Each week it is hard to make a choice of a photo for the Deck Project, mostly because its hard to separate the emotion involved with the image at the time of it’s being taken and the merits of the image itself, but for Week 8 of 2015, I think it’s mostly because I think to myself that I came away from that week, which was mostly Mashramani images, with what I thought of as very uninspiring and “average” images.
Seven weeks later and I was finally able to look at them and chose one that I felt was different, or maybe just not the “usual” of the crop.
Am I happy with it? Yes. There are quite a few that I’m happy with, but it seems to me that I now want a little “more” from my images than just the “pretty picture”. I’m not there yet, but I’ll keep trying.
Context: this reveler was very close up behind the truck, it was 3 in the afternoon, although the sky was partially overcast, the sun was shining nicely down on the parade at this point.
Each year I normally do a post on the Children’s Parade, then follow up with one that I’d choose for the Deck, this year, call it laziness, or expediency, or simply a desire to show the one that I was excited about, I will do it all in one post.
This year’s parade was marred by some rain, and when I say marred, I mean for me and my equipment, most of the children seemed to quite enjoy themselves in the changing weather 🙂
I got a few good photos, more than a few “eh” photos and maybe one or two better than average ones…
The one I chose for the Deck may not have the same impact on the viewer as it had on me as I am still fresh with the emotion and excitement of the moment… the rain was still falling, my sister Mary was trying to hover near me with an umbrella (she knows how expensive camera gear is) and the young man who was pulling the main float of the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs had seen me and was dancing and heading straight for me performing all the way.
I don’t normally chimp, but soon after he had passed and there was a short lull in the parade I scrolled back to see if I got anything that was usable, and even on the on-camera screen I could tell, it was about 85% good. 🙂
Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, 2015
Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with the other images for this year’s Deck Project.
The other images I have from the Children’s Parade are in the Mashramani 2015 – Children’s Parade Gallery, click on the image below to see them all in the Gallery
This week was the week of our Republic Celebrations in Guyana, which I’ve shared photos from already, as is my custom, I look through those to choose one for the Deck Project.
This year there was no one image that stood out to me as much as this one did. I had processed it in Black and White and had decided not to include it in the original upload, I was still not sure anyone else would like it.
I like it, it seemed to me to be a moment frozen in time… something more sensual than what was occurring all around… maybe that is why I converted it to monochrome, to remove the distractions.
I hope you see something other than a Mash Photo 🙂
I’m not sure I ever come out of these events with the right photos… but I think I usually get a few that are nice, and once in a while, one that is very nice.
Mashramani was on a Sunday this year, making the following day a holiday, so it was more relaxed for me in a way, there were a few bands fewer as well, so the last band came earlier than normal, which is good, I always get a bit peeved when the last band comes and the sun is already getting low in the sky
I was without my flash this year, and shooting into the sun without fill-flash was a different experience for me. Also without my Tamron 18-270mm I felt a bit lost, but I stuck to my plan of attempting it with a borrowed Canon 55-200mm, and I think I did a fairly decent job of it.
I usually cull the set much more than this, but I think that these are fairly representative of the day, and I decided to keep almost all of the first draft.
Click on the image above to see the Gallery on the site for the full set, I will try to do a Select collection soon.
Many readers assume that my photo for the Deck Project for each week is the “best” photo from that week, while sometimes this might be true, it is not always so. The photo I choose is usually one that can, by itself, make a contribution to the 52 photos that comprise the Deck Project, and it can often have meaning or relevance as a photo to myself more than to readers / viewers.
This photo that I chose for this week may very well fall into that category of not necessarily being the best, but to me it stood out among others from the Children’s Mashramani Parade, this young lady had lots of energy and I liked how her darker skin contrasted with the white costume, and how the touches of coloured glitter accented ever so slightly the celebratory nature of the event.
She was part of the Smalta sponsored band from Chateau Margot Primary School, their main costume was depicting their theme “Princess of Peace and Purity” which they entered in the Ages 8-10 Fantasy Category. This young lady was not the “Princess” or the main costume, she was one of the banner or standard bearers at the front of the “band”.
Most of my photographs from the recent Mashramani parade for Georgetown were of one particular style, but somewhere in the middle of all the fast flying shots that I took I managed to capture one that was quite different from the wide shots of the floats or the half-body close-ups of the revellers
I don’t know if it’s the photography book I have been going through, but for some reason this image stands out from the plethora of photographs that I took on Mash Day.
