St George’s Cathedral

This impressive edifice has likely been branded upon the memories of ninety per cent of all Guyanese (if not all), it stands centrally in the commercial district of Georgetown, encircled by roads and dwarfing most of its neighbours in size and in stature.  It is probably one of the most photographed buildings in Georgetown alongside other buildings along what is called the Heritage Trail, which stretches from Parliament Building (which incidentally is where Anglicanism first began making an impact here, in the late 1700s the ground floor of a building on that site was used to hold services) all the way up Avenue of the Republic into Main Street and High Street, ending at the Umana Yana.

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The current St George’s Cathedral is the second church to sit on that spot, the first not lasting very long due to structural faults and subsequent cracking, although there were plans for a replacement stone structure, a wooden building was settled upon using mainly local timber.

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What makes a cathedral?  Although most people tend to associate the term with grand structures in the Latin cross style, complete with naves and transepts, a cathedral is simply the church within a diocese that houses the seat of the Bishop, in this case the Anglican Bishop of Guyana.  Guyana has two notable cathedrals, the second being Brickdam Cathedral or as it is officially known, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (a Roman Catholic church).

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The current building was opened in 1892, and is among the tallest wooden structures in the world, as well as often being called the tallest wooden church in the world.  Over the decades there have always had to be major renovative and restorative works to the building.  While it is an Anglican Cathedral, it is also a source of pride to all Guyanese, and as such we should all try to help in keeping it beautiful and maintaining it.

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I remember during my high-school years, there was a massive drive to raise fund for its restoration, a specific memory centre around some pens that they sold, the pens were shaped like a large nail, I remember using that pen in school, and while my own faith is Roman Catholic and the school I attended was a former Catholic school, heading up my page with that pen meant something, especially when I wrote the letters “A.M.D.G” at the top of the page as I still did at the time; it was a remnant of the old school habits, St. Stanislaus College having been run by the Jesuit priests required the students to head the page with that, it stands for “Ad maiorem Dei gloriam” – For the greater glory of God.

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St. George’s Cathedral is again currently in the middle of massive restoration project, this post contains some photos I took of it a few weeks ago.  The northern face has been completed and is impressive in its finish, currently the western face / south western corner is being tackled.  I understand that there is currently a short-fall of funds, and they are asking for any assistance to continue and complete the entire building, to restore its beauty, and preserve part of our national heritage.

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All images copyright protected © Michael C. Lam (www.TheMichaelLamCollection.com)

All images taken with Canon EOS 6D |  Canon 24-105mm

2015 Deck – Week 37

Street photography is not something I pursue, but some days, you can’t help but see some scenes that seem worth taking a shot at.  This was one of them; a bit busy, but I think it was worth the shot.


Canon EOS 60D  |  Sigma 17-50mm


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other images from this year’s Deck Project


City Watch

For anyone who has read the books by Terry Pratchett, specifically the ones dealing with the twin-city of Ankh-Morpork, you know about the City Watch, for those of you who have not read those books, I encourage you to try them, Terry Pratchett is a master story-teller and a comic genius.

But this is a photography blog, not a book review blog, and the title of this post has nothing to do with Samuel Vimes or the City Watch of Ankh-Morpork, although now that I think of it, maybe I should have titled the photograph “Vimes” 🙂

Most of us get very few opportunities to rise above the humdrum of everyday life, to stand above it all and, with a calm that belies the hustle and bustle below, just take in the view of a city, our own city, noise-filled, garbage-filled, accident-prone, with a mix of colonial buildings and modern square concrete structures.

Imagine this; from one vantage point, you can see the hub of public transportation, the minibuses and taxis, a landmark eatery, hotel and beer-garden, the seat of government, hotels, churches (including one of the tallest wooden buildings in the world), the high court, one of the largest markets in the country, city hall, the busiest business district in the country, the Atlantic Ocean and so much more.

That is the view from the clock tower at Stabroek Market, and you haven’t even turned around to see the wharves and the mighty Demerara River with its speed-boat traffic, the ferry and the aging but impressive harbour bridge.

Click on the photo below, see it larger in the gallery and imagine yourself in that man’s position.

Inspired

Yesterday I had mentioned the first shot I took with the Canon Rebel T1i (500D) was a photograph of St George’s Cathedral, so I thought that I’s share it here.

Part of the type of photography than many of us practice is trying to establish our images as “art”, and often times I take inspiration from others, I do not COPY from them, although some may look at it that way, that’s their prerogative.

I once blogged about taking Inspiration from others, and you can read that here.

This shot of the St George’s Cathedral will probably never be considered “art”, but it’s a nice shot of the Cathedral, and as I wanted my first image from the T1i to be something special, I had taken inspiration from Dwayne Hackett, whom I consider to be a far better photographer than most locals that I know of.  It was very humbling when I later heard from him that he also admires my own work and that of Nikhil.

This shot I tested a new camera (the T1i back then) and a new lens, the Sigma 10-20 Ultra-wide Lens, and as soon as I got the shot I thought to myself, this is what I’ve been missing all along, I never took photographs on the Canon S5 after that day.

Click on the image to see it better in the Gallery.

2012 Deck – Week 8

Although Mashramani fell in the eight week of the year, I did not necessarily want to use a photograph from that event, fortunately I had gone on a walk with Nikhil around St George’s Cathedral and I had tried out an HDR, although it has some issues, I rather liked the outcome.

I was a mere four feet from the door, but other than standing in mid-air to get the shot, this was my only option.  Although I did some correcting to the distortion caused by the Sigma 10-20mm lens (and the close proximity to the subject), I still got some distortion that I couldn’t get rid of.

My aim with this HDR, was to get the doorway, but also to get as much detail on the inside that I could.  Nikhil wanted to go and adjust the mat, but I thought that the angle that it was at worked fine for me.

Oh, and as usual, I neglected to lug the tripod with me, so this was handheld.

Looking In