The Wind That Blows — A Story of Whaling in Bequia

IMG_2957.JPGI have such fond memories of being with my grandparents, Louis & Celina Ollivierre, on Petit Nevis, while the whale was being butchered. There was much commotion as people piled home made charcoal and gathered sticks to stoke the fire pits for cooking the whale meat. The men would butcher and the women would cook. I would hang around the fire near grandmother — I called her Mama — and when I was hungry she would hand me a calabash bowl with a bit of corned whale meat; maybe some cassava farina — farine in the Bequia creole — and corn cou-cou. The meat was cooked in large cast iron pots and my grandmother would spend the day storing the pot. Always stirring.

Watching this 60 minute documentary, I could feel and smell the salty breeze that constantly filled the air on Bequia. Life was simple but it was paradise. I miss it.

The documentary has been been released on DVD and I bought a copy. I am so excited to share some of my family’s legacy with my kids.

The Wind That Blows – documentary trailer from Tom Weston DP on Vimeo.

Spanning an entire generation and told from the perspective of a proud people infinitely more connected to nature than any Prius driver, this film challenges conventional thought about the impact of global conservation and modernization.

You can also rent or download a high definition digital version of the 60 minutes film from Vimeo.

Swami Vivekananda on American Racism, 1900

Finding Free Quality Stock Images For Blogging

imac on desk with speakers, a mouse, coffee mug and other desk items

There are many times when writing when I want a decent picture to complete my post. A a photographer I tend to use my own images. I either capture a new one specifically for that post or I use one from my Lightroom catalog. However, occasionally I don’t have anything in my portfolio that meets my needs and I may not have the time to create one.

For many bloggers doing their own photography is a chore. They either lack the time or the skill to create an image that meets their needs. Some turn to sock photography web sites and are disappointed. Many stock photography websites are either too expensive or have nothing but images of staid looking characters in suits.

Inexpensive or free stock photography sources was a recent topic of discussion on the Desk community. There are a growing number of websites offering amazing free stock imagery. Someone started a list of sites that offer free stock images. Some sites on the list were decent but I found many lacking. I did my research and found several site that have free stock images that in my opinion are high quality. These photographs are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under Creative Commons, which means you can copy, change and distribute the images for commercial purposes, all without asking for official permission. Here’s my list.

Of course having access to multiple sources of good quality stock images present a new problem. Choosing. With so many images available it easy to get caught up in find the perfect image for your post. When I first tried using these stock image sites I spent almost 30 minutes looking for an image to use on a post that took me almost as long to write. That’s not efficient. Why waste thirty minutes of creative time on a treasure hunt? First you have to search the online stock image archives, then download and image. Then you resize and upload to your blogging platform, insert image and publish. This takes time away from writing and increases time to get your writing published. So I came up with a strategy to help with that.

When you have time, when you are not writing, you can visit these free stock web sites and download some of the images that you find compelling. Don’t worry at this point how you will use that images. Just download it to a folder on your computer. If you want to be really efficient, upload the images to the media library of your blog host. You might want to categorize the images and add ALT tags and titles. Then when you need an image for a post, choosing will be easier and faster.