Around The Island in a Day

Around Barbados in a day.

The great moments, and the not-so-great moments, summarised into one blog post.

Last Summer, I was lucky enough to spend five weeks of August leading into September, travelling. For some odd reason (I never like to do things the easy way), we decided to begin in Iceland, then fly over to Canada and explore some of Toronto, Vancouver and Whistler then, New York, Washington, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami and finishing in Barbados.. not a simple route, I know.

But nevertheless, it was incredible. Arriving in Barbados, the idea was to keep the six days we spent there, “chill” and use it as a relaxing end to the four previous weeks of non-stop go. However, we soon discovered after the first 24 hours that we are in-fact, not chill at all. Is it bad to say that I was honestly bored of sitting on a beach?

Because I was.

So, instead of sitting on a beach and spending the days in and out of the ocean (which was lovely for the first day), we decided to book as much as we could and explore the Island.

North Point, Barbados
Camera: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-eos-5d-mark-iv-body/1483C026/
North Point, Barbados
Camera: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-eos-5d-mark-iv-body/1483C026/

This is when we met Mario Williams.

Mario advertises himself as “Island Explorer Tours, Barbados”.

His normal trips take the route of Speightstown, a hidden gem located in North Point (pictured above), Cherry Tree Hill, Martin’s Bay and then Beachy Head Beach. However, it was to our surprise that he actually offered us a one off intimate trip around the entirety of the island, in a jeep. (It helped that he knew we were Photographers and documented the entirety of the drive across the Island).

Mario had lived on the Island for years, and this meant that he knew the in’s and out’s of the entirety of Barbados – taking us to places that he normally never took tourists, which is what made the tour so much more special.

Overlooking Beachy Head Beach
Camera: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-eos-5d-mark-iv-body/1483C026/

In the above image, you can see a photograph overlooking Beachy Head, one of my favourite views on the island. The different builds were so interesting to look at, and with Mario discussing each different aspect to the houses and traditional views and rules of Barbados, it made the tour all the more enjoyable. A lot of the houses in Barbados are actually unfinished (as you can see in the above image), giving a sort of “shack” look to them. This is due to the fact that in Barbados, if your house is “unfinished”, you do not have to pay tax. So, instead of leaving their houses in a mess, most people usually leave them unpainted or still with scaffolding surrounding them.

Overlooking Beachy Head Beach
Camera: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-eos-5d-mark-iv-body/1483C026/

The views surrounding us, went on for miles and miles. Miles of beach, forestry and the most insane mountains and hills in the distance, and with the chance of getting to the highest points in the jeep, the photography opportunities were truly incredible. I edited the above photo in lightroom, slightly changing the colours of Peter Mckinnon’s ‘North’ filter, and I am obsessed with the result.

Travelling to Martin’s Bay
Camera: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-eos-5d-mark-iv-body/1483C026/

The above photograph is possibly one of my favourite photo’s taken on the tour. It’s a random photo to choose, because there isn’t a whale breaching out of the ocean, or the empire state and the insane skyline of New York – it is simply just a road leading down to Martin’s Bay. To be quite honest, the photo on the camera and in it’s raw state, wasn’t anything special – but after editing it – I am in love. Barbados as an Island, is actually only 166 square miles, and I found with this photograph in particular you can actually see a large distance of the Island – but just in one photo, which made this location so unique to the previous nine we had visited beforehand.

The memories that go along with this photo are also so great, and so fond. This was around three hours into the trip, racing along the beautiful bajan roads and reaching the most unreal beach, where we stayed and spent a couple of hours exploring the caves and rockery along the coastline.

Martin’s Bay
Camera: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-eos-5d-mark-iv-body/1483C026/

Although we were told when we got there, that you couldn’t actually take photos of the windmill (pictured above) – this of course made me want to grab my camera even more. The photo’s I captured of the windmill were so pretty once edited, sometimes you have to go against the rules (without offending too many people) in order of getting the perfect Instagram.

I would highly, highly recommend taking a trip here (or asking Mario on the trip if you can hop off and quickly grab a photo), because the views surrounding this particular area were beautiful, and so different to the rest of the island. This area was so green and full of forestry, that I was just obsessed with the contrast against the beaches and ocean in the background.

Please, please, PLEASE take a trip here if you are planning on visiting Barbados.

Barbados Wildlife Reserve, Benny Hill

Now we come to the most “Katie-ified” part of the Island.

The Wildlife Reserve.

