Pointers in Red and Green

If there were such a thing as compass points within the picture frame, both of these images would be pointing off to the north-northeast. But they seem to be pointing to something else, too.

Messages from the Dark Side

I didn’t intend to produce such dark images. They just seemed to happen. The first came from a picture of some sponges along the beach, and the second is the old “Steeple Building” in the Christiansted historic district. Yes, centuries before its most recent reincarnation as a National Park Service asset, the Steeple Building was a Lutheran church. These may reflect my growing sadness…

Subjective Realities

Each person’s heritage and life experiences are different, creating unique subjective realities that affect our interpretation of the world around us. I like these images because the feelings and stories they evoke for me tell me something about myself. The original images were captured at night, handheld, without the benefit of flash. I then enhanced the indistinct and impressionistic qualities to make the images…

For a Jumbie-free New Year!

St. Croix’s celebration of the holidays continues through the week, ending with the adult’s festival parade (a loud, long, and sometimes lewd extravaganza) on January 2. In keeping with the celebratory spirit, these two night-time mocko jumbies may help keep the bad spirits away throughout the New Year. May 2010 bring the best to all.

Holiday Spirits

Colorfully costumed stilt dancers — or mocko jumbies — appear at many island festivals. Cultural icons and entertainers today, the mocko jumbies have ancient African origins. “Jumbies” are mischevious or evil spirits and ghosts, and one interpretation is that the mocko jumbies scare them away by mocking them. Their height allows them to see the spirits before they arrive to cause trouble. While there…

Trojan Ships

The cruise ships have returned to St. Croix. They arrive in the morning and disgorge their living cargo for a few hours ashore. Priorities are rearranged. New businesses spring up in an attempt to pry a few dollars from wallets. The ships are welcomed as a needed lift for the island economy, even though some activities threaten to destroy the local culture and natural…

Bride to be

Nude mannequins in store windows may be an overdone subject (like sunsets, razzbuffnik). Nevertheless, the play of light and reflections in this upscale bridal shop in Florida were compelling. The contrast between the in-store lighting and the outdoor light on the dismembered mannequin gave her an other wordly look, echoing the contrast between the romance inside and the reality outside glimpsed in storewindow’s mirror.

Emplacement

The two old Danish forts on St. Croix — one in Christiansted and the other in Frederiksted — were defended by cannons aimed seaward. The irony is that the real threat to the planter’s culture of that era came from the land in the form of the changing economics of the sugar trade, the end of slavery, and rebellions by workers against the oppressive…