The book is “Through the Lens – National Geographic Greatest Photographs”, and it contains some truly amazing photographs. I am certainly not claiming that any of mine can class with anything from National Geographic, far from it, but the “feeling” that I got from this one was different from the rest, and I think that it is a better photo for that.
You have to see it large, please click on the image to see it in the Gallery.
For me, this shows a woman lost in the moment; it’s just her, the music, the rhythm, the motion… alone in a crowd, part of the band bu apart from the band all at once. This is “the moment” for Mashramani 2013. I hope you like it.
I know that most people’s Mashramani photos are already out there, and I have to say that this year saw a large increase in not only the amount of photos out there but also an increase in the quality of the photography of the event.
In trying to “cover” the event I take a lot of photos, which means I then have to process those photos. This year I used two cameras, I had a wide-telephoto Sigma 17-50mm on the Canon Rebel T1i body and the slightly longer telephoto Canon 18-135mm kit lens on the Canon 60D body (my favourite lens for the event, the Tamron 18-270mm, has an issue I cannot resolve as yet, it’s slow to focus, which is not good for moving subjects). My favourites from these events have always been close shots rather than wide, but I decided to try to get a variety anyway.
As I expected, my favourites are still the close-up shots 🙂
Click on the Image above for the full Gallery
For a hand-picked selection, click on this Link, I selected my favourites, not necessarily the best ones, just the ones I like 🙂
When shooting an Event, it’s usually important to try to get photos that cover the gamut, spans the diversity, from the beginning to the end, so that viewers can get a sense of the whole, but amidst all of that I am usually on the lookout for that one shot that stands out, that transcends the transformation from reflected light, to digital data on a sensor to pixels on the screen and finally to ink on a page.
Does this image from the recent Children’s Mashramani Parade do that for you? I know it does it for me.
Click on the image to see it in the Gallery, along with the other images for the Deck Project so far for the year.
Mashramani. A Guyanese Celebration that has taken on the overtones of Carnival. The name, derived from an Amerindian word (Arawak) meaning “Celebration after hard work” has been synonymous with Guyana’s Republic Day celebrations for many many years. Although the original activity began in the mining town of Linden (known as Mackenzie back in those days), it spread quickly around the country.
It is probably hard to have grown up in Guyana (or at least one of the towns in Guyana) and not have attended and have memories of Mashramani celebrations, especially the “Float Parade”. But after reading Krysta’s blog post “Mash in Guyana, People going crazy”, my mind did that funny thing where it takes you back to remembering what it was like when you were a child.
Just for the record, her title was a reflection of a popular song for the Mashramani celebrations going back many years, it was written and performed by Rudy Grant and is yet to be replaced as “The” song for Mashramani.
So, back to my memories of Mash (faulty though they may be)!
I won’t go into any detail (since that is very much lacking in my memory) but I’ll tell you what I miss… the Low-bed trailers. I remember there being two very distinct types of “Floats”, one was the very mobile (often times extravagant) personal Float Costume, handled by one man or woman, who expertly maneuvered it down the streets, spinning and dancing and giving a very exuberant display, the second was the low-bed display, a very low (two or three feet of the ground low) trailer with an extravagant display on it, these were usually pulled by a tractor (I even remember a Tapir pulling one once).
These days I see the larger trucks which make seeing all the components of a well-detailed display hard to see. So, I miss the low-bed trucks or trailers that were used back then.
As a photographer on Mash Day, it’s a nightmare, the police have no control over the crowds, who fill up the street where the bands are supposed to pass, and when the Bands\Floats are passing they also walk alongside, in-front and behind, and sometimes even within! In doing so they obscure others from seeing and enjoying the beautiful costumes and other design works in the Floats and trucks. Of course, that also makes it really hard for a photographer to get “easy” shots, but we persevere and press on to get what we can 🙂
I’ve put aside (with Nikhil’s help) a Select set which is about a quarter of the whole gamut, you can click HERE for that, but I do encourage you to check out the whole Gallery by clicking the image below.
This photo for me is very much “Mashramani”, this is Slingshot, a Guyanese singer / Calypsonian, a few years ago he fell of the horse-cart and was injured, this year he was back, undaunted, and back on the horse-cart! Hats off to you Slingshot!