Pictures shot with D800 plus Astronomik UHC filter: 97% transmission at 486nm (H-beta), 97% transmission at 496nm (OIII), 97% transmission at 501nm (OIII), 97% transmission at 656nm (H alpha). This filter allows night sky photography in light polluted areas. By day it is a good red and blue enhancer.
Constantly rocked by Atlantic gusts onboard my 777 flight, I understood why Cristoforo Colombo named Guadalupe the shores he reached with his second voyage. “Jesus Christ“, “Holy Mary“, “My God” would have been good alternatives to me. Of course, nothing against Colombo’s choice: he invoked “Our Lady of Guadalupe” for his fleet, endangered by tropical storms exactly 526 years ago.
Pelican with rusty neck, harbor of Saint-François
The flight from Paris-Orly to Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe took me only eight hours. Colombo needed six week-long sailing from Cadiz, Spain. Colombo looked for new commercial routes through the West, slaves, gold and spices. I got to Guadeloupe to meet my friend Josè, cultural mediator at Île du Monde, a Paris-based organization that documents the cultural diversity present in France and Europe. Recently crowned with UNESCO, Josè and his crew were sent to Guadeloupe by the French State, thus to compile an official report on the intangible cultural heritage of this Caribbean island.
Coconut palm trees on the town beach of Sainte-Anne
“What do you know about Guadeloupe?”, he asked me and I was asking myself while flying over the blue vacuity of the Atlantic. Caribbean seas, never-ending summer, winter holidays for métropolitains (meaning French citizens of the European territories)… zika virus, dengue fever, maybe… diving? What do I expect to picture there? Wild pelicans, white beaches and tall coconut trees… what’s more?
Back from school at Mare Gailard
What is the cultural heritage my friend is documenting in Guadeloupe? More than 15 million Africans were traded as slaves to central/south America along four centuries. Do their ancestors still honor their roots or did they get Frenchisized? What happened to Guadeloupe natives? Are there still any? Why was Josè so excited for the opportunity to document a Ramayana event during the Indian (from India?) cultural week of Guadeloupe?
Indian dancers (from India) in Schoelcher square, Sainte-Anne