Tree

Georgetown, the Garden City; our fair city, once replete with Victorian and Colonial architecture, dutch built and inspired drainage canals reminiscent of European cities, and tree-lined streets and avenues, now laughingly referred to by it’s denizens as the Garbage City, floods with the slightest rain, governed (I use that word as loosely as is possible) by a city council that was elected two decades ago (although faces have changed, but not through any democratic process that I know of), and, sadly, losing it’s trees through neglect, sabotage, and lack of foresight (or hindsight it seems).

Most of the trees lining our streets predate us, they were planted, nurtured and cared for by colonial masters (and slaves) before our independence, before the Republic came into being, before self-governance and the long road that led to where we are today.

As we have travelled that road through time, our leaders, our people, we ourselves have forgotten or ignored what it was, what it is that makes Georgetown a place we want to live in, to visit, to be proud of…  We as people, are not as welcoming as we should be, we as humans are not as caring of our environment as we should be.

Saving or replanting trees is not THE answer, but it’s a small part, one that is likely to go unnoticed or ignored.

Yesterday, Kamal Ramkarran wrote (on his own family’s place in our past and present):

As clichéd as it is, the lives of the six generations who followed them is the history of Guyana (from 1875 anyhow). All of us from here are, in a very real way, part of the history of this country. The history of Guyana is our own story, whether we know that story or not.

Since we are part of the story then, the story happening around us and through us, it ought to follow that we should make ourselves responsible for its present and future, just as we try to make ourselves responsible for the present and future of our own lives.

What part are we playing?  Will what we do stand the test of time as those trees still standing attest to the work and acre of our predecessors/ancestors?


2013 |  Tree in St Joseph Ursuline Convent compound, Camp and Church Streets.


Technically, the tree is in the portion of the compound now housing the St Angela’s primary school, the Ursuline compound also houses the St Rose’s Secondary School.  Schools once run by the Ursuline Sisters, but were “nationalised” under the PNC government.

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2013 Deck – Week 09

I had never been into the Indian Monument Gardens before, and it seems that the one time I did venture in was when they were doing some new construction on a stage to the western end and had not done any recent cleaning near the monument itself, yet I still think I got a few usable photographs (if you ignore the weeds on growing near the monument and the stains on the base itself)

The monument itself commemorates the arrival of the East Indians to Guyana as indentured labourers, the first arrival being on May 5th, 1838, the first ship being the SS Whitby (symbolically represented in the monument).  The monument was erected in 1988 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of their arrival, a portion of the Merriman’s Mall was appropriated for the Monument Gardens.  (the area bordered by Church Street, Camp Street, North Road and Alexander Street.)

I found very little information in my short research, but it appears that a nationwide competition was held for the design, and after choosing the winning entry the design was made real by an “Builder” from India, the Gardens itself was laid out by two architects, one from India and one from Guyana (Albert Rodrigues).

I chose this angle because it shows some of the supporting structure of the Ship itself.


As always, click on the image to see it 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.

Monochromes – 28th Week of 2010

I never thought that so many people would like my monochrome photographs, but it turns out that many family members and friends like them.  Over the last few years of taking photographs, I have come to realize that some photographs just render better in one monochromatic form or another than in colour.  Most of the time when I post a monochrome photograph it was intended that way from when I pressed the shutter button, but sometimes the coloured version just does not do the scene justice and rendering it in black and white or another form of monochrome like sepia, usually brings out more tonal differentiation and character from the image.

When I used the Canon PowerShot S5, there was a dedicated mode for these types of photographs, and I used it rather than converting after, mainly because, as I have mentioned, I take certain scenes with the full intention of them being black and white or sepia.  When I moved on to an SLR, the Canon Digital Rebel T1i does not have that feature, which is probably a good thing  🙂  Using RAW mode shooting I have found that I get a lot more processing ability, some people call this editing, but I look at it as getting more out of the photograph, the information is there, I’m not adding or removing, just revealing.

Of the four monochromes below, only two were intended as monochromes, the other two just rendered better that way  🙂  Click on them to see them at the site.

Although not a true sepia, I put this one in that category because, well, I had nowhere else to put it I suppose. I used one of those Lightroom presets and did some exposure and fill light adjustments.

Alexander Street, Bourda

This building I will have to revisit another day, there were just way too many vehicles around for a nice wider shot, but the building intrigued me enough that I think this worth posting up.

Camp and Charlotte Streets, Georgetown, Guyana.

Some things attract your attention and trying to convey that in a photograph can be… difficult, at least for me.  This bird was “riding the waves”, standing on that branch and just bobbing and weaving with the rise and fall of the incoming waves.

Riding the Waves

And finally, this scene I had done in a previous post on Georgetown, Guyana.  It is a familiar scene to anyone who has driven along the Clive Lloyd Drive, its been there since I was a little boy, a quaint little cottage amidst some palm trees, while the previous photograph was in colour, this one was taken with the monochrome idea and the result was quite nice.

Clive Lloyd Drive, Georgetown, Guyana

Buildings – Queenstown, Bourda… and Clive Lloyd Drive

Have I been taking numerous photos of buildings recently? Yes I have, and it’s all Nikhil’s fault!  As usually happens, when we take a walk, it’s usually centred around a small area in Georgetown, and what else is there to photograph in Georgetown except buildings? Maybe some trash on the road-corner, but that’s not my style of photography (well, not yet anyway).

Georgetown has a very wide array of “architectural styles”, so you can often go around one city block and come back with a nice diverse set of photographs, while I may photograph the entire structure most times, it is usually a combination of the smaller features that really draw my attention.

Combinations of both wooden and concrete portions are somewhat common to see these days, usually because of “additions” to the original structure, but sometimes it is a deliberate architectural decision.

Even buildings constructed with one type of base material have very appealing little characteristics sometimes.  Something I don’t see too often these days is the use of shingles, especially on the walls of a building, quite interesting to see that, especially when you’ve grown up in either wooden houses (with tongue and groove wood walls) or in concrete boxes with louvre windows like I did.

This blog-post is going to be particularly shot on words, but heavy on the photographs.  I have six photographs of buildings that I wanted to include in this post, all taken in Georgetown, some from the wards of Bourda and Queenstown and one from the Kitty area, on Clive Lloyd Drive.

I am not sure how many residents of Georgetown (much less Guyanese) know where Clive Lloyd Drive is.  It’s that little stretch of road from Vlissengen Road to Sheriff Street running along the Seawall, I think that it becomes the Rupert Craig Highway at Sheriff Street.

Now that I have filled up the space between these two photographs with words, I can now go on to show you the other photographs  🙂  Two are of the “Open Bible Church”, whose “building” is for sale, so it’s not likely to be there for much longer.  One of my goals is to try to photograph some of the more interesting buildings around town before they disappear, and are forgotten.  I have an open list, so feel free to send suggestions, and no, the concrete box with the louvre windows is not that photogenic, seriously!

Open Bible Church, Oronoque and Lamaha Streets
Queenstown, Georgetown
Open Bible Church, Frontal view
The Cottage - Clive Lloyd Drive