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.


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Liza and Henry

For some reason, I’m going through my photos from Week two of this year…  in processing this one I had originally intended to leave it in the original colour, but then I opted for a slightly desaturated and warmer image…  I think it works…

I was tagging the image with keywords and was tagging it with “bucket” when the title sprang to mind  –  “Liza and Henry”  🙂


1/200s, f/9.0, ISO 200


Click on the image to see it in the “”Up East” Gallery, along with other eclectic images from that side 😀

The title is a reference to an old song… I remember singing it around a campfire… and no, the song isn’t title Liza and Henry… go ahead google it 😉


Glee and Garbage

It is usually a breath of fresh air to read in the newspapers that some small group of people have embarked upon a “clean-up campaign” along our seawalls; one of the more recent ones would have been the one involving the Ministry of Natural Resources, the EPA (Guyana) along with the Pick It Up Guyana campaign, in the past the Guyana Shines group did a stint, on International Coastal Clean-up Day various NGOs came out in numbers, even the national Football (real football, not that American thing) Team even joined Youths For Guyana on a round of cleaning.

I prefer to re-iterate that cleaning up is an after-the-fact solution, our primary goal should be NOT to litter in the first place, we should be encouraging our peers, and children on a daily basis to do the right thing and put it in the trash!

How hard is it to keep your trash with you until you reach a suitable receptacle (the garbage bin in your yard works marvellously for this) to dispose of it in the right way?

When I take photos along our coast, invariably there is trash within spitting distance, much less within the scope of my camera lens, some of us include it deliberately to make a point, many of us (myself inclusive) try to compose to minimise the presence of the debris and detritus.


When I took this photo two years ago, I dismissed it out of hand as not appropriate for what I was doing at the time, but now, I think it makes a statement.  Why should our children, who look forward gleefully to playing on the seawalls and seashore, be subject to the dangers, physical and health-wise,  of the abundant and widespread disposal and accumulation of garbage on the seawalls?

We shouldn’t have to “Pick It Up” because we shouldn’t have thrown it down in the first place, let us live not for now, but for the future, our children’s future.


Click on the image to see it in the “Streets” gallery

2014 Deck – Week 30

Street photography (next to event photography) is probably the least predictive sub-genre in Photography, and that’s one of the things that draw a certain type of photographer to it.

I was on Sussex Street one Sunday and this car parked in front of an old vine-covered shed/shack caught my eye.  Behind that scene was the old Gafoor’s warehouse (not sure if it is still occupied by them).  I had taken a landscape oriented shot, then thought that I’d prefer more of the building in the background and recomposed a portrait oriented shot when this cyclist pedalled into the frame 🙂


1/400s @ f/5.6, 58mm, ISO200


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery

2013 Deck – Week 14

I remember when…  (I think this line is only used by people who have seen things that may not be current and have to use this line to explain that situation to those younger than themselves… or by a youngster who wants to impress others with their amazing memory – even if some of it is invented)

Where was I?  … oh, yes…  I remember when I rode a bicycle to school, then to lessons, and to visit friends, or to go to church, or just for a joy-ride.  I remember lugging around a heavy chain with a large Union lock to secure the bicycle to a post.

I remember the bicycle I rode to lessons, an old “Big Ben”, or “Steel Donkey”, it was a lady’s frame, so we’d put a wooden bar across to tow others, or just to make it seem more masculine. (Something remarkably similar to the one Nikhil captured here) I remember taking turns with Johnny at towing home Trecia from lessons, even though it was not on my way home.

I remember while courting Maureen (now my wife), I had a “down handle” on a ten-speed bicycle, and we’d ride everywhere… even places I knew I shouldn’t… I remember being beaten with a 2×4 (piece of wood) by a thief try to get that bicycle from me…

I remember riding from home down to South Ruimveldt to visit my friends Andrew, Ian, and then to Durban Backlands to visit Dayal… sometimes just for the ride; and years later I rode to and from UG daily, and I remember leaving UG at 8pm after History lecture and riding down in pitch blackness with Scheme alongside on his bicycle (trying to remember where the potholes were) !

I remember riding to the seawall to work off the buzz of a beer that I drank while (legally) too young, I remember riding from Turkeyen to Bel Air hoping to wear off the buzz of too many beers from a Raymond’s birthday celebration, this was when I was a student at UG, only to stop at Nikhil’s home to ask for coffee before continuing home 🙂

I seldom ride a bicycle now, but I think every child should learn to ride one… it gives a sense of independence, of freedom… of adventure.

The photo that sparked a deluge of memories…


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


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

Tourist Shoppers

Most of my photography from this day (18th July) was of a family gathering in the evening (those photos I’ll save for the family rather than subjecting everyone to them)  🙂  Earlier, I had accompanied the ladies (my wife, my cousin and my sister) into a shopping area not far from the hotel where we were staying, I think the Jamaican vendors on this side of the coast are the most persistent and persuasive vendors I’ve come across, and if you’re not careful, you’ll be walking by a stall and suddenly be inside it without knowing what happened  🙂

I didn’t do much photography in the shops/arcades, but I stepped away from the shopping every once in a while to snag a few shots. The first one I’m not too happy with but I couldn’t let that Schwinn bicycle pass  🙂

This one I believe is of the old Fire Station in Ocho Rios.

Here’s a bunch of thinkers 🙂

A Tourist trap (a more appealing shopping area)

And on the way back I tried a photo of the hotel before entering the gates  🙂