The Harpy Eagle

In 2012 I had written a blog post titled “Airwolf”, that featured a photo of the Harpy Eagle, this year I was asked if I had any images of the Harpy, as the people responsible for the Explore Guyana magazine were looking for one.  I had only taken photos of the Harpy on two occasions, and I told them as much; I even told them that I’m not a birding or wildlife photographer, so the images I have would likely not be ideal for their use.   With people like Kester Alves, Victor Sarabo, Meshach Pierre, John Persaud, Andrew Snyder (to name a few) and others out there taking some gorgeous bird and other wildlife photos, nothing I had taken could compare with the quality of images I’ve seen out there, except that I couldn’t remember seeing any of the Harpy, so couldn’t point them in any specific direction other than to tell them to please look around for something better than mine.

The long and short of it… I had sent them three images, and they chose to use one.  I can now proudly say that one of my images was a Cover image for Explore Guyana.


Here is the Original Image (click on it to see it in the Gallery)


And here is a small image of the cover as designed by Advertising & Marketing Services (AMS)

explore_guyana_2017_cover_sml

Click on the cover image to go to the Explore Guyana Magazine’s Homepage


Advertisements

1888

I took this photo 5 years ago. (November 03, 2011, 5:06pm)

It’s one of those photos you take at the time, then just put aside; at the time it was just part of several images I took while walking along the northern and then the western side of City Hall, none of which were ever processed or shown to anyone.

I found a few dates about the building to be interesting; proposals for the construction of a Town Hall were endorsed in 1886, a design was chosen in 1887, and works completed in 1889, yet in the wrought iron fretwork design above this northern doorway is the year “1888”.


1888 – 11-6453  |  City Hall, Georgetown, Guyana  |  2011


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery


Soft

In the initial stages of trying my hand at photography, while looking at the images offered online and in books, ones by recognised photographers in their respective fields, I always had it in mind that a good photograph had to be perfect, technically perfect and sharp as a tack.  Of course, the images I was admiring were landscapes, portraits, architectural images and the like.

I later discovered (much much later) that what was more important was capturing the scene, with whatever you have, and however you can; if you can get it perfect, good for you, but it was more important to not lose the moment.

This image I had taken back in 2011, but because of the slight motion blur, I relegated it to the unprocessed pile; and since Street Photography was not my calling, but a way to experiment and even capture moments, it didn’t seem too important at the time.   I was hunting through an old catalog for some images that a friend wanted, and I came across the image and realised I liked it, I can live with the blur caused by a low shutter speed and a hastily snapped image, because that moment is now gone, but I have something to show for it; while it may not be a technically perfect shot, I realise that I don’t really need anyone but me to like it.  🙂


Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 18-270  |  Georgetown, Guyana, 2011


This was taken during the renovation works to the old Central Garage building on Avenue of the Republic, which is now a series of smaller retail stores.  In Guyana, we call those carbonated beverages “soft drinks”, the ones Americans fondly call Soda.

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.


500

The Art of Photography and Photography as Art


2015 – Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm


This blog post is a milestone of sorts, it marks my five hundredth blog post.  It began on a sad note, with a photo from my maternal grandmother’s funeral, it has been more of a photo journey rather than a photo blog, more about myself and the photos than about the photos themselves I suppose, so it’s rather like a journal…almost… of sorts.

On this journey I’ve learnt a lot, with still much more to learn, I’ve met many other people with a passion for photography, and many who love to look at beautiful imagery.

I have learnt that there is a difference between the Art of Photography and Photography as Art, and I believe that it is a realization that comes to most of us who pursue it with an aim for creating “art”.


2010 – Canon T1i, Sigma 18-270mm


It sounds presumptuous even to my own ears to refer to anything that I produce with the camera as “art”, but people like my friend Nikhil would thump me behind the head for even saying that.  Not everything I take can be considered as art, so I humbly submit that I have a few that may be taken into consideration by those who are more knowledgeable than myself and more in-tune with the art world to be judged and pronounced as art.

Nikhil would also tell me that I have had work exhibited once at the National Gallery of Art (Castellani House) and have also been among the finalists in two of the recent Guyana Visual Arts Competitions, so I can’t get away with trying to play modest about being called an “artist”.


2011 – Canon Rebel T1i – Tamron 18-270mm


I began as most of us probably did with learning to use the camera and just snapping away at anything and everything that caught my eye.

After a while it began to be more important to learn and understand the art of photography, to understand how light plays an important part, where paying attention to composition results in a much better photo of the same subject.  The art of photography is to know your camera (whether it’s a mobile device such as cellphones or a larger DSLR) to learn what it can and cannot do, and to know how to use it to accomplish what you want.  Like any craftsman worth his salt, the art of the craft is the union of the person and the tools at hand.

It is good to learn different techniques, different approaches, different styles; that can be part of your arsenal, but it need not define the photograph you take.


2012 – Canon T1i, Tamron 18-270mm


The photograph is an extension of your self, it is a product of your own thoughts and skills, when the photograph stops being just a snapshot and becomes an expression of an idea, a concept, more than just a moment frozen in time, then it is possible that you have created a piece of art.

