Chaos to Calm

Third day of the full reunion, we visited the famous Dunn’s River Falls, and the tour guides split us up into two groups (we were apparently too large a number to keep together, especially with other tourists there too  🙂  )  In their introduction the guides said that there were two famous waterfalls in the world, Niagara Falls and Dunn’s River Falls, ALL the Guyanese in the group said without hesitation “KAIETEUR FALLS”, after giving us a look that could curdle milk in the goat, he ignored us and carried on with his “talk”  🙂

I didn’t mind a talk about safety on the falls, but when I have to start chanting “hot hot hot” and “wet wet wet”, and have to answer tour guides questions on camera, when all I want to do is enjoy the climb, I can get testy, I didn’t go for the Kumbaya and to make the guides look good on camera, especially when all the notices going down had a number of warnings for climbers and at the very top was “Anyone climbing the Falls to so at their own risk”, so kept thinking to myself “back off Rasta, and let me climb”

The guides were only interested in getting photos and video of their groups to “sell” to you after the climb, safety was the last thing on their mind.  Our group got separated numerous times, members fell, and even had slight injuries.

At the beginning of the climb, from the bottom of the falls, there were at least five groups of people trying to climb the same section, simultaneously…  The first stop they made was at a “pool” in the falls where they got small groups (families etc) to get in (it was fun!) and smile and wave for the camera  🙂  It was all for their camera, this was the photo they’d try to sell you when you reached the top!  Yes I’m complaining, and I’m a photographer!  Here’s one Andre took at that point  🙂

An Andre Lam photo

I prefer his photo, not because it is better (which it is), but because he didn’t twist my arm to take it, and he didn’t twist my other arm to buy it  🙂

Remember I mentioned the groups of people trying to climb simultaneously?  Here’s a photo of a (relatively) calm spot, now go pick out the groups, remember that each group has two “guides”, one has on a blue shirt (he’s the official guide) and the other has on a yellow shirt (he’s the one with the video camera, who will disappear halfway up to go make the DVD)  🙂

Somewhere before this point (after my daughter had fallen and was saved by my cousin Nyuk-Lan in true action hero fashion, and my father had fallen twice, a few of us departed the falls, and I took over Andre’s camera to get some shots in, I really have to get more experience on strange cameras, I got fewer good ones than I’d hoped  🙂

Being totally fed-up with the guides, Nyuk-Lan led a team of rebels on their own merry way up the falls, including a section that was obviously being avoided by the guides and their groups, and it made for a few lovely photos  🙂

After all that, getting back to the hotel and it’s pools was relaxing  🙂   Joan had made reservations at La Diva Italian Restaurant, while waiting for dinner we noticed what was going to be a lovely sunset, both Andre and I headed out (while the servers were serving the appetizers) to take a few photos.  The sight of the two of us taking photos seemed to have spurred numerous diners in other restaurants to do the same, and heading back to the restaurant, Andre noticed numerous people on their room balconies with their cameras too  🙂

From my seat in the restaurant, I noticed the colour of the sky contrasting nicely with the lighting in the restaurant area  🙂

Tourist Shoppers

Most of my photography from this day (18th July) was of a family gathering in the evening (those photos I’ll save for the family rather than subjecting everyone to them)  🙂  Earlier, I had accompanied the ladies (my wife, my cousin and my sister) into a shopping area not far from the hotel where we were staying, I think the Jamaican vendors on this side of the coast are the most persistent and persuasive vendors I’ve come across, and if you’re not careful, you’ll be walking by a stall and suddenly be inside it without knowing what happened  🙂

I didn’t do much photography in the shops/arcades, but I stepped away from the shopping every once in a while to snag a few shots. The first one I’m not too happy with but I couldn’t let that Schwinn bicycle pass  🙂

This one I believe is of the old Fire Station in Ocho Rios.

Here’s a bunch of thinkers 🙂

A Tourist trap (a more appealing shopping area)

And on the way back I tried a photo of the hotel before entering the gates  🙂

South to North

Before departing from the Kingston Area to begin the Family Reunion in Ocho Rios, my dad thought that getting a photograph of everyone who were in the Kingston area would be a good idea, so after everyone had eaten some breakfast, packed their bags and were ready to go, we all got together for the group photo.

