2013 Deck – Week 52

Skies above and oceans below,
Soar above the tethered boats
Down winding creeks and rivers brown,
Past piers, docks and abandoned forts.

Wind beneath my outstretched wings
Sun upon my feathered spans
Gliding, soaring, questing far
Over seas and distant lands.

See upon a curved horizon
Tree-lined coasts, and wave-swept beach
Flying high above ocean’s blue
Soaring forward, to sometime reach

A land with trees laden with fruit
Ponds and lakes with fish aplenty,
Seeking always rich lands afar
Always knowing, there will be many.

Returning home, back to my shore,
To mangrove clumps and fishing boats,
To fly along the creeks that wind
And from its waters, slake my throat.



Click on the image above to see it in the Gallery along with the entire collection for this Year’s Deck Project!

2013 Deck – Week 27

Getting the subtle colours out of a sky opposite the now setting sun isn’t easy…. but I think I caught this one at the right time…

In the distance is a Koker and boat offsetting the foreground rock, the rock shows some of the warm light of the setting sun coming through the clouds to the back of me.

I often think to myself that if I keep revisiting the same spots then I’ll not find new photos to add to my collection, but although I do come away with many similar photos that often never see the light of day, I do get one or two that are different and worth sharing 🙂

Canon 60D  |  Sigma 10-20mm  |  10mm, 1/60s, f/5.6  |  Lusignan, E.C.D, Guyana


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery with the other images from this year’s Deck Project.

2013 Deck – Week 20

I was processing this image as a part of another long-term project that I’ve been doing; Seascapes, but I decided that I would also include it into the Deck Project as it turned out so nicely 🙂

The water was lapping around the larger rock seen here, the tide was on it’s way out, and the sand/mud could be seen at the rock’s base when the wave had receded.  The waves seemed fairly predictable, coming in, swirling past the rock and then receding, so I set my self and waited for it, when it came in, it came a little harder and faster, and I involuntarily jerked backwards a bit and the shot actually came out at a bit of an angle, so I had to crop back to straighten the horizon.  I did have others that I could have used, but this one came out nicely, in terms of composition and the way the water was.

The skies were just how I like them recently, fairly dramatic, nice variations and with a fair amount of detail that I knew I could eke out of the RAW file.


Canon EOS 60D  |  Sigma 10-20mm  |  1/500s, f/14, 10mm  |  Rotational crop


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery

On the move

Normally I try to process my images just to get them to that stage that I like, my personal preference… so theoretically, not too much processing, just adjusting the sliders a little here and a little there…  it works for most images.

This particular image I knew that I would most likely process it in monochrome, but while making my Lightroom adjustments I felt that I wanted a little something extra out of the image….  I processed it with one aim in mind after that… to get as much detail out of that stream of clouds as I could… I even carried it into Nik Silver Efex to give it that extra structure that I was looking for…..  It even has a slight selenium tone over it.

Did I overdo it?  Some may say so, but it’s what I was looking for 🙂


Canon Rebel T1i  |  1/400s 18mm f/13


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other Monochrome images.

2013 Deck – Week 10

My priorities in life must most definitely be askew, since I seem to have less time for photography than ever before…  But even if I have to take a photo of the same thing every week, I will finish this project  🙂

As I was driving along the seawall, I noticed the white-capped waves as they rushed to shore and thought to just stop and catch a few.  It was a bright afternoon, but lacking any fancy filters or gadgetry I thought that I’d just bring out the focus of my intent in post-processing.

I used an orange filter in Post-processing to deepen the hue of the sky and emphasize the white caps of the waves.


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.

A walk on the beach

A few Fridays back, I joined a few other photographers on a walk down to the large jetty (pier/groin) that marks the end of the Kingston seashore and the beginning of the Demerara River mouth.

As with all walks with photographers you go hoping to come back with a good image, or even a great one, yet when I downloaded my haul I was very disappointed, maybe I was hoping for too much.

Does this mean that the walk was not a success?  No.  It was what it was… a walk on the beach.  To be with friends, people with a similar pursuit, and enjoy the conversation, the breeze… that was enough.

All the photos were not horrible, but not jumped out at me, yet I decided to process at least one to make a show of reaping something from the toil of the harvest.

As I look at the image I processed, I wonder if this scene will get worse or better with the development of the new Hotel on the seashore.


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other Seawall related photos

Pro – defining and refining

Twice in recent times, I’ve been accused of being a “Pro”, as in a Professional Photographer, and both times I’ve been taken aback by it.  Me? a Pro?  Surely they don’t think so!

