Sons of Stribog

For most people who have followed my photography for any time, they know that I have a penchant for seascapes, and especially for high contrast black and white images of those scenes. This one falls right in to those. As a matter of fact this one is the latest addition to the ongoing Oniabo series of such images.

This was taken with the Canon 60D using a Sigma 10-20 ultra-wide angle lens, this combination was my favourite; I had gotten quite attached to it, quite familiar with the ultra-wide aberrations that I could use to advantage, and I even became quite fond of some of the softness I got from multi-layered scenes.

My processing is by no means unique, and I have no secrets about it; this one was cropped ever so slightly to adjust for the horizon, it was processed in Lightroom for brightness, contrast, texture, etc., then I took it into DXO’s Nik Silver Efex for the final black and white treatment, using a High Structure harsh approach with some localised adjustments in the sky and near the koker (sluice), with a red-filter applied for the darkening of the sky. Nothing was added or removed (aka Edited), just processed for the final look.

Sons of Stribog – 20-7135 | Abandoned Koker, Lusignan, East Coast Demerara, Guyana. 2020

…the winds, the sons of Stribog, blew as keen daggers.
The earth groaned, the waters thickened, a pall of mud
lay over the fields and the very folds of
Igor’s standards shook in agony.

The Tale of Igor’s Campaign

Those kokers that just sit there off the shoreline always fascinate me, they remind me that our shoreline was once further out, and that mother nature (or the Gods, whichever ones you care to blame for it) has reclaimed it. The quote above is from a Slavic poem, the mention of the winds, the Sons of Stribog were synchronous with the look of this image, with the seemingly forceful dispersal of clouds by the winds. Weird associations and thoughts often happen with me 🙂

Click on the image to see it in the Black and White Gallery, along with many other images there. Keep Shooting!

Declaration

This one has been sitting unprocessed since 2020. Its one of those image that I took, likely seeing some potential, than when reviewing initially, decided to leave it alone for the time.

For me its one of those obvious images, it is what it is, some graffiti on the seawall, nothing more, nothing less.

But, in retrospect, and maybe because of how I feel now, I can see it differently, or maybe I’m just seeing now more clearly, what it was that drew my attention in the first place.

Its a very public declaration of the love of two people, maybe expressed by only one of them, or by both, who knows? It represents a moment in time, maybe a time of deep affection, a time of a firm conviction, a time of life and love.

Not everyone feels confident expressing their feelings publicly, and each of us have our own ways of expressing ourselves, whether its our feelings or our artistry.

Annandale, East Coast Demerara, Guyana. 2020

Today marks three years since my father died. I don’t really like to mark the day, this was just somewhat of a coincidence, I was processing this image yesterday with intent to post today, and my phone reminded me this morning of the event. I prefer to celebrate the other days that mean more to me, his birthday, father’s day, and the many other days through the year. He was not a man to express in too many words how he felt, but through his actions, there was never a doubt.

Don’t be afraid to express yourself; whether through words, through actions, or through your art.

Keep shooting. Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other Seawall images.

After one time, is another!

After one time, is another! I grew up hearing this phrase, usually from my mother or grand-mother. I figure it must be a Guyanese saying, I can’t seem to find it online in any other writings. I think the basic meaning is “What applied yesterday may not apply today (or tomorrow)”

I had taken this photo in May 2020, which was a relatively short time after the COVID-19 Pandemic had struck in Guyana, the mask mandate was in force but many were still skeptical about the whole thing, in the countryside you could find many who didn’t believe it existed.

In terms of Street photography, it takes me several decision making moments to actually take photos like this, up close, and with very identifiable people (um, relatively speaking), once decided its a no-brainer, most times the shot is worth it. Afterwards, in processing, that decision still weighs heavily on me, I am never very confident in sharing many street photos, there’s something vulnerable about them that causes the hesitancy. Many a time, I’d look at the image and decide not to share, then after revisiting some time later (often years later), decide to go ahead; I figure there’s a right time for some things, and now feels right to share this one.

Half Chicken Chow-Mein! 20-0682 | Shot with DXO ONE Camera

If he had shown up at the restaurant looking like this only a few months back, the reaction of the owners/staff as well as patrons would have been quite different, but this was now the new normal. A tied handkerchief or bandana instead of the then-costly recommended N95 masks, and top it off with sunshades and a cap, in 2019 that would have screamed “Bandit”, in 2020, just someone trying to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines and get served his order of a half-chicken chow-mein.

After one time, is another!