I have said this time and time again on numerous Instagram posts and stories, but something that made this place to special and so diverse, was the fact that unlike so many other reserves and zoo’s, this one offered the animals food and a place to meet, but without being trapped or behind a glass screen.

You had to respect the animals and not invade their space, but it made visiting this place so much more intimate, without affecting the animals in a negative way.

The monkey’s pictured above were roaming around the entirety of the Island everywhere you looked, but it was lovely to see how tame they were with the locals. It was as if they had a certain sense of respect for the people, that they were allowed to wander freely, without the option of being caged or behind a glass screen.

However, something that I didn’t quite expect as much was how unsafe I felt in certain areas of the Island. I was aware there were areas that weren’t the best for “tourists” ands the hotel told me that I shouldn’t wear any expensive jewellery when leaving the hotel grounds in case people try to steal it – however I did feel that I had to watch my back constantly when wandering the Island.

I’m not quite sure why I felt this way, because every local that I spoke too was lovely – but that is something I would keep in mind when booking a trip to Barbados. When going back, I would personally choose to stay more so within the area of Paradise Beach leading up to Speightstown, rather than the bottom of the island near Grantly Adams Airport which is where I stayed last time I visited. After travelling the Island, I gained a better understanding of the best and safest areas to visit – and where should be avoided, just like any other place on the planet. There will always be “good” areas, and “bad”.

Next Big Project

Our next big project.

The Falklands Film (aka Kippy)

… The name ‘Kippy’ is not by any means, final. It is a temporary nickname due to myself and the rest of my team being completely indecisive.

So, The Falklands Film.

Something that has been in the works for many months and as of next week, will finally go into Production.

Camera: Canon C300 Mark II
Camera: https://www.visuals.co.uk/canon-c300-mark-ii.html
Lenses: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-50mm-f-1-4-usm-lens/
https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-16-35mm-f-2-8l-iii-usm-lens/0573C005/

Next week, myself and my colleagues at Chandler Media will be shooting a short film set during the Falklands War. The film is based on true events, specifically the attack at Bluff Cove on 8th June 1982, and tells the story of a soldier whose moral compass and relationship with his best friend are tested after allied forces are attacked.

We are making the film to highlight the importance of helping soldiers re-adjust to civilian life, and how their sacrifices can still affect them when they return home. We feel this topic is hugely important but often forgotten about. While the film is based on one event, the message of the film is really to help everyone affected by warfare, be that family or friends, you or someone you know.

Camera: https://www.visuals.co.uk/canon-c300-mark-ii.html
Lenses: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-50mm-f-1-4-usm-lens/
https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-16-35mm-f-2-8l-iii-usm-lens/0573C005/

We hope to be able to partner with organisations that specialize in helping veterans re-adjust after warfare environments, and once we are finished, we would love for the film to be used to help charities and draw attention to this issue. This isn’t just for us to make a film for the sake of it; we want the project to have a real impact.

Camera: https://www.visuals.co.uk/canon-c300-mark-ii.html
Lenses: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-50mm-f-1-4-usm-lens/
https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-16-35mm-f-2-8l-iii-usm-lens/0573C005/

I have started ‘The Falklands Film Diaries’ to document the journey and process of the making of this film – as I not only think it will be great to look back on, but may interest some of my audience on Instagram.

Travel Guide: Vancouver, Canada

In August of last year, Myself and Jack took it upon ourselves to travel and experience as many locations as possible within the timescale of a month. The route we chose, a little odd and involved a huge amount of time spent in the air, but nevertheless it was incredible.

Life-changing in-fact.

To anyone that ever asks me a question with regards to travel, I will always encourage them to just do it. Save your money, do your research and book a ticket. There is no greater feeling than experiencing new people and cultures that you’d never of even dreamed of. I truly believe it shapes you as a person, and the memories and photos you will take – will without a doubt, be incredible.

This brings me on to discuss Canada. Vancouver specifically.

Camera: Canon 5D IV (https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-eos-5d-mark-iv-body-with-canon-log)
Edited with: Lightroom and Peter Mckinnon’s Preset in Red October (https://www.downloadpirate.com/peter-mckinnon-pm-lightroom-preset-pack-fall-2018/)

After visiting Toronto, we caught a flight to Vancouver and spent a large amount of our time away, here. From the moment I left the airport and grabbed the train to central Vancouver, I fell completely head over heels in love with the city.

The people and city were lovely, but the scenery was what instantly drew me to this place.

