Discovery

– 1499 –
Imagine that somewhere on the horizon is a line of three Galleons…
okay, fine, Galleons are more impressive looking, but we’ll revert to the truth;
there’s a line of Caravels, three of them, heading from the north-west, somewhere where the clouds disappear into the distance.

If you grew up as I did, you were taught that many of “our” countries were discovered by that fellow Chris, but the leader of that flotilla on the horizon was not Chris, but Alonso.

If you can see the flotilla, imagine now that one of those caravels has separated and is heading our way, in a more south-easterly direction along the coast, the remaining two are heading further west and stopping at the mouth of the Essequibo;  Alonso is now the first European to be recorded as seeing and touching our shores… and in that south-easterly heading caravel is Amerigo, who is on his first voyage (second, if you believe a disputed letter), and it is after this explorer that the joint continents of “America” are named.

As for that fellow Chris, this voyage by Alonso, his pilot Juan and navigator Amerigo quite displeased his followers, which resulted in quite a fracas in Hispaniola 🙂

If you stand on our shores and stare toward the horizon, you will not now see those caravels, but in the wake of those voyagers, using the trade-winds and ocean currents, are many ships; and I wonder, what are those sailors thinking as they look towards land?  Are they thinking of those days of discovery?  Are they thinking of the journey home?  Do they see the stars as did those long-ago conquistadors did?

I was processing this image when thoughts of the actual “discoverers” came to mind, hence the long messy thought process above 🙂


“And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.”

Robert Frost – The Road not taken

Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm  |  Kingston, Georgetown, Guyana


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery


Vanishing Vanity

There once was a time when we created not just for function but for appeal, when we designed things to make our lives easy, as well as for those things to be easy on the eyes.  There is a sense of loss, its physical, but also emotional, when the older buildings are removed and replaced with structures that closely resemble steel slabs  or concrete cuboids.

I don’t do it often enough now, but I once had a fascination with capturing old buildings around Georgetown… but they seem to be vanishing faster than ever now; I hear it’s the sign of progress.

Like everything else in life, if we don’t fight to keep it, then we will lose it, but most of us seem to have grown up in a time when that “fight” is not in us,  where we accept the decisions of others, because we believe that our voice, our opinion does not make a difference in the grand scheme of things.


Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm  |  Regent Street, Bourda, Georgetown, Guyana.


Click on the image to see it in the gallery, along with other images from around Georgetown, Guyana.


Charlestown

I lived in Charlestown (Georgetown, Guyana) for a short while after we got married, if I crossed the street, I’d then be in Albouystown.  Back then I had my first access to a digital camera, an Agfa ePhoto 1280 (Megapixel? what’s that?).  It was mainly for work purposes, but through it I learnt a few things about digital photography, and it probably rekindled my interest in photography at the time.

I had read somewhere that Charlestown (and Charles Street) was named after the Duke of Brunswick, Charles William Ferdinand (or Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, his original German name), but why a Ward of Georgetown, Guyana is named after a German Duke is a question I can’t answer.

Charlestown, at the time I lived there, was still quite “quaint”, in respect to the type of buildings, but even then things had begun to change, with one or two square concrete building being erected where once stood more aesthetic wooden structures, but times change, and change is inevitable.  Fortunately, change is also slow, comparatively, and some of the older buildings are still standing.  I walked, rode or drove past an old wooden building on the corner of Broad Street and Charles Street for many years, when I took up photography a bit more seriously, I kept an eye on it and kept putting off taking a photo, one day I decided that the “For Sale” sign meant that it may be bought and torn down, so I made the extra effort to stop and spend a few minutes grokking the scene seeking out a nice photo, waiting for the “perfect” photo was out of the question, so I just wanted a “nice” one.


Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 17-500  |  1/400s, f/10, ISO 400


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other images in the “Georgetown, Guyana” album.

2014 Deck – Week 31

I don’t often do HDR images, mainly because I think it’s a technique that has it’s uses in specific circumstances, and also because a basic RAW file out of the camera now has much more dynamic range than before and can be adjusted in post process to utilize that content without the need for multiple exposures.

But I like doing HDR images, to pull and prod at the dynamic range in a scene and get it looking as I remember the scene as my eyes could see it.   Shooting into the sun is tricky, most times all you’ll get are silhouettes, so adjusting exposure to balance the scene is one way to try compensating for that great ball of light, or shooting multiple exposures and using HDR techniques after can also work towards the desired goal.

This one, I went for an HDR, but I didn’t want that wide a dynamic range, so I only bracketed very narrowly from 0ev.  I wanted the colours from the sky and the city below to come through, and I wanted the light and shadow to be there but with more detail than the standard exposure was giving me.

I hope you like it.


HDR Image from 3 exposures.


The Red House

Many years ago I missed the photo-walk that Nikhil, Naseem and André took around Georgetown.  They had termed it the Georgetown Safari, and they covered much of Georgetown over two days.  I have always meant to try to cover as much of historical Georgetown as I could, but never seem to get a good start on it.

I was on my way to work, and driving past the Red House when I noticed the sky beyond it and thought this was as good an opportunity as any to take the photo I wanted of this building, the point of view is not unusual, there are dozens from this vantage point, but I like to think I did the scene some justice.

