I know that most people’s Mashramani photos are already out there, and I have to say that this year saw a large increase in not only the amount of photos out there but also an increase in the quality of the photography of the event.
In trying to “cover” the event I take a lot of photos, which means I then have to process those photos. This year I used two cameras, I had a wide-telephoto Sigma 17-50mm on the Canon Rebel T1i body and the slightly longer telephoto Canon 18-135mm kit lens on the Canon 60D body (my favourite lens for the event, the Tamron 18-270mm, has an issue I cannot resolve as yet, it’s slow to focus, which is not good for moving subjects). My favourites from these events have always been close shots rather than wide, but I decided to try to get a variety anyway.
As I expected, my favourites are still the close-up shots 🙂
Click on the Image above for the full Gallery
For a hand-picked selection, click on this Link, I selected my favourites, not necessarily the best ones, just the ones I like 🙂
Although I like to think of myself as a photographer who likes to take Landscape photos, there is not a lot of scope for that living in the city, but I’ve always had an interest in capturing images of buildings, especially old ones that may not survive due to neglect or just continued development (or any number of other reasons)
During the third week of the year, I had an inexplicable desire to take some photos of St Rose’s High School, just before attending a presentation by Hew Locke (an artist with some amazing work), Nikhil and I took a walk around the block, and I got my chance to take a few images.
To emphasize the building more, I used an “orange filter” setting whilst processing, this darkened the sky and made the building more pronounced. Although I did not intend to combine “street photography” into it these two boys strolled past just as we were there.
As always, click on the image to see it in the Gallery
Recently, I was fortunate to have a photo of mine selected and used for the cover of the Caribbean Airlines in-flight magazine – Caribbean Beat (November – December 2012), and they have also used another to accompany an article in the current issue (January-February 2013)
Click on the image above for the full PDF article by Vidyaratha Kissoon along with the accompanying image.
Amazingly it was an image that I liked, but not one that got a lot of attention 🙂 Getting great images during the Mashramani parade is not easy, I’m thankful to come away each year with more than a few that I like.
Here’s the image: Click to see it in the Gallery along with a select set of photos from last year’s Mashramani
Mashramani. A Guyanese Celebration that has taken on the overtones of Carnival. The name, derived from an Amerindian word (Arawak) meaning “Celebration after hard work” has been synonymous with Guyana’s Republic Day celebrations for many many years. Although the original activity began in the mining town of Linden (known as Mackenzie back in those days), it spread quickly around the country.
It is probably hard to have grown up in Guyana (or at least one of the towns in Guyana) and not have attended and have memories of Mashramani celebrations, especially the “Float Parade”. But after reading Krysta’s blog post “Mash in Guyana, People going crazy”, my mind did that funny thing where it takes you back to remembering what it was like when you were a child.
Just for the record, her title was a reflection of a popular song for the Mashramani celebrations going back many years, it was written and performed by Rudy Grant and is yet to be replaced as “The” song for Mashramani.
So, back to my memories of Mash (faulty though they may be)!
I won’t go into any detail (since that is very much lacking in my memory) but I’ll tell you what I miss… the Low-bed trailers. I remember there being two very distinct types of “Floats”, one was the very mobile (often times extravagant) personal Float Costume, handled by one man or woman, who expertly maneuvered it down the streets, spinning and dancing and giving a very exuberant display, the second was the low-bed display, a very low (two or three feet of the ground low) trailer with an extravagant display on it, these were usually pulled by a tractor (I even remember a Tapir pulling one once).
These days I see the larger trucks which make seeing all the components of a well-detailed display hard to see. So, I miss the low-bed trucks or trailers that were used back then.
As a photographer on Mash Day, it’s a nightmare, the police have no control over the crowds, who fill up the street where the bands are supposed to pass, and when the Bands\Floats are passing they also walk alongside, in-front and behind, and sometimes even within! In doing so they obscure others from seeing and enjoying the beautiful costumes and other design works in the Floats and trucks. Of course, that also makes it really hard for a photographer to get “easy” shots, but we persevere and press on to get what we can 🙂
I’ve put aside (with Nikhil’s help) a Select set which is about a quarter of the whole gamut, you can click HERE for that, but I do encourage you to check out the whole Gallery by clicking the image below.
This photo for me is very much “Mashramani”, this is Slingshot, a Guyanese singer / Calypsonian, a few years ago he fell of the horse-cart and was injured, this year he was back, undaunted, and back on the horse-cart! Hats off to you Slingshot!
Many times on a walk in the city I would take a photo of The Lodge, I don’t think I’ve ever used any of the photographs before, and since this week had very slim pickings, I chose one that I took in passing. Actually I had a choice from eight subjects, this one just seemed better than the rest. 🙂
This is one of those photos that when writing about it I feel very silly. I don’t know anything about this place and I’ve seen it all my life. Its one of those places that everyone just refers to as The Lodge, and they give you a knowing look, so I never asked, and was never told. I’m sure those conspiratorial glances were more ignorance rather than knowledge.
So it seems to me that maybe I should ask someone… what is that place and what really goes on in there? Do you think I’ll get answers on the blog? 🙂
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.
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…
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.
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.
Republic Day, a day of celebration, we govern ourselves, no longer under imperial rule; some say that was a mistake, but it happened 41 years ago, sometime before I was born, so it’s all academic to me. Mashramani is the adopted celebration of Republic Day, celebrating a crop that’s harvested, a job completed; or in this day an age, just a big bacchanal, a reason to go out and party, to see the costumes and floats, both governmental and private sector.
Things to remember next year (if I choose to go out): SUNSCREEN, lots of water, and a really big flexible hat that won’t interfere with the camera in front my face.
Because of the recent rains, the “mall” where people usually walk and eat, picnic and party, was soggy, so they chose to walk alongside the bands, this was not good for a photographer, getting s decent shot was hard, so I took as many as were allowed, getting lots of spoilage in the process 🙂
I’ve chosen a tetrad of images for this blog post, those are by no means representative of the full gallery, but I had to choose something 🙂 Click on the image to go to the full gallery.
I hope you view the gallery and let me know which ones you like, commenting on the gallery is as easy as commenting here 🙂
In an attempt to explain Mashramani to someone recently I had to use comparisons, so lets just say that it has similar roots to Trinidad’s Carnival, Rio’s Carnival and Louisiana’s Mardi Gras; well, less Mardi Gras and more Carnival 🙂