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.

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.

A Windowed View

When the new owners of the Central Garage building began their renovation works, I asked permission to take a few photographs inside the building and also from the roof.  Although I took quite a few, this one always nagged at the back of my mind (I’ve yet to process that set completely).

The front of the building was windowed in sections, and at the time of my visit the windows and their frames had been removed from the eastern wall, this wall has now been remodelled and houses large glass panels, so the view may be similar  🙂

I had originally thought that the new owners would remove the old building and replace it, but they chose to retain the existing steel structure, remove and replace the old wooden and asbestos outer walls.  Although they changed more of the facade than I’d have wished, they retained more of the original building than was expected  🙂

This view shows mainly City Hall, which itself is in danger of crumbling, you can also see part of the ACME building, and part of the Victoria Law Courts.  I liked the contrast between the darker interior of the building and the brightly lit City, framed by windowless orifices.

Please click on the image for a better view in the Gallery, this Gallery also holds other photos from around Georgetown, Guyana.

Pink

Travelling in and around Georgetown, many of the larger Canals / Trenches are populated by the lotus flowers, that comes in really handy for a Jhandi!  I wrote a blog post once on the flower, its leaves and some of its uses.

Being accustomed to seeing it (lots of them are seen on my route to and from home) I was somewhat surprised when I saw that some of the ones I saw growing in the “country area” were somewhat “pinker”, or more pink, than those I was accustomed to (it was on a trip to Berbice that I noticed it and then also on a trip to Essequibo).

So for those of you accustomed to seeing the nice pink ones around the Demerara area, don’t be surprised when this image looks more saturated, it really wasn’t my doing  🙂

Click on the image for a better view in the Gallery where you can see other floral photos in the album.

Is this mine?

I’ve often wondered at the diversity, and often strangeness, of the photographs that are taken by people  It is sometimes good to let the mind wander and indulge in thoughts and theorems about what prompts a photographer to photograph a particular subject, or to do so in a particular way, and then to further process it in a particular style.

What makes a photographer chose to render his image in monochrome rather than colour, what made them choose to use the “rule of thirds” or break them?  What would make a person (of relative sanity) walk the streets of Georgetown to take up Street Photography, or spend months in the Rupununi areas of the interior?

As each photographer takes more photographs they tend to develop a style, a particular slant to their work, some are even known for creating Genres, Nikhil says I have a “style” although I find it hard to identify, and I can usually identify his photographs (except where he deviates from his norm)… so… where does this photo fit in?  🙂   I know it’s mine, would you have said it was?

Click on the image for a better view in the Gallery

Airwolf

In my youth, which sometimes seems not so far gone (and the rest of this sentence will tell you how far), I looked forward to Saturday afternoon to see an episode of Airwolf, a television serial about a high-tech helicopter, it starred Jan-Michael Vincent and Ernest Borgnine.  I was recently reading an article about the Harpy Eagle and it was referred to as the “Flying Wolf”, and I thought Flying Wolf = Airwolf.

Of course, I would not have had an opportunity to photograph the “Airwolf” of the Television series, so this blog post is obviously about the Eagle 🙂

The Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) is one of the largest and most powerful birds of prey in the world (one of the reasons it is sometimes called the Flying Wolf), it is a grey bird, its plumage consisting of feathers from slate-black, to grey to white.  They make their nests high up in the canopy of the Rainforest in the forks of the trees, and are a monogamous species, mating for life, they raise one chick at a time, providing for that chick for up to ten months before sending it off on its own.

I’ve had the privilege of seeing a Harpy and its young in the wild, and of being able to view a young one up close (not in a cage in the zoo), they are marvellous birds, with talons that certainly scare me!

I’m not sure which would be scarier, seeing Stringfellow Hawk in a chopper diving towards me or one of these guys swooping, wings pulled back and talons poised…

The Harpy Eagle

The Long Shadows

With the sun far past its zenith and fast approaching the horizon, long shadows are cast upon the ground.   Although I knew that I wouldn’t get what I wanted, I simply had to try.  The sun was still a bit too high, and it cast a fiery glow to the edge of the roof, but the shadows created by the posts drew me in and I simply HAD to take a photograph.

In the dirt there are furrows from bicycles or possibly wheel-barrows and scattered across are flower petals from a nearby tree.