I had spent a considerable amount of time researching into the best locations to hit whilst in Vancouver, like I do when travelling to all new countries, so I was aware of how beautiful Vancouver was, but seeing it was person was completely breath-taking.

I could ramble on all day about what I loved most, however if we are keeping this short and sweet – I wanted to discuss just a couple of my favourite moments spent in this wonderful place.

Whistler

A.K.A The most beautiful place I have ever been, to this day.

I knew before I booked Vancouver, that I needed to visit Whistler. The forests, Lakes and Mountains looked to be quite frank, too good to be true – so I had to see and document them for myself and wow,

They did not disappoint.

Looking back, I would have definitely have taken a longer trip to Whistler, however, it is something I now know for the future, as I am already planning a trip back to Vancouver as soon as I can.

The easiest and most cost efficient way seemed to be to book through a travel company, and take a coach trip to Whistler. Although this isn’t the ideal way of travelling – I would recommend it if it is your first time travelling from Vancouver to Whistler. The journey wasn’t terrible and only lasted around two hours, and the surrounding views made the trip a lot easier and more enjoyable on the way up.

Camera: Canon 5D IV (https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-eos-5d-mark-iv-body-with-canon-log)
Edited with: Lightroom and Peter Mckinnon’s Preset in North (https://www.downloadpirate.com/peter-mckinnon-pm-lightroom-preset-pack-fall-2018/)

Once we arrived, everything was easy.

The team that drove us to Whistler were extremely helpful and allowed us a certain amount of time to explore (around seven hours which was perfect), before we met back at the truck.

Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler, is a four-season resort located in Canada’s Coast Mountains, north of Vancouver, holding the largest ski resort in North America. The views, and hikes surrounding the Mountain were completely breath-taking and rather than rushing for my camera, I found myself stood taking in the views, which was a really odd feeling for me.

As you can imagine, the scenery was stunning and for me, a massive factor was the Wildlife that was on offer in the forests. Black bears, hundreds of different types of birds, deer just to name a few. Something that I really loved about Whistler, was the fact that it reminded me so much of my home in The Lake District (obviously on a much bigger scale).

Camera: Canon 5D IV (https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-eos-5d-mark-iv-body-with-canon-log)
Edited with: Lightroom and Peter Mckinnon’s Preset in Red October (https://www.downloadpirate.com/peter-mckinnon-pm-lightroom-preset-pack-fall-2018/)
Camera: Canon 5D IV (https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-eos-5d-mark-iv-body-with-canon-log)
Edited with: Lightroom and Peter Mckinnon’s Preset in North (https://www.downloadpirate.com/peter-mckinnon-pm-lightroom-preset-pack-fall-2018/)

In a really weird way, I felt at home whilst I was there – and there aren’t many places in the world that I can I say, I would Happily move to – however, I could EASILY move to Whistler. In fact, it may or may not be on my bucket list..

Moving on to a slightly different side to Vancouver..

Whale Watching.

Being completely and utterly obsessed with Orca’s for as long as I can remember, I of course had already previously researched into Whale Watching companies that ticked all the boxes for me.

The first box, was that the trip would be worth the money in terms of the length of the trip. I understand completely that it is never guaranteed that you will see a Whale, as they are in their natural habitat and at the end of the day – you cannot predict what they will do or when you will see them. However, you are paying a large sum of money – and you want as much time as possible out at sea, and for the trip not to be rushed.

The second box was that the company would be safe and respectful of the surrounding wildlife – and not getting too close to the Whales. This is because so many people, and so many companies think it is acceptable to drive as close as possible to the Whales, disturbing them, and this can cause major issues when they are travelling in large groups (pods) or with their young.

A company that ticked both these boxes for me, was Prince of Whales.

Camera: Canon 5D IV (https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-eos-5d-mark-iv-body-with-canon-log)
Edited with: Lightroom and Peter Mckinnon’s Preset in North (https://www.downloadpirate.com/peter-mckinnon-pm-lightroom-preset-pack-fall-2018/)

This trip was incredible, and something that I had been waiting for, for a very long time.

I was lucky enough to be able to view a large pod of six orcas, in their natural habitat. Happy and content. If anyone knows me well, you’ll know that the Orca and the whale species in general has always fascinated me – to the point that a personal life goal and dream of mine is to shoot a documentary surrounding the subject of marine captivity, very much in the style of Blackfish.

Orca’s travel in small groups (pods), and I was lucky enough to share an intimate moment with a matured male, group of females and a calf. Having only witnessed these incredible animals within the form of captivity and behind a glass screen, it was a very special moment for me to see these animals, wild and free.

