2013 Deck – Week 11

I’m not a Street Photographer, but on a recent PhotoWalk with other members of the Guyana Photographers’ Facebook Group down Regent Street, that type of photography was the primary aim of the walk.

I got a few images that I like, but this one, while not tack sharp was my favourite, there was a loud exchange of words between a few women across the street, then I noticed one of them running down the pavement, quickly snapped a shot  🙂


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with the rest of the Deck Photos for this year  🙂

2012 Deck – Week 45

I was checking out some photos taken by a young lady recently who aspires to become a professional some day, and there were a few images that had a distinct style that I think she can build upon.  One of the images were of some wind chimes, and because she approached the subject from a different perspective than we normally look at wind chimes, it was interesting.  Changing your perspective and shooting an object/subject from a lower or higher perspective, or a closer or wider perspective can alter the impression significantly and lend to the story you are telling.

Changing your perspective need not be only from a physical standpoint, as in where you place the camera in relation to a subject, but also a mental shift in perspective.  I see some things everyday, others less frequently, but they quickly become part of the fabric of life as I know it, yet sometimes its important to look at things with fresh eyes, or to remind ourselves that what we take for granted, others may be intrigued by.

This was taken on a walk through Bourda Market…

PT 938

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery!

Into the Mountains – Part 2

After lunch on my second day in Jamaica, we drove up to Cinchona Gardens, what was once a beautiful Botanical Gardens, a destination for families and tourists, an old Colonial house and out buildings, gardens and ponds, and bamboo copses.  The road up to it is impassable by regular cars, so Cecil’s Safari enthusiasm came out as he tackled the mountain with gusto.

Before even going towards the Cinchona Gardens proper, the view to the right of us as we drove up was very compelling, so I just had to take a few photos in the hope that one would help express what I saw,the tops of the range were obscured by low-hanging clouds:

The Gardens stand in a spot of the mountains that is five thousand two hundred feet above sea level (5200ft), and there is usually a constant “misting” from the clouds, so most everything is wet.  The first steps into the garden proper brings you to some tree stumps of tree cuttings, makes great seats for the weary 🙂

From an upper vantage point, you can see the seating area in the walled section of the garden with a small man-made pond, the sky had begun to clear a bit so that I could get more than just a blanket of gray clouds in the photos  🙂

Alexis stood for quite a while admiring the view of the valley below and the mountains in the distance, he even went as far as shouting out to hear the echo… which he got  🙂

The main building was cordoned off with a “Danger” tape,warning visitors not to go in, I was tempted to venture in, but Cecil wisely told me not to try it, so I satisfied myself with a few photos from the outside.

As the skies were clearing a bit, I took another set of photos of the view into the valley and across at the Blue Mountains, this time I could actually see the tops of the range in some areas.

From the Cinchona Gardens we were to make our way towards the Blue Mountain to visit Whitfield Hall, where people desirous of climbing the peak would start their trek, on the way there as we neared Hagley Gap, we stopped to take photos of and near an old bridge that appears to be out of use.

We stopped along the road to get a few photographs of a beautiful view down another valley, this was probably about 15 minutes outside of Whitfield Hall.

Whitfield Hall is an old House and Coffee farm, it is snuggled beneath some very very tall trees and is such a tranquil spot, we sat and ate the rest of our food before heading back home.

On the way back I couldn’t resist a passing shot of the hills/mountain showing the barbed demarcation of the end of the road, where the cliff drops down to the valley below.

Into the Mountains – Part 1

Veteran Guyana Safari expeditionist Cecil Beharry (CB to his friends), told me to just let him know when I’m in Jamaica, so I told him I was coming down for a family reunion, and he insisted that he take me into the mountains, how could I refuse?

The day after I arrived in Jamaica, he took me and my cousin Alexis (I’m told he is my First cousin Once Removed, although I prefer not to have him removed) on a mountain drive, some of these spots were apparently where he “practiced” for the Pakaraima Mountain Safari in Guyana.  He had just gotten back his vehicle from the last Safari, and we were going to give it another mountain drive  🙂

As it happened, we were on the road near Irish Town when we noticed some strange sounds coming from the vehicle, on stopping and checking (Alexis being a hobby mechanic and Cecil being Jamaica’s Power-steering specialist) it was discovered that there was a leak somewhere, Cecil called his son Craig to come exchange vehicles (a Trooper to the rescue)

I didn’t mind stopping / breaking down in that spot, I got a few photos, my two favourite are below:

With a new vehicle at our disposal (ok, we’ll apologise to Craig for the dents and scratches and the dirt…), we headed onto Newcastle where there was on old colonial army base that is now housed and maintained by member of the Jamaican Armed Forces (restoration work was being undertaken while we were visiting), I’ll share two photos from that location, one of the “barracks”,as I thought of them, and one of the cemetery, I must say that the view from the cemetery was very tranquil 🙂

On the way to Newcastle, we stopped to take in one of the breathtaking views of the hills/mountains, but I was also captivated by the walls along the road, they are apparently built to help retain the earth on the sides of the hills and prevent landslides, in these “walls” are holes which are meant for the drainage of water caught behind the walls, the holes are called Weeping Holes.