Promenade Gardens, August, 2011.  Click on the image for a much better view in the Gallery.

OK, for those of you who have watched way too many sequels and prequels (and even re-makes) of Nightmare on Elm Street, yes, the three “long” shadows did put me in mind of Freddy reaching from the world of dreams and darkness into our dimension.

Alma Mater

Latin: translated literally as “nourishing mother”, a phrase used in ancient Rome to refer to various mother goddesses, in Christianity is has been used for the Virgin Mary, though not so much in modern times.  Its primary current usage is to refer any school, college or university that one has attended and/or graduated from.

For me, my Alma Mater is Saint Stanislaus’ College; I could say my Almae matres are Stella Marris, Saint Stanislaus’ College and the University of Guyana, having attended them as my primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions.

But for me, it will always be “Saints”, there I spent my formative years, my adolescent youth, where I formed life-long friendships, where I had teachers (and a lack of teachers) and memories (good and bad) that refuse to go away.

I had done a blog late last year, on some of the Latin phrases that have stuck with me to this day, if you haven’t read it, it’s not just about my Alma Mater, but about “Monuments

Last year while looking for subjects to photograph for the Deck Project, I took a midday walk with Nikhil towards Brickdam with the very specific intention and aim of taking a few photographs of the building.  During and after photographing it, I was not satisfied, so we continued on down Brickdam to take a few other photographs, one of which I used for that week’s Deck Photo (2011 Deck – Week 13).

Every so often, I go through my older images, and on reaching the photos that I had taken of my Alma Mater, I was moved to view them differently,  One stood out from the rest, but I was still not happy with it as it was,  I decided to try a Psuedo-HDR out of it, I created two alternate exposures in Lightroom, one at -3ev (to retain some detail in the sky) and one at +3ev (although to be honest, I don’t think I really wanted more details in the shadows for this one).  I did the HDR combining and tone-mapping in Nik HDR Efex Pro.  I didn’t really want a coloured image as the final product, so in the HDR processing, I did a conversion to monochrome as well.

Please click on the image for a much better view in the Gallery, unlike most of my black and white images, I placed this one in the Georgetown Gallery.

200

Just over a year I took this photo, I wasn’t very satisfied with it then, but then there was another image that had pulled most of my attention away from that same day.  There’s just something about fishing boats that pulls your attention though, for this image I had wanted to incorporate the rocks, the boats, the heavily clouded sky, try as I might I could not get all the lines parallel, so I went for an image of divergent lines.

This post will mark the 200th post for this blog (I think that counts the “Hello World” post as well.  I suppose if I did a daily photo project and blogged each one I’d be way ahead in count  🙂  For me, its not enough to just post a photo, I want something else to go along with it, some of my thoughts, or insights (or lack of)

There were some little things that I liked about this image; the water pulling away from the area just in front of the rocks, the waves breaking on the lower wall, the two boats at rest and, of course, the clouds  🙂

Be sure to lick on the image above for a much better view in the Gallery.

City Watch

For anyone who has read the books by Terry Pratchett, specifically the ones dealing with the twin-city of Ankh-Morpork, you know about the City Watch, for those of you who have not read those books, I encourage you to try them, Terry Pratchett is a master story-teller and a comic genius.

But this is a photography blog, not a book review blog, and the title of this post has nothing to do with Samuel Vimes or the City Watch of Ankh-Morpork, although now that I think of it, maybe I should have titled the photograph “Vimes” 🙂

Most of us get very few opportunities to rise above the humdrum of everyday life, to stand above it all and, with a calm that belies the hustle and bustle below, just take in the view of a city, our own city, noise-filled, garbage-filled, accident-prone, with a mix of colonial buildings and modern square concrete structures.

Imagine this; from one vantage point, you can see the hub of public transportation, the minibuses and taxis, a landmark eatery, hotel and beer-garden, the seat of government, hotels, churches (including one of the tallest wooden buildings in the world), the high court, one of the largest markets in the country, city hall, the busiest business district in the country, the Atlantic Ocean and so much more.

That is the view from the clock tower at Stabroek Market, and you haven’t even turned around to see the wharves and the mighty Demerara River with its speed-boat traffic, the ferry and the aging but impressive harbour bridge.

Click on the photo below, see it larger in the gallery and imagine yourself in that man’s position.