Wadokozinao wizii

I am not an art oficionado or connoisseur, but I do have some art appreciation; in the course of my day job, I happened to come across works by Ms Myrna Bernard, she came in to our offices to print images onto Canvas, the files tended to be digital illustrations and composites of her own photos and her own making, to the finished print she would then use paints to complete her works of art.  I have had the honour of seeing some of her work on Exhibit at the National Art Gallery on two occasions, and I distinctly remember having to return several times to one piece to stare and be engulfed in it.   Another person’s work whom I’ve seen with a similar angle is that of the ever-travelling Ian Brierley, an Englishman who has visited Guyana many times over the last two decades and has done many prints and paint on canvas among other types of artistic work.

I am no painter, but I had an idea and on chatting with a friend and painter, Ms. Nicky Williams (Nicole Bissoo-Williams),  a plan was put into motion.  I had taken many photographs on a trip into the Pakaraima Mountains in 2016;  I went through this set in search of a particular type of image, one that was good but did not feel complete in my eyes, and which I thought lent some room for further artistic expression by Nicky.

In the end, I chose five images, after some minor post-processing in Lightroom, I printed them onto Artist Canvas, and had them stretched onto some pinewood frames.  These I then gave over to Nicky  with the barest minimum of instructions, basically to do as she wished, use any technique, any materials, cover as much as, or as little as desired, add or remove content, so that when finished, the pieces would be a collaborative work.  It was a bit nerve-racking having someone else make alterations to something you created, without you actually approving of each and every change, but I firmly believed that if I gave the creative process free reign, that the results would be great; and I was not disappointed.

Sometime before Nicky had finished her work, I had approached a good friend, and spiritual sister Ermelinda, who is from one of the southern Amerindian villages to ask her to suggest or to ask around for a word or phrase with and  of the words “Land”, “Parents”, “Ancestors”, in any of the dialects or languages of the peoples in that area; this was done only because I had no contacts at the time to anyone specific in the areas the actual images were taken.  After some discussion; the phrase “Wadokozinao wizii” was chosen, it was from the Wapishana dialect and means “Our Ancestors’ Land”.  This was the title I had chosen for the collection of five pieces.

I was approached by Mrs. Denise Dias MS, about some photographs to be auctioned off at a fund-raising Italian dinner for Help & Shelter (tonight, November 3rd, 2017), and it occurred to me that if she liked these pieces, maybe they could be auctioned to raise funds for the shelter.  These pieces have never been seen by anyone else, but I figured that if Mrs. Dias liked them then they stood a chance at helping them raise some funds 🙂

I decided to write this post as a way of sharing photos of those pieces, taken before handing them over.  So, here they are:


Wadokozinao wizii – Yakarinta – 16-1175


Wadokozinao wizii – Rukumoto – 16-1315


Wadokozinao wizii – On Monkey Mountain – 16-1526


Wadokozinao wizii – Karasabai Fenced – 16-1253


Wadokozinao wizii – Karasabai Wide Open – 16-1263

 


These are meant as single time creations, and no other versions of them are intended to be created.

Click on the images to see them in the Gallery.


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Yakarinta

I generally don’t do many Panoramas, this is probably the first in a very long while, but there was this vista before me, and I wanted to remember it.

This is a combination of 17 individual portrait oriented images, they were taken from left to right, from the hill overlooking Charlie’s Place at Yakarinta.


Yakarinta 16-1875-1891  |  Composite Panoramic Image of 17 individual images

Canon EOS 6D, Canon 24-105 L  |  2016


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery


Soaring

Whether it’s over the coastal villages, the riverain areas, the open savannahs or the mountains, seeing a bird soaring gives a sense of freedom, a sense of wonder, a sense of space.

Of course, that might be just me.

Somewhere along the trip, my friend (a bit hard to believe I’ve known her since primary school days) Praharshanie mentioned she had loved one of Nikhil’s photos of a bird over the mountains, and that I should take one.  I have probably taken a few over the years, but none that really worked for me.  We were sitting on the benches by Charlie’s place at Yakarinta when we saw this scene, and of course, camera(s) in hand I set to shooting a few frames to see what I could get.

So, I like this one enough to share. 🙂


March 2016  |  Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF 24-105  |  Yakarinta, North Rupununi, Guyana


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery


Land of Many Waters

I recently saw (again) a panorama of Kaieteur that James Broscombe had done, and I remember the one I had done with a Canon PowerShot S5 IS, point and shoot, so I went to look for it and upload it to my page.  It’s the one seen here:

Seeing James’ panorama also reminded me that I was meaning to write this post and share with whoever might stumble across it.

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Sarah and James Broscombe a few years ago, Sarah was working in remote areas of our country with some of the Amerindian communities and James seemed to tag along camera in hand 🙂

These two talented people made quite an impression on me, and on most (if not all) people who they’ve met and interacted with.

Whatever their initial intent on coming to Guyana, the mark they’ve left on me was most likely not in the original plans… and I daresay there are others who may feel the way I do.

I was introduced to Sarah through her blog, one that she kept as a record of her “adventures” here, what struck me about her writing was the clarity of expression, and the vividness with which I could visualise everything she described.  Her grasp of the English language and her ability to use it to reach across miles of terrain and to describe the nuances of a culture that engulfed her made her writing a compelling read for me.