From Newcastle, we moved onto Holywell, where there is a camping ground, there were quite a number of youths there camping and playing.   The air is crisp and cool,and the views are pretty:

And if you want to just sit and enjoy the view, here’s the chair:

After Holywell, we went to visit an old abandoned Coffee Mill, from somewhere back in the colonial days.  Some of the building(s) is still intact, and the mill mechanism can still be seen there, what I was impressed to see was the waterwheel that drove the mill, I had never seen one before and I was excited about it, especially when Alexis tried to push it and it actually turned!

There was an archway in the rear wall to access the “Tennis Courts” and to see the building from the side with the water wheel.  I think that archway would make a pretty nice night-time photo  🙂

I realised that this post suddenly had a lot of images, so I decides to split it, so this is it for the first part, we actually left this building and went down to the stream/creek behind it to have our lunch; KFC, stale bread and liquid refreshment (in my case a bottle of Coconut Water)  🙂

Help or Hinder

Guyana’s Traffic Police

Yesterday there was a traffic-jam at the Regent and Avenue of the Republic intersection (mainly because the minibuses were clogging it up), there was a traffic cop standing on the corner just staring, I mean literally just staring at the glob of non-moving, horn-blowing vehicles at the junction.

It was amazing to me that I came down the road heading south and pulled up at the traffic light (I was now at the head of the queue at the light), there were two vehicles remaining in the line to cross over heading west, as well as several in the lane to my right attempting to turn west.  The light being Red I sat and waited assuming that the two vehicles would move along by the time the light showed green.

No such luck!  As it turned green, I inched forward (OK, I drove for about three feet) to see what the position was, the car directly in the intersection had about six to eight feet of space in front of him, and the pick-up truck behind him was about five feet behind, I blew my horn to attract his attention (the car driver, that is) and indicated that he should drive forward a bit so that the traffic in my lane could move along between him and the pick-up truck.

Seems sensible, right?

The police officer decided to finally move from his comfortable spot on the side of the road, indicated to me that I should wait, and when the car had driven up, he waved the pick-up truck forward….

…thereby adding to an already clogged intersection. The intelligence of our policemen and their spontaneous decisions never ceases to amaze me.

The Disappearing Cinema

Partial remains of the Globe Cinema, demolished this year, 2011

It recently dawned on me that there may be only one functional cinema left in Georgetown, possibly only one left in Guyana.  While the television and computers, handheld media players and the internet have certainly impacted on how we watch our movies, the cinema has always had a big draw for people, however the cinemas in Guyana have steadily gone into disrepair and certainly some have disappeared.   While we can place a lot of blame of the modernisation of media viewing, the owners and promoters of our cinemas have to take some of the blame, even when I was much younger, and the cinemas were full of moviegoers, I remember the sordid states of the seats, the persevering smell of urine, and the sound of the rodents running around the aisles.

Starlite Cinema, Pouderoyn, West Bank Demerara. Closed and abandoned

They never did the little things that made you WANT to go to the cinema, why suffer through all that when you could wait a few months and see it in the comfort of your home?  It was the experience, it was the “event” of going to the cinema with family or friends to watch a new (or old) movie in the company of others there to enjoy the experience, the camaraderie, the joy of the big silver screen, unfortunately the experience was not always a good one.  And the cinemas are disappearing, one by one, by one…

The Astor Cinema, still functional as of this year, but attendance makes it hard for the proprietor to keep it up.

I was re-reading an article written by Godfrey Chin on the Rise and Fall of Guyana’s Cinemas, I believe this was part of his “Nostalgias”, and while I am not old enough to know of some of the cinemas or even the movies he mentions, it hits home.  He, of course, goes back to even before we gained our Independence, back to the days of British Guiana, and he brings us into the modern era, where instead of Cinemas modernising to keep up, they just kept going, stagnated in time, except for the titles of the movie releases 🙂

What prompted this blog-post was the sudden nostalgia I got (I am probably getting like Godfrey) when I was processing a photo I took of the partly demolished “Globe Cinema” and an image of the abandoned Starlite Cinema.  Both of those images are included in this post.  As the Astor is the last remaining cinema, I think that I should make an effort to get permission to do some photography in that establishment before it too disappears.

Formerly the Strand Cinema, now the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God

There are at least two other Cinemas that I know of which have been converted into places of worship, it seems to be the thing to do  🙂

Click on each image to see them larger in their respective galleries.