A Picture is worth a thousand words

I was really excited to return to the community of Ccaccaccollo this year. Last year my photo group spent three days doing a home stay and portrait project for the Planeterra Foundation in this community. This year, we were returning only to visit the weaving community and have demonstrations on how the community operates.

Our G leader, Elard Aranibar, has been to the community many times and had taken a few photos of this elderly man while visiting in 2008. In 2011, the man passed away.

Ccaccaccollo elder
Ccaccaccollo elder
Photo by Elard Aranibar
Ccaccaccollo elder
Ccaccaccollo elder
Photo by Elard Aranibar

When we returned to the community this year, Elard was showing the photos to the man’s family. It was a very emotional moment and it reminded me of the power of photos, even more so for those who don’t have them as a regular part of their lives.

For us, photos are standard and help us remember our youth as well as the elderly in our lives. For many communities around the world, photos don’t exist and memories are only those in your mind. That is why the emotion behind these photos is so incredibly powerful.

Ccaccaccollo
Ccaccaccollo
Photo by Shari Tucker
Ccaccaccollo
Ccaccaccollo
Photo by Shari Tucker
Ccaccaccollo
Ccaccaccollo
Photo by Shari Tucker
Ccaccaccollo
Ccaccaccollo
Photo by Shari Tucker

Uros Islands Photo Essay

Uros Islands

The Uros Islands are truly one of the most unique and amazing places that I have ever visited. They are located in Lake Titicaca, approximately a 20 minute boat ride from Puno. Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in South America at approximately 13 000 feet.

The Uros islands are a group of approximately 79 floating islands hand-made of totora (reeds from Lake Titicaca). Totora is the staple of these islands. From actually building the islands on layers of reeds and blocks of roots, to eating the white part, to building all of their boats and homes from the reeds.

As the old layers of reeds begin to rot, new layers are added on top to keep the floor fresh and solid. Boats and houses are rebuilt approximately every six months for the same reason.

At one time the islands were moved amongst the reeds to hide from impending danger and strategically for war. Now, the islands are anchored in place with three to five families living on each island in small reed huts. There is a hospital, a school and a seventh day adventist church for the community.

Flowery Photo Essay

I thought Spring was here, but our forecast is calling for a bunch of snow. This makes me sad.
So, I’ve decided to post pictures of pretty flowers from a couple of summers ago that I’ve never gotten around to sharing!

As a photographer, I’ve never been particularly interested in photographing flowers, but I went on a garden walk put on by a not for profit organization in Halifax and really enjoyed the scents, the fresh summer air and the beauty!

With more white stuff on the way tonight, I thought we could all use some thoughts of summer. It really is on the way … really … (I’m trying to convince myself)

Dominino

In July 2012, while I was living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, studying Spanish I was lucky enough to meet Tabea Thomaschke, founder of Dominino (site is in German).

Founder of Dominino, Tabea with one of the children from the school.
Founder of Dominino, Tabea with one of the children from the school.

As a child, Tabea had always been interested in making a difference in children’s lives and had a love for the Dominican Republic as she used to travel there with her family. As she grew older, she began working toward her goal of helping children in the poorest areas of the D.R. She started a not for profit organization called Dominino. She went into the area of San Luis, known to be one of the poorest and most dangerous areas of Santo Domingo and she started a school for the children of the community. At first, it started out very small, with only a few children, but as her funding grew, she was able to support having more children take part. The school provides education in Spanish and some German for young children, provides a meal each day and lots of love and attention from the staff. These are three very basic things to most of us in North America, but education, food and love are three things that are severely lacking in this poorest of the poor community. The school now has close to 20 students and is making a huge difference in their lives by giving them the education which will hopefully encourage them to get out of the cycle of poverty. All of this, started by a young woman in her 20’s.

I visited Dominino while I was in Santo Domingo and wish that I could have gone back again! I knew that we were heading to a poor community, but I didn’t really know how dangerous it was until I learned that taxis refused to enter the community at all … ever. Simply because it is dangerous. We got off a local guagua (bus), then climbed on moto conchos (3 of us on each) and were driven about 5-10 minutes away to the community of San Luis.

It is here where we were greeted by some very shy, but bright children who were very excited to see Tabea again, and the couple of others of us who came to visit. Some of the children were incredibly shy. Often, in fact, not even speaking to staff at the school for quite some time until they begin to feel comfortable. These children often come from abusive homes, their health is neglected, their education is non-existent and they don’t really know what it is like to be loved and cared for.

We sat with the children, singing songs and playing games. And then, they were served fresh fruit, yogurt and cereal to fill their empty tummies before heading outside to play a couple of active games in a closed in area. All the while, I was there capturing photographs of the children in their environment. Some of them were excited to be photographed and couldn’t wait to see their photos on the back of the camera. Others were cautious, but smiled shyly. Yet, a couple of children simply were scared of the white lady with the big camera. Yes, I did make a couple of children cry. To which, of course, I then stopped photographing them. I had no interest in traumatizing the children!

3642_ShariTucker

The most heart warming part for me in the end was that two of the children who were scared of me and my camera at first, came around and actually wanted their photos taken by the end of the few hours we were there.

One of the little girls who originally was scared of my camera.
One of the little girls who originally was scared of my camera.

Dominino is a not for profit organization that does good work for underprivileged children. They accept donations and you have the opportunity to be able to sponsor a child for a year to ensure that they continue getting education, food and love. The Dominino Facebook page is in German, but Tabea has excellent working knowledge in both English and Spanish.

Below is a collection of photos from my visit to Dominino. I can wholeheartedly say, my favourite photos from my seven weeks in the Dominican this past summer.

Fresh Fish Market – Photo Essay

Puerta Ayora, Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands

I was wandering along the waterfront one afternoon in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos and came across the fresh fish market. I’m passionate about photographing people in their environment, working … what better place than a fish market? The fisherman had come in off the boats not long before and they were preparing fresh fish for locals; first come, first served. As with any subject, I started photographing from the front and then started to wander around to different vantage points. I’m so glad that I did because some of my favourite shots are the ones from behind the fish counter.

Bermuda Botanical Gardens – Photo Essay

Bermuda Botanical Gardens - Hamilton Bermuda

I’ve visited Bermuda three times since 2006. Normally I don’t return to the same place over and over again, but Bermuda is beautiful and my friend, Michelle was living there up until the Spring of 2012. Not a bad place to go visit my bestie! Not to mention the cheap, direct flights from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The first time I went to Bermuda was via cruise ship in 2006. The second time was by plane in July of 2008 and then my last visit was in October of 2010 to celebrate my 32nd birthday. It was on my last trip that I went to enjoy the beauty of the Bermuda Botanical Gardens. All 36 acres of tress, flowers and shrubs and a few critter inhabitants too! Hope you enjoy a little photo essay of the beautiful gardens.