Tree on the Canal

As “modern” photographers, many of us share our work online, hoping that we will get recognised, maybe even sought out, it seldom works that way.  One casualty of this online type of photography is the lack of actual physical prints of our work.  There are comparatively few of my images out there, all things considered, but sometimes a few will get out.

One print that remains in my memory is from my very first exhibition, Coastal Wanderings, with Nikhil Ramkarran.  from that exhibition I only “sold” one print, but sales were never my goal, I just wanted to see if people would take my work seriously.  That print was sought after by Mr Colin Edwards of Rockview Lodge in Annai, North Rupununi.

tree on the canal.cdr

Colin has long been a supporter of the arts in Guyana, he has also been an admirer of the works of local photographers including myself.  In the image above, the photo to the right shows a portion of Rockview Lodge, the Kaieteur Falls image under the stairwell is by Nikhil Ramkarran, the black and white to the left as you go up the stairs is mine.  Colin is also part of the team behind the Rupununi Music Festival.

I was reminded of this image recently and thought to offer a special print sale on Metallic Photopaper prints.   For the month of June 2020, I’ll be using the print services available to the site and offering the image at four sizes at a 25% discount.  The high contrast black and white image will be enhanced by the Metallic PhotoPaper print, giving it a finish that you will love.

The image was part of the 2010 Deck Project I did, you can see the image on the site by clicking on the link below:

Tree on the Canal

Before going to the cart, make sure to choose your currency of preference, the coupons are available in US Dollars, Canadian Dollars and British Pounds Sterling.  Depending on your choice of currency, labs in the US, Canada and UK will be automatically chosen to produce the prints.   At checkout use the appropriate coupon code:

In the United States use TREE25US

In the Canada use TREE25CAN

In the United Kingdom use TREE25UK


Thank you everyone, especially those who have supported my journey with their words of encouragement and criticism, both are equally welcome and important to my work.


Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Today as Lent ends, and this Lent has been a time of trial indeed with our local Elections fiasco GECOM-20 and the arrival of the Sars-CoV-2 Coronavirus that causes the disease now known as COVID-19, as a church community, we cannot gather because of social distancing and curfew restriction placed on the populace in an effort to limit the spread of the disease.

Today marks the end of Lent and the beginning of the Easter Triduum, many will either pray as families, or just be there for each other, or join with others online as  today’s service is streamed live from the Bishop’s Chapel, as will services and masses for Good Friday, Easter Satrurday and Easter Sunday.  I decided to look back a bit and share two images from a past Holy Thursday, from the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception; many images from these service resemble any other service, as the main services remain similar with but a few differences, the two images I share can easily be associated with the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper by Catholics.


Holy Thursday - Mass of the Lord's Supper - IMG_2986
Washing of the Feet (2013)

Seen above is the re-enactment of the “Washing of the Feet”, a gesture that reinforces the idea that those we call Master are also there to serve.  A reminder in these troubled times that those who are there in positions of Power, our elected officials, are there to Serve the people, not to be served by them.


Holy Thursday - Mass of the Lord's Supper - IMG_1867-Edit
Procession the the Altar of Repose (2013)

This image shows Bishop Francis Alleyne OSB, Bishop of Georgetown, as he carries the monstrance containing the Blessed Eucharist to the Altar of Repose.  On Holy Thursday, Catholics are asked to spend an hour in prayer at the altar, just as the Disciples were asked by Jesus to keep vigil with him as he prayed in the Garden at Gathsemane, at the foot of the Mount of Olives.


In troubled times we cling to tradition, but in these troubled times we cannot do so physically, we can but cling to the memories, and to the hope of a better future.  Celebrate today the camaraderie of family, of friends, mourn tomorrow the death of  a saviour, of the leadership we once knew or dreamed of, and on Easter, celebrate the life we have, the life we can give to others, the life we can nourish in the world.  Holy Thursday also became popularly known as Maundy Thursday, the word Maundy was derived from the Latin word mandatum, meaning “commandment”, referring to the words of Jesus to his disciples that night “I give you a new commandment, love one another as I have loved you”, would that we all could do so, then a better future, a better world, we be ours.


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”


Five for the weekend

The powers that be decided to declare Elections Day in Guyana a national holiday, so we have a long weekend.

I decided to share five photos from my last month’s walking about, whether you see anything in them that appeals, or shows diversity, I can say that these show people, the quintessential “man in the street”, or if we’re going to be politically correct, “person in the street”, the people who will be affected by the outcome of Monday’s vote, and any events that may occur because of the elections, the parties and the electorate’s response.   These are the people for whom “life goes on”, regardless of what happens.