Photography as Art has to be more than just a pretty photo of a pretty scene or even a technically perfect photo of a dilapidated house, for a photograph to be Art it should have soul, it should convey an idea, elicit a reaction from the viewer, it has to be seen, talked about, appreciated or ridiculed even.


2013 – Canon EOS 60D, Tamron 18-270mm


Not many of us in Guyana can successfully claim to be original in our photographs, most of it has been done before and by better artists than ourselves, Photography as an Art has to overcome the fact that everyone now has access to a device that captures images, and in the maelstrom of images swirling around the internet we have to produce a piece that stands out, that makes people stop and look, but also to have them remember it afterwards, to recall it and speak about it.

Art is subjective, that’s basically saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it is not enough for the creator of the piece to want it to be art, the viewer has to appreciate the piece, not necessarily from the perspective of the creator but from how it affects them.


2014 – Canon EOS 6D, Canon 24-105mm


All the images in this post are “new to you”, they are from the six years than span this blog, 2010 to 2015, one from each calendar year.  I went through the files looking for images that I have overlooked, or just not processed,  not looking for any subject in particular, but for images I think worth processing, worth sharing and reflect what I would like to show others.

I hope that at least one strikes your fancy.

Click on each one to see them in their respective galleries in the Collection.  Thank you for being a part of my journey so far.


Out There

I shoot some odd scenes (more often than I’d like to admit) and when looking back I sometimes wonder what had gotten into my head to shoot them, then in a few cases, after a bit of consideration, I decide to process one anyway…

This is one of those “odd” scenes; it was almost twilight I guess, the sun had set (officially), yet there was light in the sky… and the crescent moon was still in the sky…  clouds were covering parts of the sky, not necessarily in a pretty way, yet I had the inclination to snap a few shots.

At this time of the year, the crescent moon is more like a smile than during mid-year when it’s more sideways…  I’ve heard it referred to as the Smiling Moon, or the Cheshire Moon (a reference to the smile of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland); in Hawaiian mythology and folklore it’s also called the Wet Moon, because of the “bowl” shape it resembles at this time, with “wet” referring to the moon holding the waters of the rains that were soon to come…

I digress….

It’s an odd scene for me, so I took some time to process it since it was not an easy one (processing-wise, that is)…  I used Nik Silver Efex, and did some exposure reduction in the upper portion to further emphasize the moon and the star (nothing has been added or removed).


2011  |  Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 18-270mm


Depending on our cultural, religious or scientific knowledge and beliefs, we will each look up into the sky and wonder different things; about what is “out there”, the myths and legends of ancient civilisations colour our imaginations, the teachings of our theologies ask us to believe in our maker(s) and for some an after-life, astronomers and movie-makers give further impetus to our imaginations of worlds and galaxies more spectacular than the pin-point stars we see with the naked eye…  poets and song-writers pull at our heart-strings with words and melodies, with stories of love and lust under the darkened dome,

Most of us will never leave this rock we call Earth, but that should not stop our imaginations, our desires, our dreams, for there is undoubtedly more out there than we know.


Click on the image to see it in the Odds and Ends Gallery 🙂


Goodbye Uncle Harry

Growing up, my maternal grandfather was seldom seen in the congregation of the church, he was always at the back “helping out” Uncle Harry.  I grew up knowing Uncle Harry as Uncle Joe, then others called him Harry, when I asked my grandfather about it he said that he is Harry Joe!  You never question wisdom like that!

Uncle Harry would be there to open the church, he’d be there to close the church, he was the man to go to to get your weekly Catholic Standard, or the tickets for the next Festival of Carols.  He would hand out the collection baskets to the people who would be needing them for each mass, and he’d have Bibles, Hymnals and other little books on sale too.

He was as grumpy as he was jovial.  He was a New Year baby, born on the 1st of January, worked for many years at Banks DIH, from all the way back when it was known as D’Aguiar’s, and he worked at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for as long as my memory serves, up until he was retired a few years ago.

After retirement from his duties in the church he’d try to attend either the early morning 6:00 am mass, or the next one at 7:30 am on Sundays, rain or shine, in his long pants, dress shoes, shirt-jac, umbrella, hat and his spectacle case and pen in his top pocket.

He died on Sunday 17th March 2013, St Patrick’s Day, at around 2am; it was his time.  May his Soul Rest in Peace.

I had taken that photograph of him (candidly) two days before my own birthday in 2011, and he was sitting there staring towards this altar below:


Hermes

Hermes – God in the Greek Pantheon, often associated with speed and cunning, the messenger of the Gods.

I took of photo of an old Hermes typewriter whilst on a short walk down Main Street, I mainly took it because it made me remember how I first learned to type, on a Hermes typewriter, just like that one, but in better condition 🙂

At the time I didn’t like the resulting photo and just left it there in my catalogue, but on looking through some of my older stuff, I came across it again and decided to try processing it, after deciding on using a sepiatone process, I still wasn’t entirely happy, then I realized what was bothering me, it was the buildings in the background that showed in the upper portion of the photo, after judiciously cropping that out I was left with an image that I was more pleased with  🙂

Sometimes speed and efficiency can let images that are good slip away, simply because what needed to be done was to let the pixels age, and your outlook on the image mature.

Click on the Image for a better view in the Gallery, along with other Sepia-toned images in the collection.