Easter Week. I suppose that the easiest thing to try to get photographs of for Easter Week is of children flying their kites (at least in Guyana, anyway). On Easter Monday we went to the seashore near Annandale (someone referred to the spot as “Friendship”), on the Easy Coast of Demerara.
I was taking a photo of a spot where an old Koker (sluice) once stood, and my daughter and her cousin came over to play/annoy/get in the way and so I made good use of them as they were already in the scene 🙂
For a better view of the photo, please click on the image above to see it in the Gallery.
Just a little ramble from me, this is not instructional in the literal sense. A fellow blogger and photographer, Nigel (or greysqrl) always asked me to write a tutorial on my monochromes and specifically my black and white photographs, but I’ve never felt that I had an “art” to it or a specific sequence of steps in the methodology to really do a tutorial type of blog, so I thought that at least I can do some rambling or musing on the subject.
Back when I shot with the Canon S5 Super-Zoom bridge camera (basically a hyped-up point-and-shoot) there were several colour modes including black and white and sepia, so I had disciplined myself to taking the scenes that appealed to me in these aspects in those modes, so I never had a full-coloured version of the photograph for any sort of comparison. So for me, the idea of a scene being in monochrome always started out before I pressed the shutter-button.
After I started using a DSLR (for now the Canon T1i or 500D) I learnt about post-processing further, using RAW images, etc. Now, I still consider many scenes in monochrome and earmark them for that specific type of processing later, but I also change my mind about some scenes that were not considered for monochrome initially.
What makes a good monochrome image? I really never thought about it, I just “feel” that some scenes make better monochromes than others. I am sure that as I continue my photographic journey I will learn more about what actually makes a good monochrome, to me it’s a “old” looking scene, or a scene with high contrasts, or in many of Nikhil’s cases one with lots of texture 🙂
How do I process a monochrome image? Since all my current images start out as full coloured, it is usually that “feel” that helps me select the ones for monochrome, either that or the new method of processing as colour and then it doesn’t quite come out the way I want and I send it over to monochrome just to see what would happen 🙂
I use Lightroom as my primary image processing and workflow application, but the majority of my monochromes are done in Nik Silver Efex (after some processing in Lightroom). I take each photo on its own merit, some need to be treated softly while others need to be more contrasty and structured. Nik Silver Efex has a range of presets that you can view easily and then do your own fine-tuning.
With scenes that have clouds (I seem to have many of those now) I always go for bringing out or enhancing the detail in the clouds. The dynamic range captured using a single exposure is not (always) a true representation of what the human eyes saw or can see. Often I would look at the scene and see the nice detail in the foreground, then look up and see the layering in the clouds, but when the photograph is taken I lose some detail, and In post=processing I try to retain that detail that I saw.
This particular photo was not intended as a monochrome image, the upper portion of the boat (or lower portion in the image, since the boat is upside down) was yellow and I had initially intended to emphasize that, but it didn’t work out as planned.
I’m still playing “catch-up”, still a week behind in the blog, and months behind in reading 🙂 Today marks one year since I actually registered as a WordPress user, although I didn’t start blogging until one week later, so I feel compelled to at least update the blog today, so I’ve managed to choose a photo from Week 18 of this year, processed it in one of my favourite ways, HDR, and even uploaded it 🙂
On the 5th of May, Cinco de Mayo, Arrival Day, or whatever you want to call it, I went with Naseem and Nikhil for a drive and photo-jaunt between Good Hope on the East Coast of Demerara and Rosignol at the mouth of the Berbice River (West Coast Berbice), needless to say we took a lot of photographs.
Our first stop was at the village of Enmore, we were going to go see the Enmore Martyr’s Monument, but the bridge we were planning on using was unusable, opposite that bridge there was a nice scene, so we took some time to “grok” it (as Nik would say) and even took some photos, I took a set of bracketed shots to use for an HDR rendition, and that’s what I present to you today. All the original images came out dark and desaturated as I expected, since I was shooting into the sun, but since I planned on using them in an HDR, that was OK 🙂
As an HDR, I really suggest you click on it to see it at the Gallery!
The sky that day was a photographer’s dream, nice variety of clouds, a slowly setting sun, as Nikhil mentioned once “even a monkey could have gotten good photos that day”. I’m not entirely sure about the monkey, but I know we came away with some good ones.
For me, I liked this one because of the clouds, and then there’s the lone man walking along the wall, and the lone bird soaring in the sky.
There’s an old Koker (or sluice) on Camp Road outside of the Guyana Technical Institute that I have been keeping an eye on for months, I always want to stop and photograph it, but most times there are some homeless men or just loafers around it, then at other times, the scene just wasn’t appealing to me. I was accompanying Nikhil as he headed up to David Street to photograph a scene his wife had pointed out to him when I noticed the lighting and the overall scene and asked him to stop so that I could get it at least this once.
I was a bit pressed for time this week, I haven’t processed any of my other images for the week, I took the easy route and did some minor “light” editing in Oloneo for this week’s image.
So, I’m figuring that if it’s not a photograph for The Deck, or something thematic like Monochromes, what do I do with the photographs? Nikhil came up with a brilliant idea for his blog, he started a weekly review of his photos for his 365 Project. That gave me an idea for these photographs that don’t fit into my regular type of blog post, here’s the ones that did not make it onto The Deck 🙂
First up is this image taken in the Gardens, I was off to get the photograph of the Kissing Bridge when I found this corner of the bridge interesting, so I shot it, I still can’t quite put my finger on the reason it interests me, it just does, so I tried my best to frame it right and get a decent photograph of it.
Then, of course, there is the bridge itself! Although I preferred the one I used that week for the deck which was in Black and White, I did take one in portrait orientation that I quite liked as well, so I dropped that one into my “Georgetown,Guyana” album, and here it is 🙂
I used to take a lot of photographs of flowers, that was when I shot with a Canon PowerShot S3 and S5, it seems that since I moved onto an SLR my focus has changed (excuse the pun), but every once in a while I still catch one in my viewfinder and get a fairly decent shot of it, like this one I saw on Brickdam.
And then, of course, there’s one of my favourite areas to photograph things, the Seawall. I often just thought of the seawall as just the Georgetown Seawall, but it extends along most of our coastline, these two were taken up near the village of Montrose, which is known most for the Starlite Drive-in, although I am not certain when it was exactly the they last showed a movie there.
Well, now that I have gotten that off my chest, I can rest knowing that these have not been ignored 🙂 I hope you enjoy one or more.