2011 Deck – Week 25

This week, the seawall continues its pull on me, when the “feeling” for photography is not with you, go somewhere that relaxes you, even if just for a few minutes.  A short walk along the wall and you either come away relaxed or relaxed and with a few photos that were worth the walk  🙂

This week’s shot may not be the best technically, but it captured a “moment”, and that’s what I liked about it.  People go to the seawall for many reasons, one of the customary ones is exercise, you feel the fresh air blowing over you and you feel rejuvenated, and you can run or walk, and like this guy, exercise your wrists  🙂

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The Disappearing Cinema

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.

2011 Deck – Week 24

Earlier this week I saw a Facebook Note from a local Journalist, Neil Marks,  about the St Barnabas Church being sold, I always find it sad when any place of worship is sold, even more so when there is historic significance to the site (as is the case with most of them as they usually go back several generations).

Nikhil and I took a walk there hoping to find it open, we really wanted to get inside.  As it was closed, we settled for taking a few more photos of the exterior from outside the fence.  I went to the website of the National Trust of Guyana looking for more information on the site and found that there was pitiful little there.

St Barnabas Anglican Church, 2011

2011 Deck – Week 23

Sometimes a photo is just a photo, nothing more, right?  Wrong!

Every photograph, yes, even snapshots, tell a story, not everyone can understand the story since the language might be different, the concepts are alien to some of us, and often the message is so subtle that it eludes many of us, but a story is there.  It might be a story in a single sentence, it might be a paragraph, it may even be a few chapters.  It is up to the photographer to tell as much or as little of the story as they like, and it is up to the viewer to read and interpret not what the photographer is trying to say, but what the image is saying.

Art is interpretive, and it is unlikely that two people will interpret any given  photograph in the same manner, similar maybe, they may even draw on each other’s observances and add them to their own, but the act of viewing a photograph is personal, it is between the viewer and the image, and sometimes, the relationship is profound, and others it can be negligible.

Some photographs make an impact and keep you looking back at them and seeing more than you had noticed in the beginning, others you may look at once, and never be drawn to them again, that’s just the way it is.

For many people, their snapshots tell more of a story than the “artsy” types of photos than others tend to like taking.  The story told by a snapshot at a family gathering is more personal than that told by most “professional” photographs, The story is not more nor less important, just different and more personal, and no one should seek to belittle one or the other, that’s just the way it is.

Tree, in June?

2011 Deck – Week 22

Although when I first started trying my hand at Photography (you know, snapshots that looked awesome, even though they were probably mediocre) I was never inclined to monochromatic images; the black and whites and the sepia-toned images, but as I learnt more about the art, and as I came to appreciate the works of others, there has always been scenes that seem to render better in monochrome than in vivid colour.

I have found recently that I like to work in “special” fields of photo processing, I like playing with Panoramas, HDR (High Dynamic Range) images, tone-mapped images (using the same HDR software but on a single image and not using bracketed images as in a true HDR), and monochromatic images, more towards black and white or sepia-toned images rather than cyanotypes and the other tones available.

At any given period of my photography, you’ll probably notice a certain “type” of image popping up, so don’t be surprised by today’s monochrome.  This was taken on the Georgetown Seawall towards the Kitty pump station, the building is Celina Atlantic Resort (I am not sure how the word resort got in the name, but its more a Restaurant and Bar)

Skies over Celina

2011 Deck – Week 21

If you’re going to do a project then you should at least make every effort to keep it up, right?  I seem to be lagging behind too much, something’s got to give!  Anyway, I found a few minutes and I decided to post my image for last week before it got too late.

Finding the time to post on the blog is one thing, but apparently things are getting to the point where finding the time to get the photograph itself is becoming a challenge, definitely not good.  Last week I took four photographs, yes four, F-O-U-R, 4!  and three of them were of the same scene, so that left me with a choice between two images. Bah!  I can’t let this happen again.

This is not a great image, it probably isn’t a good one, but it’s what I have and since I am sticking to the rules I made myself, I have to choose one of those images I took within the week, 🙂  I beg forgiveness in advance.