Market Day

Sundays are well known Market Days for various markets within and outside of Georgetown. Within the city limits two notable markets that abound with activity on a Sunday morning would be Bourda Market and the La Penitence Market.

With Friday’s announcement of COVID-19 Emergency Measures, I heard that the Markets would be closed on a Sunday morning (5th April 2020). My friend Shola mentioned that she passed Bourda and that she ” never thought there would be the sound of silence at Bourda” – as tempting as it was to pounce upon the cricket reference, I knew what she meant.

At La Penitence, traffic along Saffon Street and along Sussex Street are usually very slow moving on a Sunday mornings, this morning there was little traffic to speak of, and Bourda is ever a hive of activity, any day of any week of any year.. except now.


Saffon Street – 20-6836

I was parked just before the old Yong’s Bakery building and across from the Kaieteur News building. This gent on the bicycle was approaching from the other side of the road, and he casually angled across the lanes and came towards me, there was no traffic to interfere with his maneuvers.

La Penitence – 20-6837

The La Penitence market off to the centre-right of the image above is almost never seen in such a quiet state. On a Sunday morning I’d be lucky to see the market itself from this vantage point, actually, on a Sunday morning I’d never be able to stand in that vantage point, it being in the middle of the road.

Merriman’s Mall – 20-6833

Bourda Market consists of the main Market Building that is surrounded by Orange Walk, Regent, Robb and Bourda Streets, to the north of the main structure, over Robb Street is the extended market area with stalls filling that block up to North Road. This was further extended onto Merriman’s Mall that lies between North Road and Church Street, the main section between Orange Walk and Alexander Street having enclosed stall structures, the additional section with open stall structures lies between Orange Walk and Cummings Street (pictured above).

North Road – 20-6832

Above you can see the market area along North Road (approaching Orange Walk) this junction is usually quite busy, noted for the Coconut Vendors on the corner there.

North Road – 6834

Above you can see a view of the Market area along North Road, I had originally hoped to catch a scene with some clear skies, but the accompanying clouds added to the mood.

Bourda – 20-6846

A view of one of the north-south entraceways, looking into the market area between two stalls tat face onto North Road.

Bourda Street – 20-6842

Not a street I make a habit of traversing, but I have gone through here on a couple of photo walks, and even at it’s more quiet times it is usually bubbling with life and activity

Regent Street – 20-6840

There are essentially two street in Georgetown that are usually described as the busiest, Sheriff Street and Regent Street. Regent Street outside of Bourda has probably not been this quiet since Good Friday 2019, and even that I’m not sure of.

Robb Street – 20-6843

Robb Street between Alexander Street and Orange Walk is usually known for being a section of street that you don’t ever try to rive through, unless you have the patience of Job. Here it is today, you could roller-skate (blade) own it and probably try a few stunts while you’re at it.

COVID-19 and the precautions we need to take will change things, are changing things, and will change us, but it will also help point out the things we take for granted.

Be Safe, practice social distancing as much as practical, please don’t spread fear with all those inaccurate social media posts, try to think for yourself.

Please click on the images to see them in the Gallery


Around the Block

Yesterday I decided to literally take a walk around the block, just to see how the COVID-19 and its repercussions might be affecting the neighbourhood (my work neighbourhood, that is).   So as not to waste the opportunity, I walked with my DXO camera as well.

As street photography goes, nothing great, but a few decent ones 🙂


20-0782

You probably can’t see it, but in that vendor’s section is some Nenwah Husk, used my many a Guyanese as a body scrub.


20-0783

Being the lone Chinese walking around I kinda attract unnecessary attention, this lady kept a close eye as I walked by; good thing I didn’t sneeze or cough.


Ras – 20-0785

This rastafarian on crutches carefully made his way along the pavement, but was very observant of all the stalls he passed, might have been looking for Nenwa. 🙂


Mango – 20-0786

In her hand is a bag of sliced green Mango, I can only assume that maybe it also had “loud pepper and salt”


Gyaff – 20-0787

Almost as if COVID-19 were not on our shores, these gentlemen were busy “gyaffing” and the topic as I passed was all politics, aka GECOM-20


Less people than normal during midday, but still enough, and as you can see, not much social distancing occurring.

Click on the images to see them in the Gallery along with other images “In the Streets”


Five for the weekend

The powers that be decided to declare Elections Day in Guyana a national holiday, so we have a long weekend.

I decided to share five photos from my last month’s walking about, whether you see anything in them that appeals, or shows diversity, I can say that these show people, the quintessential “man in the street”, or if we’re going to be politically correct, “person in the street”, the people who will be affected by the outcome of Monday’s vote, and any events that may occur because of the elections, the parties and the electorate’s response.   These are the people for whom “life goes on”, regardless of what happens.

