Blog Genesis: Who I Am

Blog Genesis: Who I Am

Ever since I built this website, I’ve intended to write a blog, but never ACTUALLY wrote a blog post. That all ends here. (After today, I just need to push myself to continue writing.)

My name is Maurice Burke. I’m one of those guys that stops to gaze at things almost everywhere, and since I was blessed with the talent of photography, I’ve been pouring myself over capturing the beauty around me.  Since I’m starting off with my blog, let me take this opportunity to talk a bit about myself. (I promise I won’t overdo it. This time)

Good Morning Port of Spain

“Good Morning Port of Spain” – The sun rises over the hills of Port of Spain, Trinidad

I love the art of photography (and the process of creating photos)

With the large amount of people getting into photography recently (including me) there’s a lot of emphasis of producing work that’s “good enough” or that can “please the masses”. As a business, that’s important, but I love the true beauty of photographic art.

It starts with planning the photo, continues through the process of creating it: subject selection, location, lighting, exposure, framing… bla bla bla. What I hate is editing (by the way)

The best part for me is enjoying looking at the final product. I also enjoy the process of looking for areas I can improve for the next project.

I Thank God for the Serene

“I Thank God for the Serene” – A beautiful man made pond found in east Trinidad

I shoot with Nikon gear

Nikon vs Canon? In my early days, i enjoyed the banter of why Nikon is better than Canon. Now, I honestly don’t care. I shoot Nikon, but Canon honestly has some pretty cool gear as well.

The thing is, gear doesn’t matter. What matters is who the photographer is – behind the camera. It’s all about the photographer’s skill in using the equipment. Nikon or Canon, you can find enough gear from either manufacturer to tell the story you want to.

Do I love my Nikon gear? Yes. Right now, my two best gear friends are “Nik and Tammy” and you’ll hear me talking about using them. (Photographers will understand the Tammy part. Anyone can catch the Nik part easily)

I’d just as easily trade it all in for Canon gear though, once I got a good deal. And I’d go the other way, trading my Canon gear in for Nikon as well. That said, Nik, Tammy and I are a happy threesome, and we like it so.

The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

I hate being called a “Photo Taker Outer”

Recently, I covered a family reunion, and one of the family members present greeted me with words that honestly made my blood curdle.

“Are you the photo taker outer for the day?”

My initial thought was to make one of my patented quips which may have then had to be tempered, because she probably didn’t know what she had done, and then I’d probably have to squeeze some words back in mid speech, then probably not finish my sentence. Yeah I know. That’s a lot to try to do in a moment’s notice.

Instead I smiled and said “Something like that”. Later, we chatted a bit, and I was able to ask her not to do so again.

I don’t know where that name came from – maybe it was a Jim Carrey movie or one of those cheesy flicks. Whatever. That’s not who I am. I’m a photographer.

(And yes, I’m particular about it.)

Members of the US Army's Drill Team toss rifles at the Military Tattoo to mark the 50th Anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago's Independence.

Members of the US Army’s Drill Team toss rifles at the Military Tattoo to mark the 50th Anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago’s Independence.

I love working with young people and volunteer photography services for the Trinidad and Tobago Cadet Force

Youth work is one of my passions. I’ve worked with a number of organisations, travelled to a number of countries for youth projects (and more recently conferences) but I’ve settled on my first love for a youth organisation, the Trinidad and Tobago Cadet Force.

The Cadet Force is a youth program that uses military training to teach citizenship, discipline, leadership and initiative to young people between the ages of 11 and 19 in Trinidad and Tobago. There are similar organisations all over the world, known as Cadet Corps, using similar methods, based on infantry (army), naval or aviation programs, using the rank structure and many of the traditions that go with it.

My current posting is in the Public Affairs Unit, unofficially titled the “Chief Photographer” (which really means the only photographer) until we can officially train and post young people to that assignment.

The posting is fun at times – I get into positions to capture photos that not many others can get. Sometimes it’s a bit frustrating, as I’m no longer able to work directly with a specific group of cadets. It’s a give and take though. Plus, I get to see cadets from around the country, and capture them at their proudest moments.

I’ll settle for that, and smile at the opportunity.

    An early photo as I learned about still life. This was a cop of coffee and newspaper that sat on the table one morning as I relaxed at a Rituals Coffee House outlet

An early photo as I learned about still life. This was a cop of coffee and newspaper that sat on the table one morning as I relaxed at a Rituals Coffee House outlet

Chicken is my favourite food

Yes. This has absolutely nothing to do with photography. I had to say it, because maybe you’re going to be like a past a client of mine, and you’ll try to negotiate lower prices with me by paying with chicken. Isn’t that ridiculous? They told me that I could get curried chicken as a refreshment at the wedding and they knew how much I love chicken.

Ridiculous, isn’t it? I think so too! If you want to woo me with chicken, you need to name a specific quantity, so I know how much I’m going to get! And I mean, you didn’t even offer some exotic type of curry or maybe pineapple baked chicken or something. Just regular curry that I eat at least once a week!

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