At the ready

Walking around with a DSLR tends to intimidate people around me, or at the very least make them change the way they were behaving; their attitude, their posture, their general demeanor changes when they see a camera.  It might also be my own approach, I am more comfortable dealing with scenes where humans are incidental or just a part of it rather than the main subject.

I’ve talked about my experience with the DXO One before, its just so small and handy that once you get the hang of it, you can get some images that would otherwise be missed.  I was out on a walk with some other photogs, big DSLR in hand and saw a couple sitting on the seawall with a motorcycle a bit past them.  I slipped the DXO One out of my pocket in case it panned out to be a good shot….

I took about two images on the approach, but as I drew alongside, I saw a man walking in the distance and snapped two more, and was quite pleased with one of them.  Having a camera at the ready definitely works out better sometimes 🙂


I guess my point is, as a photographer, we have to be at the ready at all times, because seconds, or fractions of a second makes the difference sometimes.

To see the image along with other images in the Black and White gallery, simply click on the image above.


Supermarket

Supermarkets are usually very busy places, especially during the hours I can shop in them.  During this time when people are trying to practice social distancing, its probably not surprising that I can actually get shots that are not too “busy” 🙂

Wet Floor – 20-0812

Cleaning (and hopefully sanitizing) the shopping environment.


Chill – 20-0810

What caught my attention here was the slight distortion that the cold frosted door caused to the image of the man there as opposed to the clarity of the man beyond the door.


Packing – 20-0822

Tilted images are not my thing, but sometimes they are necessary and sometimes they work.


20-0801

Some people can’t leave their children at home, so it becomes necessary to take them into potentially dangerous areas.  Who would have thought that we would ever describe a supermarket as a potentially dangerous area…


Inside supermarkets are not easy to shoot, at least not for me, the lighting is not optimal, being relatively low light, especially in narrow aisles, the diversity of images may not be as ideal as out on the streets, and the space tends to be cramped, luckily, these allowed for some space due to a sparsity of people. 🙂

As you might notice, there is no prevalence of masks, not because Guyanese are conscious of the actual dangers of that, or the possible benefits, but because its not part of our preventative measure, just like staying at home isn’t….

The WHO recently reiterated its position on who should wear masks and when, as always, its about educating ourselves on these things.

Click on the images to see them in the Gallery along with other photographs “In the Streets”.


The Mask

Depending on where you source your information from, some places are saying that wearing masks will help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease, some are saying the masks won’t help prevent you getting it, but if you have symptoms, then you should wear a mask in public…  regardless, in some places in Guyana, masks are starting to appear with more frequency.

Before I myself am sent into lockdown, I think I’ll keep trying to capture street scenes.


Packing – 20-0736

Many supermarkets, staying open to supply us with our necessities, are mandating that their staff be masked, some are assisting with sanitisers as you enter, one I went into even gave me a mask to wear while in their store.


Inspect – 20-0753

Taking no chances, this Chinese man masks up in the market, probably getting some fresh produce for his restaurant. Some Chinese restaurants have taken to doing Take-Away only, through a window, helping to limit exposure while still serving their customers


Unpack – 20-0756

At a shopping “mall” –  even though this isn’t the sharpest image, I’ve always found that for Street Photography, the story matters more than the technical perfection of the image.


Packing – 20-0758

20-0777

Take every precaution possible.  Be informed, beware of fake “cures and remedies”.

Tech giant Google has created a COVID-19 Information and Resource page.

And the World Health Organisation (WHO) is a trusted source of anything health related, including COVID-19, Keep checking their page for Updated information and guidance; here’s a link to their COVID-19 Advice page.

Please desist from spreading via social media (especially WhatsApp, unconfirmed data or things you’ve heard; be informed, be safe, be responsible.

Click on the images to see them in the Gallery, along with other images “In the Streets”


Cyclist on the dam

I tend to take photographs with composition in mind, maybe except when I’m trying Street Photography, but other than that, its usually about how the scene shapes up, where the lines go, how much foreground versus background to use, and sometimes, even where the main subject should fall, although that is not always the case.