Babies Day Out - 20-0528
Babies Day Out – 20-0528


20-0539 | Church St, Georgetown, Guyana


20-0551 | Coconut Vendor on Main Street, Georgetown, Guyana


20-0557 | Robb Street, Georgetown, Guyana


20-0558 | Robb Street and Avenue of the Republic, Georgetown, Guyana


Hope you like one or two of those.  Click on them to see them in the Collection along with many more images  from my album “In The Streets”


Expressions

Shooting in the streets can be a hit and miss form of photography, especially when you’re doing it “on the move” like I do.  I know many Street Photographers sit and wait for things to happen, and these result in some extraordinary images.  I tend to take photos on the street while I’m walking, either to a particular destination or just walking like a rabid dog in the midday sun (the words of the song go “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun…”, and since I’m not an Englishman, I must fall into the Mad Dog category)

On this particular day, as I walked beneath the midday sun, I took maybe about 19 photos during the space of a half hour, I think a normal day I’d get a lot less.  Of these 19, I had set aside 4 keepers and a possible two others for later consideration.  Of the four, one I posted directly to Facebook, another I gave over for use in a poetry blog, and of the remaining two, I had one that I thought was quite the catch in terms of Street Photography.

I was very happy with the overall capture, but more so of the expressions on the faces of the people within the frame, I hope you enjoy it, click on the image to see it in the gallery along with other images “In the Streets”


Back in the Streets

I’ve been out of circulation for a while, many things have happened and life has moved on.  I’m trying to get back to some sort of “normal”, and one way was to start back my midday walking, so I went out for a short walk (much shorter than usual) to dip my toes in the water 🙂

Over the years, I’ve gotten used to walking with come device to capture images while I walk, whether its a full DSLR camera, a mobile phone or the DXO One that I have for such walks.  There are times I walk and never take a photo, and there are times that I take many but never use any, then there are the other times that I take some and get a few keepers.

Chicos y bolsos – 20-0489

The thing about Street Photography, and something many still don’t understand, is that its not about photographs in the streets, its about people.  It’s about people and the environment, whether they are identifiable or not is unimportant, its their way of dress, or their way of walking, their antics or the way they “pose” as in lean on a post or sit on a chair, its about their behaviour in a crowd, or among others, or by themselves – its about life, the life that they show, the life that is implied, the life that we see as a photographer,and the life that you see as a viewer.

Partaking of the Harvest – 20-0492

For my part in taking street photography, I try to be outside of the events, not interacting with the subjects,but inevitably there will be some interaction, being of mixed ancestry with an outwardly predominant asian visage, I tend to get noticed on the streets 🙂  Using a discrete device to capture images does help minimise the likelihood of the subjects being aware that they are being photographed, and thereby preserving the scene.  There are many times when I’ve watched Nikhil interact with people, then take their photos, and the results are usually quite amazing, but that’s just not me, so what works for him and others, don’t work for me, and vice versa.

Charlie Brown makes me laugh – 20-0501

I don’t consider myself a good street photographer, I do have an understanding of the genre, but I definitely place my images way below those of many other local “street togs”, but sometimes I have a few that I think are worth sharing  🙂

Hope you like them, click on them to see them in the Gallery along with other images “In the Streets”.


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.

SGC -2

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.

SGC -3

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).

SGC -4

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.

SGC -6

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.

SGC -5

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.

SGC -1


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

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

In the beginning…

Well, maybe not “the” beginning, just “a” beginning.

It was probably around 2007 that I began to pay more attention to what went into the frame, to what it was I was taking photographs of.  Prior to that it was mostly point, click, “look, isn’t that pretty??”  Most probably weren’t pretty at all, but family and friends always say “yes, it is”  –  In 2007,  somewhere amidst the generic photos, there began to emerge a few that stood out, and I think that I was seeing things, the things around me, differently, and in so doing I was capturing them differently, light was beginning to take on lifelike characteristics that would change how everything looked, and how everything could be captured on a few thousand pixels.

It was now not so important to capture every detail, but just the ones that would help tell the story, using light and dark, contrast and brightness to illustrate an idea, a concept, a feeling…  It was time to pay more attention to the composition rather than just the subject.

I decided to take a look back at the photos I took ten years ago, to see what, if anything, was worth sharing.  Most of the images I took were family oriented, so those didn’t count, but I was experimenting, looking around me and trying to capture something out of the ordinary (ordinary being the family photos, nothing captured can compare to even the ordinary of professional photographers, much less fine-art photographers).

I even tried my hand at pointing the camera at strange people, out in public, although I was still much more comfortable pointing at non-human subjects, those that might not complain or make a fuss.

And its also the year, I did my first Photo-Walk, not what would really be considered a photo walk, but myself, my brother, Andre, and two friends, Nikhil and Naseem.  We went for a drive “over the river” up to Wales estate on the West Bank of Demerara and I think up to Windsor Forest on the West Coast of Demerara, stopping every now and again to take some photos.

That photo-walk was somewhat of an eye-opener as well, in a relatively short distance, there was quite a lot to see, and a good variety of subjects and scenes to photograph as a result.

This isn’t a retrospective of any kind really, just taking a look at some photos with an eye that has had a decade of shooting, and processing them anew.    They were all shot on a bridge camera, or an advanced point-and-shoot camera, the Canon PowerShot S3 IS, a 6 Megapixel camera with a 1/2.5” CCD sensor, so there’s not a lot of post processing I could do without delving into the realm of editing.

Back then I was mostly all about colour, vivid vibrant popping colour, so the monochromatic versions (BW) you see are how I see them today, not then.

I chose ten images to illustrate what I had accomplished that year, I don’t think I would have found very many, if any, more that are worth sharing.  I hope you enjoy a few.

All the images were reprocessed, and cropped.  Click on any image to see them in the Gallery.