Into the Mountains – Part 2

After lunch on my second day in Jamaica, we drove up to Cinchona Gardens, what was once a beautiful Botanical Gardens, a destination for families and tourists, an old Colonial house and out buildings, gardens and ponds, and bamboo copses.  The road up to it is impassable by regular cars, so Cecil’s Safari enthusiasm came out as he tackled the mountain with gusto.

Before even going towards the Cinchona Gardens proper, the view to the right of us as we drove up was very compelling, so I just had to take a few photos in the hope that one would help express what I saw,the tops of the range were obscured by low-hanging clouds:

The Gardens stand in a spot of the mountains that is five thousand two hundred feet above sea level (5200ft), and there is usually a constant “misting” from the clouds, so most everything is wet.  The first steps into the garden proper brings you to some tree stumps of tree cuttings, makes great seats for the weary 🙂

From an upper vantage point, you can see the seating area in the walled section of the garden with a small man-made pond, the sky had begun to clear a bit so that I could get more than just a blanket of gray clouds in the photos  🙂

Alexis stood for quite a while admiring the view of the valley below and the mountains in the distance, he even went as far as shouting out to hear the echo… which he got  🙂

The main building was cordoned off with a “Danger” tape,warning visitors not to go in, I was tempted to venture in, but Cecil wisely told me not to try it, so I satisfied myself with a few photos from the outside.

As the skies were clearing a bit, I took another set of photos of the view into the valley and across at the Blue Mountains, this time I could actually see the tops of the range in some areas.

From the Cinchona Gardens we were to make our way towards the Blue Mountain to visit Whitfield Hall, where people desirous of climbing the peak would start their trek, on the way there as we neared Hagley Gap, we stopped to take photos of and near an old bridge that appears to be out of use.

We stopped along the road to get a few photographs of a beautiful view down another valley, this was probably about 15 minutes outside of Whitfield Hall.

Whitfield Hall is an old House and Coffee farm, it is snuggled beneath some very very tall trees and is such a tranquil spot, we sat and ate the rest of our food before heading back home.

On the way back I couldn’t resist a passing shot of the hills/mountain showing the barbed demarcation of the end of the road, where the cliff drops down to the valley below.

Into the Mountains – Part 1

Veteran Guyana Safari expeditionist Cecil Beharry (CB to his friends), told me to just let him know when I’m in Jamaica, so I told him I was coming down for a family reunion, and he insisted that he take me into the mountains, how could I refuse?

The day after I arrived in Jamaica, he took me and my cousin Alexis (I’m told he is my First cousin Once Removed, although I prefer not to have him removed) on a mountain drive, some of these spots were apparently where he “practiced” for the Pakaraima Mountain Safari in Guyana.  He had just gotten back his vehicle from the last Safari, and we were going to give it another mountain drive  🙂

As it happened, we were on the road near Irish Town when we noticed some strange sounds coming from the vehicle, on stopping and checking (Alexis being a hobby mechanic and Cecil being Jamaica’s Power-steering specialist) it was discovered that there was a leak somewhere, Cecil called his son Craig to come exchange vehicles (a Trooper to the rescue)

I didn’t mind stopping / breaking down in that spot, I got a few photos, my two favourite are below:

With a new vehicle at our disposal (ok, we’ll apologise to Craig for the dents and scratches and the dirt…), we headed onto Newcastle where there was on old colonial army base that is now housed and maintained by member of the Jamaican Armed Forces (restoration work was being undertaken while we were visiting), I’ll share two photos from that location, one of the “barracks”,as I thought of them, and one of the cemetery, I must say that the view from the cemetery was very tranquil 🙂

On the way to Newcastle, we stopped to take in one of the breathtaking views of the hills/mountains, but I was also captivated by the walls along the road, they are apparently built to help retain the earth on the sides of the hills and prevent landslides, in these “walls” are holes which are meant for the drainage of water caught behind the walls, the holes are called Weeping Holes.

From Newcastle, we moved onto Holywell, where there is a camping ground, there were quite a number of youths there camping and playing.   The air is crisp and cool,and the views are pretty:

And if you want to just sit and enjoy the view, here’s the chair:

After Holywell, we went to visit an old abandoned Coffee Mill, from somewhere back in the colonial days.  Some of the building(s) is still intact, and the mill mechanism can still be seen there, what I was impressed to see was the waterwheel that drove the mill, I had never seen one before and I was excited about it, especially when Alexis tried to push it and it actually turned!

There was an archway in the rear wall to access the “Tennis Courts” and to see the building from the side with the water wheel.  I think that archway would make a pretty nice night-time photo  🙂

I realised that this post suddenly had a lot of images, so I decides to split it, so this is it for the first part, we actually left this building and went down to the stream/creek behind it to have our lunch; KFC, stale bread and liquid refreshment (in my case a bottle of Coconut Water)  🙂

Rear View

I’m on vacation!

And I brought the camera with me  🙂

We’re staying the first few days with my Uncle and his family, as we sat down on his back porch I couldn’t help admire the view into the hills, I sat there and almost didn’t bother to get up to take this photo.

It was getting into the afternoon and I was seeing the sun cast its light upon the hills, and hearing the voices of my family (a bit extended now) as they chatted, and in the background, the sound of the water running down the hill (there’s a small river below the houses)

Like my home country of Guyana, Jamaica is a land of so much diversity, and this peaceful quiet atmosphere is just one of them  🙂

My first photo from Jamaica is a nice quiet peaceful scene,from the back porch  (doorway leading down to the River), showing the distant hills, the sun-kissed greenery on them and the blue skies over the Caribbean Sea, with Alamander flowers in the foreground.

