Changing Roles

There are lessons to be learnt from our children, if only we could be as open and as innocent as they are, this world may be a better place.

Recently, the Sunday School program planned (although I use that word loosely in their case) a pageant for the Christmas Season, to perform the Nativity after the Sunday morning mass.  We showed up on Saturday for what we thought was the first rehearsal, with my daughter thinking she would be a shepherdess, only to realize that it was to be the ONLY rehearsal, and that since the girl who was slated to be Mary was absent, they asked Miriam if she would substitute.  Needless to say I was livid, but my daughter was overjoyed to be part of the pageant, and looked forward to playing the part of Mary.

So, her shepherd staff went to Joseph, and we had to ask my mum for an outfit for her (my mother runs St Jude’s Playgroup, and they carry on the Nativity Pageant every year, so the basics for the costume were there) 🙂

The adults who were supposed to be organising the pageant should be chastised (the ladies who actually conducted the rehearsal and executed the pageant were not the original organisers, and they pitched in and did all they could for the children), and ashamed of themselves, but the children who pulled off a last minute pageant that went almost flawlessly, should be more than proud of themselves, and their parents should be equally proud of their children, I know that I am proud of them, especially my daughter (I am very biased) 🙂

2012 Deck – Week 49

As Christmas draws near, I think it is important to remember the real reason for Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, who came for one reason and one reason only, to save us, unworthy humans, whose faults and failures make life the interesting journey that it is.

Probably the most quoted verse of the Bible is from the Gospel of John, Chapter 3, Verse 16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

He came to teach us how to love and how to live life through love of our fellow man (and woman), and for his teachings, for his belief, he was crucified and died for us, for our sins.

We celebrate the birth of a man who came not to live for us, but to die for us, that we may live, love and be loved!

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery, along with the other images for the Deck Project to date  🙂

Alma Mater

Latin: translated literally as “nourishing mother”, a phrase used in ancient Rome to refer to various mother goddesses, in Christianity is has been used for the Virgin Mary, though not so much in modern times.  Its primary current usage is to refer any school, college or university that one has attended and/or graduated from.

For me, my Alma Mater is Saint Stanislaus’ College; I could say my Almae matres are Stella Marris, Saint Stanislaus’ College and the University of Guyana, having attended them as my primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions.

But for me, it will always be “Saints”, there I spent my formative years, my adolescent youth, where I formed life-long friendships, where I had teachers (and a lack of teachers) and memories (good and bad) that refuse to go away.

I had done a blog late last year, on some of the Latin phrases that have stuck with me to this day, if you haven’t read it, it’s not just about my Alma Mater, but about “Monuments

Last year while looking for subjects to photograph for the Deck Project, I took a midday walk with Nikhil towards Brickdam with the very specific intention and aim of taking a few photographs of the building.  During and after photographing it, I was not satisfied, so we continued on down Brickdam to take a few other photographs, one of which I used for that week’s Deck Photo (2011 Deck – Week 13).

Every so often, I go through my older images, and on reaching the photos that I had taken of my Alma Mater, I was moved to view them differently,  One stood out from the rest, but I was still not happy with it as it was,  I decided to try a Psuedo-HDR out of it, I created two alternate exposures in Lightroom, one at -3ev (to retain some detail in the sky) and one at +3ev (although to be honest, I don’t think I really wanted more details in the shadows for this one).  I did the HDR combining and tone-mapping in Nik HDR Efex Pro.  I didn’t really want a coloured image as the final product, so in the HDR processing, I did a conversion to monochrome as well.

Please click on the image for a much better view in the Gallery, unlike most of my black and white images, I placed this one in the Georgetown Gallery.

2012 Deck – Week 17

Fortunately for me, during the 17th Week of the year (or starting it, more precisely) was a mass celebrating the opening of the 56th Plenary Meeting of the Antilles Episcopal Conference in Guyana.  Months prior to it, I was asked to help cover the event photographically, specifically the group photograph of the Bishops attending, while I usually don’t do portrait photos, I finally acquiesced to give it a try, and was permitted to call in some help.

I was fortunate to have helping me, for the mass coverage, four other photographers, who volunteered their time and expertise; Troy Parboo, Fidal Bassier, Derek Rogers and Joseph Lewis.  I was truly glad for their assistance as I don’t do “people” and event photography too well, Troy and Fidal have had much experience in these areas and truly came through for me, and Derek Rogers has covered many events for more years than the rest of us combined, he also did my Wedding 🙂  Joseph came with less experience but much eagerness and a good knowledge of the proceedings that was invaluable.

