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.


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2015 Deck – Week 50

Not everyone believes in a supreme being, a creator of all that was, that is and that is to come; even fewer believe in the power of prayer to such an entity.

There are many religious beliefs and belief systems, but most followers in those believe in the power of prayer and in the idea that as humans we should choose to be good rather than evil.

I would never seek to force my belief upon another, express it, yes, try to explain it, maybe.

I dedicate this photo to those of my family and friends who have suffered this year, I hesitate to call names, but three stand out right away for me; from my alma mater, Saints Stanislaus College, I think that prayer and fellowship worked wonders, if not physically, then certainly mentally for people like Racquel and Dara, and hopefully for our friend Mercer.  To all of you, stay strong, and even if you don’t believe in prayer, believe in the friends and family who are there for you every step of the way.


In tacitus volverem apparuit  –  15-8945  |  2015


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery


Goodbye Uncle Harry

Growing up, my maternal grandfather was seldom seen in the congregation of the church, he was always at the back “helping out” Uncle Harry.  I grew up knowing Uncle Harry as Uncle Joe, then others called him Harry, when I asked my grandfather about it he said that he is Harry Joe!  You never question wisdom like that!

Uncle Harry would be there to open the church, he’d be there to close the church, he was the man to go to to get your weekly Catholic Standard, or the tickets for the next Festival of Carols.  He would hand out the collection baskets to the people who would be needing them for each mass, and he’d have Bibles, Hymnals and other little books on sale too.

He was as grumpy as he was jovial.  He was a New Year baby, born on the 1st of January, worked for many years at Banks DIH, from all the way back when it was known as D’Aguiar’s, and he worked at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for as long as my memory serves, up until he was retired a few years ago.

After retirement from his duties in the church he’d try to attend either the early morning 6:00 am mass, or the next one at 7:30 am on Sundays, rain or shine, in his long pants, dress shoes, shirt-jac, umbrella, hat and his spectacle case and pen in his top pocket.

He died on Sunday 17th March 2013, St Patrick’s Day, at around 2am; it was his time.  May his Soul Rest in Peace.

I had taken that photograph of him (candidly) two days before my own birthday in 2011, and he was sitting there staring towards this altar below:


2012 Deck – Week 8

Although Mashramani fell in the eight week of the year, I did not necessarily want to use a photograph from that event, fortunately I had gone on a walk with Nikhil around St George’s Cathedral and I had tried out an HDR, although it has some issues, I rather liked the outcome.

I was a mere four feet from the door, but other than standing in mid-air to get the shot, this was my only option.  Although I did some correcting to the distortion caused by the Sigma 10-20mm lens (and the close proximity to the subject), I still got some distortion that I couldn’t get rid of.

My aim with this HDR, was to get the doorway, but also to get as much detail on the inside that I could.  Nikhil wanted to go and adjust the mat, but I thought that the angle that it was at worked fine for me.

Oh, and as usual, I neglected to lug the tripod with me, so this was handheld.

Looking In

2011 Deck – Week 49

I think that Christmas Carols (and Christmas music in general) lends to the “feel” of Christmas as much as many of the other traditions associated with the Day and the Season.  Whether its Carollers on the street or in the church, the chorus of voices or the clarity of the soloist singing those traditional carols (or the new songs) helps get me in the Christmas Mood.

This was a photo taken at the annual Festival of Carols held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Brickdam Cathedral), it is one of the few times I’ve attempted higher ISOs on the Canon Digital Rebel T1i, although there’s a fair amount of noise it wasn’t too bad for the shot, and I did a bit of noise reduction in Topaz  🙂

Christmas Carolling

One Year

One year ago, I wrote and posted my first official post on this blog, I am not counting the “Hello World” that Word press starts me off with.  It might seem morbid to some that the first post was about the death of my maternal grandmother, and a photo of the same, but to me it’s not only the scenes that capture our eyes as photographers that may appeal to viewers, but the feelings and emotions that we can convey or arouse from others viewing our work.

One year has passed, and I have had “ups and downs” in blogging, recently a lot of “downs”, time seems to be an elusive creature, and I have not put as much into the blogging or reading blogs as I think I should.  But I think that I have kept up pretty well, and The Deck project certainly gives it some impetus.

Recently there have been other deaths as well, not a good way to celebrate one year of blogging, but it is what it is.  My daughter recently lost one of her teachers from last year, Teacher Gillian, and only this week we lost “Mr. Terrific”, Flavio Commacho, who was very instrumental in the conversion of our system of measurements in Guyana from Imperial to Metric, I remember from when I was a little boy listening to “Swing to Metric” on the radio (yes, radio.  Televisions weren’t quite the thing as yet)

Also this month we lost Sister Rose Magdalene, there is so much to be said for her, and there is a lovely Tribute page on Facebook.  What I remember of Sr Rose is her love for music and pageantry.  She wrote, she sang, she danced, she lived and loved with music in her heart.  I always will remember the special Christmas mass at the old Sacred Heart Church (now burnt down), the traditional readings were replaced by a pageant telling the story of the birth of the Christ child, and at the heart of it all was Sr Rose.  This photo in today’s blog was taken at the memorial mass held in Guyana at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Brickdam Cathedral) for her, the people in it are a few of the members of the Marigold Children’s Choir that she formed many years ago.

This was meant to be a simple (hopefully artistic) photograph, but for me, it has a depth of emotion also.

The music died...

The Rock and The Church

I had just finished processing two photographs from my recent trip to Sint Maarten, and as I processed them I knew that I would be including both in one blog-post, then as soon as I put the title into the post I was reminded of a bible quote:

And I say to you: That you are Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (From the Gospel according to Matthew, 16:18)

Now the post, nor this blog-post has nothing to do with that quotation, it merely sprang to mind as I gave the post it’s title.  Some portions of Back Street (and Front Street), Philipsburg have nicely rendered cast-iron stump columns that mark the end of the pedestrian pavement and the beginning of the vehicular roadway, but there are a few spots along the street where these do not exist, at some of these spots, they have put large (maybe medium is a better description) rocks to keep the vehicles off the pedestrian walkway.  One of these intrigued me and that’s the photograph that I want to share first:

As a pedestrian on these streets, I was very hopeful that this rock, like Peter, would prevail against an errant vehicle if not the Gates of Hell.

Farther down Front Street, Philipsburg, past the Jewelery Shops and Casinos, there lies the Roman Catholic church of Saint Martin of Tours, it extends from Front Street onto the Boardwalk facing the Great Bay.  I have to assume that either the hurricanes don’t hit too hard here or this church was built to prevail.  I took the opportunity to take some multiple exposures with the intent to try an HDR image.  The pews are stained a deep reddish wood colour and this is very evident in the photograph.  The few people who go to pray during the day must be accustomed to crazy tourists snapping photographs since it didn’t seem to bother them as I took my time getting this shot, of course, I tried to be as unobtrusive as possible, but that quite hard for a man of Chinese descent with a rather large camera in hand.

St Martin of Tours Catholic Church, Philipsburg, Sint Maarten

This HDR is a composite of three exposures, 0ev, +2ev and -2ev, I still have some issues with alignment, but I think I am getting the hang of it.