2012 Deck – Week 14

April 30, 2012 § 1 Comment

I am still going through my photos from the 2012 Pakaraima Mountain Safari, there are lots of photos of vehicles and mountains, and I think I’ll save those for my post about the Safari (I really have to get around to that!)

On the way back from Orinduik after a very gruelling drive through “Rock World” we stopped for a breather and for the other vehicles to make it safely through.  I think that after making it through Rock World, if you smoke, you need a nice long pull on a cigarette, and if you drink, then you’d probably need a really stiff shot of something or a nice cold beer, and if neither option is available to you, then you need to go find something to just relax your mind and body and say “I’m alive!”

I grabbed my camera after I had gotten my legs to co-operate with general mobility, and went looking for things to shoot  :-)

This image was taken intentionally like this, also in post processing, the contrast slider in Lightroom was used liberally :-)

As always, click on the image above for a better view in the Gallery  :-)

2012 Deck – Week 13

April 27, 2012 § 6 Comments

The thirteenth week of this year found me on the road trail, heading into the Pakaraima mountains towards Orinduik Falls on the Ireng River that borders Guyana and Brazil.

Although I took quite a few photographs, I had not been able to fully go through and process them, this week I did manage to do some narrowing down.

I have lots of photos of mountains and vehicles from the trip, not too many people, but I decided to go against the flow and choose one of a person…

When I took this photo I noticed the “look” in the eyes, Naseem had that Clint Eastwood stare, and with the hat and the general scene I was reminded of the spaghetti westerns.

Its not a Spaghetti Western, maybe we can call it a Macaroni Western, starring The Great N, and we’ll title it “A Neckful of Straps” :-)  And the catchphrase could be “Mister, I’m watching you, one of these straps has your name on it.”  :-)

Although I was tempted to try for a “Technicolor” processing, I went for a copper-tone instead  :-)  As always, please click on the image to get a better view in the Gallery.

Palm Sunday 2012

April 20, 2012 § 6 Comments

This year I was away from town for Holy Week.  I was on the tenth Pakaraima Mountain Safari, and although I have not yet sorted all my photos from the trip, nor written any sort of account, I did choose this image for Palm Sunday to share.

It was taken at “58 Mile”, an area known for being 58 miles out of Linden, and for the “pit stop” establishment there know as “Peter and Ruth”, anyone heading to Lethem, or Kurupukari, or Mahdia usually stops here.

The photo is not of Peter & Ruth’s establishment, but of a little church opposite  :-)

Co-incidentally I was back in this spot on Good Friday at 3pm (most Catholics will know the significance of that) :-)

So, although I got a lot of flak for not covering the Palm Sunday Mass (it seems there are some who look forward to my photos from that), I did manage a fairly nice shot that day anyway  :-)

Please click on the image to see it larger in the Gallery.

Change…

April 17, 2012 § 5 Comments

themichaellamcollection:

Krysta recently posted this, and I think that everyone has a different interpretation when reading poetry.
Martin Carter wrote poems that spoke to the heart of Guyanese and West Indians, and when we read his poems we can relate intimately most times.
When I read that line “I do not sleep to dream, but dream to change the world”, I am reminded of something else that I had heard; we can each in our own small way bring change to the world, but do not look globally, look rather at the small portion of the world that is around you, and do something small to make a difference. Smile at a fellow pedestrian on the street, open a door for someone you don’t know, tell a policeman on the road “Good Morning Officer, have a nice day”.
Mother Theresa did not try to change the World, she just started on one street in Calcutta.

Originally posted on seeking el dorado:

Given the way the days are unfurling, I’m finding this Martin Carter quote from my childhood less inspiring than I used to. Maybe someone will say something about the necessity of “dreaming big” before starting anything but in the aftermath of Kony 2012, I find the concept of dreaming to change the world a little lazy and arrogant. Even if you had a dream machine flipped to the nth power of world peace, dreams don’t solve problems.

Maybe he should’ve said “strategise to change the world” but then that would have nothing to do with sleeping. Not to mention it throws the whole verse off. I don’t even get the jump from not sleeping to dream but dreaming to change the world. Shouldn’t it be not sleeping to dream but sleeping to … whatever? I think I’ve stared at this verse too long.

What does it mean to you?

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2012 Deck – Week 12

April 13, 2012 § 4 Comments

There was a competition in the Guyana Photographers’ Facebook Group on Colonial Architecture, it was getting very close to the deadline and there were very few entries, I “hurriedly” entered one that I took in passing, not a good shot by any standards, and regretted it immediately after.

