2015 Deck – Week 22

Come away with me…

As I sat and processed the image, those words came to mind, as I sit and look at it after I have finished the processing, it still remains lingering and softly playing over and over again in the cerebral auditorium.  I titled it simply “Basket”, but the feel I get is still “come away with me”…

Each photo has a different effect on each viewer, but this one, more than most recently, has a deeper more calming effect, I can feel the breeze, smell the salty air, hear the sound of the surf, feel the warmth of the sun on my skin…  I can hear the voice of Ms. Jones, soft, sultry, creamy, crooning to me to come away…

Kingston Seashore, Guyana, South America.

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery, along with some other images from this year’s Deck Project.

2015 Deck – Week 21

Every year I seem to complain that I don’t get enough time for my photography, and yet every year I seem to have a few thousand exposures resulting in several gigabytes of images stored away on a hard-drive, and in there somewhere are usually a few images that I think are worth the time and effort that I put into this passion of mine.

If I have one really good image a year, that should be enough, right?  :-)

This year I’ve been experimenting with Instagram, confining myself to the combination of taking the image with the phone, processing it in Instagram and using the square crop; not exclusively, as I still shoot with the DSLR, but a small experiment to see what would evolve, and surprisingly I’ve rather enjoyed it so far.

This week I use another of those images for the Deck Project.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini Duos |  Instagram

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other images from this year’s Deck Project


Today we honour one of the more famous of the Street Photographers, Henri Cartier-Bresson (born August 22, 1908).   I won’t try to mimic or even come close to his type and style of street photography…  but here’s a Georgetown Scene for you.

Morning Munchies

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with some other Street Photographs.

2015 Deck – Week 20

I’m using this blog-post to express some opinions.  No one has to agree with me, or even bother reading, you can skip to the photo :-)

Guyana’s Sound  –  recently there has been talk about developing a unique sound for Guyana, someone was even telling me that there was talk about using the Ringbang name –  I say stop right there!!  For one thing, Ringbang is not Guyanese, it’s Caribbean, it’s more encompassing than what most Guyanese think and it is not “we own” (I know, Ringbang is Eddy Grant’s creation, and while he is “we own” the idea behind Ringbang was regional and not local).   Not many people might remember that Guyana actually had a sound, a unique style of music that died off as suddenly as it was born… and all before our time, it was called Shanto, and the man responsible for its popularity was Bill Rogers, while I don’t remember all the songs I do recall the Fifteen Cent Sweetheart and BG Baghee.  Another identifiable style was that of David Campbell, very folk oriented and probably unknown to most Guyanese living here…  Our world-famous artistes all sing or trade on existing genres, and they do it well.  Eddy Grant is arguably our most famous musician outside of our borders, I think most Guyanese can name at least two of his songs (which in itself is a tragedy, melodically the albums were very good; lyrically, let’s just say that Guyanese should really listen to more of his tracks than just Electric Avenue and Johanna).  Dave Martins is likely the most well-known and well liked, it is not uncommon that people know the lyrics of his popular songs perhaps even better than he does, his music speaks to us as a nation, we identify with it, is we own.  Is it a unique sound?  That is hard for me to say, it is calypso and folk, and a lot of Dave.  Our newer artistes like Natural Black, Timeka Marshall, Jomo, Adrian Dutchin and Slingshot all sing in the reggae, dancehall and soca genres (with some R&B influences), the ever popular Terry Gajraj and similar artistes of the Chutney field did very well for a period.   There was a period in the 1980s when there were a lot of Bands, and while many were mostly cover bands some were striving to get original songs on the airwaves and played publicly; these included the Yoruba Singers (out of which came Charmaine Blackman), Mingles Sound Machine and EC Connection, to my ear, EC Connection had a different sound to many other performing bands across the region, likely due to the compositions of Burchmore Simon.  Here’s my opinion on the Guyana Sound that we seem to be looking for, you can’t necessarily develop it, it has to be born then nurtured; encourage musicians to create, encourage them to be the drive that the industry needs, this is where the DJs come in, they simply play more to the imported music, understandable, but they need to be creative themselves and help make the sounds of Guyanese heard here.