It was agreed upon beforehand that the clergy of the church would prefer to have very few people “gallivanting” around the upper walkways, so I volunteered to be the one doing the running around (okay, I hogged it!)

This week’s deck photo I chose from that set.  After taking a group photo of the Bishops, I ran across the road, hurried through the church and scampered all the way up to an overhead walkway that allowed a very high vantage point (Bishop Francis had expressed a desire to have a photo from up there after I had mentioned the view).

Although I have a liking for many of the others that I took, I chose this one for the Deck, it shows the High Altar of the Cathedral from above, with all the Bishops, Monsignor, Priests, Deacon and Altar Servers.  It also shows a bit of the “Our Lady” altar behind, the passage (to the left) that I took around the altar and the pipes of the old Pipe Organ on the right.

Click on the photo for a better view in the Gallery, also in the album there are a few others from the event that I chose to share.

Ma

Mother Church

I can’t speak for others, I can only speak for myself, and I want to mention how I remember someone who died this morning.  To me she was always Ma Cheong, not Mrs. Cheong, or Aunty Martha, but Ma Cheong.

For as long as I’ve known her in our parish community at the Cathedral, she has been a mother to many, her home (not her house) was always filled with young people, her children.  Whether they were her own flesh and blood, adopted, fostered, or just happen to be there as friends, church member or passing through, she treated all the same.

Although she may never be immortalized in stone, she will live on in those she was a mother to, her ideals, her thoughts, her wisdom will shine through those that she imparted them to.  To all of her children (and there are many of us who counted ourselves among them) I extend my condolences.

Like the statue of Our Lady that survived the fire which destroyed the original cathedral and now stands proudly at the Entrance to the current cathedral, I say to you her children and anyone who has known her, stand proud to have known and to have been loved by Ma Cheong.

...
Please Click on the Image to see it larger in the Gallery.

2011 Deck – Week 13

Another tough week, one day of actual photography, and even that was “forced”.  Yesterday, another blogger whom I follow, Bob Zeller, posted a blog along the lines of an award for “Versatile Bloggers”.  While I don’t see myself that way I was very honoured to be included in the company of he other bloggers in Bob’s List, if you get a chance check that out, quite impressive.  I will follow this up in my next post;  hopefully, I can be as magnanimous as Bob was  🙂

This week’s Deck photo was originally to be of my Alma Mater, Saint Stanislaus College (a High School actually), but I was more taken by my images of the church that I attend.  They are both on the same street, Brickdam, and Nikhil and I walked it looking for things to photograph.

This is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, seat of the Bishop of Georgetown, His Lordship Francis Alleyne OSB, and is commonly referred to as Brickdam Cathedral.  It is the central church of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Guyana and my parish for all of my life, although I now live outside the geographical area of the parish, we still attend mass there.  It is bordered by Brickdam, Hadfield Street, Camp Street and Pollard Place, the current concrete structure replaced the original wooden structure that was destroyed by fire decades ago.  Although it is not photographed as often as the St George’s Cathedral, it has its own appeal and beauty.

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Some people may notice, while others may not, this image, while not a true HDR image (I only used one exposure) was processed in Nik’s HDR Efex to get the most out of both the clouds and the building, I tried to be as subtle as I could without losing the detail that I wanted.

The sojourn continues

I had first created a Sepia album when I frequently uploaded to WebShots (I slowed down because of their whole “captcha” usage for putting comments, too many people complained), and I had called it Sojourn in Sepia, I like the alliterative title.  As I gained confidence in my photography I found that I was taking more and more images geared toward monochromatic post-processing, so the sojourn continues with this one that I took last week.

The latest addition to the Sepia album is one I tried  on a walk down Brickdam, I was standing back waiting for Nikhil to take some shots when I looked up and noticed this stair and landing framed by the trunk of the tree.

On another note, all along I’ve been using the WordPress.com as the main blogging address, and I’ve also been using the sub domain as a forwarder although it wasn’t being treated as a full sub-domain, today I made it into a fully applicable sub domain, so all the blog address are now blog.themichaellamcollection.com addresses with sub-folders etc.  The sojourn continues.  🙂