Because of that approach, and because I seldom think about the “colour” of the image, I tend to see the resulting image in terms of black and white, shades of gray, more about form and function, lines, elements, etc.

These were just some thoughts going through my mind while processing this image:

Cyclist on the dam | 20-6775

At Lusignan its currently more of a dam than a seawall 🙂

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with some others from the “Up East” album


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.


The Deacons’ Dozen, plus one

 

I don’t do event photography usually, primarily because its not my style, but also because there is less control than, say, a wide open scene on the coast where everything is in its place and nothing’s about to jump in front of me and suddenly obscure the shot.  And it seems that often when there is an important event that I do concede to shoot, there’s some dude in a hot pink shirt who just does not understand “space” limitations and to respect the other people also doing a job there (although I seriously doubt they were ever there “doing a job”).

OK, digression aside, I don’t do Events because I want to capture every moment, and I want every one to be good, but that just isn’t possible, and with my style of shooting, very much next to impossible to satisfy those expectations.

I recently took some photographs at the Ordination to Deacon-hood of Berchmans Devadass & Joel Rathna at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Brickdam, Georgetown.  I did process some 82 images to give over to the Diocese, but at the end of doing so I was not happy, so I then pared those down to 12 images, that would more reflect the moments I would chose to share and would be more in keeping with my particular style of photography.

The full set is on my Facebook profile, but I wanted to share the set I chose, which I named the Deacons’ Dozen, over on my site here.

And just to be difficult, instead of just having the 12 chosen Black and White images, I also added one extra; I had left one image back to process separately, this one is in colour.  I had noticed at one point during the Bishop’s address that the sunlight had began to stream into the western windows of the cathedral, so I left my spot and went to the rear of the altar to capture that and as much of the rest of the scene as possible.  (Chronologically, it falls in the middle of the other images in the set.)


Untitled – 17-3077  |  Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm  |  2017


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery, also in the Gallery are the 120 Black and White Images of the ceremony that I called the Deacons’ Dozen.


At Day’s End

I don’t want to be the one telling you a story in words, I want to be the one telling you a story in a photo, but who’s story is it?

Are you seeing and interpreting the scene in the same way I do?  Does it matter?

The photograph as it was taken tells one story, what that story is may be entirely up to the viewer, after I have processed it, there are some subtle and some not so subtle changes to the finished image (not edited, nothing has been taken out or added), in this manner, I hope to direct the line of thinking in a certain way, whether it works or not is another matter, but in this way I am interpreting the scene my way, and lending to it my feelings; how the viewer sees it is still up to the viewer.

Many people take scenes literally, others concoct long tales based on the elements in the frame,  others may just have an emotional reaction but not know precisely why;  if it affects you, then I am happy.


At Day’s End – 14-3289  |  Lusignan, East Coast Demerara  |  2014


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other images in the Black and White Collection.


Soft

In the initial stages of trying my hand at photography, while looking at the images offered online and in books, ones by recognised photographers in their respective fields, I always had it in mind that a good photograph had to be perfect, technically perfect and sharp as a tack.  Of course, the images I was admiring were landscapes, portraits, architectural images and the like.

I later discovered (much much later) that what was more important was capturing the scene, with whatever you have, and however you can; if you can get it perfect, good for you, but it was more important to not lose the moment.

This image I had taken back in 2011, but because of the slight motion blur, I relegated it to the unprocessed pile; and since Street Photography was not my calling, but a way to experiment and even capture moments, it didn’t seem too important at the time.   I was hunting through an old catalog for some images that a friend wanted, and I came across the image and realised I liked it, I can live with the blur caused by a low shutter speed and a hastily snapped image, because that moment is now gone, but I have something to show for it; while it may not be a technically perfect shot, I realise that I don’t really need anyone but me to like it.  🙂


Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 18-270  |  Georgetown, Guyana, 2011


This was taken during the renovation works to the old Central Garage building on Avenue of the Republic, which is now a series of smaller retail stores.  In Guyana, we call those carbonated beverages “soft drinks”, the ones Americans fondly call Soda.

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.