I was hoping to do some photography whilst on the drive over, but the high grasses after the recent rains and a few other adverse conditions made that a bit impractical  🙂  I did manage to snag a photo of a vendor’s stand with some of the fruits out front during a brief stop.

One of the areas we drove through was Fern Gulley, but photographs can’t tell that story, you have to take the drive through yourself, but I took one of the curving road and the enclosing ferns to give the general idea, this spot had a nice window in the canopy above for extra light, many other sections did not, the ferns would enclose the road and create a lovely rainforest feel.

Once at the hotel, we checked in, went for lunch, then to find our rooms, We had chosen the mountain view option rather than the ocean view rooms, just to save a few dollars  🙂  This is part of the view from our room, not too bad  🙂

After some afternoon swimming (or more like wading in the pool), we were taking a walk to see the Gazebo at the ocean’s edge and I snagged a few more photos, after that it was dinner and bed 🙂  Not a bad day overall.

2012 Deck – Week 12

There was a competition in the Guyana Photographers’ Facebook Group on Colonial Architecture, it was getting very close to the deadline and there were very few entries, I “hurriedly” entered one that I took in passing, not a good shot by any standards, and regretted it immediately after.

Even if I am putting up a photo to “fill up space”, I should pay more attention, I have been less focused recently (no pun intended) , I can’t seem to get myself, the camera and the subjects to comply, to align properly.

I was out with Nikhil on a walk to get a photo for his 365 (366) Project and as we were wrapping up I saw this house and thought I should get a few snaps of it, and I knew right then that I had a better photograph than what I had recently dropped into the competition.

It was heavily overcast, and I deliberately composed it with lots of headroom.

As always, click on the image to see it larger in the Gallery  🙂

Touch of the Goddess

Although I am a Catholic, I have always been fascinated by the old myths and legends of ancient civilizations, so sometimes that comes through in my art  🙂

A New Day

As Selene departs, another night done
She comes charging, the day’s begun
Sky aglow from her robes of saffron
As her mighty steeds keep galloping on.

Firebright and Daybright in the cool early morn
together they pull her Chariot along
the harbringer of Helios; the master of day
she dispels the night with her soft golden rays

Mother of the winds and the Morning Star
lighten the darkness, let night leave no scar
Upon a world of cold night chills
bring warmth, bring light, bring what you will

The Dawn-bringer comes, her tears on the flowers
creatures of dark, well should you cower
I stand on a mountain in the far distant west
And patiently await the touch of the Goddess.


Touched by the Goddess

Please click on the photos in this post to see them larger at the Gallery, I think the small sizes here may do them an injustice.

2012 Deck – Week 3

Often enough, I happen to see a beautiful sunset when I’m in the middle of a housing area or similar, with lots of utility posts and wires mangling the view, or a very plain area with nothing of interest other than the sky itself.

Last week, it happened again, and as I was driving out I decided to stop at the closest thing approximating to a “nice” scene, and get a shot including part of the sunset that day.  🙂

Suburban Sunset
Suburban Sunset

Intentional Under-Exposure

There was a challenge recently in the Guyana Photographer’s FaceBook page, it was about silhouettes, while there seemed to be various interpretations on the theme, I noticed that not everyone had the same idea of a silhouette.

Although many dictionaries seem to have similar definitions, they usually go back to the original meaning, referring to “cut-outs”, the explanation that I like the best I came across on Wikipedia (yes, I know, not always the most reliable of sources, but its accurate here), “A silhouette is the image of a person, an object or scene consisting of the outline and a basically featureless interior, with the silhouetted object usually being black”.  I think this explanation covers the idea of a silhouette regardless of the medium used to illustrate it.

This image I intentionally under-exposed when I took it to capture more detail in the sky and less in the foreground and objects between myself and the horizon, although I did under-expose I apparently didn’t do so enough since I still had to adjust the black levels to get what I wanted 🙂

Although the tree-line takes prominence in this image, the real interest is the child on the wall walking into the sunset.  Intentionally under-exposing the photograph is one way I know of getting the silhouettes that we try for in images like this.  Getting the right exposure is important, goodness knows I’m still trying with that, but learning when to over-expose the photograph and when to under-expose it can create those moments that are more memorable than an average exposure 🙂

The Walk Home

For a better look, click on the image to see it in the Gallery.

