2014 Deck – Week 35

Exploitative or Journalistic?

The question with regards certain street photographs is usually whether the resultant image and its use are exploitative or journalistic; this is not a question for viewers or critics, it is a question for the photographer; anyone says otherwise is trying to be self-important; yes, a fallacy, I don’t care.  🙂

I saw this chap sitting in what seemed a dejected and sad position, and I “had” to take a photograph, but carefully, surreptitiously, so as not to make him too aware of my intentions;  wanted the scene as I saw it to be portrayed as I remembered it…

In the shadows cast by the trees along the avenue, in the bright midday sun, one man, sitting, alone, almost overlooked, in the heart of Georgetown.

I titled this one “In the Shadows”, because that is how I see many of our fellow citizens living; in the shadow of oppression, in the shadow of others who walk along with a brighter present and future than he may have, in the shadow of trees and buildings that have existed longer than he has, in the shadow of a life that could be better, but isn’t (reasons unknown).


Cropped to 3:4 from the original

1/125s @ f/7.1, 24mm, ISO 200


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.

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2014 Deck – Week 33

Christ Church was doing some fund-raising, a friend of mine asked me to take a few photos of the church to use in the press release.  The only time I had to make a pass by the church was an early morning on the way to work.

I was thinking that it’s only for a press release, so it doesn’t have to be that good, right?

I was in a bit of a hurry, but I snapped a few, then jumped back in the car and headed to work.  There was some nice clouds behind the church from one angle, and kept remembering this as I downloaded the images to process, I knew that my attitude toward the shot was less than optimal and I had deliberately exposed for the building and not the skies (since it was just for the press), as the sun was rising behind the church, all that detail would be blown out.

I thought that this would be a good time to experiment with what I had read about prior to acquiring a full-frame camera, that it can capture a very wide dynamic range in one exposure.

True enough, the entire sky was blown out in the exposure when I downloaded it.

IMG_2724

But remembering what I had just seen in the sky, I worked the sliders to see what sky detail I could retrieve from the RAW file:

IMG_2724-2

And I was amazed, so I decided to process it better than I had originally intended.  I made slight adjustments in Lightroom to bring some detail back in the sky while retaining the detail and brightness of the building.  Then I took the image into Nik HDR Efex with the express intent to use a single exposure black-and-white tone mapping technique on it, and the results were great.  After a few minor adjustments once I took it back to Lightroom, this was the result:


Christ Church, Waterloo St., Georgetown, Guyana


Someone asked me it I “photoshopped” it, well, I didn’t use photoshop, I used no masks, no layers, nothing like that, just what I described above.  Everything I needed was in the RAW file, if I weren’t in such a hurry and treating the action of taking the photo so lacklustrely, then I may have actually taken multiple exposures for a proper HDR  🙂

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.


2014 Deck – Week 32

As I was titling this photo I was somewhat reminded of the TV Series “Bones”, maybe it was a recent discussion on the show that prompted the title “The Wood in the Frame”.

I saw this discarded wooden frame amidst the rocks on the seawall. and by contorting myself and peering through it I could see that I might be able to frame some of the Jhandi flags within it…  I could not get both my head and the camera into the space available (and I didn’t really want to move the frame), so I know my focus might be spotty, so I was fully prepared for some crazy images to come out.

I had angled slightly down to ensure I got the base of the frame, so it was expected that I’d most likely get the wood lying across the frame in focus.  🙂

I think it came out nicely.  (Yes, I know, most of you would have moved the frame so you can get the angle right, the focus right, everything right…  I like the experimental method over absolute perfection sometimes)


1/250s @ f/10, 24mm, ISO200


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.

2014 Deck – Week 31

I don’t often do HDR images, mainly because I think it’s a technique that has it’s uses in specific circumstances, and also because a basic RAW file out of the camera now has much more dynamic range than before and can be adjusted in post process to utilize that content without the need for multiple exposures.

But I like doing HDR images, to pull and prod at the dynamic range in a scene and get it looking as I remember the scene as my eyes could see it.   Shooting into the sun is tricky, most times all you’ll get are silhouettes, so adjusting exposure to balance the scene is one way to try compensating for that great ball of light, or shooting multiple exposures and using HDR techniques after can also work towards the desired goal.

