:36 (New International Version (©1984))

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
-Mark 13:32 (New International Version (©1984))

"He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority."
-Acts 1:7 (New International Version (©1984))

However, Camping chose to ignore these scriptures and feels he is more special than even God's only begotten son and has made his prediction for God's day of Judgment. So much so that he has taken it upon himself to predict that it will be May 21, 2011. The Bible itself did make a prediction that is certainly true, that there shall be false prophets that will mislead. Camping and his following have proven what they are since it is already May 21, 2011 in half of the earth and nothing has happened thus far. But Camping is not the first who thinks he can beat God's word with his own prophesy and he shall certainly not be the last. The Bible has warned against people like him and they have manifested themselves, misleading many.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Carnival On The Road!!!

Miss Universe 1st Runner-up Yendi Phillips enjoying the music
On Sunday of this week the Jamaican Carnival season came to it's climax, the grade finale, the road march. The Carnival season started at the beginning of the year with the customary blow out nights and socarobics sessions at Mass camp then built up momentum with beach J'Ouvert over the easter weekend and then the final set of J'Ouvert sessions in New Kingston the Friday night before the Road March.

Revelers pose for a photo
I always look forward to the road march for the colourful costumes and also the colourful multitude of women that only seem to come out when it is time for the road march. What could be better than beautiful women dancing in scanty costumes? (heheehee) I was especially excited this year though since I had a new camera and also my prized possession, my 24-70mm f2.8 lens! So I was ready to take some great photos of the fun on the streets.

A reveler dancing to the Soca music
I had a rough weekend with a lot of work so my plans of getting up early to capture the event from the start was totally out of the question. I got up at about 10am  and decided I would catchup with the revelers and my fellow photographers after lunch when they were re-energized. However, things did not work as planned! by 12:00pm the sun was replaced by mean dark clouds which began to pour its fury on the road and it poured and poured! At this point getting any glimpse of the road march was just a dream.

More lovely females posing for the camera
However, just as how a bright sunny day changed to a deluge, it changed back to a very bright and sunny afternoon! the sun came back out with full force, almost squashing the memory of the previous rain. I met up with the revelers on Trafalgar Road in New Kingston and thanks to a fellow photographer I got an arm band which allowed me full access to the revelers! This year road march was much smaller than previous years, seems the recession has also hit Bacchanal Carnival. There were only about five trucks and the number of costumed revelers was very small and disorganized. Even the lead costume was almost nonexistent for the various groups. Nevertheless it was a fun crowd, lots of dancing, gyrating, scantily clad, sexy women were out on the streets. It was a much smaller road march than previous years, but it still provided a lot of photo ops and was fun.

This lady certainly turned several heads with her revealing costume and  eye-popping body!
See the rest of my Bacchanal Carnival Road March photos in the following albums on my Facebook fan page:
Bacchanal Carnival Road March Part I 01 May 2011
Bacchanal Carnival Road March Part II 01 May 2011

Monday, May 02, 2011

St. Ann Explored

One of the series of waterfalls at Cool Blue Hole St. Ann
Once again it was time for the group of very talented photographers and photo enthusiasts to explore the beautiful island of Jamaica and to capture some of it's beauty in photographs. Yes, it was time for yet another monthly JWI/LOP Flickr Group photo trip. Our path lead us to the garden parish of St. Ann, the parish of the famous tourist resort town of Ocho Rios and the world renown Dunn's River Falls. However, these regularly visited places were not on our agenda, we wanted to see the less known places that Jamaica has tucked away in it's treasure chest.

Another waterfall at Cool Blue Hole
Our first stop of the trip was a return visit to the beautiful Cool Blue Hole. We have been there before, but not everyone explored the entire falls, including me. So this return trip was to not just familiarize ourselves with it's beauty, but also to further explore this lovely slice of nature. Cool Blue Hole certainly did not disappoint, as further up the falls was even more majestic as the powerful rushing water cascaded down smooth rock faces into pools of pristine blue waters below. As tempting as th water was, I opted not to swim, but yielded to the photographer in me and stayed satisfied with attempting to capture the beauty of nature and of Jamaica.

The old Spanish Bridge at White River
The next stop carried us even deeper into the heart of St. Ann to another spot that our group had visited before, the White river Valley, home of the old Spanish Bridge and Chukka Caribbean White River Tubing. Even though it was a short stop here and I didn't take much photos I was still appreciative of the rich blue, pristine water and the historic bridge that spanned the deep pool below. We even spotted a small group of tourists river tubing, something that I have in mind to do for such a long time now. hopefully this summer i will get the chance to do the Chukka Caribbean White River Tubing.

