2011 Deck – Week 46

Monuments.  That is basically what a tombstone or tomb-marker is, whether it’s a simple slab with a name on it or an obelisk, it’s a monument to the person interred, a reminder to the living of a person now dead.

These markers fade with time, and people forget, generations pass and the dead are lost to the living.  Some are forgotten entirely, some are just names on a family tree.  Do we all want to fade from memory like dawn fades to day, once there, once unique, never to be seen again, never to be remembered and referred to?

Most of us will do just that, but the few who are exceptional will live on as legends and icons of History.  Whether we are remembered as tyrants or dictators, philanthropists or inventors, pioneers or adventurers, famous artists or infamous criminals depends on the decisions we make daily.

At times like this, when my thoughts stray to these realms, I remember two phrases from my early High School days.  I attended St. Stanislaus College, it was a Catholic School before the government took everything over under early PNC rule in Guyana.  Some things had remained as part of the teaching and tradition of the school.

The two phrases I remember were from different sources.

One was given to us as four letters to be written at the top of every page, I believe it was handed down from the Jesuits who taught at the school when it was a Catholic School; the letters were AMDG, a shortened form for Ad maiorem Dei gloriam, which meant “For the Greater Glory of God”, it was meant to encourage you to try to make everything you do, everything you say be geared towards that goal.

The second phrase was the school’s motto, Aeterna non Caduca, literally translated to “eternal non perishable”, but we were told that the motto translated to “Not for this Life, but for Eternity”.  Whatever we do should not be just to have an effect now, in our lifetime, but for eternity.

Taken together they can be a driving force for a truly spectacular life, a life of meaning, unfortunately, not many would adhere to such a strict code.

Many people who happen to drop in to read my blog-posts are fellow aspiring photographers (in one way or another), we may never be an Ansel Adams or a Nick Brandt, a Frank Horvat or Mario Testino, an Irving Penn or a Steve McCurry, a Joe Rosenthal or a Don McCullin, an Henri Cartier Bresson or a Vivian Maier, but what we can do is aspire to show to anyone who will look, how we see the world through our eyes, our view-finders, our lenses, make them feel what we feel through visual stimulation (and if necessary a few words) 🙂

Can I do that? Can we do that? I don’t know, but I am sure going to give it a try!

Monument
Monument

This was taken during a photo-walk arranged by the Guyana Photographers Facebook group, lots of people thought it strange to arrange a walk in a cemetery  🙂

Click on the photo to see it larger in the Gallery.

Advertisements

2011 Deck – Week 45

This week’s photo serves two purposes, one is a short explanation of “how I did it” and the second is… well, it’s a moon shot, what’s not to like  🙂

Someone recently asked me how I got the moon with such detail, I had to have someone give me tips once, so its easy to pass along what I know, hopefully someone else can improve and even tell me other things 🙂

Shooting the moon.  First tip, use a tripod, it helps to have a stable camera when you’re doing this (most of my moon shots were without tripods though), The important bit is the metering, I use a spot metering mode.  I simply set the camera to spot metering, (my camera only uses the centre focus point for this), I use the centre focusing spot in the display, make sure that is centred on the moon, and half-press the shutter-button to focus, then recompose and click.  Really simple.

What the spot-metering does is meter the lighting for just the moon instead of trying to evaluate the lighting of the entire scene (in this case the whole sky)

Now normally we crop these images to show the moon in its full glory, well, I crop it since this is the whole image from my maximum zoom on the Tamron 18-270 lens.  I left this uncropped because I actually like it this way this time.

The moon is set against a dark sky (it was somewhat lighter before I processed), I look at it and think that it must be lonely up there, I’ll never fly into space like those great astronauts and cosmonauts, not fly to the upper atmospheres like jet-fighter pilots, but I still think that even after the initial moments of wonder and awe, it must be lonesome up there.  I am thankful for the family I have, the friends I have, the co-workers that I have (even those that have moved on).

If you’re ever feeling lonely, go out under the open sky, look at the moon and remember that under that same moon, there are billions of people, and somewhere there is someone who is thinking of you.

Alone

Because of the background colour (at the time of writing this) I suggest you click on the image for a better viewing at the Gallery  🙂

2011 Deck – Week 43

Every year I tell myself that I will try to get some really good photos during the festival of Diwali (or Deepavali), the Hindu Festival of Lights, I haven’t really made the effort to do this for the last few years.  This year I thought I could at least get a photo of one of the many men (yes, and sometimes women/girls) who spin lighted steel-wool in the streets.  I think to myself, it can’t be hard right? How can I mess it up?

And then I forget the Tripod….

So, I really wanted to use one of those shots, so here it is 🙂

2011 Deck – Week 42

Many times on a walk in the city I would take a photo of The Lodge, I don’t think I’ve ever used any of the photographs before, and since this week had very slim pickings, I chose one that I took in passing.  Actually I had a choice from eight subjects, this one just seemed better than the rest. 🙂

This is one of those photos that when writing about it I feel very silly.  I don’t know anything about this place and I’ve seen it all my life.  Its one of those places that everyone just refers to as The Lodge, and they give you a knowing look, so I never asked, and was never told.  I’m sure those conspiratorial glances were more ignorance rather than knowledge.

So it seems to me that maybe I should ask someone… what is that place and what really goes on in there?  Do you think I’ll get answers on the blog?  🙂

Help or Hinder

Guyana’s Traffic Police

Yesterday there was a traffic-jam at the Regent and Avenue of the Republic intersection (mainly because the minibuses were clogging it up), there was a traffic cop standing on the corner just staring, I mean literally just staring at the glob of non-moving, horn-blowing vehicles at the junction.

It was amazing to me that I came down the road heading south and pulled up at the traffic light (I was now at the head of the queue at the light), there were two vehicles remaining in the line to cross over heading west, as well as several in the lane to my right attempting to turn west.  The light being Red I sat and waited assuming that the two vehicles would move along by the time the light showed green.

No such luck!  As it turned green, I inched forward (OK, I drove for about three feet) to see what the position was, the car directly in the intersection had about six to eight feet of space in front of him, and the pick-up truck behind him was about five feet behind, I blew my horn to attract his attention (the car driver, that is) and indicated that he should drive forward a bit so that the traffic in my lane could move along between him and the pick-up truck.

Seems sensible, right?

The police officer decided to finally move from his comfortable spot on the side of the road, indicated to me that I should wait, and when the car had driven up, he waved the pick-up truck forward….

…thereby adding to an already clogged intersection. The intelligence of our policemen and their spontaneous decisions never ceases to amaze me.

2011 Deck – Week 41

The month of October is earmarked in many countries as Breast Cancer Awareness month, and although I have quite a number of photos for the week, but I happen to think that this one has a more meaningful effect for me and for others.

While I do not normally go for these selective desaturated images, or the “accent colour” black and whites than some others do, but I thought that it was something that worked for this particular image.

The Beauty and Home Systems Inc. Guyana (the local Avon people) annually make a big deal of this and the wrap the trees lining the avenue down Camp Street with Pink cloth (possibly as a representation of the Breast Cancer Pink Ribbon), for a few years I have been meaning to stop and take a photograph, but never did until this year.

Click on the image for a better view in the Gallery.