I’ve been sitting on this new timelapse film for a couple weeks now. To my mind, something about it just didn’t seem complete. So I’ve tried different introductions and changed up the ending a few times… but I always end up coming back to this version.
I hope you like it 🙂
On September 18, 2017, Hurricane Maria completely devastated my island home, Dominica. The Category 5 storm battered Dominica for at more than six hours, destroying our power and water supply lines, agriculture, telecommunications, and other critical infrastructure.
With a population of approximately 73,000, the United Nations reported on October 2, 2017 that over 71,000 people were affected by the hurricane’s passage. Up to 31 have been confirmed dead and 34 are still missing.
More than ten weeks on, and things are getting better. Thirty-one of the 49 health facilities are functional, approximately 82 per cent of the population are receiving water services and 45 schools have basic water and sanitation services (Hurricane Maria Situation Report No. 11, United Nations).
My First Timelapse Film
By the time Maria hit, I had shot about 80 per cent of the footage required for my first timelapse film. The earliest sequences from that film were shot in April of the same year so I strung them together and ended it all with a few post-Maria clips.
I never intended for my video to be a ‘before and after’ film, but in some ways, it was.
This next one would be 100 per cent post-Maria and to be honest, I had no idea what story to tell.
Dominica is known as the Nature Island of the Caribbean and at least two thirds of my home’s surface was covered with lush, green, untouched rain forests. We are proud of our numerous parks and reserves, one of which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, namely the Morne Trois Pitons National Park.
With this in mind, I decided to show how drastically our landscape had changed since Hurricane Maria.
For those of you who live here, visited or have seen photographs/videos, then you know just how badly our island’s flora was affected. Here’s a comparison, courtesy of local photographer, Chad Ambo.
However, I didn’t want to show Dominica as an ‘ugly’ destination, so the I sought out locations that could show that some growth was returning to the island.
Because I the direction I chose, I had some very specific locations in mind. I definitely had to shoot from Morne Bruce, as it provided a beautiful vantage point of the capital, Roseau. Also, since I featured that location in my first film, it was a great opportunity to show viewers the stark difference since Hurricane Maria.
I attempted another comparison with a side-of-the-road location near Sylvania. This view looks out to a mountain that was completely covered with foliage before Hurricane Maria. After the storm, however, the mountainside was completely bare, brown and dead.
One well-known location that I was lucky to shoot from is the lookout at Laudat (0:26). Before Hurricane Maria there was a vendors’ stall but this was blown away. Now we’re left with the cliff side, and dirt from a landslide. The view of the Roseau Valley is still quite epic though.
Another worthy mention is the sequence from Fort Shirley at the Cabrits, in Portsmouth (1:12). From that vantage point, you’ll have a panoramic view of Prince Rupert’s Bay and the mountains that encircle the town of Portsmouth. We’re accustomed to the greenery, but I was greeted with lots of brown. Here’s a view of the bay taken earlier this year:
Over 16 days of shooting, I captured approximately 17,000 images. I didn’t use them all though. I was able to cull that batch down to less than 12,000 images and used those to create the film that you looked at above.
This is another crowning achievement in my photography journey. Publishing these timelapse films bring almost the same sense of joy that I got when I published my photography book.
I can only hope that you enjoyed this video and hope that you’re encouraged to support my work, including the book mentioned above and also my assortment of prints.
Thank You for taking the time to read this article and view my work. Rest assured, I am currently working on something new to wow you in the near future! 🙂