2015 Deck – Week 09

This blog is now 5 years old…. it doesn’t feel like it. Today I am feeling somewhat introspective….


 

I am not my parents…

I am not my ancestors…

I am not a representation of one particular political party or the other, of one race or the other, of one ideology or the other…

I am the debris upon our coast, that which is a product of the actions of others, whether deliberate or accidental.

I have been cast upon the shore, faithfully placed or carelessly thrown.

I have been left on my own, to survive or perish.

I may be strong or I may be weak, but mother nature will still prevail.

I may be solitary, or in the company of others…

I am the debris upon our coast.


 


Click on the image for a better view in the Gallery

Message

In the larger picture, the broader landscape, what is the message?

Is there a message in the bottle, or is the bottle the message?

Do we read the message, do we even notice the bottle?


2015  |  Canon 6D, Canon 24-105mm


Click on the image to see it in the Seawall Gallery in the Collection


2015 Deck – Week 04

On a Saturday after work (which is generally after noon) I try to make a stop along the seawall, just to walk, feel the breeze, and hopefully get a few photos in, the harsh sunlight in the middle of the day is generally considered to be “not the best” light for photography…  but for me, it’s the time I have available mostly, so I have to make it work 🙂

I’ve walked past this particular piece of wood many times, but never saw anything I wanted to shoot… that happens a lot to me, but this day, the sky had some nice striations, after squinting and peering at the sky for a while I decided it had enough detail to work with for what I had in mind 🙂


Thomaslands, Georgetown.  |  Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other images in the 2015 Deck Project.


2014 Deck – Week 46

I could have just kept on walking, but while I visit the seawall fairly often, scenes like this don’t occur with much frequency while I am there, and the juxtaposition that I noticed in walking could not be ignored, so I shot it, a few times…

In a small print or viewed small this won’t look like much, I really do have to set this one aside for a large print.

And yes, I did keep it in colour, shocking, isn’t it? 🙂


The Open Temple  –  Kingston, Georgetown.  Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.


2014 Deck – Week 44

Looking for more meaning.

Although I did not intend for this photo to be associated with these thoughts, this is where Fate stepped in.

I have finally gotten to have a series of photographs that I think embodies an idea that I can convey through a collection, and then I had a very short but enlightening (maybe even a little dampening) conversation with Mr Carl Hazelwood, the chief judge at the 2014 Guyana Visual Arts Competition.  He basically told me that while I have “nice” photographs, the ones he sees lack that little something extra that would make it more than a pretty picture… and here in the last two years I thought I had gotten past the pretty picture stage 🙂

This man knows what he’s talking about, and if he says that I don’t make the cut, then I don’t, and I am grateful for that honesty, I may never make that transition, but I will surely try.

I processed this photograph last week (I only had this conversation last night with Mr Hazelwood), and I almost chose a different photo, one more in keeping with my seascape series of recent,  but this one had a few elements that appealed to me a little bit more, and I wanted the diversity for the Deck Project 🙂

This one probably would not hang in a gallery among great works of art, but I ask myself if I would hang this on a wall, yes I would, but would you?


Seashore – Canon EOS 6D, Canon 24-105, 105mm, f/9.0, ISO200


Click on the image to see it in the gallery.

2014 Deck – Week 41

People write all sorts of things in the sands at the seawalls… and beaches worldwide, from Love Letters (Pat Boone sang about this), to drawings, to directions to the nearest Qik Serv, to Hearts with cupid’s arrows through it and the Lovers’ names inscribed, all to be washed away with the next high tide.

Those messages are as transient to us as we are to the timeless sea; and yet, we keep making those markings and the sea wipes them out again.

I snapped a photo in passing this fellow as he used quite a long stick to mark out something in the sand, I have no idea what it was he was drawing, maybe it was a message to an extra-terrestrial ship 🙂


Midday Markings – Kingston Foreshore, Georgetown.


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.

Colour or Monochrome

When film (or plate) was the way to capture photographs, there were many many debates, just like there are now.  They didn’t debate sensor sizes, they debated film sizes (and that had so many I won’t even start on that), and just like many enthusiasts and professionals now debate colour vs monochrome, so it also went back then.

While there were specific films developed for both types back then, in the digital age we are pretty much guaranteed that the camera you buy, whether the one in your mobile phone, compact camera, mirrorless or DSLR camera, it will in all likelihood take the photos in colour, which you can then convert to monochrome (black and white, sepia, etc) in post-process, whether in-camera or in software on the PC.  This changed when Leica developed their Leica M Monochrom, it was the first major brand to produce a high-end digital camera that produced only black and white photographs, and rumor has it Sony is working on a black and white version of their RX 1.  I don’t want to get into a debate myself over the need or desire to have a camera that only shoots monochrome, I can only say that it is unlikely I would ever buy one myself, but that is probably only my wallet talking.

In the genre of Street Photography, there is usually a preference for black and white images, but there are many many great coloured Street Photographs out there, more than you’d think.  Henri Cartier-Bresson’s work in street photography was very definitive for the genre, and all his work was in black and white, he also experimented with coloured film but was never satisfied with the results; of course, he only had access to the types of film available then (the 1950s) and if you look back at coloured prints from those days you’d see the limitations of the coloured film of the time.  I dare say that if he had lived in a later era, he may have at least given the coloured films a chance.

When I first started taking photographs on a slightly more serious basis than just snapshots, I didn’t do much black and white processing, and even when I did, it was more for the novelty than because I knew why it should be done and to which photographs.  Now I do a lot more processing in black and white…

What have I learnt that changed my views?

I’ve learnt that not all photos look good in monochrome, the tonal range and subject matter is very important for an image to look good in monochrome.  Monochrome images tend to showcase textures, shapes and form better, and by removing colour from the image you are left with just the elements that make up the composition, and if those elements are not functioning correctly in the overall composition, it will feel off, or look cluttered.

When used correctly, colour will catch the eye and hold it, this works for some compositions, but for others, that same thing tends to shift the focus of the viewer from the overall composition and have them concentrate almost solely on one portion of the image.

I’m no expert, but this is how I see it; recently I took a few photographs of some Jhandi flags on the Kingston seashore, and I chose two that I liked, and I processed them quite differently, and primarily for the reasons stated above.

This one I chose colour, because the main subject and the focus of the image is the Jhandi flags themselves, the various colours chosen as they contrast with each other, the browns of the sand and the blues of the sky.

The second image I processed in black and white to articulate the relationship between the clouds in the sky with the sands on the ground, the change from dark to light in both the sky and the land as they meet at the horizon, the sharpness of the shadow from the midday sun, and the contrast between the flags on the pole so close to the viewer against what seems to be a smaller post in the distance to the left of the frame.

These are my decisions, they may quite well not be anyone else’s choice.


In the end, these are choices I make in how I express myself artistically now, it is not how I did it a few years ago, it may not be how I do it five years from now.

Click on the images to see them in their respective galleries.