Category Archives: Travel Photography

National Stick Fighting Competition

Hello everyone,

This is my second day at WordPress and I definitely love the site’s interactive ability. I am proud to present myself as Chioma Ozuzu versus any of those previous nicknames I called myself. WordPress is still relatively new to me, but I would love to take at least one post a week or more to talk about past experiences from my previous blogger account. At least every Thursday, I will do a Memory Lane post, a post dedicated to an experience I finally get to reveal instead of just pictures becoming lost at my website.  I will post the link to the album of the site at the end. This post is dedicated to the National Stickfighting Competition 2011 in Trinidad and Tobago.

Port of Spain, March, 2011: 

“It was quite a rough crowd of people, perhaps the roughest since my time in Trinidad. The audience appeared to be as tough as the stick fighters themselves. They will quite upset if someone blocks their view and/or photographers with built in flashes. I was told that a year before, someone flashed a picture of a stick fighter that was about to win a match until the flash entered his eyes. His opponent attacking him, leaving him blind in one eye. Getting in a fight outside the United States was clearly the last thing on my agenda. To secure better pictures for the album, I moved  out of the top bleachers I took pictures from and maneuvered my way around the dangerous crowd in order to get as close to the ring as possible. Luckily for me, I have my official carnival pass to grant me access into the ring on me. But much to my chagrin, I am a lot closer to danger than standing on the bleachers with the crowd pushing against me.

I met up with a petite-sized Trinidadian woman and older photographers  I met from Panorama Semi-Finals. I was relieved in seeing them again. It was difficult trying to get to close to the stage as possible because you never know how intense the stick fighters compete as the fights were as dangerous as I expected. I got hit in the back of the head by a flying boui (stick) as the launched into the crowd. (A boui is the staff used by stickmen to compete with each other) The cameraman sitting right next to me got a lot more damage when his Canon external flash was completely smashed and was bleeding from his forehead. I guess I could say that he took a “boui” for me. The bright side from the event was the Moko Jumbie (stilts walker or dancer) kids coming out to perform during the halftime show. Later on, I met an Indo-Trinidadian man who encouraged me to take pictures at the International Soca Monarch the next day. The odds to this idea were quite slim (5,000 to 1 chance). His advice was the coolest thing I ever done.

I tried to get as many good pictures I could, despite lack of lighting in the arena, basic 18-55mm lenses, no use of flash, and the quick motion of the stick fighters. I guess that the Trinidadian photographers are absolutely right of needing to upgrade my still-picture camera if I ever wanted to be a more serious photographer. Or figure out which camera setting would get me the results that I wanted to see. I have pictures from the event posted on my website. Enjoy.

Link to the National Stick Fighting Competition of Trinidad and Tobago in 2011:

http://chiomaozuzu.smugmug.com/Competitions/National-Stickfighting/16890216_mqHfJT#!i=1275909621&k=SQq4sGd

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Where do I start?

Sometimes when we want to restart something, we try to make whatever we established into something better. When I first thought about re-doing a whole new blog, I wanted to salvage the 9 long posts from my blogger account. However, I find that the best thing for me to do is to start from where I am today and continue growing as a videographer and photographer. Where in photography should I focus more? I am great in composting my shots, but I am attracted to light exposure. I have been to Trinidad and Tobago, China, and Hollywood and now I seek to work and live in New York City, since I dreamed about working in the city for the longest. Before I can do that, I plan to go to Cameroon next month as a Lead Production Assistant and Still Photographer for Yefon the Movie. I have finally reconnected to amazing friends I have not seen since I left for college when I was 18. Surprisingly for me, I was welcomed with bright smiles and killer hugs. I may not be in Los Angeles at the moment, but I feel that for some reason, Cameroon is going to be quite an experience! Los Angeles can wait, I have special plans of how I am going to live in Cali. I know what are my future goals as time goes on, but college graduates like me have to start from somewhere, right? In my case, I just started what would appear, an interesting and challenging path to becoming someone note-worthy.

Please visit my website at: chiomaozuzu.smugmug.com