Even if I am putting up a photo to “fill up space”, I should pay more attention, I have been less focused recently (no pun intended) , I can’t seem to get myself, the camera and the subjects to comply, to align properly.

I was out with Nikhil on a walk to get a photo for his 365 (366) Project and as we were wrapping up I saw this house and thought I should get a few snaps of it, and I knew right then that I had a better photograph than what I had recently dropped into the competition.

It was heavily overcast, and I deliberately composed it with lots of headroom.

As always, click on the image to see it larger in the Gallery  :-)

In the Key of “D”

April 10, 2012 § 6 Comments

I took a photo almost a month ago with the intention to write a blog-post about two Guyanese musicians who have touched my soul through their music.  I know I can easily come under criticism for picking out just thee two, especially when there are many more out there, then and now.  I can even mention some that have made me proud to be Guyanese at one time or another, people like Bill Rogers and Terry Gajraj, EC Connections, Mingles Sound Machine and The Ramblers, Eddy Grant and Natural Black, Concert Pianist Ray Luck and local saxophonist Sweet Sax Kilkenny, and there are more.  The two men I had in mind are Dave Martins of Tradewinds fame and Dennis DeSouza.

I decided last night to limit this post to Dennis DeSouza who died this last weekend, sorry Dave :-)

As Caribbean people, music is in our bones, it is not something we listen to, it is part of who we are.  I grew up listening to a wide variety of music, at home it was everything from Slim Whitman to ABBA, my father has LPs (vinyl records) from a variety of genres, I listened to reggae from Pluto and Marley, instrumentals from Ace Cannon and Victor Sylvester, and loved music from Ray Conniff and his Orchestra.  On the radio I got my dose of the 80s as I grew older.  Among those records in my father’s collection were albums by Dennis DeSouza.

Dennis was born in Guyana, more specifically Mahaica on the Easy Coast of Demerara.  He later made his home in Trinidad & Tobago, and in Canada.  I was once told my by mother that while learning to play, Dennis practiced the piano at the house they lived in on Broad Street, Charlestown, Guyana (I wish I had known this when I met him some years ago).

I like instrumental music, especially when they do versions of pop-music, but I also appreciate the classics to some degree and also the individual’s own compositions.  Dennis DeSouza had a style of playing that I could pick out easily from any other pianist, I would always say he had very nimble fingers and you could feel the joy that he felt through his playing.

When I started buying CDs and realised that he had started recording on CDs I quickly bought the first one “Caribbean Paradise” at 3H CD and Video Club (now closed), and on a visit to Trinidad I bought his “Best Of” CD that I saw in the airport shop.

On one visit to Trinidad with my wife, we had heard that he was playing at the Lounge at Cascadia, it was a toss-up between going there or going to see Maxi Priest in town, since I had already been to a Maxi Priest concert I chose to go hear Dennis play (much to my cousin’s dismay, he was practically asleep at the table).  We not only heard Dennis and the band perform, but Maureen and I took to the floor to join other couples and dance, it was a beautiful experience for us.  There was a break for the band and I went over and spoke with Dennis for a minute, and to take pity on my cousin, we left shortly after.

His music touches my soul, from his rendition of Phil Collins’ “Another Day in Paradise” to his own compositions like “Pakaraima”, from his playful key-taps on old Latin pieces on his own albums to lending his skill to accompaniment in Byron Lee’s seventh installment of the Soft Lee Series.

I won’t dwell on the loss of a musician, I will rejoice in the music he has given us in his lifetime.  To Dennis DeSouza; a Guyanese by birth, a Caribbean Man at heart and a Musician to the World.

Pakaraima Mountain Safari – Destination Orinduik

April 6, 2012 § 4 Comments

The endpoint or destination of the Pakaraima Mountain Safari is Orinduik Falls, so I thought I’d end this series with one of my favourite photos of the Falls itself.

Orinduik falls is a series of small drops, This is a small portion that I thought was framed nicely.

Hopefully this year I come away with some nice photos again  :-)

In 2009 I was shooting the Canon PowerShot S5 Superzoom bridge camera, it was shortly after this photo (in time and shots) that I fell and damaged the camera.  This year, I’m trying for surer footing (maybe my additional weight will help keep me stable as well)  :-)

Since I had damaged my camera, my brother loaned me his Nikon D80, my first shots on an SLR  :-)  I took the liberty of including one with him under the falls  :-)

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