At an early stage in my photographic journey I was fascinated by Macrophotography, the ultra-close photographs of everyday things, it seemed a completely different world seeing things that close. This would have been mostly before I started using an SLR Camera, I had a Canon SuperZoom, and I used clip-on lenses for the macro photography, quite fun at the time.
Most of my favourite photography using DSLRs have been on the opposite end of the spectrum, wider shots. I was quite attached to the combination of the Canon 60D camera body (and the 50D prior to that) and the Sigma 10-20mm wide angle Lens. Its probably no surprise that I wanted a wide lens to accompany the Canon R7, I decided to go for the (Venus Optics) Laowa 10mm, although its fully manual, it seemed the step I should take at this point.
Here’s my first photo taken using it, not meant to be anything spectacular, just tried to get a decent first shot, but I like how it turned out, a bit unsettling and intriguing to me.
Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other Black and White images in the collection.
– 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
Apparently, I took this photograph on the Fourth of July, last year. I remember taking the photo, but the date doesn’t ring a bell; I only know it was the 4th because the metadata says so. Metadata is handy, you can tell a lot about an image from the metadata, from the type of camera used, to the focal length, ISO, speed and aperture settings, to a host of other miscellaneous fields, these days, even the GPS coordinates. The Canon 60D doesn’t have built-in GPS though, so that wasn’t included.
Across cultures we find that the importance or significance we place upon one thing may not be the same that those who live in another country place up a similar thing. Take the Fourth for example; Americans (as in those who live in the United States of America, and not just anyone who lives in the Americas) are very proud of their Independence Day, the 4th of July, it’s a big deal, so much so, that by just saying “the Fourth” anyone in that country knows what you’re referring to. In Guyana, it used to be the case that our Independence Day passed largely unheralded, with more emphasis being place on Republic Day, or as it is more commonly known here, Mashramani. That has changed over recent years, but the emphasis is still skewed that way.
I suppose photography is similar, as a parent taking quick photos of their children, the emphasis is centred on the child (most times literally centred in the frame); as a fashion photographer, the subject is the model and the articles being displayed by said model; as a wedding photographer, the bride better be the main subject or somebody’s not getting paid; I get asked sometimes about my seawall photos, why do I shoot them?, what is it I see that makes me take so many? I figure I have to be a lousy photographer to be asked what it is in the frame that I’m trying to show.
The subjects of my photos are not always front and centre (hardly ever actually, unless it’s people on Mash Day, or that kind of thing), the subject is often the entire scene; the lines, the textures, the tonal variations, the clash or harmony of nature and man; If a photo doesn’t make an impact on you, just move on; if it made you stop for a second, then it was good, if it made you feel something, anything, whether good or bad, then it was a great photo for me.
Although I did not intend for this photo to be associated with these thoughts, this is where Fate stepped in.
I have finally gotten to have a series of photographs that I think embodies an idea that I can convey through a collection, and then I had a very short but enlightening (maybe even a little dampening) conversation with Mr Carl Hazelwood, the chief judge at the 2014 Guyana Visual Arts Competition. He basically told me that while I have “nice” photographs, the ones he sees lack that little something extra that would make it more than a pretty picture… and here in the last two years I thought I had gotten past the pretty picture stage 🙂
This man knows what he’s talking about, and if he says that I don’t make the cut, then I don’t, and I am grateful for that honesty, I may never make that transition, but I will surely try.
I processed this photograph last week (I only had this conversation last night with Mr Hazelwood), and I almost chose a different photo, one more in keeping with my seascape series of recent, but this one had a few elements that appealed to me a little bit more, and I wanted the diversity for the Deck Project 🙂
This one probably would not hang in a gallery among great works of art, but I ask myself if I would hang this on a wall, yes I would, but would you?
Seashore – Canon EOS 6D, Canon 24-105, 105mm, f/9.0, ISO200
Washed clean by the receding tide, the patterned sand drew my attention, the reflection of the sky and clouds in the still foreground waters belied the turmoil and power that the distant waves possess.
In my learnings about landscape photography, I’ve learnt that it is often important to include a point of interest to grab the viewer’s attention, especially when the scene can be described as plain or boring or bland… I thought so of this scene at first, others may still think so.
This photo appealed to me as soon as I took it. Even on the camera display I thought that this may very well be the photo I choose for the Deck Project. And even now, looking at the takings for the week, I haven’t changed my mind.
It was a simple log, driftwood (a sizeable one), that sat upon the seashore, this was under a bright midday sun, and I used a Red filter in post-process to give me the drama I was looking for.
I called it “Between the Groynes”, of course we’ve called them Jetties since I was young 🙂
I was processing this photo from 2009 and the title that immediately sprung to mind was “Walk and Talk”, obviously because that’s what the girl was doing; walking leisurely on the jetty, and talking on her cell phone (or mobile phone, or cellular phone, depending on your custom).
Then, of course, being a Caribbean Man, the song from “reggae great” Pluto Shervington popped into my mind as well; that would be “Ram Goat Liver”
As I am fairly certain that not many people outside of the Caribbean would know the song, I’m including the lyrics from the chorus:
Ram goat liver good fi mek mannish water
Billy goat teeth mek the earring for you daughter
Curried goat lunch put de bite in your bark
It mek you daughter … It mek you daughter walk and talk
I think that it is a good bet that the young lady in the photograph may likely be of East Indian descent, so the idea that she might have had Curried for lunch would not be too far fetched, and she can certainly walk and talk 🙂
These days I have to wonder if the cell phone is more of a convenience or an intrusion. As it is, they are now more than just phones, they’re basically what was once your home computer, now in the palm of your hand. I remember when I owned a PC with a 386 processor that had an 80MB Hard Drive and at the time, that was considered large; now my smartphone has more than that amount of memory built-in and an additional card that can hold an additional 8GB of data.
But I digress. It is convenient to have a phone always with you, rather than being tied to a land-line. It is convenient to be able to check your e-mail, your Facebook and Twitter accounts, check stock trades and the latest news, and so much more. There are, however, times when you can do without the constant interruptions, the unpredictable yet persistent “ping” or “bleep” or whatever “ring-tone” you’ve chosen to notify you of every event that the phone is now capable of alerting you to. After weighing the Pros and Cons, I came to a decision that the mobile phone is as much as a convenience as you want it to be, and conversely, as much of an inconvenience as you want it to be.
My phone goes on silent when I go to Church, to meetings and to various functions where I prefer not to be disturbed, I feel the vibrations and I am aware that when I finish whatever it is I am doing that, after the hour or two, I will have a few (or quite more than a few) messages to read and maybe calls to return. But I am the master of the phone, it is not the master of me, and quite frankly, that is how it should be.
After two years of doing this, I think that this is what keeps me intrigued in photography, the weekly search for a photograph. While Nikhil has embarked upon his Daily Photography project this year (I hope he goes the full 366) I know my limitations, I won’t be trying that anytime soon.
I think that this image is somewhat appropriate to the year, the crazy Armageddon stories and to my photography. If you believe the Mayan Calendar theorists and many of the other Doomsday predictions regarding the year 2012, then you’re probably hoping, like myself, that I get some really good photographs this year! 🙂
This was taken on New Year’s Day, because of my interests in HDR, I thought that I would try another Black and White HDR, this one was taken at midday, I think the originals were 2ev apart.
It was a breezy day (forgot my tripod again, so this was hand-held for all three exposures), and very overcast, lots of clouds as you can see.
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 🙂