Island Impressions

On this page - a work in progress - we offer you glimpses into the island life of Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti.  We will post our own photographs, of anything that captured our interest;  perhaps share with you a few short stories, about events and places we found noteworthy;  and provide you with links to other websites we like.

On our journeys to and through Cuba we have taken many lovely photos, but none of them come even close to matching the spectacular aerial images taken by Marius Jovaiša, for his book “Unseen Cuba”.

Marius Jovaiša is a photographer, publisher, entrepreneur and founder of publishing house Unseen Pictures.  Born in Vilnius, Lithuania in 1973, he is the author of five large-format aerial photography books:  Unseen Lithuania (2008), Heavenly Belize (2010), Magic Cancun & Riviera Maya (2011), Heavenly Yucatan (2012) and Unseen Cuba.  World-famous for his distinct style of aerial photography, Jovaiša has been granted permission to fly over and take pictures of destinations that have never before been accessible to photographers.  His exhibitions have been displayed in more than 20 countries across Europe, Asia and the Americas.  To purchase or to obtain more information about Jovaiša’s book “Unseen Cuba" and other titles, visit www.unseenpictures.lt.

 

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If you know Negril, as it exists today, have you ever wondered what it looked like in the olden days, before the development of our tourism industry?  Well, these wonderful photos taken in the 1970's by our friend Robin Farquharson will give you a fascinating glimpse into Negril's pristine past.

Robin was born in 1944, in Black River, St. Elizabeth, to a long-established (ca.1745) Scottish-Jamaican family.  This is Robin, in his own words, speaking about his passion:

“These photographs have their roots from a childhood in rural Westmoreland.  My father Frederick had been a photographer with his own black & white darkroom in the 1920s and recorded many classic images of sugar estate life from the period.  He first interested me in picture taking.  In due course I took up painting but in the end considered photography a ‘more practical’ and equally satisfying means of picture making.  The project to photograph ‘Old Jamaica’ had its origin in studies of the history of art & photography at Rhode Island School of Design in the late sixties.  The Stone Breakers, 1849, by Gustave Courbet, the paintings of Jean-Francois Millet and Vincent van Gogh became iconic images that I was able to revisit while traveling in Jamaica in the 1970s, as I came upon scenes that surprisingly were familiar as illustrations from my art history books.  The opportunity to ‘turn back the clock’ and make photographs of an earlier Jamaica proved irresistible.  There was a sense of urgency too: Seaside mansions in Black River were already crumbling, Tinsmiths were giving way to plastic; boiled wet-sugar, mule-powered cane hoists and the hammering of roadside Stonebreakers, all were to disappear—while cotton tree canoes, donkey carts and Jackass Rope (tobacco) remain.  To try to capture on film these passing aspects of Jamaican culture, to record ‘history’ from present-day life, to make photographs that belie their age, this has been my pleasure with the camera." [February 2008]