Independent Canadian book publishers working in Dominica, W.I. specializing in coffee table books of architectural treasures and lush gardens. We also promote fine artistic photography. This blog contains unofficial reports and comments from our various trips, photo sessions, and jobs – an unofficial scrapbook of our travels, explorations and photo-related work. See “about” for more.

Archive for August, 2012

New Photo Art Series with Michael Ward…

No Nirvana

Only a quick post today, to share with you some of my newest images.
I delivered to our customer  all images from our latest Caribbean location work, and just had a moment to think about my own portfolio.

While preparing print selection for an art photography exhibition due later this year, I was approached by Michael Ward – a seasoned, professional model – one of the most acclaimed artists’ models around. (Some of you may remember my Knight of Might photos, with Michael in full body armour).
He suggested to create a new series of images as a duo with a young, talented model Daniel Corbett from Victoria. The concept was to use some body painting to create  strong mood and visual impact for this series.

Cracking Memories

It is always a pleasure to work with Michael, and such series could add some interesting art-oriented material for this upcoming exhibition. Without much wait we decided on details of the shoot, and just did it a few days ago. Body painting was commissioned to Alecia Repp from Vancouver, Michael brought to the shoot his dedicated assistant (also photographer and model) – Tegan Bown, and we started our work (which actually was quite fun too).

Split Fears

I wanted to create two opposite characters for this series, two totally clashing personalities. Therefore Michael was covered with grey clay, while Daniel’s look was sparkly and vibrant.

Duality of Mind

Both creations were so impressive that besides of photographing them as a duo, I also did solo shots for both of them. I love these solo shots, and I am not sure if I like more the duo, or not.

Apollo in Me

I will pick some of these new images for that mentioned photo exhibition, and will also add them to my selection of art works for sale at the Gallery Vibrante.

What do YOU think? Do you prefer solo, or duo images?
Feel free to leave a comment, and if you like these images, click SHARE, and subscribe to FOLLOW our blog.

Thanks for stoppling by, cheers!
Derek

Rain Dance

All photographs copyright Derek Galon and Ozone Zone – please respect it.

Plymouth – the New Pompeii (Margaret’s Notes)

Plymouth – view towards volcano

Some days ago we posted our memories from visiting city destroyed by volcano – Plymouth, in Montserrat. You can see link to that post on the right side, along with link to the story about our whole Montserrat trip.
However, that previous post was quickly written by me – Derek. I am always busy taking pictures, taking care of my gerar, and looking for potential shot. Margaret, on the other hand – being a writer and researcher –  has a totally different point of view, and she notices things I don’t. Therefore – both being deeply moved by the visit to Plymouth – we decided that Margaret needs to share her notes with you. Here it is…

It’s a bright early morning, but I already feel the heat building up. No wonder, it’s summer in the Caribbean. We are standing on the platform of Montserrat Volcano Observatory, waiting for a vulcanologist who will take us to the exclusion zone lying at the foot of the active volcano. There are five of us waiting, including a French photo-journalist, Derek, myself, and two people who work for the Montserrat Government. Our guide is half an hour late. As we strike up a casual conversation, I gaze at the Soufriere Hills volcano dominating the landscape, majestic and mysterious, partially covered in clouds. Soon we will be much closer to it. We are filled with excited expectation…

Our guide finally arrives and we follow his jeep, driving through a verdant landscape towards the sea. After passing the last inhabited houses – beautiful villas shaded by scarlet blooming flamboyant trees – we arrive at the check point manned by a volunteer – a retired policeman. Since we have special permit, we are allowed to pass further – past the gate to the exclusion zone. Our guide tells us rather harshly that we have maximum two hours’ time to explore, need to keep eye and voice contact, and “you have to leave immediately when I tell you to.” I notice his hands are shaking when he opens the gate padlock. I wonder – is it because he is aware of an impending danger of which we are blissfully ignorant?

Finally, we reach the site of what once was Plymouth, the capital city of the island, to begin our exploration. We leave our jeep’s motor running.

One of school buildings

As I’m getting out of the car my feet sink in a soft, silvery-grey ash, under which I sense another surface, hard as concrete. I look around at the landscape and I’m gripped in terror: the whole huge area is grey desolation and ruin. What remains of the city is buried under incredibly thick layers of mud and ash, following the eruption in 1995 and later pyroclastic flows. Now I understand why Plymouth is named “the new Pompeii.”

We are silent: this sight is inexpressibly moving. “Look at this house, it used to be three-storey high,” says Atsumi, our Montserrat host, pointing to a building in front of us. You can barely see its destroyed roof now; the rest is covered in ash. Derek disappears inside one of the buildings which still carries a visible sign “Ambiance” painted on the wall. He utters a cry and I follow him. What I see is a scene frozen in time:

A desk with computer thickly covered with ash… a phone book with yellow pages still open…

a child’s crib with toys scattered around… On the ash-covered floor, a watch dropped and smashed. Near the window a broken lamp with a grey cap of ash, surreal-looking roll of some fabric with colour and pattern impossible to discern under its thick ashy cover, and a mannequin used as a form for dress-making. Clearly, the home of a tailor, whose family left it all behind in a wild rush…

I step outside to take a deeper breath. There is another photographer with us, that French journalist. I can see him running in my direction. “What did you see?” I ask. “A bar that looks like people just left, leaving broken glasses and newspapers on the floor.” He and Derek move quickly from building to building trying to capture photographs of as many sights as possible. Another building of interest – elementary school. Rooms are filled with mud and ash to half their height. A chalkboard full of scribbles, and table almost completely drowned in ash add to the eerie feel of the whole place.