Babies Day Out - 20-0528
Babies Day Out – 20-0528

20-0539 | Church St, Georgetown, Guyana

20-0551 | Coconut Vendor on Main Street, Georgetown, Guyana

20-0557 | Robb Street, Georgetown, Guyana

20-0558 | Robb Street and Avenue of the Republic, Georgetown, Guyana

Hope you like one or two of those.  Click on them to see them in the Collection along with many more images  from my album “In The Streets”


Lusignan

Anyone who knows me, or has followed my blog or Facebook posts know that I have a particular fondness for the seawalls.  Although I haven’t been shooting much in the last few years, I do manage to get in one or two seawall visits and a few images.  Many people don’t realise that the artistic process is not simple and certainly not infallible, over the years, I’ve accumulated many images, and I can often go back through images I’ve taken and overlooked to find a gem or two.

These two images were never overlooked, but I simply didn’t quite get the feel I wanted at the time, I suspect  my mindset was different and I didn’t see what was right in front of my eyes.  I’ve often looked at images I’ve taken and know that I have “something”, but can’t seem to process is the way my mind or my inner eye was seeing it, so its often a limitation of the mind, or the knowledge to get the image from the raw image into what it was that I was intending to capture and to share.

Lusignan Seawall – 19-6437

One of the things I’ve learned over time is not to force my way to achieve something “artistic”, it either comes or it doesn’t.  What I can do, and what I often do, is to experiment, to play with the software, try various settings and adjust the sliders without thinking too much about it, just adjust on a visual level rather than intellectually anticipate a particular outcome.  What this does if expose my mind to more of what the software is capable of, and also to see changes in the tonality and look of the image that I would not have otherwise seen with my usual predetermined mindset.

This does not necessarily mean that at the end of experimenting that I get a pleasing image, often that’s not that case, and I put the image aside and move on, but I would have learnt a thing or two, which I can apply to other images.  It is also just as likely that I would return to that image at a later date, with some more clarity, possibly because I’ve since learnt something new, or simply gotten a different outlook on the image and what it could be.

Mast – 19-6434

What I have described is one of my approaches to this “art”, and there are many photographers out there who don’t approach it as art but as a profession.  The beauty of Photography is that each of us can approach it differently, and come out of it at the end with unique images, because we are all unique, and what works for me may not work for others, and vice versa.  Don’t be afraid to experiment, it is how we learn.


Back in the Streets

I’ve been out of circulation for a while, many things have happened and life has moved on.  I’m trying to get back to some sort of “normal”, and one way was to start back my midday walking, so I went out for a short walk (much shorter than usual) to dip my toes in the water 🙂

Over the years, I’ve gotten used to walking with come device to capture images while I walk, whether its a full DSLR camera, a mobile phone or the DXO One that I have for such walks.  There are times I walk and never take a photo, and there are times that I take many but never use any, then there are the other times that I take some and get a few keepers.

Chicos y bolsos – 20-0489

The thing about Street Photography, and something many still don’t understand, is that its not about photographs in the streets, its about people.  It’s about people and the environment, whether they are identifiable or not is unimportant, its their way of dress, or their way of walking, their antics or the way they “pose” as in lean on a post or sit on a chair, its about their behaviour in a crowd, or among others, or by themselves – its about life, the life that they show, the life that is implied, the life that we see as a photographer,and the life that you see as a viewer.

Partaking of the Harvest – 20-0492

For my part in taking street photography, I try to be outside of the events, not interacting with the subjects,but inevitably there will be some interaction, being of mixed ancestry with an outwardly predominant asian visage, I tend to get noticed on the streets 🙂  Using a discrete device to capture images does help minimise the likelihood of the subjects being aware that they are being photographed, and thereby preserving the scene.  There are many times when I’ve watched Nikhil interact with people, then take their photos, and the results are usually quite amazing, but that’s just not me, so what works for him and others, don’t work for me, and vice versa.

Charlie Brown makes me laugh – 20-0501

I don’t consider myself a good street photographer, I do have an understanding of the genre, but I definitely place my images way below those of many other local “street togs”, but sometimes I have a few that I think are worth sharing  🙂

Hope you like them, click on them to see them in the Gallery along with other images “In the Streets”.


Photographic OIL and GAS

Now that I have your attention, this is not about the oil off our coast or anything to do with the oil and gas sector; this is about photography – Photographic Overall Inspiration Lapse & Gear Acquisition Syndrome.

It may be interesting to see what photographs result from the new-found Oil, but for that we’ll have to wait. This post is about the a little slump I’ve found myself in and a little about some images resulting from a bit of new gear (no, I don’t suffer from Gear Acquisition Syndrome, that’s click-bait too)

Continue reading “Photographic OIL and GAS”

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.

SGC -2

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.