Small group doing the Chukka White river Tubing

Flames from natural gases at Fire Water
Fire Water, a small spring that has section that emits a flammable gas, was our next stop. I was excited to see this phenomenon for myself as I had seen a small feature on it some time ago. I must admit, that even though it was got to see fire burning on the top of a cool body of water, I was rather disappointed with the look of the place. The place looked really tacky and the area that the gas is released from was very tiny, nothing that would bring out the feeling of awe. Nevertheless, I satisfied my curiosity. There was also a Rastafarian roots drink vendor there at Fire Water who provided some entertainment with his mixture of singing and Dub Poetry, much to the delight of the amused patrons. If you are nearby Runaway Bay, then you can make a quick stop to feed your curiosity, but I would not recommend anyone travelling just to view it.
The Rastafarian Roots Medicine vendor performing at Fire Water
Airplanes performing stunts at the Air Show seen from the fishing beach
Our Final stop of the day was on the fishing beach at Oracabessa to get a glimpse of the air show that was scheduled for that afternoon. The fishing beach provided a very good view of the air show, which boasted some awesome stunts and thrilling flybys. I could not zoom in much on the small airplanes as the zoomed by, but I did manage to get a few good wide angle shots. It was a great note to end the trip on and to end another great day of exploring Jamaica! To see more of the photos I took on the trip please visit visit my fan page Joel Finnigen Photography in this album JWI/LOP Flickr Group Trip 24 April 2011.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Liguanea Arts Festival 2011

The Liguanea Arts Festival at the Liguanea Plaza St. Andrew
On Sunday April 17 the Liguanea Plaza came alive with the artistic expressions of several talented Jamaicans! It was the Liguanea Arts Festival a showcase that features some of Jamaica's most talented in the field of the visual and even the performing arts! Photographers, painters and sculptures turned out in their numbers to showcase their wonderful works of arts to an eager public in hopes of catching their interest as well as get sales from their pieces.

The large turnout at the Liguanea Arts Festival
I arrived at the Liguanea Plaza at about 3:00pm, however, on my was a bit disturbed as the rain started to fall while I was en route to Liguanea. I began to wonder it this rain would have washed out the festival and that I may have been a bit too late to see the pieces on exhibit or get to capture any shots of the crowd. Nevertheless I still made my way up to Liguanea and was pleasantly surprised that the rain eased up when I arrived. It seems the rain only cooled down the temperature as it certainly didn't deter people from turning out the the Liguanea Art Festival. A lovely turn out was there and so were the number of booths! There were different alleys that featured different aspects of the visual arts: photography, paintings, sculptures, etc, yes a belly full of artistic expression in every alley.

Photographer Howard Moo Young (centre)
Some of the art work on display
An artist and his work
There were several well known artists, photographers and sculptors with some awesome pieces on display and for sale at the festival. However the visual arts was not the only highlight of the festival as the Akivaaba Drummers entertained the crowds with magnificent drumming accompanied by the traditional dances of local folk dancers. no event can be a success without the sponsors and the Liguanea Art Festival had its fair share of sponsors including corporate companies such as JNBS. There were also other sponsors of that were present that did more than just display their products but also offered samples, such as Appleton Estate who kept patrons in "high spirits" withe their samples.

Akivaaba Drummers
Dancers performing to the music of the Akivaaba Drummers
Michael Collins of JNBS one of the sponsors of the event
The Appleton Estate booth with mixed drink samples
This was certainly a testimony of the caliber of talent that exist in this small country called Jamaica! My visit to the Liguanea Art Festival, especially the pieces of top photographers such as Franz Marcouza & Howard Moo young, has certainly encouraged me to continue to pursue my passion for Photography. Hopefully I will not just attend the Liguanea Art Festival next year but I hope to have some of my work there on display and also for sale! To see more of my photos of the Liguanea Arts Festival click here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just "Chill Out"

Our variation of the Chill Out vegetable pizza
On my last trip the my beautiful home parish of Portland I was invited by my very good friend to a small restaurant on the beach called Chill Out. This restaurant by the sea is located in the tiny rural village of Long Bay in Portland on the eastern end of Jamaica. She discovered it some months ago during her stay in Portland and insisted that I dine there and experience what it was all about.

The front of Chill Out Long Bay Portland (taken with my Blackberry)
Chill Out really had that rural restaurant feel to it, yes brightly coloured painting and hand written signage, the true mark of a rural roadside restaurant. The large thatched roof also added to that rural by the sea feeling and added that little rustic charm to the feel and look of the restaurant. As we entered the establishment we could feel and smell the cool salty sea breeze rushing through the somewhat open air dining area and the aroma of food tantalizing the senses. All the factors came together to set a true relaxed and laid back atmosphere, great for relaxing.

