2012 Deck – Week 19

This week almost passed without me having taken any photos.  I had some slim pickings, but I think I got a nice one.

Nikhil has often used the word “Grok” especially as relating to “grokking the scene”.  It has become more important to grok the scene if you want to capture and express through the photograph what it is the scene says to you.

Even though I thought I had heard the word before, no one lese I know has ever used it as often as he does.

I check it up on Wikipedia and then thought to myself, “that’s where it came from!”, apparently coined by the author Robert Heinlein in his novel “Stranger in a Strange Land”.  I love the definition given for it in the novel (keep inmind that it is a Science Fiction novel set on Mars)

Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science—and it means as little to us (because of our Earthling assumptions) as color means to a blind man.

Can we understand a scene so completely that we become as one with it?  That is probably something to aim for, to achieve it would be great,

Here’s a photo of Nikhil, Grokking the scene  🙂

Click on the image for a better view in the Gallery, and if you haven’t seen the other entries for the Deck project they’re all over there in the Gallery.

Go to France!!!

Growing up I frequently heard the expression “Go to France”, it is an expression of disbelief, and equates to the more popular Guyanese expression “carry yuh rass”;  when you tell someone in Guyana something that they instinctively and emphatically believe is untrue (without copious amounts of proof), that’s the phrase you are most likely to hear.  So if someone tells me that the sun rises in the west, I will tell them “go to France”, or the more colourful alternative already mentioned here  🙂

Sint Maarten is commonly and correctly referred to as the “Dutch side” of the island, but only the residents of the Dutch side and other unsuspecting foreigners like myself would ever refer to the second half of the island as the “French side”, to the residents and especially the Gendarmes (police) and other officials, when you cross the border point, you are in France!  The province of St. Martin, France; not the French side, but France!  So today I got to “go to France”, finally.  Well, we actually didn’t visit a lot of places, but we did a bit of driving to the scenic spots.  No offence to the French, but I like the Dutch Side better, it’s more Caribbean and has more character.

I also went back to Back Street, Philipsburg; and then to a swim in the ocean and another chance to see a gorgeous sunset, both of the latter done right from the back of the house.  I will miss this most, I think  🙂

Catholic Church, St Martin.
St Martin (Radison Resorts down below)
Flying French Side
Baie Orientale
View from Pedro's, Baie Orientale

And this is only a fraction of the new images  🙂  see other “French Side” photos and more from Philipsburg and the Beach at Simpson Bay at the site, just click on any of the images above.

Just one more image… end of the Fourth Day in Sint Maarten 🙂

Sunset at Simpson Bay

HDRs from Bamboo Landing

One of my favourite types of Photographic work is an HDR (or High Dynamic Range image), I’ve played with them for some time and sometimes a scene has that nice range of light that I think would reproduce well in such an image and I just have to try it.  Most people reading this would already know what an HDR image is, if not you can always Google it, but simply put, it entails the combination of several exposures of a scene (usually a minimum of three) into a sinlge one.  It’s the same scene taken at different exposure levels, when combined the areas that may be too bright in one, and the areas that may be too dark in the other would than show more detail.
The three I most recently uploaded are from a trip I took with my brother André to Bamboo Landing and it’s associated base camp at Charabaru.  Rommel (the gentleman who runs the concession) has a beautiful home at Bamboo Landing and in it there were areas that I though would represent well in HDR, and as I was trying that I thought I’d also give the scene from his verandah a try too.
While I am far from perfection in this, I do believe that I managed to produce some pleasant images 🙂
As for the House at Bamboo Landing, I can only say that even these HDRs do not do it justice, the building is practically all wood, all from the concession, and it has a warmth that only that natural wood has.
As an editing tool in the photographer’s arsenal, the development of an HDR image helps the photographer to give the viewer a chance to see more of what the human eye saw, since our brains process these images far better than the camera  🙂