1888

I took this photo 5 years ago. (November 03, 2011, 5:06pm)

It’s one of those photos you take at the time, then just put aside; at the time it was just part of several images I took while walking along the northern and then the western side of City Hall, none of which were ever processed or shown to anyone.

I found a few dates about the building to be interesting; proposals for the construction of a Town Hall were endorsed in 1886, a design was chosen in 1887, and works completed in 1889, yet in the wrought iron fretwork design above this northern doorway is the year “1888”.


1888 – 11-6453  |  City Hall, Georgetown, Guyana  |  2011


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery


2015 Deck – Week 01

Every year I have a photography project that I call The Deck, it’s basically what other photogs refer to as a Project 52, one photo for every week of the year.  The main reason I do it is to keep me shooting, with work and family life it is easy to sometimes put the camera down and not shoot anything, and I prefer not to have that happen, some weeks I get good stuff, other weeks I get a load of crap, even in those weeks the “crap” has to have something salvageable, and I find that in those instances I find myself seeking out the basics of the composition and putting the little artistic portion of my mind to work for the best processing possible to make it worthy of the project, failing which that would be the end of the Project, and I don’t really want that.

In shooting images all year round, I get more than I need for The Deck, and out of these I’ve been able to narrow down some to my Oniabo collection, I intend to keep the Deck Project going, and hopefully get more smaller collections developing.

I decided that for January 2015 I want to also try and photograph (not exclusively) around a sub-theme: Square.  I started using Instagram (see my last post) and the square composition, while at first very ill-fitting for me, has become a bit more appealing, so my first week’s image will be an Instagram photo, and I hope to include “square” into other images for the month, not necessarily as the crop ratio, but maybe as elements in the composition.

Since you’ve probably already seen the last post I did, and in there is the image I chose for this week’s Deck photo.


Respect – Samsung S5 Mini Duos  | Instagram


In Guyana, we have many cultures that have merged into this cook-up that we call our “One People”, and many are from the east, as in Asia, most eastern culture have in their traditions or as part of their religious beliefs the habit of removing one’s footwear when entering a home.

I’ve always seen this as a sign of respect, but I also know that in some religions it is mandatory, and in some cultures such as in Japan it was originally a hygiene/health habit (not tracking dirt and germs into the space that you eat and sleep).

In many parts of Guyana, this is how we’ve been taught, but the western culture has slowly crept in over the years and the respect we the dwellers show the visitors to our homes is one of acceptance, in that we may ask them to take off their shoes, and they may refuse, often we let our own judgement dictate who to ask and who not to.

In this photo, I also show respect for the change in photography as it widens its doors to an acceptance of non-traditional devices, processing and distribution methods, my older phones would produce some real crap, but with my current phone, I think I can produce acceptable images.


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.

2014 Deck – Week 33

Christ Church was doing some fund-raising, a friend of mine asked me to take a few photos of the church to use in the press release.  The only time I had to make a pass by the church was an early morning on the way to work.

I was thinking that it’s only for a press release, so it doesn’t have to be that good, right?

I was in a bit of a hurry, but I snapped a few, then jumped back in the car and headed to work.  There was some nice clouds behind the church from one angle, and kept remembering this as I downloaded the images to process, I knew that my attitude toward the shot was less than optimal and I had deliberately exposed for the building and not the skies (since it was just for the press), as the sun was rising behind the church, all that detail would be blown out.

I thought that this would be a good time to experiment with what I had read about prior to acquiring a full-frame camera, that it can capture a very wide dynamic range in one exposure.

True enough, the entire sky was blown out in the exposure when I downloaded it.

IMG_2724

But remembering what I had just seen in the sky, I worked the sliders to see what sky detail I could retrieve from the RAW file:

IMG_2724-2

And I was amazed, so I decided to process it better than I had originally intended.  I made slight adjustments in Lightroom to bring some detail back in the sky while retaining the detail and brightness of the building.  Then I took the image into Nik HDR Efex with the express intent to use a single exposure black-and-white tone mapping technique on it, and the results were great.  After a few minor adjustments once I took it back to Lightroom, this was the result:


Christ Church, Waterloo St., Georgetown, Guyana


Someone asked me it I “photoshopped” it, well, I didn’t use photoshop, I used no masks, no layers, nothing like that, just what I described above.  Everything I needed was in the RAW file, if I weren’t in such a hurry and treating the action of taking the photo so lacklustrely, then I may have actually taken multiple exposures for a proper HDR  🙂

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.


2013 Deck – Week 17

Sometimes the photo that a photographer chooses is not always the one that a “normal” viewer would choose, that’s just how it is….  I’ve heard many Wedding Photographers lament over the same problems, they would show the couple an array of photos from the big day and then they would choose what the Photographer thought were those that were not the cream of the crop… for him (or her).

This is because we are each looking at the photographs from a different perspective, each photo speaks to us differently, and appeals to each individual differently; so it would be no surprise to me if this week’s photo draws dome curious stares  🙂  I like it, but I don’t expect everyone to like it.


Taken around Vreed-en-hoop at an area referred to as Best Village.


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.

Working With Wides

Well, I wanted to say “Playing with a Wide-angle Lens”, but I couldn’t resist the alliteration. 🙂

The word wide is relative, so I’ll describe how I use the terms, these are probably not industry accepted descriptions, so don’t quote me 🙂   Your basic entry-level DSLR usually comes with a kit lens that has a range of focal lengths from 18mm to 55mm, this I consider to be a wide telephoto lens, at the widest end (18mm) you get a nice wide view and at 55mm you get closer to close up of the subject, I consider somewhere around 33mm (on the crop-sensors) to be somewhere around “normal” (mind you, I’ll be talking from the stand-point of an APS-C sensor or crop sensor, a full frame or micro-four-thirds is an entirely different scenario)

Since this is the standard kit lens that most people get, we don’t often see it as wide, so that’s when we go Ultra-wide.