The rustic dining area at Chill Out
The beach front just behind Chill Out
After going through their extensive menu which included several dishes including fish, chicken, lobster, shrimp and pizzas we decided to experiment with their vegetable pizza and 2 cold Red Stripe Bold to "wash" it down. The vegetable pizza was certainly an interesting dish, a flat crust pizza baked with cabbage, tomato and sweet peppers from what I can remember. However, being meat lovers we opted to pepperoni to the mix and created our own personalized pizza.

Nothing like a cold Red Stripe Bold
The dining experience was decent at Chill Out, somewhere I would visit again when I'm in Portland. I was told that their fried chicken was awesome, although I didn't try it on this visit but will make that my mission to try out with two cold red Strip Bold when next I visit the seaside restaurant called Chill Out.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Still Champions

The Titchfield High School Crest
It was a night for the history books, a momentous occasion for both schools involved, it was yet once again the finals for the TVJ School Challenge Quiz (SCQ). On Thursday March 31, 2011 the two top schools of the SCQ competition were poised and eagerly looking forward to victory, Kingston Collage (KC) and Titchfiled High School, my alma mater . KC, a formidable, season force to be reckoned with in the SCQ arena with their eyes set on a tenth victory. On the other hand, Titchfield a regular participant in the SCQ competition but has never secured a victory in the competition, this would be their first victory and exaltation as SCQ champions. The battle lines were drawn and both parties had their eyes set on victory!

As the anticipation began to build the tension increased as friendly rivalry issued forth on twitter and facebook with supporters cheering for their favorite team. I of course cheered for my alma mater, Titchfield High School as I kept holding to the dream that they would see their first win against the odds. The match itself was a tough one with several compound questions that kept the scores at bay to single digits in the first section. Right then and there Titchfield had a fighting chance as both teams were almost similar in points. However, as the match progressed and the speed section progressed, KC surged ahead and the dream of a Titchfield victory waded off into a nightmare of being beaten by the haughty KC team. At the beginning of the final section, the deciding factor, the buzzer section, There was yet still a glimmer of hope, but that quickly faded as   KC surged ahead to win the match and take home their tenth championship with a 33-11 victory, thus crushing the dreams if Titchfield's first SCQ victory.

Despite the defeat at the hands of KC, I am still proud of my high school for reaching thus far, their first finals in the long history of Titchfield High School. They didn't win the first place trophy, but they are still champions in my book and has made a great improvement within the last few years. Congrats to KC for their tenth win and congrats to Titchfield High School for a valiant try and copping second place in the SCQ competition. Keep up the good work Titchfield and try even harder next year! Last year was the semi-finals, this year the finals, maybe next year they will be SCQ champions!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Trip To Kwame Falls

Kwame Falls St. Mary
Once gain it was the last Sunday of a month and that can mean only one thing... no not that's it is the last Sunday of the month... it was once again time for another flickr group trip! This was yet another trip that promised not just the opportunity to get some great photographs, but was another trip that promised a challenge, both physically and mentally. We were in search of a waterfall hidden deep in the woods of St. Mary, called Kwame Falls.

The scene from a beach near Robin's Bay St. Mary
The journey to Kwame falls began at a small village in St. Mary called Robin's bay, a little distance away from Annotto Bay in the same parish. We all set off a group of eager photographers, braving the heat of the sun and the immense heat, making our way up the path that was only defined by the tracks of the ATV's that traveled the route. Our journey took us up hills sides and down the sides of hill, under the shade of canopies and back into the unforgiving sun. We enlisted the services of a guide and avid, trained bird watcher (or birdist as we called him) who lead us along the path to the what seemed to be an illusive water fall.

The rugged coastline near Robin's Bay St. Mary
The path did offer quiet a few scenic views that tempted tired and sun beaten photographers to pick up their already heavy cameras, which seemed even heavier with each step, to take a few photos. We saw breathtaking views of the open Caribbean Sea bordered by a rugged coastline, a curious donkey, a mysterious carnivorous plant that trapped fies with the scent of rotten flesh, the remains of an old church and more endless trees!

The cliff side seen from a small rugged beach
A donkey that became the model for quite a few photographers
The flower of a carnivorous plant
The journey continued and continued and so did the torture of the sun and the rugged terrain that we had to endure. The road got narrower and narrower until in became single lane track that navigated between the endless foliage. We crossed what seems to be only the remains of streams in search of the two streams that were the tell tale signs that we were near the falls as told by our trusted guide. However, it seems our guide miscalculated as we ended up crossing what seemed to be about five streams! So much so we began to wonder if we were trapped in a horror movie going around in circles!