But this post is more about the work of her husband, James.  James dealt not with the expression of the written word, but with the capturing of scenes from their stay in photographs.  From the streets of the capital to the trails of the Rupununi, he captured an amazing array of cityscapes, landscapes, portraits and other scenes.  His amazing panoramas are breath-taking in the book, so I can only image what they’d look like printed large.  His, now iconic, photograph of lighting over Kaieteur is featured alongside many photographs that showcase the life of the Amerindian communities they spent time in.

The book is titled “Guyana: Land of many waters”, and although t can’t cover everything, it covers more than any other book of its kind.  As a book of photographic work it is packed, no, it is crammed full of beautiful imagery.  The only thing that could have made this book better would have been short stories written by Sarah.   Although I’ve seen most or all of the images online in his blog, it was so much more satisfying to turn leaf by leaf through the book!

If you are Guyanese, or love Guyana, or even just love photography, this is a boo to own, and at that price, it is a steal considering the sheer magnitude of its content.   The book is available here, and below I’m putting some samples I think may peak your interest even more.

The cover alone, should make you want to delve into it  🙂


Pages 24 and 25


Pages 58 and 59


Pages 124 and 125


and the Back Cover, the amazing image of Lightening over Kaieteur


At the list price, James isn’t making any kind of profit, so I suggest you get one before he changes his mind about that price  🙂  Get your copy of “Guyana – Land of Many Waters”, you won’t regret it.

Also visit James’ website over at http://jmbphotography.co.uk/


Pakaraima Mountain Safari 2012

This year, as the teams are already on their first day into the 2013 Mountain Safari, I’ve decided to share some images from last year’s trip.

It begins at night, so there’s not much to see 🙂  Our fist stop is at Peter and Ruth, 58 Mile, Lethem Trail; that’s 58 miles from Linden.  There’s a GuyOil Service Station there now, as well as cellular service from Digicel.


Nikhil was our primary driver (but seeing as he didn’t trust any of us behind the wheel, he ended up being the sole driver; I don’t blame him, I wouldn’t trust me behind the wheel on a Safari either)

A view from the back seat, note the can to the right 🙂


The trail crosses the might Essequibo at Kurupukari, where the Mekdeci Mining Company operates the pontoon crossing.


After the crossing, we pass through the Iwokrama Rainforest Preserve, and as soon as you leave the forest, we are hit by the vastness of the Rupununi Savannas, and the lovely undulations of the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains.  Our next stop is The Oasis, at Annai, run by Mr Colin Edwards and the native Amerindians from the village.  Colin has carved out a piece of paradise at The Oasis and the Rock View Lodge just behind it.


After leaving Annai, we continue on the trail until the turnoff to the first village on the main Safari, Karasabai, where we spend our first night.  Along the trail, the view of both the Pakaraima Mountain range and the Kanuku Mountain range is breath-taking


At Karasabia, we arrive with just enough light left in the day to set up camp… and enjoy the sunset 🙂

I think the first day was probably the most diverse for the photography  🙂  I may not post tomorrow (it being Palm Sunday, but look out for my next post from the Safari.  Best wishes to those on this year’s Safari, come back safely.


Click on the images to see them larger in the Safari 2012 Gallery in the collection.

2012 Deck – Week 14

I am still going through my photos from the 2012 Pakaraima Mountain Safari, there are lots of photos of vehicles and mountains, and I think I’ll save those for my post about the Safari (I really have to get around to that!)

On the way back from Orinduik after a very gruelling drive through “Rock World” we stopped for a breather and for the other vehicles to make it safely through.  I think that after making it through Rock World, if you smoke, you need a nice long pull on a cigarette, and if you drink, then you’d probably need a really stiff shot of something or a nice cold beer, and if neither option is available to you, then you need to go find something to just relax your mind and body and say “I’m alive!”

I grabbed my camera after I had gotten my legs to co-operate with general mobility, and went looking for things to shoot  🙂

This image was taken intentionally like this, also in post processing, the contrast slider in Lightroom was used liberally 🙂

As always, click on the image above for a better view in the Gallery  🙂

2012 Deck – Week 13

The thirteenth week of this year found me on the road trail, heading into the Pakaraima mountains towards Orinduik Falls on the Ireng River that borders Guyana and Brazil.

Although I took quite a few photographs, I had not been able to fully go through and process them, this week I did manage to do some narrowing down.

I have lots of photos of mountains and vehicles from the trip, not too many people, but I decided to go against the flow and choose one of a person…

When I took this photo I noticed the “look” in the eyes, Naseem had that Clint Eastwood stare, and with the hat and the general scene I was reminded of the spaghetti westerns.

Its not a Spaghetti Western, maybe we can call it a Macaroni Western, starring The Great N, and we’ll title it “A Neckful of Straps” 🙂  And the catchphrase could be “Mister, I’m watching you, one of these straps has your name on it.”  🙂

Although I was tempted to try for a “Technicolor” processing, I went for a copper-tone instead  🙂  As always, please click on the image to get a better view in the Gallery.