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.


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

Serenity of the Shore

Whether it is the soft roar of the waves as they rush to shore, the melodic crash as they break upon the rocks along the seawall or the almost deafening calm that engulfs you when the tide is at its lowest, there is a serenity that reaches deep within and soothes like a herbal balm, and sets your mind, your soul, your very being at ease.

I remember the afternoon I took this, there was a girl walking a dog along the seawall, a few boats were moored at the usual spot near the Lusignan/Anandale outflow canal, my daughter and her cousin were playing among the rocks, then later they played on a swing (old tyre on a rope), the tide was so far out that it would take quite some time to walk to the tideline, I was out there hoping for a nice sunset or interesting clouds to make a good scene…  I took quite a few photos, this one being among the earliest, not because it jumped out and screamed “take me”, but just because I was there, the scene was there and I felt like shooting something… it happens sometimes.

Revisiting the image after two years, I saw the potential that my subconscious saw… or I only now have a different detached perspective on it, whichever excuse works for you, I think I finally got what the scene was saying to me.  :-)

Canon EOS 60D, Tamron 18-270  |  84mm, 1/160s, f/5.0, ISO 160

Click on the image to see it in the Black and White Gallery, that gallery now holds quite a number of my monochromatic images that I am very fond of..

2015 Deck – Week 13

As strange as it may sound, sometimes when I can’t find a paragraph or two to express what I want to say, the words come out as a poem…


The call of the Kiskadee
on a rain-kissed afternoon
The sung sweet melody
of an old Tradewinds tune,
The shout of a passing man,
“Creketeh! get yuh Crawbeah!”
And the woman just behind
singing “Broom ay, broom ay”
Sundays- dressed, in church,
And the Saturday movie night,
A show for the family,
or maybe one with a bit of fright,
The sweet salty scent
of the breeze on the seawalls
A tasty mouthful
of pholourie or egg-ball,
Walking the water’s edge,
feeling sand, feeling the foam,
It’s where I belong,
this is Guyana, this is home.

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


The Art of Photography and Photography as Art

2015 – Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm

This blog post is a milestone of sorts, it marks my five hundredth blog post.  It began on a sad note, with a photo from my maternal grandmother’s funeral, it has been more of a photo journey rather than a photo blog, more about myself and the photos than about the photos themselves I suppose, so it’s rather like a journal…almost… of sorts.

On this journey I’ve learnt a lot, with still much more to learn, I’ve met many other people with a passion for photography, and many who love to look at beautiful imagery.

I have learnt that there is a difference between the Art of Photography and Photography as Art, and I believe that it is a realization that comes to most of us who pursue it with an aim for creating “art”.

2010 – Canon T1i, Sigma 18-270mm

It sounds presumptuous even to my own ears to refer to anything that I produce with the camera as “art”, but people like my friend Nikhil would thump me behind the head for even saying that.  Not everything I take can be considered as art, so I humbly submit that I have a few that may be taken into consideration by those who are more knowledgeable than myself and more in-tune with the art world to be judged and pronounced as art.

Nikhil would also tell me that I have had work exhibited once at the National Gallery of Art (Castellani House) and have also been among the finalists in two of the recent Guyana Visual Arts Competitions, so I can’t get away with trying to play modest about being called an “artist”.

2011 – Canon Rebel T1i – Tamron 18-270mm

I began as most of us probably did with learning to use the camera and just snapping away at anything and everything that caught my eye.

After a while it began to be more important to learn and understand the art of photography, to understand how light plays an important part, where paying attention to composition results in a much better photo of the same subject.  The art of photography is to know your camera (whether it’s a mobile device such as cellphones or a larger DSLR) to learn what it can and cannot do, and to know how to use it to accomplish what you want.  Like any craftsman worth his salt, the art of the craft is the union of the person and the tools at hand.

It is good to learn different techniques, different approaches, different styles; that can be part of your arsenal, but it need not define the photograph you take.

2012 – Canon T1i, Tamron 18-270mm

The photograph is an extension of your self, it is a product of your own thoughts and skills, when the photograph stops being just a snapshot and becomes an expression of an idea, a concept, more than just a moment frozen in time, then it is possible that you have created a piece of art.

Photography as Art has to be more than just a pretty photo of a pretty scene or even a technically perfect photo of a dilapidated house, for a photograph to be Art it should have soul, it should convey an idea, elicit a reaction from the viewer, it has to be seen, talked about, appreciated or ridiculed even.

2013 – Canon EOS 60D, Tamron 18-270mm

Not many of us in Guyana can successfully claim to be original in our photographs, most of it has been done before and by better artists than ourselves, Photography as an Art has to overcome the fact that everyone now has access to a device that captures images, and in the maelstrom of images swirling around the internet we have to produce a piece that stands out, that makes people stop and look, but also to have them remember it afterwards, to recall it and speak about it.

Art is subjective, that’s basically saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it is not enough for the creator of the piece to want it to be art, the viewer has to appreciate the piece, not necessarily from the perspective of the creator but from how it affects them.

2014 – Canon EOS 6D, Canon 24-105mm

All the images in this post are “new to you”, they are from the six years than span this blog, 2010 to 2015, one from each calendar year.  I went through the files looking for images that I have overlooked, or just not processed,  not looking for any subject in particular, but for images I think worth processing, worth sharing and reflect what I would like to show others.

I hope that at least one strikes your fancy.

Click on each one to see them in their respective galleries in the Collection.  Thank you for being a part of my journey so far.