Just a post to share a photo of St. Andrew’s Kirk.
This church site on the corner of Avenue of the Republic and Brickdam; to the south of it, across Brickdam, sits our Parliament Buildings; to the east of it, Avenue of the Republic, sits the Magistrates’ Courts. It is reputedly the oldest religious building still in use in Georgetown.
St Andrew’s Kirk, Georgetown, Guyana.
Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm
Click on the image to see it in the gallery along with other images from the Georgetown, Guyana Album
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.
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:
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 🙂
I was quite disappointed with my photos for this week, but I figured that somewhere in there was a photo that I could use for the Deck Project. I did a Panorama, but it was somewhat uninspiring (maybe I’ll look back at it with a different vision later), I had lots of Street Photos that were out-of-focus, badly composed, and uninteresting even…
I did have three photos of the Anglican Bishop’s Residence (Bishop of Guyana), and one I rather liked, but decided not to use, this one I liked and I had thought early on in the process (like when I clicked the shutter) that I’d like to see it in Sepia, so here it is…
Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.
This is one of the very few examples in recent years of someone restoring a Victorian styled building in Georgetown, rather than demolishing it, although it created some controversy, I think that it was a good move in the end, for the City, if not for the Diocese.
A Drive up the Rupert Craig Highway carries you past the villages of Plaisance and Sparendaam on the East Coast of Demerara. My dad had once pointed out that what most people referred to as the “Catholic Church in Plaisance” was actually situated in Sparendaam (this would be the Church of St John the Baptist), and I couldn’t help but notice that the Saint Paul’s Anglican Church at Plaisance is also in Sparendaam.
I suppose that quibbling about the name of the location is minor since the street that marks the division of the two villages is the same street that both churches are on. Now the street, that has name issues of its own…
As with most of the place names in Guyana, they reflect our past colonisations and our change from Colonial rule to Independence, the name Plaisance is of French origin, and Sparendaam comes from the Dutch. Our last colonial masters were the British, when our country was known as British Guiana, and the two main streets running the length of Plaisance were (and to some extent still are) Queen Victoria Road and Prince William Drive.
During the “Burnham years”, one of the changes (some might call it an attempt to eradicate our history) was to rename streets that held “colonial names” to names that were more meaningful to a country emerging from colonial rule and striving for successful Independence. In Georgetown one of the more notable changes was the renaming of Murray Street to Quamina Street. John Murray was the Lieutenant Governor of Demerara from 1813 to 1824, Quamina was a slave involved in one of the largest slave revolts in Demerara during that time (in 1823 actually).
In Plaisance, Queen Victoria Road was renamed to Ben Profitt Drive, and Prince William Street was renamed to Andries Noble Avenue. Ben Profitt was a notable village chairman of Plaisance, and Andries Noble is touted to be one of the best midwives of Guyana, there’s probably very few people over the age of 35 from Plaisance and Sparendaam whom she didn’t help bring into this world.
Although the name changes were made more than a couple of decades ago, the streets are still referred to by many using the original names, although most people who have grown up in the villages know them by both names, So St Paul’s Anglican Church is sometimes referred to as being on Queen Victoria Road, and sometimes on Ben Profitt Drive, likewise it is also sometimes referred to as being in Sparendaam, as well as being in Plaisance..
I started this blog post just wanting to say something about St Paul’s Anglican Church other than “Here is a photo of the church with it’s cemetery as seen through a gate in its fence”, one thing led to another and now the post is almost 500 words long.
Without further ado; “Here is a photo of the church with it’s cemetery as seen through a gate in its fence” 🙂
Click on the image to see it better in the Gallery, along with other images from this year’s Deck Project.
Yesterday I had mentioned the first shot I took with the Canon Rebel T1i (500D) was a photograph of St George’s Cathedral, so I thought that I’s share it here.