This one, I went for an HDR, but I didn’t want that wide a dynamic range, so I only bracketed very narrowly from 0ev.  I wanted the colours from the sky and the city below to come through, and I wanted the light and shadow to be there but with more detail than the standard exposure was giving me.

I hope you like it.


HDR Image from 3 exposures.


High-key Bird

Just about two years ago I had taken about four photos of a bird sitting on a branch, he was against the brighter light (sunlight) so the portion of him directly facing me was in shadow, not having a flash to fill-in with, I had thought at the time that I’d use post-processing with the sliders in Lightroom to retrieve the detail I wanted.

I was checking for some other images today when I came across the set and decided to process this one, I had now changed my mind slightly about the processing and was not thinking of a high-key style, giving some delicacy to the image, I think the light colour of the bird, the leaves behind him and the textured bark of the branch gave me the idea.



Click on the image to see it in the Black and White Gallery.


2014 Deck – Week 30

Street photography (next to event photography) is probably the least predictive sub-genre in Photography, and that’s one of the things that draw a certain type of photographer to it.

I was on Sussex Street one Sunday and this car parked in front of an old vine-covered shed/shack caught my eye.  Behind that scene was the old Gafoor’s warehouse (not sure if it is still occupied by them).  I had taken a landscape oriented shot, then thought that I’d prefer more of the building in the background and recomposed a portrait oriented shot when this cyclist pedalled into the frame 🙂


1/400s @ f/5.6, 58mm, ISO200


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery

2014 Deck – Week 29

Sometimes, subjects are so imposing that you just have to use them, you walk past them and they just beg to be photographed.

Take this truck, for example; we had walked past it and I noticed it’s unusual form, you just don’t see a truck like this around Georgetown every day, I kept thinking that there’s a photo there somewhere…  On the way back I kept glancing at it, then noticed it’s swivel up windows and it’s snorkel-like exhaust system, and all the other rough-and-tough parts at the front, all of this set against a comparatively delicate victorian/colonial styled wooden building in the background.

Of course, including the policeman in the frame was deliberate 🙂



Click on the image to see it in the Gallery

2014 Deck – Week 28

Just over three months old… and she was pulling herself around the matte.

I fully expected that some of my Deck Project photos would be of Malina this year 🙂

I also took a few old building s and some seawall photos this week, but I’m biased towards a photo of Malina 😀


Canon EOS 6D, 24-105L  |  1/125s @ f/4.0, 105mm, ISO400


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery

Photographs and Memories

Karran Sahadeo recently did a presentation at Moray House with this title, when I chose this photo for this week’s entry for the Deck Project, it popped into my head.

Often, all we have of moments and events of our younger days are memories… with the current deluge of photos being taken with various cameras, smartphones, tablets, webcams, etc., the current generation may have a different take on it in 20 years.

I can look back at what might be considered a relatively large amount of photos from my younger days, relative to the general population at the time in Guyana at any rate, and I can sometimes remember the moment, the event, the atmosphere, the sounds and other tiny things that made the moment memorable, but there are many more points in my life that have no such record, and all I have are memories.

I was out on the seawall on the way to work one morning when I saw the sky to the south as I approached the portion of the wall right behind my old school ground (Saint Stanislaus College), as I stopped to take the photo, memories of times there came back to me.

I’m not a sportsman, never really was, but I do remember trying a few sports, simply because the teachers said you had to “try”…  I remember being left behind in the 100m sprint, I remember being lapped once in some one of the longer runs, I remember wanting to try the shotput, but being a small fellow, no one would let me, I remember trying the long jump and not doing too badly (as in, at least one other person fell shorter than I did); I also remember getting sunburnt, falling in the grass and bruising my knees, climbing the pavilion steps, eating snow-cones and icicles, and drinking Blackcherry Soda… (Both Banks DIH and DDL had lost their Cola franchises, Banks brought out the ICEE Blackcherry to fill the void), I could go on, but my point is, I can look back on “this” photo and have those memories renewed even though I don’t have photos of any of those moments to look at.

While this photo can mean that to me, for you, it may just be a very plain, very empty black and white photo; for me, the field is filled with students; the pavilion with teachers, students, parents; the gateway and fence lined with vendors selling snow-cones, tamarind syrup and green-mango 🙂


Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm | 1/100s @ f/7.1, 10mm, ISO100


Click on the image to see it in the Black and White Gallery from the Collection, while there, take a look at the other images in the growing Black and White Gallery.