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.


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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”.


Around the Block

Yesterday I decided to literally take a walk around the block, just to see how the COVID-19 and its repercussions might be affecting the neighbourhood (my work neighbourhood, that is).   So as not to waste the opportunity, I walked with my DXO camera as well.

As street photography goes, nothing great, but a few decent ones 🙂


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You probably can’t see it, but in that vendor’s section is some Nenwah Husk, used my many a Guyanese as a body scrub.


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Being the lone Chinese walking around I kinda attract unnecessary attention, this lady kept a close eye as I walked by; good thing I didn’t sneeze or cough.


Ras – 20-0785

This rastafarian on crutches carefully made his way along the pavement, but was very observant of all the stalls he passed, might have been looking for Nenwa. 🙂


Mango – 20-0786

In her hand is a bag of sliced green Mango, I can only assume that maybe it also had “loud pepper and salt”


Gyaff – 20-0787

Almost as if COVID-19 were not on our shores, these gentlemen were busy “gyaffing” and the topic as I passed was all politics, aka GECOM-20


Less people than normal during midday, but still enough, and as you can see, not much social distancing occurring.

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


More from Mon repos

In my previous post, I showed what would have been my “select 5”  images from a walk in Mon Repos Market, select as in those I’d choose to enter into the VISIONS Exhibition 2020 (were I to submit).  Today I’d like to share another five images from that walk.

Any place where people are involved with activities of interaction or even just on the move, are places where you can find a treasure trove of Street Photographs  🙂


Easy – 20-0685

Some people make shopping look fun, getting a smile on the face of someone fetching several bags, priceless 🙂


Outer-Roast – 20-0691

These guys are using a blow-torch to sear the outsides of the poultry, never saw this before.


Greens – 20-0693

One of the few that I felt should be left in colour.


Mon Repos – 20-0695

The dynamics around this stall caught my eye, not sure I got what I wanted but I got a decent one either way 🙂


Shade – 20-0711

This lone young girl at this stall right at one of the exits also caught my eye, another angle that I took was better, but the image quality was not, so this one works 🙂


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

 


My Rest

With unrest in town since the General and Regional Elections as well as less people in town due to the COVID-19 arrival on our shores, I had a Saturday morning off, and went into the Mon Repos market for a short walk.

Mon Repos is a village on the East Coast of Demerara, not too far before the large Lusignan Village.  Saturday is Market Day at Mon Repos, and while I’ve walked in there a few times, this time I think I came away with a few good shots.  whilst processing them, I couldn’t help but think that if I were submitting images for this year’s intended VISIONS Exhibition 2020, I might actually choose from these.  In that spirit, I went through the ones I had earmarked as keepers and chose five to share,

VISIONS allows  photographers of Guyanese descent or even non-Guyanese who live and work in Guyana, to submit three to five photographs; the photographs should be chosen with a theme in mind, a theme of the photographer’s own choosing.  The submitted photographs are then collected  by the curator (or curatorial panel) and viewed together as an entire collection of images from a variety of photographers, and naturally, there will be a variety of genres as well as themes.  From this collection a narrative (or narratives) emerge, and it is this narrative that the curator works towards telling with the images chosen for the purpose.

Since it isn’t a competition, many excellent images are not included, but be assured that all those that are used are not only well suited to the narrative, but are also exemplary works by the photographers who submitted them.


Packing – 20-0687

Lighter Side – 20-0690

COVID-19 – 20-0697

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Sharp – 20-0717

I’m not much of a Street Tog (photographer), but these would be my picks for VISIONS is I were submitting.  Quite a switch from  my usual seascapes 🙂

To see them in the Gallery “ In the Streets”, click on the images, you’ll see them there along with other images in that Gallery.


Out There

Some thoughts on the photographic process.

For me, the Photographic Process encompasses several stages, some think of it as simply taking a photograph with a device such as a camera or a phone, but I’d like to just mention the stages that I consider part and parcel of the Photographic Process, all of this just to speak specifically about one part that has to do with some of my black and white images.

The photographic process begins with the Photographer’s Eye, seeing that which is intended to be captured, since we all see things differently, this first part starts the differentiation of one image from the next and “my image” from “your image”.  Secondly, our camera adjustments, for many this is done using the automatic settings, but for others it may entail making several adjustments to modes and setting values for shutter speed, aperture and ISO;  these settings are usually determined by the lighting conditions and the desired “look” of the resulting image.  Next comes the composition, determining what to include in the frame, what to exclude, and a variety of other compositional techniques.  Then we click the shutter button.

In our current digital age, this is usually the end of the process, it gets shared on social media, etc., some may pass the image through a simple software for preset filters etc before sharing.  For photographers, this has only been half the work, the next stage is to process the image, depending upon the ultimate use of the image this can be done in a myriad of ways; for me, I seldom do weddings or portraits, so generally the image is intended as ”art”, yes, it sounds pretentious, but that’s what I usually intend, so I would often process the image through Adobe Lightroom, and for many of my black and white images, I also use DXO Nik Silver Efex for the black and white processing.  Once the image is processed to my satisfaction, it is then shared to my site or to social media.  For me, however, the process ends at another stage, when I actually have the image printed.

Out There - 14-5265
Out There – 14-5265 | Oniabo Lusignan, East Coast Demerara, Guyana | 2014

The size of the printed image is usually limited by a few factors, including the size (usually in megapixels) of the original capture, the content of the frame (composition) and the type of processing done to the image.  Some of my black and white processing can result in things that would not look well if printed large, such as today’s image.  I used a high contrast process and worked to heighten the structure and clarity of the image, in so doing there is a resultant “haloing” in existing high contrast areas of the image, when enlarged this can lend the impression that the image was “edited” that portions were spliced in, when in fact they were not.  So, in short, I most likely would not print this image large, possibly 16” x 24”’ as the largest print, this would retain the integrity of the image for me.

This is not a new photograph, it lay unprocessed in my files since 2014, I went scanning through the archives again this morning and spotted it, wondering why I never processed it (as usual).  It is not the latest addition to the Oniabo Collection.

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


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).

SGC -4

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.

SGC -6

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.

SGC -5

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.

SGC -1


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

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

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