The Photography of Keith Clark: Doing Barbados Proud

The Photography of Keith Clark: Doing Barbados Proud

From the “silver lining” file …

I goofed.  Every photo I post on this blog is one I took myself or purchased from istockphoto.

Except one.  It was a photo of a verdant island valley, by Barbados photographer Keith H. Clarke (stunning site; please visit it).  Very kindly, Mr Clarke wrote me and asked for attribution. Since his photo was part of a rotation that doesn’t allow for attribution or captions, I (regretfully) removed it.

Despite my embarrassment, I’m glad the incident occurred because I’m now aware of Mr Clarke’s stunning work.

Photo by Keith Clarke for JPG Magazine, Mar '08

Photo by Keith Clarke for JPG Magazine, Mar '08

Take, for example, the photo here that captures the beauty and spirit of Barbados’ annual carnival, CropOver. Or the one below, which is the offending photo in question (which I am using here with permission).  keithclarkephoto

In my wanderings through his blog, I came across Mr Clarke’s stunning book entitled Old Barbados Through Photography, which I promptly purchased for the commentary as well as for the photos.

Along with photos of buildings and scenery quickly being squashed by new development, Mr Clarke argues for preservation and makes suggestions. To wit:

“…government has more to gain in total restoration or renovation of its heritage buildings. Like Ecotourism, government can profit from Heritage Tourism.”

Well done.  And, I hope, effective:  It’s more likely that government will buy an argument addressing possible profit than sense of duty.

I guess every one of us who comes wants to close the door behind us.  Even in the two years since I’ve been introduced to Barbados, I’ve seen enormous changes and I lament that if new building must occur, why can’t it be done with more sensitivity to the landscape and old architecture?

What if Old Barbados in Photography landed on every legislator’s and developer’s desk?  Would these – could these – photos speak?

4 Responses to “The Photography of Keith Clark: Doing Barbados Proud”

  1. Greg says:

    Great point. Also some of Ronnie Carrington’s sumptuous b-and-w photos of Barbados are simply wonderful.

  2. homegrown says:

    Ca you buy the book off the shelf here in BB or only online?

  3. planetbarbados says:

    Good morning! I saw your question yesterday and wrote to the photographer about this. I haven’t heard back, but will let you know when I do. I had the impression from the site on which I purchased it that it’s a print-on-demand book, so it might not be available in stores – but then again, it might be. I’ll let you know. I can’t wait to receive mine!

  4. planetbarbados says:

    Wow, you turned me onto something really exciting! For many years, photographer Ronnie Carrington traversed hill, gully, and village, chronicling Barbadians living their lives, amassing some 12,000 black-and-white photos. Please go here for a slideshow.

    What really excites me is Mr Carrington’s “Barbados Photo Holidays” and other workshops for photographers that include photo-taking outings and workshops. I’m signing up! What a wonderful way to explore this beautiful country! I may never turn out photos as lovely as these on Flickr, taken by a student of Mr Carrington’s, but – oh, whatever – I’ll love the experience of trying.

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