About this blog

Blessings all over seen is just one of the many greetings that can be heard on the streets of Kingston, Jamaica (seen in patios means, “do you understand”). The saying is more common in the Rasta community and has a dual meaning, one is to bestow blessings upon another person while the other calls attention to the blessings that are all around us.

This is a photo blog showing some of my images taken over my 30 years of working, living and traveling in Jamaica. Most of these images have never been seen or published before, that’s one of the reasons for this blog. In my 30 years of photographing in Jamaica, I have taken well over 35,000 images from around the island, mostly in Kingston. A small portion of these images have made it onto (more than 50) CD covers, numerous magazine articles & covers, websites and in books and films, the rest just sit in a safety deposit box and in piles of boxes on shelf in my office. I thought others might enjoy seeing some of the pictures and hear what was going on when they were taken. Is figured it is better than just sitting in boxes, right?

My plan is to post a few different images every week along with a little comment about the image, some will include notes directly from my photo diary written the day the images were taken. Most of the photos will be black and white with occasional color photos. When I was shooting in Kingston most of my work was in b&w, people always would ask “why shoot black and white when Jamaica so colorful?”  I would then take out the envelope of 8×10 black and white prints I carried with me in my camera bag. When I showed them most of the time they would smile and say “The real Jamaica dat”. It was after seeing the prints they could see why I was doing it, it looked like the real Jamaica. To me it was as much about Jamaica as it was about traditional black and white photography, the light, tones, textures and of course the subjects.

Here is an article about my work the Jamaica Gleaner did a while back : http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20110828/arts/arts1.html

Also I might add that this blog and all the photo’s in it ARE copyrighted material. Using them for your website, blog or anything else is NOT allowed without my permission. Use without asking permission and that’s stealing. If you decide to use one of my photos on your website and include my photo credit, without my permission, that does not make it OK, it’s infringement(see below). Cropping out or removing the copyright notice is an even bigger no no. If you want to use a photo all you have to do is send me an email. Please read these excerpts from the copyright law:


“The safest course is always to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material.”

“Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission. The distinction between fair use and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission.”

“quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author’s observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.”

I hope you enjoy the photo’s, feel free to leave a comment let me know what you think.

Blessings all over, seen ….

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19 comments on “About this blog”

  1. Hi Brian,
    Respect for your blog – its tuff!
    I am a reggae promoter in London, and for my show in March I have booked Dominic. I just saw your photo of Dominic at Jammys- amazing photo! Would it be ok to use it on our flyer? Also, do you by any chance have the same photo but in colour?

    Look forward to hearing from you,
    Hartley

  2. Proverbs 12:5 The thoughts of the righteous [are] right: [but] the counsels of the wicked [are] deceit.

  3. Saw your write-up in the Gleaner and had to take a peek. I have only browsed a few so far but yup “a di real Jamaica dat’. Very good work. Honest and not contrived. My favourite photo is of the coffee pickers taking a break. Reminds me of summers in the country and pimento picking. Those were simpler times then…

  4. Saved as a favorite, I really like your blog!

  5. I just pulled out a copy of Reggae Island to give to a friend of mine. Glad to see you are still at it. Have you heard about Tom’s film? I could send you a copy. What’s your address?

  6. Brings Jamaica to our doorsteps
    The days of Marley…more intimate
    Much respect

    One Love
    Pacific Islander Represent

  7. Great blog. The real Jamaica. Like so much I put it on my blogroll, seen? Bless…Midnight Raver

  8. Brian, fantastic blog. So much roots and culture. We have a blog in which we post mixtapes, often with a heavy reggae vibe. For each mixtape we post an image. For the next one we would love to use your image “djs” and give you full credit with a shout-out to your blog. Any chance you’d be cool with that? Check us out and let us know – we’ll be following from here on out for sure! PEACE
    – D.Baloba
    http://www.saudadebrothers.com

  9. Brother we went ahead and published and used the photo and gave credit to you and included your website info – check it out and just say the word if you want us to change the photo, we have nuff respect and will be happy to do it. Your photos are so heavyweight we can’t get enough of them – killer work, crucial themes. Thanks for posting and sharing them with the world. Check the post where we used ‘djs’ and let us know if you’re cool with it and thanks. PEACE
    http://saudadebrothers.com/2012/06/07/radio-saudade-episode-15-the-graduation-in-zion-mixtape/
    Oh by the way, KIDDUS-I on your front page??!! So massive!!!

  10. Brian, I am working on a documentary about the social, political, and architectural history of Trench Town. I am looking for images of Massive Dread, Magnus Skeen, and Meadow Gong (Raphael Smith). I have an interview with Mikey Beard in Brixton to conclude the film that talks about the war of 1994 and those three who were lost during and after and were important community organizers/activists. Do you have some images I might be able to use? I found one on your blog of Massive. Information about the doc is here http://gregpond.net/trenchtown/ links to clips are here https://vimeo.com/user3049881/videos. Documentary is going to London and One Love Festival in UK in a few weeks. We will be doing a launch in Kingston in September. Proceeds going back into TTDA and other groups. I need to wrap this up soon. Please let me know. Thanks Greg gregpond-at-gmail-dot-com

  11. Fantastic Blog. Awsome Shots. Brian Jahn The Photography Don! Big Blessings Your Way!

  12. Hi Brian, great pic of David Hinds at the Clinton Inauguration! I’m currently working with Steel Pulse on a documentary about their history and career in reggae, it’d be really great if we could use one or two of your pics from the event? We’d of course credit you in the film for the use of the photo(s). Hope to hear back from you and thanks again for posting it! 🙂

  13. I have been to Bongo Seely’s wicker hotel back in 1977. It was magical, but Bongo would not allow me to take photos. He presented us with fat spliffs and we talked into the wee hours of the night listening to the ocean sounds and thoroughly enjoying his company. The wicker/rattan cradles on the upper level were amazing as was the entire bar area of wicker. I have distinct, vivid memories of my time in Jamaica in 1977 as a guest of Roy Heron. Roy was the uncle to the musician Gil Scott Heron. All my memories came flooding back when I saw some of your photos. I love your work. Amazing.

    • Thanks for checking my blog, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Yes Bongo Seely was a good bredrin for sure and his place was amazing. (Love GSH as well)


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