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.


September Monochromes

I decided on the name before I realised that I have one that was actually taken in October, but since I am unable to come up with a new creative sounding name, it remains as September Monochromes.

I want to start off with a Sepia image, it’s not necessarily a great image, but I liked the elements; seashore, people – young and not-so-young, and a fishing rod.

 

Afternoon After-school

 

The next is the first of the Black and White images, it is one that I recently entered into a DP Review challenge called Clouds, I was experimenting with a borrowed Canon 80-200mm lens and most of the images came out very low contrast, so like the Sepia one above, most of the rest I’ve rendered in monochrome.  This one came out much better than expected, I had to give it a title for the challenge, so that’s how the title came to be.

 

Sail-winds and Silhouettes
Sail-winds and Silhouettes

 

Along the seashore, you are sure to find a coconut washed ashore by the waves, this one was partway up a concrete sloped walkway on the seawall, maybe washed there but probably kicked there by some youngster.

 

Coconut
Coconut

 

The final image is the one taken in October, after our Robbery ordeal and we daringly went right back to the Kingston Promenade, I like the clouds in the sky and thought that the lighthouse silhouetted against it would look nice  🙂

They were doing some renovation work to the lighthouse, so you might notice the scaffolding on the sides of it there.

Three Little Birds

Sometime back I had mentioned to Bob Zeller, who is a superb bird photographer, that I had taken a few photos of birds in my journey as a photo-hobbyist.  They are nothing as good as Bob gets, but I like to think they have a little merit  🙂   Another photographer who also has superb photos of birds is David Fernandes, who doesn’t have a blog that I know of, but has some lovely images on his site.  If you get a chance please check out Bob’s blog and David’s site, especially if you are a bird watcher!

Some of you may have already seen these images, as they are not new, the last “birds” I shot was a pair of ducks wobbling along the road.

I don’t have one of those nice 400 or 500mm lenses that do such nice jobs of bird photography, so I have to rely on being luckily close to the bird or just crop the image to get a nice final composition  🙂  I thought that I wouldn’t try to lump them all into one blog-post, and being inspired by Bob’s photography and Bob Marley’s song “Three Little Birds”  I thought that three images would be just right for this post.  By the way, I don’t think the two Bobs are related.

First up is a little fellow that visited the house across the street from me whilst that house was under construction, I suppose that it should be no surprise that with the wood around for construction, he and another pal visited, and when the word was done, I never saw them back there again  🙂

 

The Wood and the Woodpecker

The second is the ever popular Kiskadee, one of the mobile telephone companies here even used them once as part of a campaign for their pre-paid mobile card vendors with the slogan “They’re just about everywhere”, more descriptive of the bird than the vendors, but we got the point  🙂  This one I took up at Good Hope Village on the East Coast of Demerara.

 

 

Kiskadee, Good Hope, East Coast Demerara

 

Finally there is this elusive little black and white bird that is so flighty (excuse the pun) that it is hard to get close to him for a good photo  🙂  I came out of my vehicle one day and there he was along the gutter, without trying to open my gate or anything, I reached into the vehicle for the camera and snapped off as many as I could before he flew off  🙂

 

Black and White

As you can probably tell from my nomenclature and my evasive naming of the birds, I am no bird watcher, and even with the general biology degree, the identification of bird species was not on the syllabus, so if anyone can help me with the names, scientific and local I would be grateful.  🙂

It wasn’t until I previewed this blog-post that I realized that all the birds are facing left, quite a coincidence!

UPDATE:

Bob has informed me that the first photograph of the woodpecker is a Pileated Woodpecker.  Thanks Bob.