Expressions

Shooting in the streets can be a hit and miss form of photography, especially when you’re doing it “on the move” like I do.  I know many Street Photographers sit and wait for things to happen, and these result in some extraordinary images.  I tend to take photos on the street while I’m walking, either to a particular destination or just walking like a rabid dog in the midday sun (the words of the song go “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun…”, and since I’m not an Englishman, I must fall into the Mad Dog category)

On this particular day, as I walked beneath the midday sun, I took maybe about 19 photos during the space of a half hour, I think a normal day I’d get a lot less.  Of these 19, I had set aside 4 keepers and a possible two others for later consideration.  Of the four, one I posted directly to Facebook, another I gave over for use in a poetry blog, and of the remaining two, I had one that I thought was quite the catch in terms of Street Photography.

I was very happy with the overall capture, but more so of the expressions on the faces of the people within the frame, I hope you enjoy it, click on the image to see it in the gallery along with other images “In the Streets”


2015 Deck – Week 34

I realise that this one might need some context…  which, in the eyes of some, makes it a less successful photograph that it could have been.  Of course, I could just as easily not give context and it could probably be a better photograph for it…

But, I will put in my few words anyway 😀


Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm.

Main Street/ High Street, Georgetown.


Basically, I wanted a photo of the pedestrian in the distance with the recently knocked down / destroyed sign in the foreground; the sign that once indicated to drivers and pedestrians that there was a pedestrian crossing ahead.  🙂

But this photo got me to also thinking about the street upon which I took the photo; this portion you see is called High Street, the portion behind me (which is obviously not in the photo) is called Main Street, as you proceed further south it then changes to Avenue of the Republic and then back to High Street.  Why would what is effectively one street have four different named sections?  From what I’ve read, it was possibly once called simply “High Street”; the portion running through Cummingsburg was then named Main Street, and then when Guyana attained Republic status the portion running through Lacytown was renamed to Avenue of the Republic.  Interestingly, after a slight detour around St Saviour’s Church, it becomes Saffon Street, this, however, never seems to be considered as part of the “High Street” issue.

Stretches of streets within Georgetown which have multiple names is normally attributed to the fact that Georgetown was originally built as a number of different wards, and the streets were never meant to be contiguous, then the wards were joined together, the multiple names resulted, along with some streets having a slight turn to continue since the original ones were not in-line.  The wards involved in the High Street issue are Kingston (High Street), Cummingsburg (Main Street), Lacytown (Avenue of the Republic) and Stabroek / Werk-en-Rust – and part of Charlestown (High Street).


Click on the image to see it in the gallery.

How we do it

A street photograph – as much as I can get one 🙂

It really needs very few words, but what caught my attention was the way the police officer and her companion deliberately walked diagonally off the pedestrian crossing…

In Guyana… is just suh!


2014  |  Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 17-50mm


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with some other attempts at Street Photography 🙂


Every Tool

I’m not a purist; I don’t hold the belief that whatever JPG comes out of the camera is the reality that existed in front of the lens.  I do, however, believe that there is a certain amount of “truth” in my photographic work.  Friends and colleagues, other photographers and budding photographers in the Guyana Photographers’ Facebook group have heard me make the distinction between Processing and Editing many times.  And I will briefly make it here again…

Since I shoot in RAW format, the camera does no processing to the file (whenever you shoot JPEG the camera applies certain adjustments to the image, contrast, brightness, etc.) so I have to Process it in software, often referred to as Post-processing.  This usually involves adjusting sliders in a software like Aperture, AfterShot, Lightroom, LightZone, etc., things that are adjusted range from brightness and contrast, to hue and saturation, cropping, temperature, white balance, noise levels and more.  Although this is usually applied over the entire image, some software allows you to do it to parts as well.

Where I draw the distinction between Processing and Editing, is when the image is altered so as to become a new image, distinct from the original in content.  Simply put, if I add something or remove something from the original photograph, then it is no longer the same, it is now a work of graphic design, not only photography.

Do I Process my images? Always.  Do I Edit my images? Sometimes.  I’ve cloned out trash that otherwise marred the scene (the lone plastic bottle on a grassy stretch), but have often left in loads of trash because it was part and parcel of the scene.  I don’t have anything against editing, but I don’t think its fair to call it a photograph after you’ve added in entire clumps of trees, removed several utility posts and added muscles to an individual… that is definitely in the realm of photo-illustration or Graphic Design.

I am also a big proponent of using every tool that you need to get the image that you saw with your eyes, and in your mind across to the viewer.  Whether its special filters on the lens to get a mood or effect, an angled lens in the developer of a dark room to create a distorted view, using Black and White (Film or processing) for an aged or structured look, using long and super-long exposures for light trails or flowing water, external flashes and reflectors for extra lighting on a subject, gels and filters for colour enhancements, or even doing some of this on the software end, I am for it, but I believe in being true to the original vision as much as possible.

Fancy processing and editing is no substitute for a good original image.  I am no expert or professional, many of my images come out of the camera looking very disappointing, and I often discard or simply not process them.  Yes, you can “save” them, I have even done so on some occasions, simply because I believe that they were worth saving, but they had to have something good in them to begin with; a good composition, a relatively good exposure, and maybe even compelling elements to the composition.

I’ve rambled enough… time for a photo.  This is one of those photos that I “saved”…  The original was good, maybe better than good, but it was not what I wanted….  I wanted more detail in the sky, more of a structured appearance than the original coloured version, and (because of an architectural quirk) more symmetry.


Canon EOS 60D  |  Tamron 18-270mm  |  21mm, 1/160s, f/7.1


I used Lightroom to create five different exposures from the original, each 2 stops apart in exposure, then I used Nik HDR Efex Pro to merge my new exposures and coax the detail I wanted from the overall scene, then I used Photoshop (I know, I’m a horrible person) to skew the perspective ever so slightly to gain some symmetry.

Although I did not add or remove anything, I normally would consider this edited since I used Photoshop to change the original proportions of the image, but in this case I’d let that slide 🙂

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with others in the Black and White series.

2013 Deck – Week 23

Keeping a photo project going is not easy, I found that many times I “force” the images by going out looking for things to shoot… and often times I’m not entirely satisfied with the results.  Most of the images that I like are the ones that I just happen to see, being in the right place at the right time  🙂

I was on the pavement near the intersection of Regent Street and Avenue of the Republic when I noticed the reflection of City Hall in the flooded pavement and road near to me, I actually had my camera in hand and tried to compose a few shots between people walking by me, and vehicles splashing the waters occasionally.

Some people can go out and “make” the photos, others are just the instrument that is manoeuvred into the right place at the right moment to see and capture what is shown to them  🙂


Canon Rebel T1i  |  Sigma 17-50mm  |  17mm, f/8, ISO400


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with the other images in the 2013 Deck Project.


2013 Deck – Week 21

I was perusing my takings for the week and I had pre-selected 16 photos that I was thinking of using for the Deck Project, some street photos, some seawall photos a few bird photos… you get the idea…  Maybe it’s the mood I was in or just that most of them seemed “normal” to me, but I ended up choosing one that I knew was not necessarily a great composition, and then in processing I also did some unusual work with the sliders 🙂

All that being said, I don’t expect many to appreciate or like the final result, but to me the entire thing was so off-kilter that I ended up titling the image just that… “Off-Kilter”, and it grew on me.  🙂


Canon Rebel T1i  |  18-55 Kit Lens  |  1/200s, f/11, 30mm, ISO400

Processing notes: Selective desaturation and hue adjustment.


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.