The Red House

July 31, 2013 § 5 Comments

Many years ago I missed the photo-walk that Nikhil, Naseem and André took around Georgetown.  They had termed it the Georgetown Safari, and they covered much of Georgetown over two days.  I have always meant to try to cover as much of historical Georgetown as I could, but never seem to get a good start on it.

I was on my way to work, and driving past the Red House when I noticed the sky beyond it and thought this was as good an opportunity as any to take the photo I wanted of this building, the point of view is not unusual, there are dozens from this vantage point, but I like to think I did the scene some justice.

It is a single exposure, but I did some tone-mapping to draw out some detail from the scene, and I cloned out a short piece of electrical wire that sneaked into the frame in the upper corner.


Canon 60D  |  Sigma 10-20mm  |  14mm, 1/125s, f/5  |  Nik HDR Efex Pro

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other images from around Georgetown, Guyana.


I always figured that the building got it’s name because it was red, but never knew that it was because it was covered with Red Wallaba Shingles.  It dates back to the days of Colonial Rule, and records indicate that the “Colony of British Guiana” acquired it in 1925, from then until 1953 it served as the place of residence for many Colonial Secretaries.

During his stint as Premier of British Guiana, from 1961 to 1964, Dr. Cheddi Jagan also used it as his Official Residence.  Under subsequent leaders, it was utilized for various government offices.  In 1999, two years after Dr. Cheddi Jagan’s death, while serving as the fourth President of Guyana, the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre was established in the building (a purpose it still serves to this day)

It is apparently also referred to as Kamana Court, a name I had not heard until today, and for which I can find no more information


2013 Deck – Week 03

January 23, 2013 § 2 Comments

Although I like to think of myself as a photographer who likes to take Landscape photos, there is not a lot of scope for that living in the city, but I’ve always had an interest in capturing images of buildings, especially old ones that may not survive due to neglect or just continued development (or any number of other reasons)

During the third week of the year, I had an inexplicable desire to take some photos of St Rose’s High School, just before attending a presentation by Hew Locke (an artist with some amazing work), Nikhil and I took a walk around the block, and I got my chance to take a few images.

To emphasize the building more, I used an “orange filter” setting whilst processing, this darkened the sky and made the building more pronounced.  Although I did not intend to combine “street photography” into it these two boys strolled past just as we were there.

As always, click on the image to see it in the Gallery


Variety and Diversity

September 6, 2012 § 6 Comments

I processed this photo yesterday after having the pixels just sit there for a year, and I wondered at the diversity of materials used in the construction and the “architecture”.  This morning I caught a snippet of Jon Stewart on the Daily Show speaking about the Diversity in the Democratic Party (funny stuff!), and I wondered at the coincidence of my thoughts on a building and his thoughts on a political party.

Growing up in Guyana, I never felt “race” play a part in my life until in my teens, before that it was always that we were different people, individually, not as a “class” or a “race”.  What happened when I was a teenager?  I learnt about politics and the struggles of the main political parties vying for power and each using the “race” card for their own ends regardless of what it did to the youth and the future of the country.

You can build a house entirely out of wood, you can build it entirely out of concrete, you can build it out of any one substance you feel like, it may or may not stand up to the elements (just imagine a real Gingerbread house in the rainforest! And no offence to the Igloos of the arctic and antarctic), but I’ve found that a good architect/contractor can take a variety of materials and produce not just a shelter from the rain, but a thing of beauty to “live” in, just as a good leader can make the best of the talents, varying and diverse, of the people who place their trust in him.

Click on the Image above for a better view in the Gallery, along with other images in the “Out and About” collection.

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  :-)

2011 Deck – Week 26

July 22, 2011 § 14 Comments

I’ve been delinquent in my posts recently, but I have a really really good excuse…. no I don’t, I’ve just been busy.  I can’t even conjure up a plausible excuse that might fool a school teacher on this one.

Recently I’ve been thinking about the past and the future, for this post I’ll deal with the past.  As you know I recently posted a photo of St Barnabas, a church that will soon be just a memory, and in my case a few thousand pixels worth of data, and on a recent walk with Nikhil (during which I think I accomplished a grand total of three shutter actuations) I took a photo of a piece of architecture that always fascinated me, for one reason and one reason only, the tower!

I’ve always dreamt of having a tower on my dwelling that I could climb into and see the world around me, and since I’ve taken up photography, probably capture amazing sunset and sunrise photographs from it.  Of course, I don’t have any such tower or photographer’s perch, so I just admire the ones that exist.

Of course, this building also has other “architectural” interests, like the Demerara Shutters, the wooden louvres and the shingled outer wall.

Lookout

The Disappearing Cinema

June 21, 2011 § 15 Comments

Partial remains of the Globe Cinema, demolished this year, 2011

It recently dawned on me that there may be only one functional cinema left in Georgetown, possibly only one left in Guyana.  While the television and computers, handheld media players and the internet have certainly impacted on how we watch our movies, the cinema has always had a big draw for people, however the cinemas in Guyana have steadily gone into disrepair and certainly some have disappeared.   While we can place a lot of blame of the modernisation of media viewing, the owners and promoters of our cinemas have to take some of the blame, even when I was much younger, and the cinemas were full of moviegoers, I remember the sordid states of the seats, the persevering smell of urine, and the sound of the rodents running around the aisles.

Starlite Cinema, Pouderoyn, West Bank Demerara. Closed and abandoned

They never did the little things that made you WANT to go to the cinema, why suffer through all that when you could wait a few months and see it in the comfort of your home?  It was the experience, it was the “event” of going to the cinema with family or friends to watch a new (or old) movie in the company of others there to enjoy the experience, the camaraderie, the joy of the big silver screen, unfortunately the experience was not always a good one.  And the cinemas are disappearing, one by one, by one…

The Astor Cinema, still functional as of this year, but attendance makes it hard for the proprietor to keep it up.

I was re-reading an article written by Godfrey Chin on the Rise and Fall of Guyana’s Cinemas, I believe this was part of his “Nostalgias”, and while I am not old enough to know of some of the cinemas or even the movies he mentions, it hits home.  He, of course, goes back to even before we gained our Independence, back to the days of British Guiana, and he brings us into the modern era, where instead of Cinemas modernising to keep up, they just kept going, stagnated in time, except for the titles of the movie releases :-)

What prompted this blog-post was the sudden nostalgia I got (I am probably getting like Godfrey) when I was processing a photo I took of the partly demolished “Globe Cinema” and an image of the abandoned Starlite Cinema.  Both of those images are included in this post.  As the Astor is the last remaining cinema, I think that I should make an effort to get permission to do some photography in that establishment before it too disappears.

Formerly the Strand Cinema, now the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God

There are at least two other Cinemas that I know of which have been converted into places of worship, it seems to be the thing to do  :-)

Click on each image to see them larger in their respective galleries.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with shutters at The Michael Lam Collection's Blog.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 124 other followers