2012 Deck – Week 11

I try not to do single image HDRs, that is, using a single exposure and tone-mapping it for greater detail throughout the scene, but sometimes I can never quite seem to get the processing on an image quite right in colour, and sometimes its an image that I would prefer not to use as a monochrome, so then I tone-map it in an HDR software to bring out that detail that I know is there.

This photo is of the Moravian Church in Queenstown, Guyana.  It is more than a hundred years old.

It stands at the junction of Anira Street and New Garden Street, and there are utility posts and wires on two sides of it, I composed this to minimise the effect of those wires.

Queenstown Moravian Church
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Buildings – Queenstown, Bourda… and Clive Lloyd Drive

Have I been taking numerous photos of buildings recently? Yes I have, and it’s all Nikhil’s fault!  As usually happens, when we take a walk, it’s usually centred around a small area in Georgetown, and what else is there to photograph in Georgetown except buildings? Maybe some trash on the road-corner, but that’s not my style of photography (well, not yet anyway).

Georgetown has a very wide array of “architectural styles”, so you can often go around one city block and come back with a nice diverse set of photographs, while I may photograph the entire structure most times, it is usually a combination of the smaller features that really draw my attention.

Combinations of both wooden and concrete portions are somewhat common to see these days, usually because of “additions” to the original structure, but sometimes it is a deliberate architectural decision.

Even buildings constructed with one type of base material have very appealing little characteristics sometimes.  Something I don’t see too often these days is the use of shingles, especially on the walls of a building, quite interesting to see that, especially when you’ve grown up in either wooden houses (with tongue and groove wood walls) or in concrete boxes with louvre windows like I did.

This blog-post is going to be particularly shot on words, but heavy on the photographs.  I have six photographs of buildings that I wanted to include in this post, all taken in Georgetown, some from the wards of Bourda and Queenstown and one from the Kitty area, on Clive Lloyd Drive.

I am not sure how many residents of Georgetown (much less Guyanese) know where Clive Lloyd Drive is.  It’s that little stretch of road from Vlissengen Road to Sheriff Street running along the Seawall, I think that it becomes the Rupert Craig Highway at Sheriff Street.

Now that I have filled up the space between these two photographs with words, I can now go on to show you the other photographs  🙂  Two are of the “Open Bible Church”, whose “building” is for sale, so it’s not likely to be there for much longer.  One of my goals is to try to photograph some of the more interesting buildings around town before they disappear, and are forgotten.  I have an open list, so feel free to send suggestions, and no, the concrete box with the louvre windows is not that photogenic, seriously!

Open Bible Church, Oronoque and Lamaha Streets
Queenstown, Georgetown
Open Bible Church, Frontal view
The Cottage - Clive Lloyd Drive

Photos From a Midday Walk

I remember lots of people engaging me in dialogue after the post that I made “Where to look for something to photograph”, and while there were nods of assent and some disagreement (which I quite understand), one thing that struck me was the question as to the variety of images I get when I do something of that sort.

It seems, that Nikhil and I are making quite a habit of taking either a midday walk or an afternoon walk, and sometimes I come back with a few images worth sharing, other times I am not so lucky.  I recently processed a few images from two such walks and thought I’d share them here.

This first image struck  my fancy, I liked the wooden structure, the fence and the palm tree in the background, the only problem I had was that PVC pipe marring the scene.  There wasn’t much I could do about that pipe, but while the image looked nice in colour, I thought that rendering it in black and white helped just a tiny bit to tone down the intrusion of the pipe.

Not only did it help a little there, but it also brought out the nice lines of the old-fashioned windows and shutters.  One of the reasons I took the shot to include the pipe was that I wanted to get both bridges in the shot.

The next photograph shows two things that are fairly common around certain parts of Guyana, the plant (which I have always called an eggplant, because some people decorate them with eggshells, the white eggshells looking rather nice on the green leaves) and the concrete fence with the spaces between the blocks.