The path that went deep into the forest
The leaf of a fern like plant illuminated by a beam of sunlight
Nevertheless we followed th path, which by now was almost unrecognizable, but we persevered and it payed off when the falls finally revealed itself! There is was water cascading over a rock face plummeting bout thirty feet to the deep water below. I was expecting more of a roar from the falls, but as explained by the guide, the waterfall has been tamed by the dry season. I did manage to get a lovely shot of this well hidden waterfall though, another hidden beauty of this lovely country. We lingered at the falls a bit catching our breath, recuperating, while some of us even took a swim in the cold yet refreshing water. The journey down was bitter and hard, but the promise of finally getting back to the bus, precious water, food and civilization with cell phone coverage was enough to keep our feet going.

The group posing for a photo at Kwame Falls
I didn't get the wonderful breathtaking photos I wanted due to the harshness of the sun and the challenge of teh journey itself, but I did enjoy the outing a lot. I enjoyed the hike and the good company of my fellow photographers as we kept ourself entertained by several references to the now infamous "ulf creecha". Now that I am back home recuperating I think I'm ready for yet another similar challenge!

View more of the photos from the trip here: JWI Flickr/LOP Trip to Kwame Falls 27 March 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Did the Jamaica Pegasus Wedding Extravaganza

Victoria Mutual Building Society representatives pose for a photo at their booth
This past weekend the Jamaica Pegasus, a hotel that can be dubbed Kingston's most socially active hotel, hosted yet another event, the annual Jamaica Pegasus Wedding Extravaganza! This is a large wedding expo that is held at the Jamaica Pegasus and features several companies, both large and small, that offers wedding services to those who are ready to make that step into holy matrimony. In these harsh economic climate planning a wedding, an already expensive en devour, proves to be even more challenging. With this in mind several potential couples as well as curious members of the public, even as far as from Montego Bay, made their way to the expo to see what is being offered to make that special day even more memorable.

A Jamaica Wedding Photos representative showing off one of their wedding albums
The groom getting a hair cut courtesy of Soft Sheen Carson just before his wedding ceremony
Several companies were present at the Jamaica Pegasus to show off what they had to offer and to entice prospective clients with their services. The list of services spanned all aspects of the nuptials including but not limited to, wedding apparel, jewelry, wedding planning, wedding photography, wedding venues, decorators, makeup artists, gifts and certificates and even wedding insurance! Both large and small businesses were on show at the expo Victoria Mutual, Courts, hotels such as Sandals and Grand Palladium Jamaica and smaller companies such as Jamaica Wedding Photos, Creative Decorations and Slice of Heaven just to name a few. However, one innovative small company that caught my attention was The Photo Affair, which offers a customizable photo booth for events where patrons can go into and take mini photos of themselves. If marketed properly it could be a very successful venture for parties and even weddings.

Makeup demonstration being done by one of the exhibitors
A patron getting infoon the services of one of the exhibitors
Representatives of the Photo Affair poses in front of the photo booth
My photos that I took inside the photo booth
The expo spanned two days, Saturday and Sunday, each having its own programme lineup. On Saturday the patrons were able to witness a real wedding ceremony in the heart of the expo. Both days however, were highlighted by fashion shows that featured the collections of several designers. The audience was also treated to live entertainment by the very talented performing arts group Nexus which thoroughly entertained the masses at the show. Both days saw patrons winning several giveaways and gifts from the Jamaica Pegasus as well as from several of the companies that were a part of the Wedding Extravaganza.
Wedding ceremony being held at the expo
Nexus in performance
Wedding fashion show
Wedding fashion show
Wedding fashion show
In all the Jamaica Pegasus Wedding Extravaganza proved to be very informative and entertaining. So much so that I abandoned my original plan of going only for a few hours one day and went both days. Of course, I wouldn't go to such a large event and not take some photos! You may view the photos I took at the event on my facebook fan page in the albums Jamaica Pegasus Wedding Extravaganza Day 1 and Jamaica Pegasus Wedding Extravaganza Day 2. Overall, I did enjoy the wedding expo as I learned about many companies in the wedding business, met up with old friends, hung out with fellow photographers and tweeps and of course did a bit of networking. Keep up the good work Jamaica Pegasus!

For all your events, portraits, fashion shoots and weddings contact Joel Finnigen | Photography: