St George’s Cathedral

This impressive edifice has likely been branded upon the memories of ninety per cent of all Guyanese (if not all), it stands centrally in the commercial district of Georgetown, encircled by roads and dwarfing most of its neighbours in size and in stature.  It is probably one of the most photographed buildings in Georgetown alongside other buildings along what is called the Heritage Trail, which stretches from Parliament Building (which incidentally is where Anglicanism first began making an impact here, in the late 1700s the ground floor of a building on that site was used to hold services) all the way up Avenue of the Republic into Main Street and High Street, ending at the Umana Yana.

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The current St George’s Cathedral is the second church to sit on that spot, the first not lasting very long due to structural faults and subsequent cracking, although there were plans for a replacement stone structure, a wooden building was settled upon using mainly local timber.

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What makes a cathedral?  Although most people tend to associate the term with grand structures in the Latin cross style, complete with naves and transepts, a cathedral is simply the church within a diocese that houses the seat of the Bishop, in this case the Anglican Bishop of Guyana.  Guyana has two notable cathedrals, the second being Brickdam Cathedral or as it is officially known, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (a Roman Catholic church).

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The current building was opened in 1892, and is among the tallest wooden structures in the world, as well as often being called the tallest wooden church in the world.  Over the decades there have always had to be major renovative and restorative works to the building.  While it is an Anglican Cathedral, it is also a source of pride to all Guyanese, and as such we should all try to help in keeping it beautiful and maintaining it.

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I remember during my high-school years, there was a massive drive to raise fund for its restoration, a specific memory centre around some pens that they sold, the pens were shaped like a large nail, I remember using that pen in school, and while my own faith is Roman Catholic and the school I attended was a former Catholic school, heading up my page with that pen meant something, especially when I wrote the letters “A.M.D.G” at the top of the page as I still did at the time; it was a remnant of the old school habits, St. Stanislaus College having been run by the Jesuit priests required the students to head the page with that, it stands for “Ad maiorem Dei gloriam” – For the greater glory of God.

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St. George’s Cathedral is again currently in the middle of massive restoration project, this post contains some photos I took of it a few weeks ago.  The northern face has been completed and is impressive in its finish, currently the western face / south western corner is being tackled.  I understand that there is currently a short-fall of funds, and they are asking for any assistance to continue and complete the entire building, to restore its beauty, and preserve part of our national heritage.

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All images copyright protected © Michael C. Lam (www.TheMichaelLamCollection.com)

All images taken with Canon EOS 6D |  Canon 24-105mm

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Wadokozinao wizii

I am not an art oficionado or connoisseur, but I do have some art appreciation; in the course of my day job, I happened to come across works by Ms Myrna Bernard, she came in to our offices to print images onto Canvas, the files tended to be digital illustrations and composites of her own photos and her own making, to the finished print she would then use paints to complete her works of art.  I have had the honour of seeing some of her work on Exhibit at the National Art Gallery on two occasions, and I distinctly remember having to return several times to one piece to stare and be engulfed in it.   Another person’s work whom I’ve seen with a similar angle is that of the ever-travelling Ian Brierley, an Englishman who has visited Guyana many times over the last two decades and has done many prints and paint on canvas among other types of artistic work.

I am no painter, but I had an idea and on chatting with a friend and painter, Ms. Nicky Williams (Nicole Bissoo-Williams),  a plan was put into motion.  I had taken many photographs on a trip into the Pakaraima Mountains in 2016;  I went through this set in search of a particular type of image, one that was good but did not feel complete in my eyes, and which I thought lent some room for further artistic expression by Nicky.

In the end, I chose five images, after some minor post-processing in Lightroom, I printed them onto Artist Canvas, and had them stretched onto some pinewood frames.  These I then gave over to Nicky  with the barest minimum of instructions, basically to do as she wished, use any technique, any materials, cover as much as, or as little as desired, add or remove content, so that when finished, the pieces would be a collaborative work.  It was a bit nerve-racking having someone else make alterations to something you created, without you actually approving of each and every change, but I firmly believed that if I gave the creative process free reign, that the results would be great; and I was not disappointed.

Sometime before Nicky had finished her work, I had approached a good friend, and spiritual sister Ermelinda, who is from one of the southern Amerindian villages to ask her to suggest or to ask around for a word or phrase with and  of the words “Land”, “Parents”, “Ancestors”, in any of the dialects or languages of the peoples in that area; this was done only because I had no contacts at the time to anyone specific in the areas the actual images were taken.  After some discussion; the phrase “Wadokozinao wizii” was chosen, it was from the Wapishana dialect and means “Our Ancestors’ Land”.  This was the title I had chosen for the collection of five pieces.

I was approached by Mrs. Denise Dias MS, about some photographs to be auctioned off at a fund-raising Italian dinner for Help & Shelter (tonight, November 3rd, 2017), and it occurred to me that if she liked these pieces, maybe they could be auctioned to raise funds for the shelter.  These pieces have never been seen by anyone else, but I figured that if Mrs. Dias liked them then they stood a chance at helping them raise some funds 🙂

I decided to write this post as a way of sharing photos of those pieces, taken before handing them over.  So, here they are:


Wadokozinao wizii – Yakarinta – 16-1175


Wadokozinao wizii – Rukumoto – 16-1315


Wadokozinao wizii – On Monkey Mountain – 16-1526


Wadokozinao wizii – Karasabai Fenced – 16-1253


Wadokozinao wizii – Karasabai Wide Open – 16-1263

 


These are meant as single time creations, and no other versions of them are intended to be created.

Click on the images to see them in the Gallery.


The House on Sixth

Its been quite a while since I’ve blogged anything here, it’s actually been quite a while since I’ve done any serious photography with the DSLR.  Since I began using a smart phone with a decent camera, I’ve done quite a bit of work on my Instagram project, and the simple joy of pulling out a phone and snapping a photo has reduced the urge to use (or lug around) any larger camera.  But, mobile devices have their limitations, and there are still images that need to be captured differently.

That being said, I made an effort, to stop the vehicle one afternoon, and snap a few frames of a house that I keep passing, and promising to get a photo of, so here it is 🙂


Canon EOS 6D, Canon 24-105 f/4L  |  Processed in Nik HDR Efex and Lightroom  |  2017


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other images in the Black & White Gallery


In the beginning…

Well, maybe not “the” beginning, just “a” beginning.

It was probably around 2007 that I began to pay more attention to what went into the frame, to what it was I was taking photographs of.  Prior to that it was mostly point, click, “look, isn’t that pretty??”  Most probably weren’t pretty at all, but family and friends always say “yes, it is”  –  In 2007,  somewhere amidst the generic photos, there began to emerge a few that stood out, and I think that I was seeing things, the things around me, differently, and in so doing I was capturing them differently, light was beginning to take on lifelike characteristics that would change how everything looked, and how everything could be captured on a few thousand pixels.

It was now not so important to capture every detail, but just the ones that would help tell the story, using light and dark, contrast and brightness to illustrate an idea, a concept, a feeling…  It was time to pay more attention to the composition rather than just the subject.

I decided to take a look back at the photos I took ten years ago, to see what, if anything, was worth sharing.  Most of the images I took were family oriented, so those didn’t count, but I was experimenting, looking around me and trying to capture something out of the ordinary (ordinary being the family photos, nothing captured can compare to even the ordinary of professional photographers, much less fine-art photographers).

I even tried my hand at pointing the camera at strange people, out in public, although I was still much more comfortable pointing at non-human subjects, those that might not complain or make a fuss.

And its also the year, I did my first Photo-Walk, not what would really be considered a photo walk, but myself, my brother, Andre, and two friends, Nikhil and Naseem.  We went for a drive “over the river” up to Wales estate on the West Bank of Demerara and I think up to Windsor Forest on the West Coast of Demerara, stopping every now and again to take some photos.

That photo-walk was somewhat of an eye-opener as well, in a relatively short distance, there was quite a lot to see, and a good variety of subjects and scenes to photograph as a result.

This isn’t a retrospective of any kind really, just taking a look at some photos with an eye that has had a decade of shooting, and processing them anew.    They were all shot on a bridge camera, or an advanced point-and-shoot camera, the Canon PowerShot S3 IS, a 6 Megapixel camera with a 1/2.5” CCD sensor, so there’s not a lot of post processing I could do without delving into the realm of editing.

Back then I was mostly all about colour, vivid vibrant popping colour, so the monochromatic versions (BW) you see are how I see them today, not then.

I chose ten images to illustrate what I had accomplished that year, I don’t think I would have found very many, if any, more that are worth sharing.  I hope you enjoy a few.

All the images were reprocessed, and cropped.  Click on any image to see them in the Gallery.


Saturated Saturday

Its a very rainy Saturday morning in Georgetown, much like many we’ve had this week and last week.

I just felt the urge to take a mobile phone photo, so here it is 🙂


Samsung Galaxy S7  |  Lightroom Mobile Camera  |  Processed in Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery


Kirk

Just a post to share a photo of St. Andrew’s Kirk.

This church site on the corner of Avenue of the Republic and Brickdam; to the south of it, across Brickdam, sits our Parliament Buildings; to the east of it, Avenue of the Republic, sits the Magistrates’ Courts.  It is reputedly the oldest religious  building still in use in Georgetown.


St Andrew’s Kirk, Georgetown, Guyana.

Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm


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


Walkabout

Just a photo.

I’ve had it processed for about a month now, but after waiting for the right words to say, I figured I’d just share it 🙂


Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm  |  2016


Click on the image to see it in the Up East Gallery, along with some other choice images  🙂