This week was the week of our Republic Celebrations in Guyana, which I’ve shared photos from already, as is my custom, I look through those to choose one for the Deck Project.
This year there was no one image that stood out to me as much as this one did. I had processed it in Black and White and had decided not to include it in the original upload, I was still not sure anyone else would like it.
I like it, it seemed to me to be a moment frozen in time… something more sensual than what was occurring all around… maybe that is why I converted it to monochrome, to remove the distractions.
I hope you see something other than a Mash Photo 🙂
I’m not sure I ever come out of these events with the right photos… but I think I usually get a few that are nice, and once in a while, one that is very nice.
Mashramani was on a Sunday this year, making the following day a holiday, so it was more relaxed for me in a way, there were a few bands fewer as well, so the last band came earlier than normal, which is good, I always get a bit peeved when the last band comes and the sun is already getting low in the sky
I was without my flash this year, and shooting into the sun without fill-flash was a different experience for me. Also without my Tamron 18-270mm I felt a bit lost, but I stuck to my plan of attempting it with a borrowed Canon 55-200mm, and I think I did a fairly decent job of it.
I usually cull the set much more than this, but I think that these are fairly representative of the day, and I decided to keep almost all of the first draft.
Click on the image above to see the Gallery on the site for the full set, I will try to do a Select collection soon.
Most of my photographs from the recent Mashramani parade for Georgetown were of one particular style, but somewhere in the middle of all the fast flying shots that I took I managed to capture one that was quite different from the wide shots of the floats or the half-body close-ups of the revellers
I don’t know if it’s the photography book I have been going through, but for some reason this image stands out from the plethora of photographs that I took on Mash Day.
The book is “Through the Lens – National Geographic Greatest Photographs”, and it contains some truly amazing photographs. I am certainly not claiming that any of mine can class with anything from National Geographic, far from it, but the “feeling” that I got from this one was different from the rest, and I think that it is a better photo for that.
You have to see it large, please click on the image to see it in the Gallery.
For me, this shows a woman lost in the moment; it’s just her, the music, the rhythm, the motion… alone in a crowd, part of the band bu apart from the band all at once. This is “the moment” for Mashramani 2013. I hope you like it.
I know that most people’s Mashramani photos are already out there, and I have to say that this year saw a large increase in not only the amount of photos out there but also an increase in the quality of the photography of the event.
In trying to “cover” the event I take a lot of photos, which means I then have to process those photos. This year I used two cameras, I had a wide-telephoto Sigma 17-50mm on the Canon Rebel T1i body and the slightly longer telephoto Canon 18-135mm kit lens on the Canon 60D body (my favourite lens for the event, the Tamron 18-270mm, has an issue I cannot resolve as yet, it’s slow to focus, which is not good for moving subjects). My favourites from these events have always been close shots rather than wide, but I decided to try to get a variety anyway.
As I expected, my favourites are still the close-up shots 🙂
Click on the Image above for the full Gallery
For a hand-picked selection, click on this Link, I selected my favourites, not necessarily the best ones, just the ones I like 🙂
Recently, I was fortunate to have a photo of mine selected and used for the cover of the Caribbean Airlines in-flight magazine – Caribbean Beat (November – December 2012), and they have also used another to accompany an article in the current issue (January-February 2013)
Click on the image above for the full PDF article by Vidyaratha Kissoon along with the accompanying image.
Amazingly it was an image that I liked, but not one that got a lot of attention 🙂 Getting great images during the Mashramani parade is not easy, I’m thankful to come away each year with more than a few that I like.
Here’s the image: Click to see it in the Gallery along with a select set of photos from last year’s Mashramani
Mashramani. A Guyanese Celebration that has taken on the overtones of Carnival. The name, derived from an Amerindian word (Arawak) meaning “Celebration after hard work” has been synonymous with Guyana’s Republic Day celebrations for many many years. Although the original activity began in the mining town of Linden (known as Mackenzie back in those days), it spread quickly around the country.
It is probably hard to have grown up in Guyana (or at least one of the towns in Guyana) and not have attended and have memories of Mashramani celebrations, especially the “Float Parade”. But after reading Krysta’s blog post “Mash in Guyana, People going crazy”, my mind did that funny thing where it takes you back to remembering what it was like when you were a child.