Keep shooting, and click on the image to see it in the gallery with other Street photos.

Checkout

Sometimes even images I select in a seemingly random way often tend to have a theme of sorts running through them. I was processing these and uploading, when I noticed a theme of sorts, or maybe I was just stretching it 🙂

I took these in 2020, for us that would have been considered first wave COVID-19 I suppose.

Vendor – 20-0836 – Avenue of the Republic, Georgetown, Guyana.
Shot with DXO ONE
Purple Power Defence – 20-0838, Water Street, Georgetown.
Shot with DXO ONE
Brazo’s – 20-0840 – Water Street, Georgetown
Shot with DXO ONE
Checkout – 20-0832 – Wonderful Shopping Mall, Good Hope, ECD.
Shot with DXO ONE

Time to checkout, click on the images to see them in the Gallery along with other Street Photography


Lamaha Canal Koker

Koker at Lamaha Canal – 20-7271

Maybe because of the narrowness of Water street at this point, or for some other reason, this Koker stands out, alone across the canal, I’ve known it for most of my life, passed it many times, even photographed it from a distance a few times (from High Street), it was only when I was actually walking here (its a lonely area, so its not something I’ve done before) that I walked past it and noticed that to the south of it there’s actually a smaller Koker alongside a pump station.

Koker and Pump – 20-7287 – at Water Street, Lamaha Canal section

According to the koker / pump attendant, there are actually multiple waterways, not just the large Canal we usually see, and the kokers were used together to control the flow. This older one does not operate anymore, its been broken and not repaired. The pump was in working condition, the attendant was happy to talk to us and explain things.

Attendant – 20-7289

The jobs the koker / pump attendants do are quite important to a city like Georgetown, which lies about 6 feet below sea-level, often we see flooding and blame them (the attendants), but its not always just their fault (sometimes it is), our city’s drains are usually clogged with trash from our very own citizens, or overgrown with weeds, and I’ve recently seen the works by our very own government who filled in a large drainage canal (which had gotten quite clogged over the years) to make walkways, or more like a promenade.

Our drainage system was developed way back in colonial times under the Dutch and British, and the capacity was calculated to accommodate certain types of rainfalls, today we have a lot more rain, and it seems a lot less drainage, but sometimes, aesthetics are more important to those in power than the practicalities of daily life. (just my opinion)


Supermarket

Supermarkets are usually very busy places, especially during the hours I can shop in them.  During this time when people are trying to practice social distancing, its probably not surprising that I can actually get shots that are not too “busy” 🙂

Wet Floor – 20-0812

Cleaning (and hopefully sanitizing) the shopping environment.


Chill – 20-0810

What caught my attention here was the slight distortion that the cold frosted door caused to the image of the man there as opposed to the clarity of the man beyond the door.


Packing – 20-0822

Tilted images are not my thing, but sometimes they are necessary and sometimes they work.


20-0801

Some people can’t leave their children at home, so it becomes necessary to take them into potentially dangerous areas.  Who would have thought that we would ever describe a supermarket as a potentially dangerous area…


Inside supermarkets are not easy to shoot, at least not for me, the lighting is not optimal, being relatively low light, especially in narrow aisles, the diversity of images may not be as ideal as out on the streets, and the space tends to be cramped, luckily, these allowed for some space due to a sparsity of people. 🙂

As you might notice, there is no prevalence of masks, not because Guyanese are conscious of the actual dangers of that, or the possible benefits, but because its not part of our preventative measure, just like staying at home isn’t….

The WHO recently reiterated its position on who should wear masks and when, as always, its about educating ourselves on these things.

Click on the images to see them in the Gallery along with other photographs “In the Streets”.


Around the Block

Yesterday I decided to literally take a walk around the block, just to see how the COVID-19 and its repercussions might be affecting the neighbourhood (my work neighbourhood, that is).   So as not to waste the opportunity, I walked with my DXO camera as well.

As street photography goes, nothing great, but a few decent ones 🙂


20-0782

You probably can’t see it, but in that vendor’s section is some Nenwah Husk, used my many a Guyanese as a body scrub.


20-0783

Being the lone Chinese walking around I kinda attract unnecessary attention, this lady kept a close eye as I walked by; good thing I didn’t sneeze or cough.