There was something about the simplicity of the scene that I liked and tried to capture, the texture of the fence the radial symmetry of the plant (not readily seen)  and the stretch of grass.

One of the things about Georgetown, is that almost anywhere you decide to take a walk, you are sure to come across some old buildings, not necessarily just old in age but also derelict.

The next photograph is one such example, a house that appears to be currently uninhabited, and slowly going to ruin.

Obviously, what caught my eye was this same derelict look; the old style of windows, the wide open room at the end that towered (slightly) over the rest of the building, the encroaching vegetation that may soon take over the building.

I believe that, ideally, I would have loved to do either a photograph of the inside, or wait until dark and try to illuminate it somehow on the inside, but neither of these ideas was practical.

I find that these older buildings had “character”, and I can most times find some angle of interest to photograph on many of them, much unlike most modern box-like houses which have distinct lack of character, being built “functional” as Nikhil once told me.

Before you believe that on these two walks near and in Queenstown, there were only buildings which may look good when displayed in monochrome, there was also this old church (maybe not so old) on Irving Street.

I’ve wanted to photograph this church, my intention being to get it early in the morning when the sun illuminates its north-eastern section, I had never actually considered an afternoon photograph, but as we approached it I saw that it was nicely framed by two palm trees and was pretty well-lit by the afternoon sun, I couldn’t have planned it better.

Most people who know me, know that I love a blue sky in my photographs, with or without clouds, I love a blue sky, and I think that the building has been nicely offset by the lovely blue sky and the verdant green grass.

I can imagine a wedding party in the churchyard, that would make quite a pretty picture, maybe I should volunteer as a wedding photographer just to get that!

Now I wonder what the view from that tower would be like…

The other photograph in line is one of a house that has some nice old architecture, on a small scale, but definitely gives lots of dimension to the front of the building.

I can go on and on about why I liked this building, from the nice step and porch, to the verandah, to the style of roof with its secondary portion, to the windows, the door, there were even side windows (Demerara Shutter styled) at the side that aren’t in this photograph, but what really caught my eye was the combination of these to create the face of the building together with the nice simple colour scheme of green and white.  Very nice and very simple and when I looked at it from this angle, there was the Red mailbox just sitting there, some say it’s a sore thumb, but I think it adds to the image not take away.

If you look carefully you can see the fretwork on the porch, the lightning rods on the roof peaks, the louvre-like wall of the verandah is especially distinctive, and what I liked a lot, was the green bench on the porch, it completed the image for me.

The final image of the set is a photograph of a place you couldn’t miss if you traveled down that street, unless you were blind.

It appears to be a residence, but obviously of someone of means and someone of deep religious conviction.  The Hindu influence is very definite, the building, though low, has many architectural nuances, and although the fence is high it is designed to allow the beauty of the place be seen.

I am not a big fan of these multi-part roofs, but they do have their beauty, and while I would never paint anything in my yard pink and powder blue, it does somewhat compliment the earth tones of the main building.

I didn’t mean to ramble so much on this post, but the images from a walk can be quite interesting to me.

The Deck – Week 26

I think that, if I calculated correctly, I am now halfway through The Deck  🙂

This week’s image was taken on one of those “walkabouts” I sometimes do with Nikhil.   We had decided to go into a part of Queenstown and walk a couple blocks.  That part of Georgetown has always had some picturesque areas, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed with the walk.

This image was of a corner building that was being brightly illuminated by the afternoon sunshine, and its colours are part of what we in the Caribbean had become accustomed to seeing, nicely sprinkled amidst the “normal” white buildings. (click on the image to go to the site itself)

As was pointed out to me recently, only when we Caribbean people travel to the “Great North” do we miss our colourful heritage; this image is an appreciation of parts of that heritage, from the colours to the “Demerara shutters”

I am proud to be a Guyanese, and like the great Dave Martins referred to it, I have my “Caribbean Belly”