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


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Goodbye Unity

Robb Street begins in Robbstown, down on the “waterfront” by the John Fernandes’ wharf area, both the ward and the street got their names from the man who designed the area in terms of the building lots and landscape, it ends at the famous Bourda Cricket Ground (Georgetown Cricket Club), on what is now Shiv Chanderpaul Drive, renamed to honour the achievements of one of Guyana’s great cricketers of the 1990s into the first decade and a half of the new millennia.  The original name of Shiv Chanderpaul Drive was New Garden Street, because Robb Street was to originally end at the new Botanical Gardens, but that was pushed back a further block (an area that is home to the Georgetown Cricket Club, Georgetown Football Club, Ministry of Agriculture, and Office of the President.)

At the end of Robb Street, on the northern corner, is the Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church (if you’re a Portuguese language speaker, you may want to check out their Portuguese language mass that caters to our growing latin/spanish/Brazillian population), in the southern corner is (or, in a few days/weeks, was) Unity House, a three story wooden house.

I don’t know enough of it’s history, but it once housed the chapel in which Holy Mass was celebrated while the church across the road was being built (on the middle floor), and for many years it was the headquarters of the United Force, a political party which has held parliamentary seats in Guyana up until two elections ago.   Prior to the last elections, also, there was some in-fighting among the executives, primarily as to who would lead the party, but that’s just politics.  As I write this the building is being torn down, let’s hope the party can last a bit longer 🙂

I was processing a photo that I had taken near the gate, but that would not enlighten anyone as to the structure of the building, so I went on to process a wider photo for elucidation 🙂


 

Closed – 15-9996  |  2015  |  Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm


Unity House – 15-9986  |  2015  |  Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm


Click on the images to see them in their respective Galleries.


Chimney

I’ve taken a few photos of the Chateau Margot chimney over the years, but I’ve always been looking for better ones, something less “touristy”or “documentary” and a little more towards the artistic side.

I think I finally got one, of course, as things happen I took it after the Guyana Visual Arts Competition was already closed to entries, so I just put it aside and left it there… now, a year and three-quarters later, I am sharing it.

This one is special, it is one of those images that I loved as soon as I pressed the shutter button, I even knew how I’d be processing it in the end, which I didn’t for almost a year… It has been one that has always been in the back of my mind to use, but just never found the right time.  I hope you like it.


Chateau Margot – 14-6542  |  Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm  |  Chateau Margot, E.C.D, Guyana


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


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.


2014 Deck – Week 21

Street Photography  –  not a genre I do too much of, I’m really careful about my street photography, because people are very touchy about being photographed, even if it is in public and even if it is legal…  BUT… there are some scenes I can’t resist 🙂

I had my eye on this building in Broad Street, Charlestown for a while, wanted a nice photo of it; when I saw the car parked there, I thought this is it, this will make a really nice photo… I didn’t even bother to leave my car, just parked across the road and aimed, then the lady strolled into the frame (on her way to market I assume), and it was pure serendipity.


Canon 6D | Canon 24-105mm f/4L  |  32mm, 1/160s, f/9, ISO100


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

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.

2012 Deck – Week 43

I was passing by one of my favourite buildings in Georgetown, the City Hall, when I noticed the tree to it’s south-western corner in bloom, pink blossoms that I thought added a little colour to the imposing edifice  🙂

https://i0.wp.com/www.TheMichaelLamCollection.com/img/s4/v62/p1307996638-2.jpg

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery 🙂