Crossing


Recently (December 14, 2022), Fidal shared a post on the Guyana Photographers’ Facebook Group, about a crowd funded Book project by well-known street photographer Nils Jorgensen, and it surprised me to see that the Kickstarted campaign had failed to raise enough pledges to complete the project in the time allotted.

On the page promoting the book, Nothing, Like Something, it has a portion that says:

“Street photography is the purest form of photography, stripped to its barest minimum; you, a camera and what you see.  A mundane scene, an everyday event in an ordinary setting, can be transformed into an image which may be humorous, sad, surreal or simply graphic.”

Nils Jorgensen – nothinglikesomething.com

Now, while I don’t personally go for the many images Nils has of just leg portions, his take on street photography is distinct and worth looking at, and sharing. Many of them can individually generate trains of thought that blossom into stories, conjured from a simple single image.

If Nils, with his thousands of social media followers, his skillfully taken photos, his ability to tell a story in monochrome or colour, can fail to garner the funds for a book project, what chances have we?

This brings me to our own local scene, I have often played with the idea, and discarded many a plan simply because I don’t think my work is good enough, and more often than not because of the capital required for such projects, without crowd-funding. Recently I was thrilled to see a book published by local photographer Keno George, as he explained it, it was funded by a grant from the Government of Guyana. The book is a magnificent piece of work that tells the story of the 2018 No Confidence Motion in Guyana’s Parliament. The photography is top notch, as I’ve come to expect from Keno, and the production is definitely above par for local artistes. I’ve always thought of Keno as an exceptional PhotoJouralist, although his work covers more than just that, but his eye for images on the streets or during a tumultuous event is uncanny. I encourage you to check the book out, buy it online or through him directly. One regret for me is the lack of captions (even a reference at the back of the book) to indicate names of people in the photos, for the less politically educated and for historical reference.

I hope to see more photographers dip their toes into the realm of published works, other than the works of Robert J. Fernandes (Bobby), and that of Rex Lucas, there are few is any others that avidly represent our genre adequately. Bobby’s work was instrumental in showing many of us parts of Guyana that we thought we’d never see, and through the eye of a skilled photographer, Rex’s work pull’s at the strings that releases nostalgia among the diaspora more than locals. There are, of course, other books , such as that by world-renowned photographer Pete Oxford, as well as one that I’ve mentioned before by James Broscombe (still a favourite of mine)

As in the years leading up to 2020, we now approach 2023, we are at a crossing, what path we take determines not only our own involvement with the art of photography, but also the impact we can have on the art itself, its local development, and upon other photographers, those already established and known as well as those upcoming and striving to make their own mark.

I’ve always been more known for my landscapes and seascapes, but in the course of my photographic journey, I have developed a love for street photography as well, though my images pale in comparison to other local street photographer, they are no less demonstrative of life in Guyana, I share one with you that I took in 2020, perhaps only days before mask mandates went into effect for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crossing – 20-0666 – © Michael C. Lam – Shot with DXO ONE Camera

To my fellow photographers, visual artists, whatever you wish to refer to yourselves as, keep shooting, keep sharing!

Click on the image above to see it in the Gallery along with other Street photographs. Feel free to comment, every response is a chance for me to learn as well.

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