The first time was on a public discussion on the Guyana Tourism Authority’s Facebook page where we were discussing their Photography Competition, the unfairness of one of the “rules” and the general direction of the competition, the individual calling me a Pro thought that because I was a known name in Photography in Guyana I should not be questioning the rules of the competition (open only to amateur photographers), and stay out of it.  I humbly submit that I am not a known name… stop ten people on the street and ask them if they know Michael Lam, and they’ll all probably ask “Who?”  In the small, but growing, Photography world locally, yes, my name is known alongside those of Nikhil Ramkarran, Dwayne Hackett, Fidal Bassier, Ryan Dos Santos, Amanda Richards, Roshanna Mahadeo, Compton Sarabo, Vishnu Persaud, Philip Williams, Avinash Richard and countless others (sorry if I missed anyone).

The second time was in a newspaper article that covered the recently concluded Guyana Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition, in which I gained the Bronze Medal in the Photography category, the reporter referred to me as “Pro photographer Michael Lam”, again I felt that it was a distinction I could not accept or live up to.

Who is a Professional?  Generally you need to meet certain criteria to be a Professional:

“Expert and specialized knowledge in field which one is practicing professionally” I don’t possess that knowledge, certainly not to a degree to be teaching it or express an “expert” opinion on it, so that one is out.

“Excellent manual/practical and literary skills in relation to profession”, same as the first, not me!

“High quality work in Photography”, OK, if it’s good enough for the National Art Gallery at Castellani House to exhibit, then I suppose I have to acquiesce to this one

“A professional is an expert who is a master in a specific field”, definitely not me, oh no!

Let’s get specific to a Professional Photographer:  A professional photographer uses photography to earn money; amateur photographers take photographs for pleasure and to record an event, emotion, place, or person.  I have a day job, I’ve always described myself as a Photo-hobbyist, and I still see myself that way.  Photography isn’t my primary income, if it were I’d be starving.  Have I made money off of photography?  No, I spent more than I made.   I’ve been fortunate to have some of my images licensed for use in a few calendars, I’ve also had a few images sold for display, does this make me a Professional?  Simply because I’ve had some income from my hobby?

I have to admit, that this view was the one I had originally taken of Professional Photographers, those who have sold their services or products, so now I fall into that category, but I still can’t see myself as a Professional.

I look at Robert (Bobby) Fernandes, whose years of experience and his natural Photographer’s Eye, can capture a scene with a certain “Je ne sais quoi” that tells you its a great photo, and I think that’s a Professional!

I look at Delano Williams, who has been doing portrait and wedding photography in Guyana for many years, and I think that’s a Professional!

I remember Mark Yhap, who took portrait photos on Camp Street, he used SLR film cameras and light meters, and had everyone wanting their photos looking ethereal because of a “soft lens” that he used, and I think that’s a Professional!

I look at Dwayne Hackett, one of the only trained photographers that I know of, who does spectacular work for everyone from Corporations down to studio portraits, and I think that’s a Professional!  He knows more about lighting, depth of field, and most everything else, than I ever will.

I look at Fidal Bassier, who has taken wedding photography and portrait photography to a level Guyana has not seen before, and I think that’s a Professional!

I look at John Greene, who in a short space of time has carved out for himself a space in the Portrait photography world and is steadily expanding his repertoire, and I think that’s a Professional!  I certainly don’t have that business sense or attitude.

I look at my friend Nikhil Ramkarran, Gold Medal winner in the Photography Category of the Guyana Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition, whom I always thought “never had an artistic bone in his body”, but who read and looked at every single thing he could find about Photography and Photographers, and tutored himself (and me along the way) in the art of photography, and I think to myself that’s a Professional!  You could ask him almost anything on the subject, and you’ll not only get expert knowledge, but an expert opinion.

Do I rank with these people, or with so many others in the field now?  I am not sure, I’m happy to call them my peers, my fellow Photographers, and I am proud to be among the talented people of The Guyana Photographers.  Can you book my time for a portrait shoot? No.  Can you book my time for a wedding shoot? No. Will I ever do that?  I don’t know, it’s just not my thing right now, and I have a day job  🙂

Why do people think I am a professional?  I don’t know and it really does not matter in the long run.  I know a few things about photography, and I’m willing to share what I know, and learn from others in the process, but in the end, I merely shoot what I see, and sometimes people like what I shoot.


To the Photographs in this post…. both photos were taken during the first week of the year, and both were shortlisted along with two others for the first photo for the Deck Project, but I chose another, just because I felt like it.  The ;little icon of the Newspaper is the article which I mentioned, clicking on it will give you the full PDF version from the Newspaper’s website (Sunday Times Magazine).

Both of the photos are technically composites, that is they are High Dynamic Range (HDR) images each using three exposures.  Of the two, the seascape that I titles “The Lonely Sea” is my favourite.  HDRs are one of my favourite photographic techniques, but as with all techniques it can be misused.  Click on the images for a better view in the Gallery, along with other HDR images in my Scenic Experiments Gallery on my site.


Definitions highlighted in bold taken from Wikipedia.org