2011 Deck – Week 52

The final week of the year, and the final photo for the Deck Project for this year.  This one I can say I like, it has been “edited” a bit in addition to the standard processing, I added a “purplish” gradient to the sky for effect.

Another year has ended, I am a bit disappointed with myself, and I think I need to refocus for the new year,  I plan on restarting the Deck Project, it gives me a sense of purpose for my photography, so I wouldn’t want to stop it.  I think that Nikhil may be re-starting his 365 Project that he did a year ago, I look forward to that.

As we end this year and look forward to 2012, I present a photo that I think represents many Coastland Guyanese, a typical afternoon on the coast, enjoying the winds of the Atlantic and just “Shooting the Breeze” (chatting, talking, gaffing!)

Shooting the Breeze
Advertisements

2011 Deck – Week 51

I had shortlisted four images for this blog-post, two of them were too much in keeping with the general theme of the last few weeks, so I discarded those (for later publication) and one was somehow reminiscent of photos I’ve seen from Nikhil and some other local photogs, so I ended up with this one.

I titled it “Ritual at Dawn” because I had inadvertently caught some people in the frame, I think they may have been Hindus out to perform a seaside ritual (I think I should enquire more about this)

I was a bit dissatisfied with the original capture, but was taken enough by the scene to try to “salvage” the image.  I tried a single image HDR tone-mapping, but that didn’t work out as I expected.  I then decided to go for a pseudo-HDR, since I hadn’t actually taken multiple exposures, I created the multiple exposures in Lightroom (using a 1.5ev on the original image) In the image with the +1.5ev I wanted to get more detail from the rocks on the shore, so I used a gradient to adjust the exposure in that area.  Using the three new exposures I did an HDR process in Nik HDR Efex Pro, and although the full-coloured resulting image was OK, I thought that in this instance I would get a better image using a black and white HDR rendering.

Ritual at Dawn

2011 Deck – Week 50

I think Week 50 was the worst photographically for me this year…. I have one photograph.  According to Dwayne Hackett even if I took a hundred shots of the same subject that day and I used one, it’s still only one photograph, I didn’t take a hundred photographs, just a hundred attempts  🙂  I took three photographs of the same subject that week. Three!

If I thought things couldn’t be worse, I had forgotten to reset the settings on the camera… so they were taken in bright sunlight at ISO 1600.

Reminder to self (for the thousandth time) always reset your camera immediately after a shoot (or whatever session) or else you have to live with whatever the camera hands you next time!

This building is right behind DeSinCo Trading (Sheriff Street), in the little side street, I think its Craig Street, I had never noticed it before, I was waiting in the vehicle while my better half was in DeSinCo, I just couldn’t help myself after staring at it for several minutes,  just got out of the vehicle and snapped three shots just to satisfy the little voice in my head that said “go take the photo, go take the photo!”

Church Closed

Its a sad sight to see places of worship that become abandoned, usually because of a lack of attendance over the years, I don’t know the story behind this one, but I was reminded while writing this post of my most recent experience in church, I was saddened at the poor attendance to Christ mas Eve’s Midnight Mass.  I remember when I was younger (much younger) the Midnight Mass at the Cathedral was always packed, maybe some of the pews in the wings would be empty, but the centre of the church would be filled.  Have we lost the faith that we once had or has the commercialisation of Christmas finally overtaken the true meaning for the Season?

Click on the image to see it better in the Gallery.

UPDATE:  I was told by Dave that the property is now owned by DeSinCo, Frank (owner of DeSinCo) built a new church for the parishioners on Middleton Street (a short distance away), so this one was not closed for a lack of attendance but for a more practical and financial reason. 🙂

2011 Deck – Week 49

I think that Christmas Carols (and Christmas music in general) lends to the “feel” of Christmas as much as many of the other traditions associated with the Day and the Season.  Whether its Carollers on the street or in the church, the chorus of voices or the clarity of the soloist singing those traditional carols (or the new songs) helps get me in the Christmas Mood.

This was a photo taken at the annual Festival of Carols held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Brickdam Cathedral), it is one of the few times I’ve attempted higher ISOs on the Canon Digital Rebel T1i, although there’s a fair amount of noise it wasn’t too bad for the shot, and I did a bit of noise reduction in Topaz  🙂

Christmas Carolling

2011 Deck – Week 48

Because I am behind schedule posting my Deck images this year, it is co-incidental that the image for the 48th Week is actually appropriate for today, the day I am posting it…

Everyone has beliefs, even if you say you don’t believe in anything, that in itself is a belief.  I believe in Santa Claus!  Maybe not the person, but the idea, the idea of giving, of making children happy, even of the stories and the legends that surround this figure.

I like to be a child again every Christmas and believe in the magic of giving, in the magic of the gift that was the Christ-child.

To all my friends and family, to anyone who happens across this page, whether you believe in Jesus, in Allah, in the pantheon of Hindu gods, in the Buddha, in a Supreme Being or in no particular power, I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings!

Merry Christmas!

2011 Deck – Week 47

I had saved a particular subject for that occasion when I had not taken a single photograph all week, and week 47 was it.  After not having taken out and pressed the shutter button not once all week, I fell back to this subject, I had it planned as a macro photograph all along.

Not having a dedicated macro lens for the SLR, I used my kit lens (18-55mm) and my trusty old Raynox 250 snap-on Macro lens attached to the kit lens and went to work on it  🙂

Abstract? weird? disturbing? all of the above?

Take a close look by clicking on it to see it in the Gallery  🙂

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.