While many are attracted to its range of world-famous beaches, Barbados is an island that offers photographers some fantastic opportunities. In addition to the turquoise bays (more of which, I’ll talk about later), Barbados has a UNESCO World Heritage capital, with an abundance of colonial era buildings. The wild and remote east coast offers photographers some stunning views and surfers the chance to catch some lonely waves. But for those who are looking for a bit more luxury check out Barbados villas on the beach. Here is my Barbados photography wishlist.
Barbados is the most easterly island in the Caribbean. Locals joke that god must be a Barbadians because they seemingly manage to avoid direct hits from hurricanes which devastate their neighbours. Located at 13.1N, 59.4W the island is believed to be less than one million years old and was created by the collision of the Atlantic and Caribbean plates. This collision had made Barbados geologically unique as the island is, in fact, two separate land masses that have fused together over time.
First occupied by Great Britain in 1627, Barbados remained a British Colony until 1961. This means that Barbados has a plethora of colonial era buildings – a fantastic opportunity for photographers.
Let us start in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the capital of Barbados, Bridgetown. The natural place for any photographer to start is with the Parliament Buildings, also known as The Public Buildings. Built between 1870 and 1874, the Parliament Buildings have been the meeting point for both chambers of the Barbados Parliament. It was previously the former site of the Colonial administration.
What attracts photographers to the Parliament Buildings, is the two buildings. They are built in the neo-gothic style and are said to reminiscent of Victorian-era buildings in the UK. Added in the dazzling blue sky of Barbados, photographers have the unique opportunity to photograph these stylish buildings.
Barbados is widely recognised as the birthplace of rum and St Nicholas Abbey is home to one of the best distilleries in the country. Yet for the photographer who is willing to forgo a drop of rum and take some photographs. St Nicolas Abbey is also incredibly photogenic. From a beautiful area of the plantation called the Gullies, home to indigenous flora and fauna, to The Great House, a 17th Century mansion. St Nicolas Abbey is well a photographer’s time.
Bathsheba is a small fishing found on the east coast of Barbados. The town is famous for a few different reasons. Firstly, it is home to numerous local and international surfing competitions on Bathsheba beach, aka the Soup Bowl. The beach is also the location of the quirky Bathsheba Rock. It also home to a number of outstandingly picturesque of quaint churches, including Little Saint Joseph chapel which rebuilt in 1904 after a landslide destroyed it, it was subsequently dedicated to Saint Aiden. Finally, Joe’s River Tropical Rainforest, on the outskirts of town is an ecologically rich rainforest with some 85 acres of woodland with white woods, cabbage palm trees and giant ficus.
Rockley Beach is also known as Accra Beach and this incredibly popular south coast beach would offer an excellent opportunity to do some ‘street’ photography. As well photographing the interesting characters who frequent the beach, I’d love to photograph people body boarding in the waves that crash ashore.
Bottom Bay is partially enclosed by high coral cliffs and it is the view from these cliffs that I would be interested in photographing. The cliffs offer a panoramic view of the south shore and, again, the waves as they break on the shore front.
Harrison’s Cave is an interesting location but one I might struggle to photograph. Found in the central uplands of Barbados, Harrison’s Cave is beautiful, crystallised limestone cavern. With flowing streams and deep pools of crystal clear water, Harrison’s Cave is no doubt, beautiful.
The final spot on Barbados photography wishlist would be Hunte’s Gardens. This stunning botanical garden is found in the St Joseph area of Barbados. Created in the 1950’s by horticulturist Anthony Hunte, Hunte’s Gardens is a situated in a sink-hole type gully. It is home to an array of plants and other fauna.
How to research photography locations
Landscapes which are both inspiring and photogenic don’t often just appear in front of you. As a photographer, researching your potential locations is crucial. I want to share with you a few of the apps and websites I used to find those amazing and jaw-dropping landscapes.
The Photographer’s Ephemeris is my favourite photography app as it not only gives photographers an eyes-on view of their potential locations but it also allows us to see which direction the sun will rise, set and from which direction. The Photographer’s Ephemeris is an integral part of my photography kit.
Flickr is a great way to start researching potential locations. Using the search option on the site, you can see photographs that other photographers have taken. You can follow me on Flickr here.
Google Earth is a superb addition to my photography kit. It allows photographers to see the terrain from multiple angles and in 3D to boot.
Instagram, much like Flickr, is a good tool to use when it comes to researching locations. Use the search function to find beautiful locations and remember to also search hashtags. You can spend hours looking at beautiful photographs on Instagram, why not use that time to research potential shoots.