National Geographic Traveler photographer Susan Seubert shoots Barbados

It is with great pleasure to announce that a story I shot about Barbados for National Geographic Traveler Magazine last summer is being published in the January/February 2011 issue of the magazine.  This morning I woke up to the photo gallery which is now online and am anxiously awaiting for the printed issue to arrive in the mail.  Photographing in Barbados was a marvelous experience as the Bajan people are wonderful.  Throughout the country people were welcoming and eager to help which makes my job as a travel photographer an absolute pleasure.  The biggest challenge was finding my way around the island.  All roads do conspire to eventually get you where you need to be, but often in a more circuitous route than one might initially plan. It was a thrill to drive on the left, which I haven’t done for quite a while, along with the fact that once you leave the main area surrounding Bridgetown, the roads turn into one lane passages filled with anything from herds of sheep to giant trucks barreling along at break-neck speeds.  The most memorable experience was photographing the thoroughbred horses having a bath in the ocean at dawn.  After a tip from a local, I decided that it was worth getting up at 3:30 to drive to the water’s edge where, twice a week, the groomers bring the race-horses into the ocean for a bath and a swim.  It was completely dark when we arrived at the parking lot, and all I could here was the “ker-plock, ker-plock” of horses’ hooves on the pavement.  Then, out of the darkness a man and a horse appeared under the streetlamp by the beach, and off they would go into the water.  It took a while for it to get light, but the water was so warm and the air so still, that for two hours, I went chest deep into the water with my camera and stood as close as I could photograph to the groomers as they washed and talked.  It was so beautiful to see these horses enjoying the water, the men talking to each other in the heavy Bajan dialect, and then watch them as they would hang onto the hind haunches as the horses swam out to sea for a bit and then back to shore.  Some of the animals didn’t want to get out and would protest by pulling at their reins or lying down.  I had to be very careful as one swift kick from these lovely creatures would have sent me directly to the hospital!  The sky turned pink, then blue, then gradually the flow of horses slowed and stopped.  It was 7:30am and I had already been shooting for three hours.  Marvelous.

This was also the first shoot I’ve done for traveler that was fully digital.  I took my Rolliflex and a Holga, but time didn’t permit the use of either of these cameras, so I shot everything on two Canon 5D Mark II cameras, and a host of lenses including my new favorite, a 50mm 1.2 for portraits and low light.  I also shot a bit of video and took some audio.  I’ll post one of my pieces in January, so stay tuned!

Click here to see Barbados: Photos From the Big Hearted Caribbean Island

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