The House on Sixth

Its been quite a while since I’ve blogged anything here, it’s actually been quite a while since I’ve done any serious photography with the DSLR.  Since I began using a smart phone with a decent camera, I’ve done quite a bit of work on my Instagram project, and the simple joy of pulling out a phone and snapping a photo has reduced the urge to use (or lug around) any larger camera.  But, mobile devices have their limitations, and there are still images that need to be captured differently.

That being said, I made an effort, to stop the vehicle one afternoon, and snap a few frames of a house that I keep passing, and promising to get a photo of, so here it is 🙂


Canon EOS 6D, Canon 24-105 f/4L  |  Processed in Nik HDR Efex and Lightroom  |  2017


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other images in the Black & White Gallery


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Georgetown, Guyana

It’s been 50 years since some forward thinking people declared Independence for this little nation we now call Guyana.  They were looking forward to their futures, some idealistic land of self-rule and happiness for the masses I suppose.

I think by now, most of them have all gone and left many of us wishing we were still under colonial rule, it wouldn’t have been that bad, would it?  We’ll never know, and doing the whole “what if” dance is not going to help anyone.

Sadly, even though many of the idealist have gone, there remains some of the followers who can’t seem to open their eyes and realise that the old way can’t work and that the path the country is on is not the right one, that implementing old ideas, once discarded, will not bring about new changes.

I babble…  I’ve been staring at this photo for weeks and didn’t know what to write and now I write something quite out of character and from way out of left-field.

Here’s a photo  🙂


Wrong-way Rider 16-1092 |  Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF24-105mm f/4L |  Croal St, Georgetown.


Click on the image to see it in the gallery along with other images in the Black and White Gallery

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2014 Deck – Week 33

Christ Church was doing some fund-raising, a friend of mine asked me to take a few photos of the church to use in the press release.  The only time I had to make a pass by the church was an early morning on the way to work.

I was thinking that it’s only for a press release, so it doesn’t have to be that good, right?

I was in a bit of a hurry, but I snapped a few, then jumped back in the car and headed to work.  There was some nice clouds behind the church from one angle, and kept remembering this as I downloaded the images to process, I knew that my attitude toward the shot was less than optimal and I had deliberately exposed for the building and not the skies (since it was just for the press), as the sun was rising behind the church, all that detail would be blown out.

I thought that this would be a good time to experiment with what I had read about prior to acquiring a full-frame camera, that it can capture a very wide dynamic range in one exposure.

True enough, the entire sky was blown out in the exposure when I downloaded it.

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But remembering what I had just seen in the sky, I worked the sliders to see what sky detail I could retrieve from the RAW file:

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And I was amazed, so I decided to process it better than I had originally intended.  I made slight adjustments in Lightroom to bring some detail back in the sky while retaining the detail and brightness of the building.  Then I took the image into Nik HDR Efex with the express intent to use a single exposure black-and-white tone mapping technique on it, and the results were great.  After a few minor adjustments once I took it back to Lightroom, this was the result:


Christ Church, Waterloo St., Georgetown, Guyana


Someone asked me it I “photoshopped” it, well, I didn’t use photoshop, I used no masks, no layers, nothing like that, just what I described above.  Everything I needed was in the RAW file, if I weren’t in such a hurry and treating the action of taking the photo so lacklustrely, then I may have actually taken multiple exposures for a proper HDR  🙂

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.


Midday Meditation


If I had the time in the middle of the day, I’d probably be doing just like this fellow in the photograph… sit and just stare out to sea for a while; but I was taking a walk and taking some photographs 🙂  (The walk ostensibly for health reasons and the photos for my sanity) I’ve photographed this spot many times, I was going through an old album when I came across this one and thought that a square crop would work nicely, then I saw the faint details of the clouds and thought that some tone-mapping would give me more detail and a monochrome version might just look nice, and voila!  I got a bit of haloing, but I can live with that 🙂


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other images in my Sepia Collection

Pakaraima Mountain Safari 2012

This year, as the teams are already on their first day into the 2013 Mountain Safari, I’ve decided to share some images from last year’s trip.

It begins at night, so there’s not much to see 🙂  Our fist stop is at Peter and Ruth, 58 Mile, Lethem Trail; that’s 58 miles from Linden.  There’s a GuyOil Service Station there now, as well as cellular service from Digicel.


Nikhil was our primary driver (but seeing as he didn’t trust any of us behind the wheel, he ended up being the sole driver; I don’t blame him, I wouldn’t trust me behind the wheel on a Safari either)

A view from the back seat, note the can to the right 🙂


The trail crosses the might Essequibo at Kurupukari, where the Mekdeci Mining Company operates the pontoon crossing.


After the crossing, we pass through the Iwokrama Rainforest Preserve, and as soon as you leave the forest, we are hit by the vastness of the Rupununi Savannas, and the lovely undulations of the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains.  Our next stop is The Oasis, at Annai, run by Mr Colin Edwards and the native Amerindians from the village.  Colin has carved out a piece of paradise at The Oasis and the Rock View Lodge just behind it.


