snapshots and observations

Friday, 11 March 2011

tonga and samoa

in 2000 i had a job photographing an event in tonga and samoa.

i know that sounds glamourous, but trust me, it wasn't.
if you want to see a grown man almost cry, then buy me a drink and sit
down and listen to my tales of the seas. i'll tell you about waves bigger than a house.
about what it feels like to be stuck on a reef with big waves coming at you.
to see grown men thrown out of their boats and screaming for their lives
as they're swept away by waves with blood pouring out of them...
( i'll also tell you how i had to survive on instant coffee for 3 weeks )

in the meantime, let me just bore you with a few photos.

there's me looking miserable sitting at the back
i was expecting it to be hot and sunny. truth is the weather was a lot like
winter in warrington.

there i am again, 'enjoying' the ride

as usual, whenever i spotted a camera, i just had to pose.

we really need to sit down while i explain about the boats... or ribs as they're called.
i'd rather do karaoke with my sisters-in-law than get in a rib again.
wow ! i didn't have a grey hair before that job !

we had to wear some nasty clothes too. absolute shockers. 3/4 length kecks !
by the way, i'm not checking out belen here, honestly.

camping on a different island every night. it sounds good doesn't it ?
but each night you'd have to swim to the island and obviously be soaked when you got there.
at night time you'd hang your wet clothes up  to dry overnight...
... and every night it would absolutely pour with rain, so each morning your clothes would be soaked again. great ! there's nothing like putting on soaking wet cold clothes every morning then settling down to a nice breakfast consisting of a cup of instant coffee.

on a slightly happier note, here i am photographing twins in tonga
work it girls !

here i am 'enjoying' a trek up to a volcano top
wearing a pair of size 7 boots that i'd borrowed ( i take 8.5 by the way )

it was a dark time for me.

i perked up at the top of the volcano and found time to claim it for her majesty

the best part of the whole job was that on the final day in samoa, we were
given a day off. actually, no we weren't given a day off, we just hired a jeep and
went off on a tour around the island.
we met this nice guyser...

we went exploring a tree top village thing
yes, that's me.


even out of focus i hated those shoes and that vest.

finally on the last day we chanced upon a lava field. it looked spectacular.
it seemed like an amazing backdrop for a photo shoot but i had had enough of those 
clothes spoiling the shots so there was only one thing to do...
i think this was the happiest i'd been in 3 weeks. the job was over, i was
still alive and i'd gotten rid of those stupid clothes...

you can see how happy i am by my smile can't you ?


  1. I like the way that the boats, sorry, 'ribs', aer carrying surfboards, water skis and - do my eyes deceive me? - pushbikes!
    No room for a kitchen sink, then...?

  2. pushbikes indeed !

    personally i would have preferred it if they'd attached a decent coffee machine or some stylish clothes.

  3. OK so you didn't like the RIBS, but I heard you managed to get one back to N7 along with most of the contents.......

  4. there was a mix-up with the baggage on the way home.
    i lost a bag full of the lovely clothes they gave us, but gained a bag full of
    scott sunglasses and boil in the bag chilli con carne.

  5. did you pinch those cockroach killing sandals off Josh??