Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its seventh year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

November 30, 2018

CAYMAN ON FILM

   ... last december, knowing that it would be helpful to the healing process i was going through, sarah and jon gave me a trip to cayman as a christmas present ... packing for the flight i decided to take only my wittnauer festival film camera ...
   
  
... in 1958 my dad bought one of these little 35mm cameras for our cross-country drive from florida to seattle via a stop to visit family and for mike and i to finish up the school year in west warwick, rhode island ... he didn't take the camera out until we'd been on the road several days, which leads me to believe that ma knew nothing about his purchase ... i picked up this one on ebay several years ago, and, to my knowledge, it might just be the finest example of the model in the entire world ...

... so, with three rolls of i.s.o 400 print film (in the mid-50s something of which photographers could only dream) and my equally-ancient gossen light meter, i was off to the sunny caribbean ...
    
... my sister, sue, took me on a tour of the "recently discovered" caves on the east end of the island ... actually, the caves have been known about for a long time, but it is only in the last few years that someone decided to invest the millions of dollars necessary in order to make them cayman's newest tourist attraction ...
   
   
... an environmentally friendly infrastructure now allows easy access to these fascinating natural formations ... i am even more fascinated with the thought that while farming one of the tiny fertile spots in the ironshore our great-grampy or another ancestor might've taken to one of these below-ground chambers as a cool respite from the tropical heat ...
   
   
... light from the natural openings filters down, allowing plants to flourish ...
      
   
... sue took me to spotts to share supper with her friend, mark, and his girlfriend (apologies, i've forgotten her name) ... although at times difficult because of the currents, spotts is one of my favorite places to snorkle ...
   
   
   
... i do remember that she's a very nice person ...
   
   
... it's a wonderful view of the island and sea from the gazebo above the beach at mark's vacation home ...
   
   
... even with the i.s.o. 400 film, using the wittnauer in low-light was pushing it well beyond it's functional envelope ... keeping the shutter speed at 1/30th of a second to minimize blur, i knew these frames would be seriously under-exposed ... the fact that i had to send the film in to be developed, and, while the prints are nice, the digital files returned to me are only 2-megapixels, meant that it was a lot of work in photoshop to bring these images to life ... this one, four different layers and an hour's work, i converted to a sort of film/oil hybrid canvas ...
   
   
... i did the same with the image i snapped of mister geoff rutty ...
   
   
... most people go to cayman for such as this, the famous "seven-mile beach" ... it's a beautiful and most pleasant streach of white sand—even if it's actually only 5.1 miles in length ...
   
   
... i'm lucky, i get to go to cayman to visit family and friends ... my sister hates having her picture taken, so, for this trip, at least, i respected her reticence and there're no images of her ... no problem, since i still got to take pictures of my dearest sweet aunt, "miss francine" ... more than anything, to me she is grand cayman ...
   

... the trip was great medicine, thank you sarah and jon, and, equally, thank you, pa, for teaching me how to take pictures with your little wittnauer gem ...