Nectar of the Highlands.

Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2010.

In my travels, it is who I will meet that will define the trip, far more than the scenery, or other sensory experiences. Life is after all about humanity, and our relationships that bind.

While spending a few days at Casa De Acuna in the Colonial City of Coban, my traveling companions and I had the fortunate opportunity to meet the owners of our beautiful accommodations. Within a few short minutes we were invited to their home, along with a full tour of the orchid gardens less than an hour from the city.

The bi-product of the farm and its surrounding forests was a selection of rare and exotic honey vials. Raw unfiltered honey of the broadest variety, selected from sting less bees, and produced from the orchids themselves, and surrounding wildflowers. Sampled from wine bottles, this precious honey was full of flavors just as distinct as the varieties of expensive wine that might have previously occupied those very same bottles.

Seize the day…along with the opportunities that present themselves!

Cheers, Jeremy

Conquest of Paradise.

Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2010.

Masked dancers re-enact the Conquest of Paradise, Spaniards brandishing weapons dance alongside of those adorned in the antlers of wild deer. The sing song music of the xylophone is rhythmic and playful, spectators gather on the steps of the church, vendors work the plaza. Heat deters only the faint.

Magic Hour, Working for the Newspaper, and Longterm Projects.

Photographs Jeremy Wade Shockley/SU DRUM

Chance favors the prepared mind. -Louis Pasteur

The perfect light rarely comes to me on assignment for the newspaper, simple fact is, around town events are not scheduled with the warm tones of sunset in mind. As a matter of fact, getting outside is half the battle, and a prayer for good window light when I am forced to shoot inside. All these factors present there own challenges, challenges that have pushed me as a photographer on deadline, sans assistant. Action happens fast, some events last less than a few minutes, and it often those shots that make the font page for no other reason than precedence.

What I have learned is invaluable, the opportunities to shoot outside in the golden hours of the day are often times a luxury of the freelance photographer, or dedicated artist. A long term project, or all day event will lend itself to those opportunities, weather permitting.

One such assignment came across my desk recently, an art gallery opening, on just such a beautiful summer afternoon that leaves you wanting more. Samba singers set up against a freshly painted fence, a belly dancer in full regalia, spins through the courtyard literally catching the last rays of light! Memorable landscapes, portraits and everyday scene from across the world often become timeless because of a quality of light that helps to define the moment.

The greatest lesson here is that as photographers, we must be able, willing and creative under any given circumstance, creating powerful images regardless. Understanding the value of the good light as an element working in our favor, but never a given.

Patience, preparation and perseverance are the ingredients to the images that astound, this often requires shooting well before and beyond the average sunrise, sunset!

Enjoy the images….Jeremy

Public Enemy No.1

Photo credit: Public

It is safe to say that no other music group has moved me in the way that Public Enemy has. Frontman Chuck D, and Flava Flav have been bringing serious energy to thier music for over twenty years. My first album, purchased years ago, Apocalypse 91: The Enemy Strikes Black, is a powerhouse of rhymes, beats and political charge.

Very rarely will I take a post out of photography to express my own interest, yet I feel that the message is valuable.

Public Enemy is a tour de force. An expression of political magnitude, and one of the first and most influential voices in Rap music as we know it today…

Filling my own airspace for the past week has been the beats of Publics Enemy’s “New Whirl Odor”, easily one of the hardest hitting albums of the groups career. A powerhouse of beats and rhymes, this album brings back the very essence and energy that defined Public Enemy in the late 80’s, early 90’s.

Relevancy is the topic here, and for any one with a pinch et for hard hitting music, I suggest you take a second look at the musical influence of Public Enemy.

Editors Note: Images for this post were made available through Google Images, Public

The Classic.

Photographs © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2010.

In juxtaposition to the previous post, I went back and pulled some of the classic images from Tikal, the shots we have all seen, the ones that gives us a sense of familiarity. Every famous site in the world has a number of these angles, the all in compassing view of the Tetons. From the Taj Majal to that one spot overlooking Mesa Verde’s Cliff Palace, photographers will follow each others very steps for years to come- and in the footsteps of those before us.

Equipment changes, so do styles and mediums. Occasionally the site itself is altered over time. In my three visits to Tikal over a span of 25 years, access has become more restricted with each encounter, stairs I used to climb are sectioned off, viewpoints no longer exist, and new sites are excavated, restored and made public all at the same time.

I find that the first shots I take are the obvious ones, the ones tested by time, adding a touch of my own style and vision. Quickly moving on to seek the less seldom travelled road. It is on that road that I am able to create images such as those I posted previously. Images that I hope will give viewers a new perspective and create interest in an oft visited subject.

Easier said than done. Hard work will always lay ahead for those who seek to create anew!