I was going to try posing a “plan” for a weekly event for musicians, but that will have to be a different forum I think…

Another local blogger raised a question recently asking about where or when is Guyana’s Renaissance happening…   I think it is now.

We are living in a time of change, of relative hardship, of freedom of expression, of creativity.  Nothing is going to be handed to us, so stop expecting the government to give you something, or the corporations to want to give you contracts just because you say you’re an artist.  The arts collectively cannot have one plan to do this together, that is impractical, the needs and the development of each genre is different and diverse, but I also say we cannot each do it alone, we must be supportive of the other, to work together when possible, and to let creativity be the driving force as individuals, but the love for art be the driving force collectively.

Copyright and Intellectual Property rights are always touted as the factor that hinders the arts from progressing, while I agree that it forms a basis upon which the artists can earn from their work, the lack of proper legislation should not stop us from creating.  There is always a lot of talk about IP legislation, but little action, I have yet to see a group of advocates put forward the writings that may form the basis of any legislation, but I may be in error on this.  I think that now is the time for these advocates to act, to put forward the documents, the artists are eager to give voice.

This is the time of our Renaissance, we have musicians eager to perform with some breaking through, we have writers eager to be published, we have performance artists making headway on stage and on-screen, we have painters, sculptors, photographers and every type of visual artist expressing themselves daily through their work.  To everyone in the Visual arts, the performing arts and the literary arts, I say it is time to create, to get your work out there, we are the artists of Guyana’s Renaissance.

Geotube Groyne – Thomaslands, Georgetown.

If this photo has anything at all to do with what I’ve written is entirely up to each reader, if you are a member of the creative people of Guyana or simply like to see the works of the creatives, ask yourself what element would you be in this image…

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with the other photos for this year’s Deck Project.

2015 Deck – Week 19

My fascination with Jhandi flags continues…  either that or there’s a severe lack of things to shoot along the seawalls :-)

We each want to be unique, to stand out from the crowd… the same crowd that we spend so many days trying to fit in with, to identify with, to be a part of.  After years of shooting everything and anything, learning bits and pieces about photography (and still learning), a portion of my photography had developed a style that had become recognizable, and the subject matter in tandem with that style of capturing and processing lead to a project called Oniabo.

During 2014 other local photogs used similar styles on similar subject matter, at first I was flattered that others were also pursuing and experimenting this way and proud of the achievements of these photogs, then I began to wonder if in this manner, I would become just another of the photogs who “also” did things this way, composed this way, processed this way…

For a while this year, I stopped seeking out the scenes which made me so happy to shoot and process, instead looking for other things to try, other avenues of expression.  One of those experiments has borne fruit, but it is not one filled with passion.  I still seek out different ways to express myself photographically, but I also cannot turn off the zeal I have for this particular type of image, so I’ve taken off the blinders that I adopted, chosen to express myself the way I want, they way I should, and I look forward to the rest of the journey with all these talented photogs, who inspire me even as they tell me that I inspire them.

Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20  |  1/200s, f/10, 10mm  –  2:39pm

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other images for this year’s Deck Project

2015 Deck – Week 18

I’m not a street photographer, far from it, I am not only very hesitant to engage with people on the street, I am also very afraid that when taking candid shots they will see me shooting and think I’m up to something nefarious and then accost me (verbally and physically).  While I like the genre, understand some things about it, try to encourage others into pursuing it, I don’t see myself excelling at it at any time.

While there are times when I am afraid to take a photo of people as they go about their daily lives, there are those other moments when the people of Guyana surprise me (whether they mistake me for a tourist or are just in that mood, I don’t know) and they literally ask for their photo to be taken, most times I am still hesitant, but I do sometimes simply swing the camera in their direction and shoot.

Georgetown Seawall  |  Seawall Public Road

By the way, that’s a Banks Beer in his hand :-)

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery

2015 Deck – Week 17

I don’t think I could have found a better photo for this week if I tried! (ok, so I tried, and still couldn’t find one).  When doing a photography project it is almost impossible to keep photos of your children out of it…. :D

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery