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Garífuna



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Artful Sustenance

Artful Sustenance
Photograph by Susie Post Rust

Like manna from heaven, slices of cassava bread dry in the rafters of a cooking hut in the village of Hopkins, Belize. An important staple, cassava has historic significance for the Garífuna people. Forcibly evicted from their Caribbean island homes by British colonial powers in the 18th century, Garífuna exiles, legend holds, hid cassava plants in their clothes. Watered by the sweat of their tightly packed bodies, the cassava survived, was planted, and grew to sustain the Garífuna people.



Camera: Nikon N90S
Film Type: Kodachrome 200
Lens: Nikkor 55mm macro with Nikon A2 filter
Speed and F-Stop: 1/15 @ f/2.8
Weather Conditions: Inside a thatch hut, but it was a sunny day outside
Time of Day: Afternoon
Lighting Techniques: Available light

Special Equipment or Comments:
It was fairly dark in there. I carry a tripod with me most of the time because I often need to shoot at low shutter speeds. I took a spot meter reading off the cassava bread, then I bracketed. It’s hard to tell what the exact exposure is when the subject is far away and very contrasted. As in the photo with the baby in the hammock, this one needed no special lighting technique. Seeing the beauty of the window light highlighting the smoke from the fire inside the hut was enough.


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