2015 Deck – Week 31

I had mentioned somewhere (might have been Facebook) that as artists (photographer, artist… whatever) we find the strangest subjects to focus our attention upon.

This photo and the way I took it is nothing new, others have done it before, many others will do it again, but I like it!


Canon EOS 60D  |  Sigma 10-20mm  |  1/160s at f/9.0, ISO100

Annandale, East Coast Demerara, Guyana


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

Pigeon on Square

I think using a particular theme as a guide for a period is a good idea, I am keeping it at the back of my mind while shooting, but not letting it dictate the photos in general, so while I am shooting the things I see and like, I am also on the lookout for the thematic image as well.

This one I had driven past and then reversed quickly to get the shot, luckily it was a Sunday so the traffic was a bit light 🙂

Obviously, the square is the window… but those colours!!!  I love the Caribbean for scenes like this 🙂


Canon EOS 6D, Canon 24-105  |  1/400s, f/8.0, ISO 200  @105mm


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery, along with some other “Odds and Ends”


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.


2012 Deck – Week 37

I have a few rules or guidelines that I try to abide by in my photography, and I’m not referring to the Rule of thirds or Rules of composition, I’m referring to ones that will guide me as a photographer and help me to get those photos that I want.

Rule #2:  STOP and take the shot

Many times we regret not stopping, for one reason or another, to take the “shot” that we could see in our mind; we saw it, we thought of how to compose it, maybe even how to process it afterwards, but unless we actually stopped and took the shot, everything else is supposition and a wasted opportunity.

I was driving down the Railway Embankment heading home and saw the colours in the sky developing into what could be a lovely sunset, I saw the clouds low on the horizon and the sun dipping towards them and I knew I had to take a photo of it.

A photo of a sunset, is a photo of a sunset, unless you have something else in the photo that adds interest, then its just a photo of a sunset, and there’s a million of those.  As I was driving down, looking for something to use in the foreground, I remembered the Chimney at Chateau Margot, and quickly diverted towards the main Public Road.  As chance would have it, I ended up behind some slow moving traffic and could not get to the spot as quickly as I’d have liked, but I got there, didn’t try to change lenses, but grabbed what was there and just shot a few exposures to get it.

Although I could have gotten the sky as I saw it earlier, from the road with houses around and utility wires all over the frame, I spent a few precious minutes to get to a spot I felt better about, and I think I can live with that  🙂

Click on the image above for a better view in the Gallery.

A Photo’s Worth

Recently, Dwayne Hackett posted a question on Facebook, looking to garner from others what they thought, “What is a picture worth?”, and of course at least one person used the old adage of “a thousand words”.  I am sot certain of Dwayne was trying to get at philosophical or monetary answers  🙂

For more than a century we’ve heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, usually meaning that a complex idea can be expressed in a single image, but what is a photo actually worth?  My answer was “A photo’s worth is weighed differently by each viewer, it depends on how the photo affects them.”  For me this answer works for both the philosophical and monetary.

The most expensive Photograph on record (as of today) is the Rhein II by Andreas Gursky, which sold at auction last year for $4.3 Million, the cheapest may be that passport sized one you recently got for your American Visa Application 🙂  Which one is worth more?  To the Visa applicant, it is certainly the passport sized one, without which they can’t submit the forms, to an artist, the Rhein II certainly surpasses the “mug-shot” 🙂

While the simplicity and boldness of the Rhein II appeals to my artistic senses, a photo that sold for one-seventh of its value appealed to me much more, that would be Ansel Adams’ “Moonrise”, but that is because of how that photo affects me, and so I find more “worth” in that image.

Last year I dealt with this similarly in my post for the 23rd Week of the Deck Project, you can check it there for reference  🙂

I had taken this photo while on a walk with Nikhil and Sharon, hen I had downloaded the images, I had decided that this one was not going to make the cut, and left it aside, but after Dwayne’s question, something sparked an interest in the image.  I had used ISO500, I had shot into the sun, and I had done this dangling the camera downward simply because I was too lazy to get down in the rocks to properly compose the image, so I wasn’t enthusiastic about it  🙂

I didn’t think the resulting image was worth my time and effort to process, but I went back and while it is grainy from the high ISO and from the subsequent processing, I like it.  It may not have the same impact on a Christian as it would on a Hindu, it would not have the same effect on a North American as it would on someone from the Caribbean, each would decide it’s worth, it’s value as a photograph differently.  For many this may be worthless, for me, it was worth saving, worth the time and effort in processing, and if anyone reading this blog-post realizes the worth in their own photos, then this blog-post was worth writing.

Worth Saving

Some things are worth saving.

A friendship of many years is certainly worth saving, after a while you get to the point where an argument is just an argument, not a reason for “falling out”.

A job is worth saving, especially when there are fewer to find and when you have more to think about than just yourself,

Memories, as in letters and photos, video-clips and newspaper clippings, are worth saving, it is a record of the things we’ve done, things we’ve seen, and it becomes a story to tell our children and grand-children.

In this century (and the end of the last) there’s a great movement to save our forests, certainly worth saving if we intend to continue to breathe.

Endangered species are worth saving, why let a species go extinct because of the actions (or inaction) of another species, especially when we (humans) may be the main cause of their dwindling numbers.

Recently, there’s been a movement (championed by Annette Arjoon-Martins) to save the mangroves that form part of our sea-defence, I certainly don’t want my house washed away because people burn garbage in the mangrove areas, destroying our first line of sea-defence, so that is certainly worth saving.

I think most people may agree with much of what I’ve mentioned, many more will have other things to add to this list, but is a building worth saving?  Is a building that is older than any of us, that has seen more mayors than we have fingers, that is one of the few remaining structures of its kind, that is a reminder of our colonial history worth saving?

Should we let the markers of our heritage, the work of the hands of our ancestors, the beauty of a golden age, fall into disrepair,slowly disappear and be forgotten?

Clink on the photo above to see it in the Gallery, along with other photos from around Georgetown, Guyana.

2011 Deck – Week 23

Sometimes a photo is just a photo, nothing more, right?  Wrong!

Every photograph, yes, even snapshots, tell a story, not everyone can understand the story since the language might be different, the concepts are alien to some of us, and often the message is so subtle that it eludes many of us, but a story is there.  It might be a story in a single sentence, it might be a paragraph, it may even be a few chapters.  It is up to the photographer to tell as much or as little of the story as they like, and it is up to the viewer to read and interpret not what the photographer is trying to say, but what the image is saying.

Art is interpretive, and it is unlikely that two people will interpret any given  photograph in the same manner, similar maybe, they may even draw on each other’s observances and add them to their own, but the act of viewing a photograph is personal, it is between the viewer and the image, and sometimes, the relationship is profound, and others it can be negligible.

Some photographs make an impact and keep you looking back at them and seeing more than you had noticed in the beginning, others you may look at once, and never be drawn to them again, that’s just the way it is.

For many people, their snapshots tell more of a story than the “artsy” types of photos than others tend to like taking.  The story told by a snapshot at a family gathering is more personal than that told by most “professional” photographs, The story is not more nor less important, just different and more personal, and no one should seek to belittle one or the other, that’s just the way it is.

Tree, in June?