Ras – 20-0785

This rastafarian on crutches carefully made his way along the pavement, but was very observant of all the stalls he passed, might have been looking for Nenwa. 🙂


Mango – 20-0786

In her hand is a bag of sliced green Mango, I can only assume that maybe it also had “loud pepper and salt”


Gyaff – 20-0787

Almost as if COVID-19 were not on our shores, these gentlemen were busy “gyaffing” and the topic as I passed was all politics, aka GECOM-20


Less people than normal during midday, but still enough, and as you can see, not much social distancing occurring.

Click on the images to see them in the Gallery along with other images “In the Streets”


The Mask

Depending on where you source your information from, some places are saying that wearing masks will help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease, some are saying the masks won’t help prevent you getting it, but if you have symptoms, then you should wear a mask in public…  regardless, in some places in Guyana, masks are starting to appear with more frequency.

Before I myself am sent into lockdown, I think I’ll keep trying to capture street scenes.


Packing – 20-0736

Many supermarkets, staying open to supply us with our necessities, are mandating that their staff be masked, some are assisting with sanitisers as you enter, one I went into even gave me a mask to wear while in their store.


Inspect – 20-0753

Taking no chances, this Chinese man masks up in the market, probably getting some fresh produce for his restaurant. Some Chinese restaurants have taken to doing Take-Away only, through a window, helping to limit exposure while still serving their customers


Unpack – 20-0756

At a shopping “mall” –  even though this isn’t the sharpest image, I’ve always found that for Street Photography, the story matters more than the technical perfection of the image.


Packing – 20-0758


20-0777


Take every precaution possible.  Be informed, beware of fake “cures and remedies”.

Tech giant Google has created a COVID-19 Information and Resource page.

And the World Health Organisation (WHO) is a trusted source of anything health related, including COVID-19, Keep checking their page for Updated information and guidance; here’s a link to their COVID-19 Advice page.

Please desist from spreading via social media (especially WhatsApp, unconfirmed data or things you’ve heard; be informed, be safe, be responsible.

Click on the images to see them in the Gallery, along with other images “In the Streets”


More from Mon repos

In my previous post, I showed what would have been my “select 5”  images from a walk in Mon Repos Market, select as in those I’d choose to enter into the VISIONS Exhibition 2020 (were I to submit).  Today I’d like to share another five images from that walk.

Any place where people are involved with activities of interaction or even just on the move, are places where you can find a treasure trove of Street Photographs  🙂


Easy – 20-0685

Some people make shopping look fun, getting a smile on the face of someone fetching several bags, priceless 🙂


Outer-Roast – 20-0691

These guys are using a blow-torch to sear the outsides of the poultry, never saw this before.


Greens – 20-0693

One of the few that I felt should be left in colour.


Mon Repos – 20-0695

The dynamics around this stall caught my eye, not sure I got what I wanted but I got a decent one either way 🙂


Shade – 20-0711

This lone young girl at this stall right at one of the exits also caught my eye, another angle that I took was better, but the image quality was not, so this one works 🙂


Click on the images to see them in the gallery along with other images “In the Streets”

 


My Rest

With unrest in town since the General and Regional Elections as well as less people in town due to the COVID-19 arrival on our shores, I had a Saturday morning off, and went into the Mon Repos market for a short walk.

Mon Repos is a village on the East Coast of Demerara, not too far before the large Lusignan Village.  Saturday is Market Day at Mon Repos, and while I’ve walked in there a few times, this time I think I came away with a few good shots.  whilst processing them, I couldn’t help but think that if I were submitting images for this year’s intended VISIONS Exhibition 2020, I might actually choose from these.  In that spirit, I went through the ones I had earmarked as keepers and chose five to share,

VISIONS allows  photographers of Guyanese descent or even non-Guyanese who live and work in Guyana, to submit three to five photographs; the photographs should be chosen with a theme in mind, a theme of the photographer’s own choosing.  The submitted photographs are then collected  by the curator (or curatorial panel) and viewed together as an entire collection of images from a variety of photographers, and naturally, there will be a variety of genres as well as themes.  From this collection a narrative (or narratives) emerge, and it is this narrative that the curator works towards telling with the images chosen for the purpose.

Since it isn’t a competition, many excellent images are not included, but be assured that all those that are used are not only well suited to the narrative, but are also exemplary works by the photographers who submitted them.


Packing – 20-0687


Lighter Side – 20-0690


COVID-19 – 20-0697


20-0700


Sharp – 20-0717


I’m not much of a Street Tog (photographer), but these would be my picks for VISIONS is I were submitting.  Quite a switch from  my usual seascapes 🙂

To see them in the Gallery “ In the Streets”, click on the images, you’ll see them there along with other images in that Gallery.