Unique kid’s game inspires AP photographer in Guyana

Unique kid’s game inspires AP photographer in Guyana

Award-winning photographer Ramon Espinosa has been with The Associated Press since 2000. He has been covering everyday life in Cuba since 2010. Currently, he is traveling the Caribbean for the T20 Cricket World Cup. Looking for cricket played by locals, not professionals, he found inspiration in another game. Here’s what he had to say about making this extraordinary photo.

Why this photo?

I was looking for daily life scenes involving cricket in Guyana. A few days earlier, I had found some children playing cricket in the street, but after several more days of searching for another scene, I couldn’t find any other cricket activities. After asking around, I learned that people used to play cricket in the sand on Sundays on a beach about 45 minutes by car. This sounded like an interesting and fun story to cover. Full of hope, I took a taxi and began the trip.

When I arrived, I was surprised to see a large ship docked at the edge of the beach that was no larger than 100 (yards) meters. The oversized ship on such a small beach created a Gulliverian feeling of being tiny. The ship seemed to be accepted as part of the scenery by the locals, who had fun using it for climbing acrobatics — trying to shimmy aboard and then jumping into the water.

How I Made This Photo?

Making the most of my trip, I decided to take photos of people having fun on the beach. A child started climbing the mooring rope as high as he could and then jumping into the water. Other children began tugging on the line to make it more challenging, causing the child to fall into the water before reaching his goal.

I used a 28mm lens, which emphasized the immense strength of the scene, with the ship in the background and the children seemingly pulling it toward the shore. The beautiful sunset light added to the ambiance. From my position, I waited for a child on the right to enter the frame. When he finally did, I took several shots, varying only in the position of his feet. One of these shots, where his feet were positioned perfectly, gave me the greatest sense of strength and captured the essence of the moment.

Why This Photo Works?

Sometimes, when you take a picture and it turns out well, you feel a surge of energy in your chest that tells you this is the image, without a doubt. That’s exactly how I felt with this photo. Everything I saw was out of the ordinary: a large boat on the shore, people bathing and playing around it as if it were a normal part of their environment. This sense of normalcy juxtaposed with the extraordinary scene is what makes the image so compelling.

The children pulling on the ropes to make their friend fall from above also created an added layer of intrigue. Their actions, seemingly aimed at both play and exerting force on the “metal monster,” gave the moment a palpable sense of strength. The light at sunset enhanced the scene beautifully. The rope starts from the right of the frame and leads the viewer’s eye into the image, inviting them to follow the path and engage with the scene. This allows the viewer to feel as though they are part of the action, understanding the playful yet powerful dynamics at play. The positioning of the lens at the beginning of the rope helps to narrate the entire situation effectively.

In any circumstance, I always strive to capture the beauty in people’s actions by relying on light.

  • PublishedJune 16, 2024