Our guide nervously calls his office to confirm volcano conditions still permit to continue our stay. “If the volcano decides to emit pyroclastic flows now, what are our chances of survival?” I ask our guide. “We have only 2 minutes until it reaches where we stand. It’s not enough time to escape,” he answers quickly. It’s not just the spewed hot rocks and ash that pose the danger: the hot steam and pressure accompanying them are equally destructive. It’s easy to believe that, since all the time we walk there, we’re surrounded by pungent sulphur fumes. “If anyone feels sick because of sulphur gas, we need to get immediately out,” cautions our guide.

There is no colour here, except for corroded iron structures covered by reddish rust in a vast sea of grey ash. There is an overwhelming silence: no bird songs or sound of leaves rustling in the wind. It’s like a desert – no, in comparison the desert is full of life!

I find myself in front of a bakery – so the signboard reads. Glimpsing inside through the shattered windows, I’m suddenly aware of a sound of flipping paper pages at my feet. I bend down to see it closer. It’s a Montserrat passport of some widely travelled lady. Was it lost in the haste of evacuation, dropped out of an open handbag? What happened to its owner? I wonder.

Our last place to see is a church on the outskirts of town. We walk over an iron gate, almost totally buried in ash. The church is surprisingly bright inside; rays of light enter through a broken roof illuminating the nave. I notice pages of a music score – Handel’s Messiah lying on the floor. As I’m leaving the church, I think about all the people who lived in this destroyed city – close to four thousand residents, whose lives were changed forever after the eruption.

Our guide is visibly relieved when we are leaving the site. After just 5 minutes’ drive we can again hear birds singing.

Post written by Margaret Gajek, author of Tropical Homes of the Eastern Caribbean, and Exotic Gardens of the Eastern Caribbean

Photographs copyright Derek Galon, Ozone Zone.

As we both are deeply moved by the visit to Plymouth, Derek created three commemorative limited edition posters showing selection of his best photographs from there. You can see them at Gallery Vibrante, which offers Derek’s art photography for sale. Also there you can see his other best images from Plymouth (in Architecture and Travel categories).

Thank you for your visit. As always – if you like it, SHARE it with freiends, please.
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Cheers! Until next time!

Welsh International Photo Salon 2012 – good news!

Tile Tales

Italian Pastiche

I just want to share with friends news I just got in email last night: Welsh International Photo Salon 2012 announced that  six of eight photographs I submitted  are accepted for exhibition, and will be shown in several places in UK and abroad. Additionally, two of these photographs got awarded as Highly Commended. These two are Tile Tales with model Koko, and Italian Pastiche with model Kimberly Rose. For some reason I am drawn to British photography scene (I  am a member of Royal Photographic society) – and it seems that UK repays that, often selecting my works for various exhibitions and awards.

Thank you Koko, Thank you Kimberly – and thank you – Wales!
Thanks for checking with us, please SHARE it if you like these photos.
And – FOLLOW us by entering your email. You will be first to know of our new posts.
Cheers! Derek

Here is a slideshow showing all mentioned above photos.

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As always, please keep in mind – these photos are copyrighted Derek Galon and Ozone Zone, thanks for respecting it.

New Pompeii (Montserrat’s Old Capital Destroyed by Volcano)

If you didn’t read my previous post, you may want to check it out. This post is very short, I am simply sharing with you my favourite photographs from Plymouth – the Montserrat’s old capital,  town destroyed by volcano some 15 years ago.
I wrote in my previous post: “We did some documentary photographs from the destruction zone, and we experienced the eerie feel that stays with this “New Pompeii” right up to the present day.  As you place your first step on the ground covered deep with volcanic ash – you turn silent…just trying to comprehend what really happened there those 15 years ago…

Plymouth is covered with ash, mud and huge lava rocks, up to the second floor level. You can see volcano still fuming with sulfur-smelling gas…  The moment of destruction is registered at every step, like frozen in time. Personal belongings scattered  in panic and visible through broken windows of houses half-buried in lava, mud and ash… offices hurriedly left in the middle of work…  pages of musical scores dropped on the floor of a shattered church – perhaps left behind by members of an evacuated choir… – All these things tell a gloomy, painful story not to be forgotten in Montserrat. Thankfully, now the volcano is under strict observation by the world’s best scientists, and danger zones are clearly drawn – in case of the volcano’s repeat activity.”

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Well, photographs here are edited to accentuate the eery feel. It is more my vision of this place than a strict documentary. I hope you find this interesting. I like some of them. In fact – I will add a few of them to my art works for sale on Photo Gallery Vibrante site.
These are rare photographs, we had to get a special permission and a guide from Volcano Observatory to get there. If you like this post – please click SHARE, let your friends see it. and surely – please also FOLLOW us for more photography posts. and, feel free to comment!

Until next time,  cheers!
Derek

Please remember – all photos copyright Derek Galon and Ozone Zone Books. Thank you.

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