Part of the type of photography than many of us practice is trying to establish our images as “art”, and often times I take inspiration from others, I do not COPY from them, although some may look at it that way, that’s their prerogative.
This shot of the St George’s Cathedral will probably never be considered “art”, but it’s a nice shot of the Cathedral, and as I wanted my first image from the T1i to be something special, I had taken inspiration from Dwayne Hackett, whom I consider to be a far better photographer than most locals that I know of. It was very humbling when I later heard from him that he also admires my own work and that of Nikhil.
This shot I tested a new camera (the T1i back then) and a new lens, the Sigma 10-20 Ultra-wide Lens, and as soon as I got the shot I thought to myself, this is what I’ve been missing all along, I never took photographs on the Canon S5 after that day.
Click on the image to see it better in the Gallery.
When I got my hands on the first DSLR that I could say was “mine to use”, you know; not borrowed for a short time, I decided that I wanted the first exposure (or the first frame) to count, to mean something, or at the very least, to be a special photo 🙂
I had just gotten my hands on the Canon Digital Rebel T1i (500D), and I had not too recently been viewing some photos by Dwayne Hackett, and there was one that had inspired me, it was of St. George’s Cathedral, and I decided that I wanted that to be my first shot. As it turned out, even though I tried to time it right, a vehicle sped into the frame just as I clicked, so the second actuation was my photo instead.
I have now gotten my hands on an upgrade, so I thought I’d do the same thing, try for a special photograph. Week after week I pass the St Philips’ Green and think about how I would photograph the Church there (under renovation), but I am usually afraid to stop because of the type of desolate area it is. They had just finished clearing the area close to the road and the Church was quite visible from the road across the cleared land, and the branches from the trees helped to frame it nicely, so that was to be my first actuation on the Canon 60D.
Although Mashramani fell in the eight week of the year, I did not necessarily want to use a photograph from that event, fortunately I had gone on a walk with Nikhil around St George’s Cathedral and I had tried out an HDR, although it has some issues, I rather liked the outcome.
I was a mere four feet from the door, but other than standing in mid-air to get the shot, this was my only option. Although I did some correcting to the distortion caused by the Sigma 10-20mm lens (and the close proximity to the subject), I still got some distortion that I couldn’t get rid of.
My aim with this HDR, was to get the doorway, but also to get as much detail on the inside that I could. Nikhil wanted to go and adjust the mat, but I thought that the angle that it was at worked fine for me.
Oh, and as usual, I neglected to lug the tripod with me, so this was handheld.
Several weeks ago my Deck photo was an exterior photograph of the Saint Barnabas Anglican Church. That church is now in the process of being demolished, but luckily, I got to take some photographs of the interior just before that. I happened to be on the outside of the church doing some more exterior shots with the wide-angle lens when I was approached by another local photographer, Amanda Richards, recent winner of the local chapter of the PAHO Safe Motherhood Photography Contest, she was awaiting the priest to open the church for the Deconsecration Ceremony. So fate stepped in, and I got to go inside the church to photograph parts of it before all the items were removed.
This photograph was pure luck! I was facing the altar taking a photograph, when I saw the area lighten around me, on turning around, a man was opening the doors at the back and just at that moment Ms Marjorie Kirkpatrick walked across the aisle. And there it was, one of my favourite photos of the set.
I called the photograph “Final Entrance Opening”, referring to the doors themselves and to the final service to be held there.
I will do a later blog-post on the rest of photos from that set. 🙂 I promise.
Earlier this week I saw a Facebook Note from a local Journalist, Neil Marks, about the St Barnabas Church being sold, I always find it sad when any place of worship is sold, even more so when there is historic significance to the site (as is the case with most of them as they usually go back several generations).
Nikhil and I took a walk there hoping to find it open, we really wanted to get inside. As it was closed, we settled for taking a few more photos of the exterior from outside the fence. I went to the website of the National Trust of Guyana looking for more information on the site and found that there was pitiful little there.