It is a single exposure, but I did some tone-mapping to draw out some detail from the scene, and I cloned out a short piece of electrical wire that sneaked into the frame in the upper corner.


Canon 60D  |  Sigma 10-20mm  |  14mm, 1/125s, f/5  |  Nik HDR Efex Pro

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other images from around Georgetown, Guyana.


I always figured that the building got it’s name because it was red, but never knew that it was because it was covered with Red Wallaba Shingles.  It dates back to the days of Colonial Rule, and records indicate that the “Colony of British Guiana” acquired it in 1925, from then until 1953 it served as the place of residence for many Colonial Secretaries.

During his stint as Premier of British Guiana, from 1961 to 1964, Dr. Cheddi Jagan also used it as his Official Residence.  Under subsequent leaders, it was utilized for various government offices.  In 1999, two years after Dr. Cheddi Jagan’s death, while serving as the fourth President of Guyana, the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre was established in the building (a purpose it still serves to this day)

It is apparently also referred to as Kamana Court, a name I had not heard until today, and for which I can find no more information


On the move

Normally I try to process my images just to get them to that stage that I like, my personal preference… so theoretically, not too much processing, just adjusting the sliders a little here and a little there…  it works for most images.

This particular image I knew that I would most likely process it in monochrome, but while making my Lightroom adjustments I felt that I wanted a little something extra out of the image….  I processed it with one aim in mind after that… to get as much detail out of that stream of clouds as I could… I even carried it into Nik Silver Efex to give it that extra structure that I was looking for…..  It even has a slight selenium tone over it.

Did I overdo it?  Some may say so, but it’s what I was looking for 🙂


Canon Rebel T1i  |  1/400s 18mm f/13


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other Monochrome images.

A walk on the beach

A few Fridays back, I joined a few other photographers on a walk down to the large jetty (pier/groin) that marks the end of the Kingston seashore and the beginning of the Demerara River mouth.

As with all walks with photographers you go hoping to come back with a good image, or even a great one, yet when I downloaded my haul I was very disappointed, maybe I was hoping for too much.

Does this mean that the walk was not a success?  No.  It was what it was… a walk on the beach.  To be with friends, people with a similar pursuit, and enjoy the conversation, the breeze… that was enough.

All the photos were not horrible, but not jumped out at me, yet I decided to process at least one to make a show of reaping something from the toil of the harvest.

As I look at the image I processed, I wonder if this scene will get worse or better with the development of the new Hotel on the seashore.


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other Seawall related photos

2011 Deck – Week 20

I thought to myself this week that maybe I should just put up as good a photo as I could get up to today before I let another week pass by and then I would be behind again in this project…  and since I went with Nikhil to the Kingston Promenade yesterday photo-hunting, I came back with a few decent shots, so here’s to the twentieth week of the year.

It was one of those uninspiring afternoons, nothing seemed to leap out at you, at least not photographically.  I did get a shot of a crab before he scampered back into his “hole” (is there a name for those?), but he isn’t super-sharp, I may yet post it up.  The beach was littered as usual, and the sun was shining so brightly I almost couldn’t look eastwards, and the glare off the water and sand wasn’t helping any either.

Fortunately I did manage to see through the glare enough to spot a youngster playing near the waves, as it turned out I got more than I thought  🙂

Silhouettes on the Seashore

Evening Approaches – Panorama

It’s been a while since I touched a Panorama, or a stitched image  🙂  This one is old (last year) but I never got around to stitching and processing it until now.  Originally intended as a six image Panorama, it seems the last two in the sequence refused to be stitched in (I may try a different software later) so I ended up with a four image stitched together Panorama.

This is from the Roundhouse on the Kingston Promenade on the Georgetown Seawall, facing west, the sun isn’t quite setting but it the exposure gave it a little darkness and added to the mood.  At full size you can see that there are people on the Jetty (pier) in the distance. and even someone on the rocks in the foreground.

 

Evening Approaches - 18mm, 1/320s, f/10, ISO400 - 4 images

I encourage you to click on the image for a better view at the Gallery, but unless you have a very wide monitor, it won’t help too much  🙂  Try this link to see an 1100 pixel wide version.

Ships at Sea

Well, I had to title it something and this sounded apt enough.  Both photos have a sea-vessel and the water they traverse upon, so “Ships at Sea” it is, even though I am not sure they would call it the Sea…  I’ve always been confused by that.

Growing up it was always the Sea, and protecting us from it was the Seawall, made sense….  now technically, the water to the horizon northwards from our shores is the Atlantic Ocean, I don’t think it is still the Caribbean Sea, and since I am being technical, both photos are not pointing Northwards but more West by North West, making that particular area of water the mouth of the Demerara River.

Aye, my head hurts from trying to sort that one out, so Sea or Ocean or River, its got a boat on the water.  They’ve both been done in monochrome to emphasise the clouds and the water, taken on different days but in generally the same location, on the stretch of beach along the Kingston shore.

Click on them for a better view in the Gallery.

 

Out to Sea

Into the Demerara