This was the best way fo viewing these animals, so please think twice about purchasing a ticket to a corporation like Seaworld in the future. Take the time to wait and be patient, and I promise the few minutes of viewing these animals within their natural habitat, will be completely worth it. I strongly suggest you contacting Prince of Whales via their Instagram if you are interested in taking a Whale tour within Vancouver.

Camera: Canon 5D IV (https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-eos-5d-mark-iv-body-with-canon-log)
Edited with: Lightroom and Peter Mckinnon’s Preset in North (https://www.downloadpirate.com/peter-mckinnon-pm-lightroom-preset-pack-fall-2018/)

Turning 21

Camera: Canon G7X Mark ii
Camera: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-powershot-g7-x-mark-ii/

I can’t say I was too pleased with the idea of turning 21, despite it still being so young in the grand scheme of things, I suddenly felt that my 21 year old self would suddenly feel the entire pressure of “adulting” and the long list of responsibilities that come with that.

Today, I wanted to discuss the whole aspect of “getting older” and the genuine pressure and anxiety I feel as each year goes by. For a while, I thought I was alone in feeling this way, but after discussing the way I felt and the pressure I seem to put on myself to achieve as much as physically possible in a year, I realised I wasn’t alone.

I took it upon myself to research and look further into the subject of feeling anxious about completing as much as possible before you turn a certain age. I realise to many, this may sound ridiculous.

That’s because it is.

Since the age of around 18 and leaving for University, I started to apply a little more pressure within certain aspects of my life and especially in terms of work, I felt the “need to succeed”.

You see, I have always been ambitious. From my Primary School days and getting chosen to be Head Girl, I have always wanted and needed to excel in whatever I put my mind too – and I am not saying in any way, shape, or form that this is a bad thing, because it isn’t. It is in-fact a great trait to have.

However, it does require a certain level of balance between being ambitious and putting too much pressure on yourself. From the age of 18, I started to set myself goals and what I wanted to achieve before I turned 19, which worked out well – but also meant that if life took me in a different direction or I didn’t quite manage to do everything I’d hoped – I’d feel horrendous guilt.

This is when it becomes a problem.

Life is filled with high’s and low’s and sometimes with that, plans can be diverted and you can be taken down a route you’d never of dreamed of. This isn’t an issue. Nobodies life pans out exactly how you write it down and this can be a hard pillow to swallow.

Camera: Canon 5D IV (24-105mm lens)
Camera: https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-5d-mark-iv/specifications/
Lens: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-24-105mm-f-4l-is-ii-usm-lens/1380C005/

So, instead of allowing myself to feel a sense of pressure on every birthday – I have decided to start listing the things in life that I have achieved, and the things I’ve completed and seen. At the age of 21, I can say that I am a BA Honors Filmmaking Graduate from Bristol University, that is now the Founding Director of her own Film Production Company, surrounded by a wonderful set of friends and the most supportive Family. I’ve experienced a huge amount for someone that is 21, and seen parts of the world that I never even thought of. To say all of that and reflect on the person I am, and the things I have completed, makes me extremely happy and only makes me want to achieve more – which I will, but not under the constant pressure of needing to do it all before I turn 22.

Camera: Canon 5D IV (24-105mm lens)
Camera: https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-5d-mark-iv/specifications/
Lens: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-24-105mm-f-4l-is-ii-usm-lens/1380C005/

The moral of the story, is to live life how you want. If at the age of 40, you decide to quit your job and travel the world.

Go for it.

If you are turning 18, surrounded by friends that are all planning on leaving for University to do a degree and it isn’t in your best interest to do so –

That is fine.

Live life in exactly the way you want too, and never feel pressurised or anxious about comparing your life to somebody else’s.

Camera: Canon 5D IV (24-105mm lens)
Camera: https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-5d-mark-iv/specifications/
Lens: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-24-105mm-f-4l-is-ii-usm-lens/1380C005/

21 for me, is a year of building myself. A year of pushing my company to the limit and achieving great things. A year of enjoying myself, travelling and spending every moment I can with my Friends and Family. I have ideas and ambitions for where I want to go in terms of work, but there is no pressure.

Camera: Canon 5D IV (24-105mm lens)
Camera: https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-5d-mark-iv/specifications/
Lens: https://store.canon.co.uk/canon-ef-24-105mm-f-4l-is-ii-usm-lens/1380C005/

If you ever feel the same way I did, please do not hesitate to email or DM me on Instagram and we can chat. Don’t feel alone.