Most of my photographs from the recent Mashramani parade for Georgetown were of one particular style, but somewhere in the middle of all the fast flying shots that I took I managed to capture one that was quite different from the wide shots of the floats or the half-body close-ups of the revellers
I don’t know if it’s the photography book I have been going through, but for some reason this image stands out from the plethora of photographs that I took on Mash Day.
The book is “Through the Lens – National Geographic Greatest Photographs”, and it contains some truly amazing photographs. I am certainly not claiming that any of mine can class with anything from National Geographic, far from it, but the “feeling” that I got from this one was different from the rest, and I think that it is a better photo for that.
You have to see it large, please click on the image to see it in the Gallery.
For me, this shows a woman lost in the moment; it’s just her, the music, the rhythm, the motion… alone in a crowd, part of the band bu apart from the band all at once. This is “the moment” for Mashramani 2013. I hope you like it.
I know that most people’s Mashramani photos are already out there, and I have to say that this year saw a large increase in not only the amount of photos out there but also an increase in the quality of the photography of the event.
In trying to “cover” the event I take a lot of photos, which means I then have to process those photos. This year I used two cameras, I had a wide-telephoto Sigma 17-50mm on the Canon Rebel T1i body and the slightly longer telephoto Canon 18-135mm kit lens on the Canon 60D body (my favourite lens for the event, the Tamron 18-270mm, has an issue I cannot resolve as yet, it’s slow to focus, which is not good for moving subjects). My favourites from these events have always been close shots rather than wide, but I decided to try to get a variety anyway.
As I expected, my favourites are still the close-up shots 🙂
Click on the Image above for the full Gallery
For a hand-picked selection, click on this Link, I selected my favourites, not necessarily the best ones, just the ones I like 🙂
Mashramani. A Guyanese Celebration that has taken on the overtones of Carnival. The name, derived from an Amerindian word (Arawak) meaning “Celebration after hard work” has been synonymous with Guyana’s Republic Day celebrations for many many years. Although the original activity began in the mining town of Linden (known as Mackenzie back in those days), it spread quickly around the country.
It is probably hard to have grown up in Guyana (or at least one of the towns in Guyana) and not have attended and have memories of Mashramani celebrations, especially the “Float Parade”. But after reading Krysta’s blog post “Mash in Guyana, People going crazy”, my mind did that funny thing where it takes you back to remembering what it was like when you were a child.
Just for the record, her title was a reflection of a popular song for the Mashramani celebrations going back many years, it was written and performed by Rudy Grant and is yet to be replaced as “The” song for Mashramani.
So, back to my memories of Mash (faulty though they may be)!
I won’t go into any detail (since that is very much lacking in my memory) but I’ll tell you what I miss… the Low-bed trailers. I remember there being two very distinct types of “Floats”, one was the very mobile (often times extravagant) personal Float Costume, handled by one man or woman, who expertly maneuvered it down the streets, spinning and dancing and giving a very exuberant display, the second was the low-bed display, a very low (two or three feet of the ground low) trailer with an extravagant display on it, these were usually pulled by a tractor (I even remember a Tapir pulling one once).
These days I see the larger trucks which make seeing all the components of a well-detailed display hard to see. So, I miss the low-bed trucks or trailers that were used back then.
As a photographer on Mash Day, it’s a nightmare, the police have no control over the crowds, who fill up the street where the bands are supposed to pass, and when the Bands\Floats are passing they also walk alongside, in-front and behind, and sometimes even within! In doing so they obscure others from seeing and enjoying the beautiful costumes and other design works in the Floats and trucks. Of course, that also makes it really hard for a photographer to get “easy” shots, but we persevere and press on to get what we can 🙂
I’ve put aside (with Nikhil’s help) a Select set which is about a quarter of the whole gamut, you can click HERE for that, but I do encourage you to check out the whole Gallery by clicking the image below.
This photo for me is very much “Mashramani”, this is Slingshot, a Guyanese singer / Calypsonian, a few years ago he fell of the horse-cart and was injured, this year he was back, undaunted, and back on the horse-cart! Hats off to you Slingshot!