2012 Deck – Week 28

Although the week is yet to be concluded, I thought it may be prudent to go ahead and post what I have, although I have high hopes of getting more photos before the week is over  🙂

This is not a sharp photograph, the main subject is definitely not sharp but the overall image is very representative.

I had packed away my long telephoto lens for my flight (only 270mm, not long by bird watching standards), I didn’t want to carry too much in the Camera bag, and on my way to work I saw this fellow, and all I had was the Sigma 17-50, so I decided that an all-inclusive shot had to work.  I saw him on a fence and when I stopped and got out of the car, he flew up the road to the next block, as I drove up, he sat there, so I wound down the window to get a few shots off, by the time I had done that he flew off again, so what I took (hastily) is what I got.

As I downloaded the image and began processing, I knew that this would be my photo for the Deck Project this week, I titled it “Ready to Fly”.

Whether or not I am actually ready, the flight leaves, so by the time I get to the airport I’d better be Ready to Fly  🙂

For me it will be a joy to see family I’ve never met, and family I haven’t seen in years, it will be an opportunity to look at an island I’ve seen before, but with a different perspective, and a camera in hand  🙂

So, for those I’m leaving behind, I say “see you shortly, I’ll be back before you know it”  🙂  And to the people and places I’m going to I say, “Ready or not, here I come”… and I want my Jammy Pattie!!!

Ready to Fly

Not sure if clicking on the image to see it in the Gallery would make it look any better, but go ahead, give it a try  🙂

A Windowed View

When the new owners of the Central Garage building began their renovation works, I asked permission to take a few photographs inside the building and also from the roof.  Although I took quite a few, this one always nagged at the back of my mind (I’ve yet to process that set completely).

The front of the building was windowed in sections, and at the time of my visit the windows and their frames had been removed from the eastern wall, this wall has now been remodelled and houses large glass panels, so the view may be similar  🙂

I had originally thought that the new owners would remove the old building and replace it, but they chose to retain the existing steel structure, remove and replace the old wooden and asbestos outer walls.  Although they changed more of the facade than I’d have wished, they retained more of the original building than was expected  🙂

This view shows mainly City Hall, which itself is in danger of crumbling, you can also see part of the ACME building, and part of the Victoria Law Courts.  I liked the contrast between the darker interior of the building and the brightly lit City, framed by windowless orifices.

Please click on the image for a better view in the Gallery, this Gallery also holds other photos from around Georgetown, Guyana.

2012 Deck – Week 27

Gone Fishing?

Getting out to take photographs seems harder recently, but living on the coast means that there is always the seawall  🙂  I took a drive up to Enterprise to pick up something and thought I’d just drive up to the wall and see what, if anything, there was to photograph.  There were a couple boats out there, but it didn’t move me, but there were two bicycles left near/on the wall where two boys had left them to go over the seawall.

This posting is somewhat appropriate as I (that is, my family and I) are about to go to a family reunion.  So, while we will be leaving the comforts of our home, the familiarity of other family and friends near to us, we do so knowing that the material things we leave temporarily are being taken care of by people we know, and the people we leave behind have their own family and friends to keep them occupied while we’re away 🙂

Pink

Travelling in and around Georgetown, many of the larger Canals / Trenches are populated by the lotus flowers, that comes in really handy for a Jhandi!  I wrote a blog post once on the flower, its leaves and some of its uses.

Being accustomed to seeing it (lots of them are seen on my route to and from home) I was somewhat surprised when I saw that some of the ones I saw growing in the “country area” were somewhat “pinker”, or more pink, than those I was accustomed to (it was on a trip to Berbice that I noticed it and then also on a trip to Essequibo).

So for those of you accustomed to seeing the nice pink ones around the Demerara area, don’t be surprised when this image looks more saturated, it really wasn’t my doing  🙂

Click on the image for a better view in the Gallery where you can see other floral photos in the album.

2012 Deck – Week 26

Nikhil does more unusual cropping than I do, often times he’ll use the cropping to help emphasise the subject, and this is something I don’t often do, usually when I crop I try to keep the same proportions as the original image, and I try to crop very little, usually only as a corrective method (to rotate the image correctly of to remove something at the edge(s) that shouldn’t be included).  I often forget that I can crop for emphasis and to strengthen the composition.

This week’s image is such an example, I originally thought that it was a good image, but for some reason it wasn’t as strong as I’d originally thought, so after some monochrome work on it I tried an unusual crop, and I think it worked.

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

Is this mine?

I’ve often wondered at the diversity, and often strangeness, of the photographs that are taken by people  It is sometimes good to let the mind wander and indulge in thoughts and theorems about what prompts a photographer to photograph a particular subject, or to do so in a particular way, and then to further process it in a particular style.

What makes a photographer chose to render his image in monochrome rather than colour, what made them choose to use the “rule of thirds” or break them?  What would make a person (of relative sanity) walk the streets of Georgetown to take up Street Photography, or spend months in the Rupununi areas of the interior?

As each photographer takes more photographs they tend to develop a style, a particular slant to their work, some are even known for creating Genres, Nikhil says I have a “style” although I find it hard to identify, and I can usually identify his photographs (except where he deviates from his norm)… so… where does this photo fit in?  🙂   I know it’s mine, would you have said it was?

Click on the image for a better view in the Gallery

2012 Deck – Week 25

For many students in the trimester system, it is now the end of the school year, the end of projects and assignments, the end of homework, the last of the tests and exams until the next academic year begins.

I find it fitting that the image I chose reflects some of this; hands raised in joy as the sun sets on another day.  The end of one thing usually marks the beginning of another, soon we begin the “August” or summer holidays, although those in the semester system have already begun theirs  🙂

Hands Up!