Photographs and Memories

Karran Sahadeo recently did a presentation at Moray House with this title, when I chose this photo for this week’s entry for the Deck Project, it popped into my head.

Often, all we have of moments and events of our younger days are memories… with the current deluge of photos being taken with various cameras, smartphones, tablets, webcams, etc., the current generation may have a different take on it in 20 years.

I can look back at what might be considered a relatively large amount of photos from my younger days, relative to the general population at the time in Guyana at any rate, and I can sometimes remember the moment, the event, the atmosphere, the sounds and other tiny things that made the moment memorable, but there are many more points in my life that have no such record, and all I have are memories.

I was out on the seawall on the way to work one morning when I saw the sky to the south as I approached the portion of the wall right behind my old school ground (Saint Stanislaus College), as I stopped to take the photo, memories of times there came back to me.

I’m not a sportsman, never really was, but I do remember trying a few sports, simply because the teachers said you had to “try”…  I remember being left behind in the 100m sprint, I remember being lapped once in some one of the longer runs, I remember wanting to try the shotput, but being a small fellow, no one would let me, I remember trying the long jump and not doing too badly (as in, at least one other person fell shorter than I did); I also remember getting sunburnt, falling in the grass and bruising my knees, climbing the pavilion steps, eating snow-cones and icicles, and drinking Blackcherry Soda… (Both Banks DIH and DDL had lost their Cola franchises, Banks brought out the ICEE Blackcherry to fill the void), I could go on, but my point is, I can look back on “this” photo and have those memories renewed even though I don’t have photos of any of those moments to look at.

While this photo can mean that to me, for you, it may just be a very plain, very empty black and white photo; for me, the field is filled with students; the pavilion with teachers, students, parents; the gateway and fence lined with vendors selling snow-cones, tamarind syrup and green-mango 🙂


Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm | 1/100s @ f/7.1, 10mm, ISO100


Click on the image to see it in the Black and White Gallery from the Collection, while there, take a look at the other images in the growing Black and White Gallery.


Alma Mater

Latin: translated literally as “nourishing mother”, a phrase used in ancient Rome to refer to various mother goddesses, in Christianity is has been used for the Virgin Mary, though not so much in modern times.  Its primary current usage is to refer any school, college or university that one has attended and/or graduated from.

For me, my Alma Mater is Saint Stanislaus’ College; I could say my Almae matres are Stella Marris, Saint Stanislaus’ College and the University of Guyana, having attended them as my primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions.

But for me, it will always be “Saints”, there I spent my formative years, my adolescent youth, where I formed life-long friendships, where I had teachers (and a lack of teachers) and memories (good and bad) that refuse to go away.

I had done a blog late last year, on some of the Latin phrases that have stuck with me to this day, if you haven’t read it, it’s not just about my Alma Mater, but about “Monuments

Last year while looking for subjects to photograph for the Deck Project, I took a midday walk with Nikhil towards Brickdam with the very specific intention and aim of taking a few photographs of the building.  During and after photographing it, I was not satisfied, so we continued on down Brickdam to take a few other photographs, one of which I used for that week’s Deck Photo (2011 Deck – Week 13).

Every so often, I go through my older images, and on reaching the photos that I had taken of my Alma Mater, I was moved to view them differently,  One stood out from the rest, but I was still not happy with it as it was,  I decided to try a Psuedo-HDR out of it, I created two alternate exposures in Lightroom, one at -3ev (to retain some detail in the sky) and one at +3ev (although to be honest, I don’t think I really wanted more details in the shadows for this one).  I did the HDR combining and tone-mapping in Nik HDR Efex Pro.  I didn’t really want a coloured image as the final product, so in the HDR processing, I did a conversion to monochrome as well.

Please click on the image for a much better view in the Gallery, unlike most of my black and white images, I placed this one in the Georgetown Gallery.