After leaving Annai, we continue on the trail until the turnoff to the first village on the main Safari, Karasabai, where we spend our first night.  Along the trail, the view of both the Pakaraima Mountain range and the Kanuku Mountain range is breath-taking


At Karasabia, we arrive with just enough light left in the day to set up camp… and enjoy the sunset 🙂

I think the first day was probably the most diverse for the photography  🙂  I may not post tomorrow (it being Palm Sunday, but look out for my next post from the Safari.  Best wishes to those on this year’s Safari, come back safely.


Click on the images to see them larger in the Safari 2012 Gallery in the collection.

Goodbye Uncle Harry

Growing up, my maternal grandfather was seldom seen in the congregation of the church, he was always at the back “helping out” Uncle Harry.  I grew up knowing Uncle Harry as Uncle Joe, then others called him Harry, when I asked my grandfather about it he said that he is Harry Joe!  You never question wisdom like that!

Uncle Harry would be there to open the church, he’d be there to close the church, he was the man to go to to get your weekly Catholic Standard, or the tickets for the next Festival of Carols.  He would hand out the collection baskets to the people who would be needing them for each mass, and he’d have Bibles, Hymnals and other little books on sale too.

He was as grumpy as he was jovial.  He was a New Year baby, born on the 1st of January, worked for many years at Banks DIH, from all the way back when it was known as D’Aguiar’s, and he worked at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for as long as my memory serves, up until he was retired a few years ago.

After retirement from his duties in the church he’d try to attend either the early morning 6:00 am mass, or the next one at 7:30 am on Sundays, rain or shine, in his long pants, dress shoes, shirt-jac, umbrella, hat and his spectacle case and pen in his top pocket.

He died on Sunday 17th March 2013, St Patrick’s Day, at around 2am; it was his time.  May his Soul Rest in Peace.

I had taken that photograph of him (candidly) two days before my own birthday in 2011, and he was sitting there staring towards this altar below:


2010 – Flood Waters at the Park – HDR

As coastal dwellers we are always mindful of the flooding of our properties, growing up it never seemed that much of a problem, but now it seems more frequent.

Six feet Under –  A phrased usually reserved for the dead and buried, is also the correct description of Georgetown, the capital of Guyana.  The city is six feet below sea level, and all that protects us from the might of Neptune’s oceans is the famous Seawall, which was built by the Dutch when they colonized the area, back in the nineteenth century.  It’s a good thing the Dutch know how to build these things!

When rain falls heavily (sometimes it just has to drizzle) and the tides are high, areas within the city, and even along the coast, become flooded to various degrees, most times it may just be an over-topping of the drainage canals and trenches.  One good side effect of this is the lovely reflections of scenic places in the calm, still waters.

I’d shot multiple exposures for an intended HDR image, as these things turn out, I never got around to it until now.  I’ve gone into detail on what an HDR is and even twice detailed how I approach the processing, but since it has been a little while since those posts, I’ll just give a brief description on HDRs here.

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, it is a technique used in imaging and photography to produce in the resulting image a wide (or high) range in the luminance of an image.  Simply put, it attempts to retain as much detail as possible in the lighter (brighter) areas as well as in the darker (shadow) areas.

These two images show (a) the underexposed image that is used to capture the detail in the lighter areas, notice that the rest of the image is very dark, and (b) the overexposed image that is used to capture the detail in the darker areas, notice that the sky and water in this are very bright and show little detail.

When these are combined with the neutral or “normal” exposure image, the dynamic range of the final image is increased.

After combining or layering the images in an HDR software, the process by which the photographer renders the final image is called tone-mapping.  In this process, various sliders are employed to adjust things like brightness, contrast, light, shadows, and, depending on the HDR software being used, a variety of “specialty” sliders.  The resulting image is usually to the photographer’s taste, some with a desire to approach realistic images with a higher dynamic range than a standard exposure, others go for a more surreal result, some can carry this as far as having a very high contrast, high saturated look that is more illustration than photography, but that’s a debate for others.  To the left is a small image processed for effect, very vibrant very “artsy”.  It is also possible to tone-map a single exposure to achieve some of the same HDR effect, although I do not personally call this an HDR, I refer to them as Tone-Mapped Images, another possibility is to use a single exposure to create the various over and under exposures in software, then combine them, this I refer to as a Pseudo-HDR, but these are only my terms and distinctions.

My preference lies in trying to produce an image that resembles the scene that I saw, but could not reproduce in a single exposure, for some scene this will result in a photo that may have people wondering whether or not it is an HDR, and in other cases it will leave no question that it’s not a standard exposure, but definitely and HDR, especially when I try to reproduce the great detail that is there in a cloudy sky (such as my “Doomed” from the Coastal Wanderings exhibition at the National Art Gallery).   The results of this particular HDR processing? I’ll let you decide.