Just for the record, her title was a reflection of a popular song for the Mashramani celebrations going back many years, it was written and performed by Rudy Grant and is yet to be replaced as “The” song for Mashramani.
So, back to my memories of Mash (faulty though they may be)!
I won’t go into any detail (since that is very much lacking in my memory) but I’ll tell you what I miss… the Low-bed trailers. I remember there being two very distinct types of “Floats”, one was the very mobile (often times extravagant) personal Float Costume, handled by one man or woman, who expertly maneuvered it down the streets, spinning and dancing and giving a very exuberant display, the second was the low-bed display, a very low (two or three feet of the ground low) trailer with an extravagant display on it, these were usually pulled by a tractor (I even remember a Tapir pulling one once).
These days I see the larger trucks which make seeing all the components of a well-detailed display hard to see. So, I miss the low-bed trucks or trailers that were used back then.
As a photographer on Mash Day, it’s a nightmare, the police have no control over the crowds, who fill up the street where the bands are supposed to pass, and when the Bands\Floats are passing they also walk alongside, in-front and behind, and sometimes even within! In doing so they obscure others from seeing and enjoying the beautiful costumes and other design works in the Floats and trucks. Of course, that also makes it really hard for a photographer to get “easy” shots, but we persevere and press on to get what we can 🙂
I’ve put aside (with Nikhil’s help) a Select set which is about a quarter of the whole gamut, you can click HERE for that, but I do encourage you to check out the whole Gallery by clicking the image below.
This photo for me is very much “Mashramani”, this is Slingshot, a Guyanese singer / Calypsonian, a few years ago he fell of the horse-cart and was injured, this year he was back, undaunted, and back on the horse-cart! Hats off to you Slingshot!
Republic Day, a day of celebration, we govern ourselves, no longer under imperial rule; some say that was a mistake, but it happened 41 years ago, sometime before I was born, so it’s all academic to me. Mashramani is the adopted celebration of Republic Day, celebrating a crop that’s harvested, a job completed; or in this day an age, just a big bacchanal, a reason to go out and party, to see the costumes and floats, both governmental and private sector.
Things to remember next year (if I choose to go out): SUNSCREEN, lots of water, and a really big flexible hat that won’t interfere with the camera in front my face.
Because of the recent rains, the “mall” where people usually walk and eat, picnic and party, was soggy, so they chose to walk alongside the bands, this was not good for a photographer, getting s decent shot was hard, so I took as many as were allowed, getting lots of spoilage in the process 🙂
I’ve chosen a tetrad of images for this blog post, those are by no means representative of the full gallery, but I had to choose something 🙂 Click on the image to go to the full gallery.
I hope you view the gallery and let me know which ones you like, commenting on the gallery is as easy as commenting here 🙂
In an attempt to explain Mashramani to someone recently I had to use comparisons, so lets just say that it has similar roots to Trinidad’s Carnival, Rio’s Carnival and Louisiana’s Mardi Gras; well, less Mardi Gras and more Carnival 🙂
Wednesday gone was our Republic Day in Guyana, and the big event was the Mashramani Parade, so I had already decided that I was going to pick one of those photos for this week’s Deck image.
After several days of torrential and continuous rain (that flooded my house) the day was Sunny, very sunny, still clouds on the horizon, and every once in a while, above us, but primarily sunny. My head now looks like a large cherry on top my shoulders, I am sunburnt. But hopefully after I upload all the selected images from the day, I’ll think it was worth it 🙂
I chose one that I think represented the exuberance and gaiety, the sheer joy of tramping and mashing down the road that the revellers seem to possess (on and off) through their parade.
In Guyana, one of the festivities marking the occasion of Republic Day is Mashramani, the word being derived from one of the many native Amerindian languages, meaning roughly “celebration after a job well done”, the actual celebrations are more African in origin celebrating the end of the harvest time. As part of the Mashramani Celebrations the various schools have entries into the Children’s Float and Costume Competition, the parade is usually held the Saturday before the main National festivities.
I took some photos that day and have uploaded them to the site, below is a checkerboard of photos from that collection, please click on it to go to the collection for the full set.
With any luck today will be sunny and I will be ably to get a nice set of photos from today’s National Mashramani Float Parade.
Happy Mashramani to all Guyanese, a Happy Republic Day, and to the rest of the world, Happy Wednesday 🙂