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2011 Deck – Week 50

I think Week 50 was the worst photographically for me this year…. I have one photograph.  According to Dwayne Hackett even if I took a hundred shots of the same subject that day and I used one, it’s still only one photograph, I didn’t take a hundred photographs, just a hundred attempts  🙂  I took three photographs of the same subject that week. Three!

If I thought things couldn’t be worse, I had forgotten to reset the settings on the camera… so they were taken in bright sunlight at ISO 1600.

Reminder to self (for the thousandth time) always reset your camera immediately after a shoot (or whatever session) or else you have to live with whatever the camera hands you next time!

This building is right behind DeSinCo Trading (Sheriff Street), in the little side street, I think its Craig Street, I had never noticed it before, I was waiting in the vehicle while my better half was in DeSinCo, I just couldn’t help myself after staring at it for several minutes,  just got out of the vehicle and snapped three shots just to satisfy the little voice in my head that said “go take the photo, go take the photo!”

Church Closed

Its a sad sight to see places of worship that become abandoned, usually because of a lack of attendance over the years, I don’t know the story behind this one, but I was reminded while writing this post of my most recent experience in church, I was saddened at the poor attendance to Christ mas Eve’s Midnight Mass.  I remember when I was younger (much younger) the Midnight Mass at the Cathedral was always packed, maybe some of the pews in the wings would be empty, but the centre of the church would be filled.  Have we lost the faith that we once had or has the commercialisation of Christmas finally overtaken the true meaning for the Season?

Click on the image to see it better in the Gallery.

UPDATE:  I was told by Dave that the property is now owned by DeSinCo, Frank (owner of DeSinCo) built a new church for the parishioners on Middleton Street (a short distance away), so this one was not closed for a lack of attendance but for a more practical and financial reason. 🙂

On the corner

Although Nikhil is no longer pressured on a daily basis for a photograph since he completed his first 365 project, we still manage to go for a photo-walk every now and again.  One of those walks took us into Campbelville, and although it was mostly for him to get some Nas-inspried photographs, I came away with a few goodies  🙂

One was also somewhat inspired by an image I once saw from a controversial photographer called Ken, although my photographs may never become as “professional” as Ken’s I learnt a lot from reading his blogs and rants 🙂  So, I titled this one “Ken”, it was taken at the corner of DeAbrue and Duncan Streets (north-west corner)

 

Ken

The second one, I wish I had spent more time on, the scene reminded me of a photograph I once saw from Errol Ross Brewster, and I am ashamed I let the rain chase me away from this spot without getting more out of it, but there you go, the Canon T1i isn’t weather-sealed.  This is at the corner of William and Middleton Streets (north-east corner), it is a single image, but I used HDR Efex Pro to recover some detail in the clouds, in the shot it was totally blown out.

 

The House on the Corner

Terminal

While other parts of the world are attempting to record every bit of information for Historical reference, and digging up (sometimes literally) any old records and references to people and places long dead and almost forgotten, I find that in Guyana, there are few records of places and people from our historical past (at least easily accessible records), whether of the recent past or a few generations back.

With the current alarming rate at which the older buildings, some with lots of history and character, are disappearing, I fear that a lot of the history and folklore that may be attached to those buildings will also disappear.

Much of what I know of Georgetown, was “told” to me by family and friends or teachers or just people who had something to say.

I was born after the trains disappeared from our shores, but I was told that this building was the Terminal (of course, there’s not much of a building left, so all I took was the side of it that has nice palm trees along the trench).  It also served as the Bus Terminal after the train no longer ran.  I vaguely remember the “Big Buses” that once were “the public transportation” of Georgetown, or as we grew up calling them; the Tata Buses.

This building also either houses or housed a foreign mission office, I remember seeing a crest or coat-of-arms on the High Street side some years ago.

 

Lamaha Street, looking down from the High Street end.