2012 Deck – Week 34

This was one of those weeks where I had not taken a photo at all until I was forced to take something on the last day or abandon the Deck Project.  To be on the safe side, I stopped on the seawall to take a few photos for another “Seascape”, this would have been around the Bel Air / Sophia area.

As things turned out, I took the family out to the seawall near Lusignan, as it was nearing sunset, I took some photos in general, then settled down amidst some rocks and waited for the sun to drop to just the right height.  This was one of the few times that I had “planned” a shot (or rather the general concept of what I was looking for).  I took several at different times in different orientations, but this one was the one that appealed to me the most.

As always, click on the image for a better view in the Gallery.

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“Par” for the course

In October of 2009, I witnessed my second Parhelion, or Sundog, a natural phenomena, it wasn’t anything spectacular as those you see in the more northern or southern regions, but a complete halo around the sun, really large halo.

They are apparently caused by the effect of the sunlight passing through ice-crystals in the air (we’re in the tropics, ice-crystals??).  In the photo above, you can see the relative size compared with the portion of Central Garage’s building sticking out of the corner  🙂

A few nights ago, my friend Savita messaged me asking if I’d seen the moon that evening, on looking, I was amazed to see the same effect with the moon, called a Parselene.

Given my experience with lunar sky photography, I did not expect a great image out of it, so I’d say this one is just about par for the course  🙂

It may be difficult to see, depending on your monitor’s calibration  🙂  With the naked eye, I could actually see the rainbow of colours in the halo, off to the right of the image is the power-line to my house  🙂

As always, click on each image to see them better in the Gallery.

Worth Saving

Some things are worth saving.

A friendship of many years is certainly worth saving, after a while you get to the point where an argument is just an argument, not a reason for “falling out”.

A job is worth saving, especially when there are fewer to find and when you have more to think about than just yourself,

Memories, as in letters and photos, video-clips and newspaper clippings, are worth saving, it is a record of the things we’ve done, things we’ve seen, and it becomes a story to tell our children and grand-children.

In this century (and the end of the last) there’s a great movement to save our forests, certainly worth saving if we intend to continue to breathe.

Endangered species are worth saving, why let a species go extinct because of the actions (or inaction) of another species, especially when we (humans) may be the main cause of their dwindling numbers.

Recently, there’s been a movement (championed by Annette Arjoon-Martins) to save the mangroves that form part of our sea-defence, I certainly don’t want my house washed away because people burn garbage in the mangrove areas, destroying our first line of sea-defence, so that is certainly worth saving.

I think most people may agree with much of what I’ve mentioned, many more will have other things to add to this list, but is a building worth saving?  Is a building that is older than any of us, that has seen more mayors than we have fingers, that is one of the few remaining structures of its kind, that is a reminder of our colonial history worth saving?

Should we let the markers of our heritage, the work of the hands of our ancestors, the beauty of a golden age, fall into disrepair,slowly disappear and be forgotten?

Clink on the photo above to see it in the Gallery, along with other photos from around Georgetown, Guyana.

2012 Deck – Week 33

One of the first things I tell people asking me about getting better at their photography is to get to know their camera, regardless what camera it is, and I tell them that one of the ways to do this is to “read the manual”, you don’t have to understand all of it at one go, just read it  🙂

Each manual has some safety precautions that they list, one of them is “Don’t shoot directly at the sun!”.  My friend Nikhil repeatedly tells me that you have to know the rules and understand them, so that you’ll know when to break them 🙂

I hope this was one of those instances where it worked since I totally ignored that rule about the sun…  and I even liked the lens flare I got in the process.

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery, along with the previous images in the Deck Project for this year.

Rent

Under clouds of gloom, tread lightly in fear,

unknown dangers may lurk quite near

Yet onward walk, for we must see

what lies upon yonder sea

It is our goal, our sole intent

today to capture the coming rent

in clouds that cover, yet soon shall show

upon the sea a hopeful glow

for but a moment shall it be

a fleeting time, then it too shall flee

as the sun continues its descent

we try to capture the fleeting rent.

Seascape

Every time I view the sea, I feel a calming sense of security, as if visiting my ancestral home; I embark on a voyage of seeing.

– Hiroshi Sugimoto

In 1980 Sugimoto began working on a series of Seascapes from around the world, he uses different exposure times (sometimes up to three hours) and he composes them with the horizon bisecting the photograph.  Oh, he uses an old-fashioned large format camera to do this, serious stuff!

Sugimoto I’m not, but his reflection on how the view of the sea affects him made me thing of all the times I’ve visited our own Seawall, and even when the tide is high and the waves are rough, there’s a sense of sereneness that permeates me, calms me and makes me forget my worries.  His last phrase there also reminds me of how we often stand (or sit) and face the waters and stare out to sea, as if in a daydream, “on a voyage of seeing”.

I won’t try to mimic his work, but the simplicity of his work made me wonder if I could try a simple seascape, something without the occasional boat or human element, or the rocks along a shore.

This image was taken in the afternoon, and I processed it using Nik Silver Efex, with an orange filter for effect.

Click on the image for a better view in the Gallery, along with others in the Black and White series.

Cinchona View

One of the stops on the mini Jamaican Safari that Cecil Beharry took my cousin Alex and myself on was the Cinchona Gardens.  As captivating as the old Gardens itself was, the first thing, and the last thing, that we looked out upon was the view from the mountainside, down into the St Andrew parish.

Although I can try with every possible photographic tool at my disposal to convey to others the emotion that I felt standing there, I don’t think I can ever truly do it justice.

As we stepped out of the vehicle, we were greeted with a clean, cool mountain air that revived the senses and the spirit, after that long arduous drive, I’m sure that Cecil was the most grateful of us for that.

The view was breath-taking, the clouds and mists had claimed the tops of the mountains leaving just the valley for the viewer.  From the flowers dotting the edge of the road where the steep descent began, the valley spread out and rose and fell to the distant mountain peaks, from our vantage point, the mountain-sides that envelope and nestle the Cinchona Gardens framed the scene beautifully.

This is a view of an Island Paradise… from 5,200 feet up.

This is a Panoramic Photograph from thirteen images (each taken in portrait orientation) stitched together.  Click on the image to see it in the Gallery