My favourite wide-angle lens (OK, the only one I have in the Ultra-wide category) is the Sigma 10-20mm, this produces pleasing images for me, and I love working with it.  You get some amount of distortion at the wider end (understandable) but this tends to be good in certain circumstances.

Often, in architectural photography, you can use wides and ultra-wides to capture more of the interior, and convey more of the sense of space and more of what encompasses the room.

At other times, you can use them closer to the subject to give an increased sense of distance, even accentuate the distortion by being close (do this with people’s faces, and you’ll get some weird effects)

I used the ultra-wide to capture the corner of this building (New Building Society), along with parts of the sidewalk and sky (and a pedestrian) 🙂

There are many things you can do with a wide, many of which I don’t do, I don’t normally put it right up to people’s faces and click, but I’ve seen those photos, and it’s a neat effect  🙂

What I did in this next image was to use the ultra-wide to adjust the sense of scale, I used a fire-hydrant in the foreground to dwarf a three-story building in the background.  One thing that I liked about this shot was that I didn’t have to worry about electricity wires!

The best way to see what your wide-angle lens or your ultra-wide angle lens can do is to put it on the camera and go have fun.  Sometimes it makes compositions tricky as it tends to include everything, even things you may not want, but like working with any focal-length, it’s up to the photographer to adjust framing and composition for these things.

I mentioned using wide-angle lenses for interior architecture, well I doubt if a tent falls under the category of architecture, but I suspect the engineers who came up with the idea for this tent would appreciate the use of the wide-angle for impact  🙂  And would you look at the view!  🙂


All images above were shot with the Sigma 10-20mm on a Canon body, Click on the images to see them in the Collection along with others in their respective Galleries.


Old(er)

Age is a relative thing, something (or someone) is either younger (or newer) or older than another by a certain amount of time, whether it is by minutes, days, years, decades, centuries, etc.

I’ve grown up knowing the Hand-in-Hand Insurance Building (and others of its time) and they’ve become landmarks to me, that makes them old, or older than the stuff that went up in the last decade anyway.

They may not be of the Victorian era, so their architectural aesthetics may be less appealing, but they are certainly a lot more appealing than many of the concrete boxes that are being erected these days.

The Hand-in-Hand building always reminded me of a concrete and stone attempt to look Victorian, or maybe semi-Greco-Roman, but I’m not an architect and my terms may be far off the mark.

I had always admired its arches, the wrought-iron fence, the wrought-iron “fret-work” that created the arches between the columns, the low-sprawling style of the building.

When I took this photo I never intended to process it in Sepia tone, yet that is what appealed to me when I began processing, and to help the age along a bit, I added a light vignette (hopefully not too noticeable)

So this building is Newer than Victorian, but probably older than I am 🙂

Hand-in-Hand – 7216

2012 Deck – Week 8

Although Mashramani fell in the eight week of the year, I did not necessarily want to use a photograph from that event, fortunately I had gone on a walk with Nikhil around St George’s Cathedral and I had tried out an HDR, although it has some issues, I rather liked the outcome.

I was a mere four feet from the door, but other than standing in mid-air to get the shot, this was my only option.  Although I did some correcting to the distortion caused by the Sigma 10-20mm lens (and the close proximity to the subject), I still got some distortion that I couldn’t get rid of.

My aim with this HDR, was to get the doorway, but also to get as much detail on the inside that I could.  Nikhil wanted to go and adjust the mat, but I thought that the angle that it was at worked fine for me.

Oh, and as usual, I neglected to lug the tripod with me, so this was handheld.

Looking In

2011 Deck – Week 32

Another symmetry inspired image, or a Nikhil inspired image 🙂  I’ve seen Nikhil shoot this particular spot a few times already, but I never tried it, mainly because I wasn’t “seeing” anything that captured me, this week was a slow week, I only got out one day to take anything, and this day I forced myself to shoot something, if not I’d have had to post an image from a recent wedding I attended, and I didn’t want to have to rely on that 🙂

This is the side of the Ocean View Hotel facing the seawall, the salt air can be seen taking it’s toll on the iron-work, and the rust staining the face of the wall.  This particular afternoon I was going for something simple, I tried a boat, some silhouettes, just the plain old sea and sky, but I kept going back to this image for a second look.  Although I was tempted to go for a monochromatic image I liked the red iron structure and the rust-stains, so I kept it in colour. also the discolouration on the walls added to the warm afternoon sunlight 🙂

As usual, click on the image for a better view in the Gallery.

Escape
Escape

2011 Deck – Week 26

I’ve been delinquent in my posts recently, but I have a really really good excuse…. no I don’t, I’ve just been busy.  I can’t even conjure up a plausible excuse that might fool a school teacher on this one.

Recently I’ve been thinking about the past and the future, for this post I’ll deal with the past.  As you know I recently posted a photo of St Barnabas, a church that will soon be just a memory, and in my case a few thousand pixels worth of data, and on a recent walk with Nikhil (during which I think I accomplished a grand total of three shutter actuations) I took a photo of a piece of architecture that always fascinated me, for one reason and one reason only, the tower!

I’ve always dreamt of having a tower on my dwelling that I could climb into and see the world around me, and since I’ve taken up photography, probably capture amazing sunset and sunrise photographs from it.  Of course, I don’t have any such tower or photographer’s perch, so I just admire the ones that exist.

Of course, this building also has other “architectural” interests, like the Demerara Shutters, the wooden louvres and the shingled outer wall.

Lookout