2013 Deck – Week 32

This year, my youngest sister, Mary, got married, and interestingly enough, practically every photo from Week 32 had to do with her wedding 🙂

My sister had asked since more than a year prior that I ask Fidal Bassier to photograph the wedding, and I was glad that he was the main photographer, I got to shoot alongside him and my brother André and get some good photos myself 🙂

There was a short photo-session between the Ceremony and the Reception (while the guests were getting settled), and this was one of my favourites from that shoot.

Joseph Lewis had also consented to loan me his Canon 70-200mm L lens that was a joy to shoot with.

So a big thanks to Fidal and to Joseph!!

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery with the other 2013 Deck Images.

Click on this album link for the 25 select images from the Wedding


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Every Tool

I’m not a purist; I don’t hold the belief that whatever JPG comes out of the camera is the reality that existed in front of the lens.  I do, however, believe that there is a certain amount of “truth” in my photographic work.  Friends and colleagues, other photographers and budding photographers in the Guyana Photographers’ Facebook group have heard me make the distinction between Processing and Editing many times.  And I will briefly make it here again…

Since I shoot in RAW format, the camera does no processing to the file (whenever you shoot JPEG the camera applies certain adjustments to the image, contrast, brightness, etc.) so I have to Process it in software, often referred to as Post-processing.  This usually involves adjusting sliders in a software like Aperture, AfterShot, Lightroom, LightZone, etc., things that are adjusted range from brightness and contrast, to hue and saturation, cropping, temperature, white balance, noise levels and more.  Although this is usually applied over the entire image, some software allows you to do it to parts as well.

Where I draw the distinction between Processing and Editing, is when the image is altered so as to become a new image, distinct from the original in content.  Simply put, if I add something or remove something from the original photograph, then it is no longer the same, it is now a work of graphic design, not only photography.

Do I Process my images? Always.  Do I Edit my images? Sometimes.  I’ve cloned out trash that otherwise marred the scene (the lone plastic bottle on a grassy stretch), but have often left in loads of trash because it was part and parcel of the scene.  I don’t have anything against editing, but I don’t think its fair to call it a photograph after you’ve added in entire clumps of trees, removed several utility posts and added muscles to an individual… that is definitely in the realm of photo-illustration or Graphic Design.

I am also a big proponent of using every tool that you need to get the image that you saw with your eyes, and in your mind across to the viewer.  Whether its special filters on the lens to get a mood or effect, an angled lens in the developer of a dark room to create a distorted view, using Black and White (Film or processing) for an aged or structured look, using long and super-long exposures for light trails or flowing water, external flashes and reflectors for extra lighting on a subject, gels and filters for colour enhancements, or even doing some of this on the software end, I am for it, but I believe in being true to the original vision as much as possible.

Fancy processing and editing is no substitute for a good original image.  I am no expert or professional, many of my images come out of the camera looking very disappointing, and I often discard or simply not process them.  Yes, you can “save” them, I have even done so on some occasions, simply because I believe that they were worth saving, but they had to have something good in them to begin with; a good composition, a relatively good exposure, and maybe even compelling elements to the composition.

I’ve rambled enough… time for a photo.  This is one of those photos that I “saved”…  The original was good, maybe better than good, but it was not what I wanted….  I wanted more detail in the sky, more of a structured appearance than the original coloured version, and (because of an architectural quirk) more symmetry.


Canon EOS 60D  |  Tamron 18-270mm  |  21mm, 1/160s, f/7.1


I used Lightroom to create five different exposures from the original, each 2 stops apart in exposure, then I used Nik HDR Efex Pro to merge my new exposures and coax the detail I wanted from the overall scene, then I used Photoshop (I know, I’m a horrible person) to skew the perspective ever so slightly to gain some symmetry.

Although I did not add or remove anything, I normally would consider this edited since I used Photoshop to change the original proportions of the image, but in this case I’d let that slide 🙂

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with others in the Black and White series.

2013 Deck – Week 21

I was perusing my takings for the week and I had pre-selected 16 photos that I was thinking of using for the Deck Project, some street photos, some seawall photos a few bird photos… you get the idea…  Maybe it’s the mood I was in or just that most of them seemed “normal” to me, but I ended up choosing one that I knew was not necessarily a great composition, and then in processing I also did some unusual work with the sliders 🙂

All that being said, I don’t expect many to appreciate or like the final result, but to me the entire thing was so off-kilter that I ended up titling the image just that… “Off-Kilter”, and it grew on me.  🙂


Canon Rebel T1i  |  18-55 Kit Lens  |  1/200s, f/11, 30mm, ISO400

Processing notes: Selective desaturation and hue adjustment.


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.

2013 Deck – Week 19

I had quickly browsed through the entire takings of this week’s photos and was about to go with a street photo for this week’s Deck Photo, when on scrolling back I saw this one tucked amidst some photos from a tea-party held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the young ladies were using this part of the building as a staging area for their fashion show.

I had looked back towards the entrance of the compound for some reason and noticed her at the window and snapped two quick shots before she disappeared back into the building, and I rather liked how this one came out.

The building is aging and I thought that the processing should match that.


Canon 60D  |  135mm  |  1/320s  |  f/7.1  |  ISO 640  |   Processed in Nik SIlver Efex


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with the other images from this year’s Deck Project.

2012 Deck – Week 44

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and taking some photographs of the best female golfer in Guyana, Christine Sukhram.  Most of you know that I am not a Portrait Photographer, I am not comfortable with directing ad posing models, and it was also evident to me that Christine was much more comfortable out on the Golf Course than posing in front of the camera, but both times I was able to walk away with a few photos that even I was comfortable with, and with the feeling that I had stood in the presence of someone who was not only comfortable with what they did, but was great at it.

She won her first Guyana Open Golf Tournament title in 2006, and this year marked her sixth Championship title in that tournament, for someone who has had to juggle a day job and still remain at the top of her game is impressive, I can only imagine what she could achieve if she were to go Professional, but in Guyana, we all need our day jobs 🙂

For Week 44 of the Deck Project I chose one of the images I took of her, which was also used in a promotional billboard, I chose it not because it’s a great photo (I am personally never that happy with my portrait photos) but because she is a great person, a great golfer, and as Guyanese we should be proud of her.  Maybe one day she’ll be ranked internationally like her compatriot Nicolette Fernandes who has made us proud locally and internationally in Squash.

Click on the image above to see it in the Gallery.

Celebration of Life!

For what we have accomplished and the hard work we’ve done, let us have a celebration, in thoughts, in words and in action.

For the life that we have, the lives we are living, we should join in the celebration that IS Life!

For the hard work ahead, and the things we can do, should do and will do, let everyone join in the celebration for all that can be

Take the colours of the rainbow and decorate ourselves, let down our hair, move to the beat, join the celebration of Life!

2012 Deck – Week 7

This week’s Deck Photo is taken from the Children’s Mashramani Parade this year, I previously blogged about that. (If you haven’t checked it out as yet, I think its a good view, the children really did well!)

Although this photograph may not have been the best of that set, there was just something, that “je ne c’est quoi” quality in it that I thought was more appealing to me.  It was a beautiful costume, and a lovely young lady showing it off, and her smile lit up her face nicely too.

The costume wasn’t as colourful (you know, the full range of the Guyana flag, plus a few more) as others, but in its simplicity of colours it enhanced the beauty and detail of the design.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Celebration