Just a photo 🙂
Liliendaal, Georgetown, Guyana, South America.
Click on the image to see it in the Seawall Gallery.
Photography; I shoot what I like, and sometimes people like what I shoot. All photos are copyright to Michael C. Lam unless explicitly stated otherwise.
I like my camera, whatever it happens to be at the time, and I think I care it as I would any piece of equipment I use regularly. I’m not one of those photographers who treats it like a paper-thin piece of porcelain; its a camera, something I use, but I have to tell you that when it comes to salt water, I get a little nervous. I like the waves at the seawall, I enjoy the spray on my face, and the sound of the crash upon the rocks. I really love some of those amazing photos of the waves towering over the wall (I don’t like the resulting flooding though), but I am very hesitant to be anywhere near the actual water with my camera, and since I like my seascape photos to be wide, getting a good photo would mean being right up there in the spray, so for now, I’ll just keep being cautious and get the ones I’m comfortable with 🙂
Spray 14-3416 | Canon EOS 6D, Canon 24-105mm | Thomaslands, Georgetown, Guyana | 2014
Click on the image to see it in the Seawall Gallery
I’m using this blog-post to express some opinions. No one has to agree with me, or even bother reading, you can skip to the photo 🙂
Guyana’s Sound – recently there has been talk about developing a unique sound for Guyana, someone was even telling me that there was talk about using the Ringbang name – I say stop right there!! For one thing, Ringbang is not Guyanese, it’s Caribbean, it’s more encompassing than what most Guyanese think and it is not “we own” (I know, Ringbang is Eddy Grant’s creation, and while he is “we own” the idea behind Ringbang was regional and not local). Not many people might remember that Guyana actually had a sound, a unique style of music that died off as suddenly as it was born… and all before our time, it was called Shanto, and the man responsible for its popularity was Bill Rogers, while I don’t remember all the songs I do recall the Fifteen Cent Sweetheart and BG Baghee. Another identifiable style was that of David Campbell, very folk oriented and probably unknown to most Guyanese living here… Our world-famous artistes all sing or trade on existing genres, and they do it well. Eddy Grant is arguably our most famous musician outside of our borders, I think most Guyanese can name at least two of his songs (which in itself is a tragedy, melodically the albums were very good; lyrically, let’s just say that Guyanese should really listen to more of his tracks than just Electric Avenue and Johanna). Dave Martins is likely the most well-known and well liked, it is not uncommon that people know the lyrics of his popular songs perhaps even better than he does, his music speaks to us as a nation, we identify with it, is we own. Is it a unique sound? That is hard for me to say, it is calypso and folk, and a lot of Dave. Our newer artistes like Natural Black, Timeka Marshall, Jomo, Adrian Dutchin and Slingshot all sing in the reggae, dancehall and soca genres (with some R&B influences), the ever popular Terry Gajraj and similar artistes of the Chutney field did very well for a period. There was a period in the 1980s when there were a lot of Bands, and while many were mostly cover bands some were striving to get original songs on the airwaves and played publicly; these included the Yoruba Singers (out of which came Charmaine Blackman), Mingles Sound Machine and EC Connection, to my ear, EC Connection had a different sound to many other performing bands across the region, likely due to the compositions of Burchmore Simon. Here’s my opinion on the Guyana Sound that we seem to be looking for, you can’t necessarily develop it, it has to be born then nurtured; encourage musicians to create, encourage them to be the drive that the industry needs, this is where the DJs come in, they simply play more to the imported music, understandable, but they need to be creative themselves and help make the sounds of Guyanese heard here.
I was going to try posing a “plan” for a weekly event for musicians, but that will have to be a different forum I think…
Another local blogger raised a question recently asking about where or when is Guyana’s Renaissance happening… I think it is now.
We are living in a time of change, of relative hardship, of freedom of expression, of creativity. Nothing is going to be handed to us, so stop expecting the government to give you something, or the corporations to want to give you contracts just because you say you’re an artist. The arts collectively cannot have one plan to do this together, that is impractical, the needs and the development of each genre is different and diverse, but I also say we cannot each do it alone, we must be supportive of the other, to work together when possible, and to let creativity be the driving force as individuals, but the love for art be the driving force collectively.
Copyright and Intellectual Property rights are always touted as the factor that hinders the arts from progressing, while I agree that it forms a basis upon which the artists can earn from their work, the lack of proper legislation should not stop us from creating. There is always a lot of talk about IP legislation, but little action, I have yet to see a group of advocates put forward the writings that may form the basis of any legislation, but I may be in error on this. I think that now is the time for these advocates to act, to put forward the documents, the artists are eager to give voice.
