Suva Lights & Laughter

by Tim Rogers March. 22, 2017 1010 views

I had finished a week of work in Fiji and decided to stay on for a few days. The business side of the trip had been quite stressful and some decompression was required. As I'd bussed it around Suva I picked one or two spots I wanted to photograph and on my first free night headed into town in a cab with my camera and a few images in mind. I felt the challenges of the last few days draining away as I thought about the shot I wanted.

If you've ever been to Fiji, you'd know the place needs Rugby like we need oxygen. In the middle of town is a beautifully manicured open field known as Albert Park. As the sun was preparing to go down I figured the field would be close to empty. How wrong I was! Every inch of the field, about 500m long by 200m wide was used up by spontaneous games of touch rugby. Each game was a mixture of sizes, ages, genders, Fijians, Indians and ex-pats all enjoying the nations pastime. I'm still working out the whole street photography thing and my target was actually across the road. With so many people around came hundreds of cars as well. I knew the shot I wanted would have to wait.

An hour or so later after a wander around town I headed back to the park. The cars were mostly gone as had the light. A tiny trickle of street light touched the edge of the now near empty field and that was enough for two games to continue; one touch rugby, one football. I set up to get the shot I wanted of the amazing Grand Pacific Hotel across the road. The hotel was abondoned up until recently but had been restored. A classic turn of the century building; lit up it was incredibly beautiful. I knew I wanted a shot of it the second I saw it; illuminated with maybe a light trail across the front to add a little something. 

As I worked to get a decent shot and cursed the fact I needed the sensor cleaned, the game went on behind me. One of the less fit players had left the game, grabbed a traffic cone and decided to put his unique spin of commentary on the game, shouting through the cone to get maximum volume. I have to assume it was unique as everyone within earshot was in stitches. His verbal hi-jinks were in Fijian so the only words I understood were the names of various coaches and players. Despite the lack of understanding, I couldn't help but smile as I listened to his show and tried to get one good photo of this classic of a building behind me.

Photos like this aren't too hard. I wish I had the gumption to try a bit more people photography. Unfortunately I resemble an undercover cop, failing to blend in. A large bald white guy with a camera in predominantly non-white placed stands out just a little too much. Maybe I'm over thinking it but I struggle to imagine a natural response from someone when I'm behind the lens. But I'll get there. At least I got the comedy show as I took my photo. 


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Jill Bahm 4 years, 4 months ago

I just love the story of how you captured this lovely image. I also hesitate to shoot people when I feel obvious-- and kick myself later! But I am hoping through this 365-day project, maybe we can gather up our nerve a few times.

4 years, 4 months ago Edited
Tim Rogers Replied to Jill Bahm 4 years, 4 months ago

I'll still be a little nervous but I'll get there

Good luck with the 365 project

4 years, 4 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 4 years, 4 months ago

Great story! Nice light trail.....

4 years, 4 months ago Edited
Tim Rogers Replied to Jay Boggess 4 years, 4 months ago

Had to wait for the cars to come across the shot, not wait for them to get out of the way :)

4 years, 4 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Tim Rogers 4 years, 4 months ago

I'll have to try some long exposures. Looks like fun!

4 years, 4 months ago Edited
Tim Rogers Replied to Jay Boggess 4 years, 4 months ago

Get a tripod and some patience

4 years, 4 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Tim Rogers 4 years, 4 months ago

I have a tripod, but need to take it along whenever I go out to shoot. Good advice!

4 years, 4 months ago Edited
Tim Rogers Replied to Jay Boggess 4 years, 4 months ago

The patience bit is the biggest challenge

4 years, 4 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Tim Rogers 4 years, 4 months ago

Not one of my strong points....(((grin)))

4 years, 4 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 4 years, 4 months ago

I love Rugby too :-)) I like that streak of white light crossing the image

4 years, 4 months ago Edited
Tim Rogers Replied to Antonio Gil 4 years, 4 months ago

This hotel was abandoned up until a few years ago. It's amazing now

4 years, 4 months ago Edited
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