Exposed Coast

Being on the northern coast of South America… I suppose that’s what we have… an Exposed Coast… facing the mighty Atlantic Ocean.  Luckily for us, hurricanes never seem to come close to shore here… Smile


Exposed Coast – 13-0514  |  Canon EOS 60D  |  Sigma 10-20mm  |  2013


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.


The Fourth

Apparently, I took this photograph on the Fourth of July, last year.   I remember taking the photo, but the date doesn’t ring a bell; I only know it was the 4th because the metadata says so.  Metadata is handy, you can tell a lot about an image from the metadata, from the type of camera used, to the focal length, ISO, speed and aperture settings, to a host of other miscellaneous  fields, these days, even the GPS coordinates.  The Canon 60D doesn’t have built-in GPS though, so that wasn’t included.

Across cultures we find that the importance or significance we place upon one thing may not be the same that those who live in another country place up a similar thing.  Take the Fourth for example;  Americans (as in those who live in the United States of America, and not just anyone who lives in the Americas) are very proud of their Independence Day, the 4th of July, it’s a big deal, so much so, that by just saying “the Fourth” anyone in that country knows what you’re referring to.  In Guyana, it used to be the case that our Independence Day passed largely unheralded, with more emphasis being place on Republic Day, or as it is more commonly known here, Mashramani.  That has changed over recent years, but the emphasis is still skewed that way.

I suppose photography is similar, as a parent taking quick photos of their children, the emphasis is centred on the child (most times literally centred in the frame); as a fashion photographer, the subject is the model and the articles being displayed by said model;  as a wedding photographer, the bride better be the main subject or somebody’s not getting paid; I get asked sometimes about my seawall photos, why do I shoot them?, what is it I see that makes me take so many?   I figure I have to be a lousy photographer to be asked what it is in the frame that I’m trying to show.

The subjects of my photos are not always front and centre (hardly ever actually, unless it’s people on Mash Day, or that kind of thing), the subject is often the entire scene; the lines, the textures, the tonal variations, the clash or harmony of nature and man; If a photo doesn’t make an impact on you, just move on; if it made you stop for a second, then it was good, if it made you feel something, anything, whether good or bad, then it was a great photo for me.


Meander – 15-9718  |  Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm  |  Georgetown Seawall, Guyana


Click on the image to see it in the Collection, along with others in the Black and White Gallery

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2015 Deck – Week 40

My Jhandi addiction continues, I just find them visually appealing.  Of course, getting a shot of them that doesn’t look like ones I’ve already taken is getting more and more difficult.

This one was a toss up between this coloured portrait oriented version and a landscape oriented BW processed one, but the coloured one appeals to me on a different level, even though I tend towards the BW because I had originally intended the landscape ones as such because of the textures and contrast in the water / foam of the sea.

I hope you like it.


Canon 60D, Sigma 10-20mm  |  1/125s @ f/8.0, ISO100 (10mm)


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery

2015 Deck – Week 13

As strange as it may sound, sometimes when I can’t find a paragraph or two to express what I want to say, the words come out as a poem…



HOME

The call of the Kiskadee
on a rain-kissed afternoon
The sung sweet melody
of an old Tradewinds tune,
The shout of a passing man,
“Creketeh! get yuh Crawbeah!”
And the woman just behind
singing “Broom ay, broom ay”
Sundays- dressed, in church,
And the Saturday movie night,
A show for the family,
or maybe one with a bit of fright,
The sweet salty scent
of the breeze on the seawalls
A tasty mouthful
of pholourie or egg-ball,
Walking the water’s edge,
feeling sand, feeling the foam,
It’s where I belong,
this is Guyana, this is home.


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

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.


We own

There is much of our country Guyana that I have never seen, and, quite likely, may never see; but I was reminded recently that it is something that is inherently ours, it was not bequeathed to us by God nor are we the only ones who think that we have a right to it.

Venezuela has always laid claim to a significant portion of our country, namely the Essequibo region, and they always rattle their sabres when investors come knocking (or, as they seem to think, snooping).  Suriname also disputes the ownership of a smaller portion, the New River Triangle.  I guess that Brazil has enough land that they don’t bother claiming any from our southern regions, but they are invading us with their people and culture, so that might be a far easier path for us… less painful at any rate – come to think of it, I already prefer a caipirinha to a beer.  Everyone knows that the coastal areas suffer frequently from flooding, that’s just the Atlantic Ocean’s way of saying, it wants it’s piece too.

The great Dave Martins, who founded and lead the Caribbean band “The Tradewinds”, has probably expressed it best in his two songs that point out our pride and possessiveness of what we consider rightfully ours, “Not a Blade of Grass” and “Is we own”.  I can’t express in words enough how much I admire Dave, I grew up listening to his music, I’ve met him several times, and he is still bigger than life to me.  Just in case Maduro didn’t know, Dave Martins is we own!

I’ve seen Guyana from Moleson Creek to Charity, From Georgetown to Lethem, but that is just travelling the main road or trail; there is so much out there to see, rivers, waterfalls, mountains, villages, creeks, animals, towns… to walk through the markets of far-off villages, travel the rivers that wind throughout the length and breadth of Guyana, to listen to the dialects and cadence of chatter in the country, to hear the insects as day turns to night in little-known villages.

OK, enough babbling… I’ve visited the Essequibo coast only twice so far, the first time was in 2008, at which time I visited Tiger Island in the Essequibo River, which I was told is also referred to as the Hamburg, I had a Canon PowerShot S5 IS point-and-shoot camera at the time, but I took photos pretending I was a photographer anyway 🙂  It was overcast and I was never very satisfied with any of the photos, but I was looking for a few for someone today and came across this one which I never really looked back on.

From our sandy brown water beaches to the Rupununi plains… Is we own!  From the minister in government to the vaquero herding cows… Is we own.  From the rivers, great and small, to the mountains wide and tall… is we own!  From the tops of the rainforest canopy the the roots of the mangrove tree… Is we own!  Guyana is we own!


Canon PowerShot S5 IS, 2008


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with many other Black and White photos.

Balance

Balance is over-rated… it’s boring, right?

I mean, eat a balanced diet… where’s the fun in that?  Balance your time between sleep and wake, work and home, business and pleasure…. you get the drift…  keeping the balance is just too hard; of course, going totally unbalanced is not good, not good at all, trust me, I know.

I was out along the seawalls on a midday walk (yes, no one who is balanced would be doing that either!), and I was composing some shots, I normally do not position my horizon in the centre anymore (that was the default position when I started taking photos), but something about this scene made me want to balance the earth to heavens proportion in the frame.

My thought processes often differ from the moment of pressing the shutter-button to the time of processing, and that might be a good thing, at the time of processing, I was looking at the elements and the thought that came to mind was a bible verse… no, I do not normally go around quoting bible verses… but this one many people already know; it is from what we know as The Lord’s Prayer

“… on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10)

I think it fits… in a way 🙂

OK, so I’ve babbled enough nonsense to confuse even myself, here’s the photo:


Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm  |  10mm, ISO 100, 1/200s, f/10


Click on the image to see it in the gallery along with others from the Sewall album