This is the time of our Renaissance, we have musicians eager to perform with some breaking through, we have writers eager to be published, we have performance artists making headway on stage and on-screen, we have painters, sculptors, photographers and every type of visual artist expressing themselves daily through their work. To everyone in the Visual arts, the performing arts and the literary arts, I say it is time to create, to get your work out there, we are the artists of Guyana’s Renaissance.
Geotube Groyne – Thomaslands, Georgetown.
If this photo has anything at all to do with what I’ve written is entirely up to each reader, if you are a member of the creative people of Guyana or simply like to see the works of the creatives, ask yourself what element would you be in this image…
Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with the other photos for this year’s Deck Project.
I was going through a few photos from last year, and I can across a set that I had not processed, and I thought “no one wants to see another Jhandi flag photo”… but I couldn’t resist it, I just had to choose one of the set and process it.
There’s just something about a flag fluttering in the wind that draws the attention… who am I fooling? Even when it’s hung limp with the wind abated I’d probably still take a photo.
This one appealed to me because of the contrast that the rich red flag had against the sky, the line of the seawall and it’s curve towards the koker made it a better composition than just a plain flag 🙂
OK, yes… I did seriously think about doing it in BW (still pondering it) but I rather like this version 🙂
2014 | Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm | Ogle, East Coast Demerara, Guyana
Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other images from when I’m “Out and About”
A new Koker takes shape at Buxton.
In the context of current instability mostly due to imminent elections in Guyana, this can lend some social commentary, if one chose to look at it from certain vantage points.
You may have to look twice, but there is dog running away from it all in the scene.
I leave the storytelling to your own imaginations 🙂
Buxton, East Coast Demerara | 2015 | Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm
Click on the image to see it in the 2015 Deck Gallery.
So, words almost failed me when it came to describing this photo for you (not that I need to describe it… you have eyes), maybe the few I could muster will suffice:
Stand to stretch your legs,
Stand to rise above,
Stand to show respect,
Stand to see beyond,
Stand and face the future,
Stand and feel the breeze,
Stand and show defiance,
Stand for who you are.
2015 | Lusignan, East Coast Demerara, Guyana
Click on the image to see it in the Black and White Gallery in the Collection
I was actually thinking Coppertone CIgarette as a title since I actually used more of a Coppertone than a Sepiatone on this one… eventually the actual image remains mostly Untitled, except for the numeric designation of 15-5337.
Taken during the second week of this year, I gave it a single star rating so that I’d remember to go back to it for further attention.
I liked this one, even though I could not line up my composition in time for what I am accustomed to doing, getting the thirds sorted out, the vanishing point more thorough, and my lines running where I wanted… either in spite of that or because of that, I think it came out well 🙂 As I’ve been told many times by Nikhil, we need to know the rules so that we can know when to break them effectively.
2015 | Ogle, East Coast Demerara, Guyana.
Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other Sepia type images in the Collection.
For some reason, I’m going through my photos from Week two of this year… in processing this one I had originally intended to leave it in the original colour, but then I opted for a slightly desaturated and warmer image… I think it works…
I was tagging the image with keywords and was tagging it with “bucket” when the title sprang to mind – “Liza and Henry” 🙂
1/200s, f/9.0, ISO 200
Click on the image to see it in the “”Up East” Gallery, along with other eclectic images from that side 😀
The title is a reference to an old song… I remember singing it around a campfire… and no, the song isn’t title Liza and Henry… go ahead google it 😉
It is not often that I am at the seawalls when the tide is at its highest and the waves are crashing against the sea defences, when that does happen, I usually take some photos, but seldom use any; mainly because I never seem to get one that I think stands out enough.
I think I may have gotten one that passed muster this last occasion 🙂
Crashing Waves – Georgetown Seashore
On this one I did some unusual processing (for me), I “cooled” the lower area with the rocks prior to applying the red filter, without that the details in the rocks were getting lost 🙂
I’ve never been one to do a lot of “dodging and burning” in images, but this image I liked and I wanted to recover some detail in the shadow of the rock, and I didn’t want to tone-map the entire image, that would have been overkill I think.
So I used the brush tool in Lightroom to lighten just that area to get that detail I wanted. the rest of the scene worked to my satisfaction.
This is a stretch of the seawall at Lusignan, and at High tide that rock, which seems to be pointing North, is normally covered.
Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other images from this year’s Deck Project.