Stride

This is Georgetown, Guyana, if you walk through the streets, you’re bound to come across a few characters before you walk a few city blocks, photographing them is a whole different story.

Most people are very wary of cameras, they believe you’re either some foreigner trying to “make money off their image” or “from the papers”, apparently people just being photographers who do it for fun or for art isn’t something they’ve quite gotten used to as yet.

When Nikhil pointed out this man to me, we were walking toward the curb, and I quickly snapped photos from the hip… almost like a spray and pray technique 🙂

I had the Canon EOS 60D with the Canon 40mm pancake lens on, as I never did get the “shoot from the hip” method quite right, this one had to have some rotational cropping done to make it presentable, but I really wanted one to share as there was something about this fellow that made a photo compelling.

Seen large, he’s wearing a t-shirt (or vest) under that shirt that has USA emblazoned across the chest… 🙂


2015  |  Canon EOS 60D, Canon 40mm Pancake Lens


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with some other attempts at street photography


2013 Deck – Week 51

I returned once again to the seawall and the seashore for photographic inspiration, my daughter was quite happily using a cellular (mobile) phone to take photos of the same or similar scenes as I was, I was about to take a photo of a shell near a pool of water when I noticed it move, so after some patience and angling to get a better shot I got this one 🙂



Click on the image to see it in the Gallery

2013 Deck – Week 43

I got what amounted to somewhat unsatisfactory choices of photos for this week, so I chose one that had some appeal, and then, at a loss for words to accompany it, I then wrote an almost equally unsatisfactory poem 😀



Take a break from the working day
And take a stroll outdoors,
Out where the ocean meets the sea,
where winds blow and birds soar.

Feel the sand between your toes
And the shells under your feet,
Inhale the salty sea breeze
Get away from the streets…

Let the wind blow your hair
Let the sun warm your face
Let’s go to the beach,
Let’s get out of this place.


Every Tool

I’m not a purist; I don’t hold the belief that whatever JPG comes out of the camera is the reality that existed in front of the lens.  I do, however, believe that there is a certain amount of “truth” in my photographic work.  Friends and colleagues, other photographers and budding photographers in the Guyana Photographers’ Facebook group have heard me make the distinction between Processing and Editing many times.  And I will briefly make it here again…

Since I shoot in RAW format, the camera does no processing to the file (whenever you shoot JPEG the camera applies certain adjustments to the image, contrast, brightness, etc.) so I have to Process it in software, often referred to as Post-processing.  This usually involves adjusting sliders in a software like Aperture, AfterShot, Lightroom, LightZone, etc., things that are adjusted range from brightness and contrast, to hue and saturation, cropping, temperature, white balance, noise levels and more.  Although this is usually applied over the entire image, some software allows you to do it to parts as well.

Where I draw the distinction between Processing and Editing, is when the image is altered so as to become a new image, distinct from the original in content.  Simply put, if I add something or remove something from the original photograph, then it is no longer the same, it is now a work of graphic design, not only photography.

Do I Process my images? Always.  Do I Edit my images? Sometimes.  I’ve cloned out trash that otherwise marred the scene (the lone plastic bottle on a grassy stretch), but have often left in loads of trash because it was part and parcel of the scene.  I don’t have anything against editing, but I don’t think its fair to call it a photograph after you’ve added in entire clumps of trees, removed several utility posts and added muscles to an individual… that is definitely in the realm of photo-illustration or Graphic Design.

I am also a big proponent of using every tool that you need to get the image that you saw with your eyes, and in your mind across to the viewer.  Whether its special filters on the lens to get a mood or effect, an angled lens in the developer of a dark room to create a distorted view, using Black and White (Film or processing) for an aged or structured look, using long and super-long exposures for light trails or flowing water, external flashes and reflectors for extra lighting on a subject, gels and filters for colour enhancements, or even doing some of this on the software end, I am for it, but I believe in being true to the original vision as much as possible.

Fancy processing and editing is no substitute for a good original image.  I am no expert or professional, many of my images come out of the camera looking very disappointing, and I often discard or simply not process them.  Yes, you can “save” them, I have even done so on some occasions, simply because I believe that they were worth saving, but they had to have something good in them to begin with; a good composition, a relatively good exposure, and maybe even compelling elements to the composition.

I’ve rambled enough… time for a photo.  This is one of those photos that I “saved”…  The original was good, maybe better than good, but it was not what I wanted….  I wanted more detail in the sky, more of a structured appearance than the original coloured version, and (because of an architectural quirk) more symmetry.


Canon EOS 60D  |  Tamron 18-270mm  |  21mm, 1/160s, f/7.1


I used Lightroom to create five different exposures from the original, each 2 stops apart in exposure, then I used Nik HDR Efex Pro to merge my new exposures and coax the detail I wanted from the overall scene, then I used Photoshop (I know, I’m a horrible person) to skew the perspective ever so slightly to gain some symmetry.

Although I did not add or remove anything, I normally would consider this edited since I used Photoshop to change the original proportions of the image, but in this case I’d let that slide 🙂

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with others in the Black and White series.

2013 Deck – Week 21

I was perusing my takings for the week and I had pre-selected 16 photos that I was thinking of using for the Deck Project, some street photos, some seawall photos a few bird photos… you get the idea…  Maybe it’s the mood I was in or just that most of them seemed “normal” to me, but I ended up choosing one that I knew was not necessarily a great composition, and then in processing I also did some unusual work with the sliders 🙂

All that being said, I don’t expect many to appreciate or like the final result, but to me the entire thing was so off-kilter that I ended up titling the image just that… “Off-Kilter”, and it grew on me.  🙂


Canon Rebel T1i  |  18-55 Kit Lens  |  1/200s, f/11, 30mm, ISO400

Processing notes: Selective desaturation and hue adjustment.


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.

2013 Deck – Week 14

I remember when…  (I think this line is only used by people who have seen things that may not be current and have to use this line to explain that situation to those younger than themselves… or by a youngster who wants to impress others with their amazing memory – even if some of it is invented)

Where was I?  … oh, yes…  I remember when I rode a bicycle to school, then to lessons, and to visit friends, or to go to church, or just for a joy-ride.  I remember lugging around a heavy chain with a large Union lock to secure the bicycle to a post.

I remember the bicycle I rode to lessons, an old “Big Ben”, or “Steel Donkey”, it was a lady’s frame, so we’d put a wooden bar across to tow others, or just to make it seem more masculine. (Something remarkably similar to the one Nikhil captured here) I remember taking turns with Johnny at towing home Trecia from lessons, even though it was not on my way home.

I remember while courting Maureen (now my wife), I had a “down handle” on a ten-speed bicycle, and we’d ride everywhere… even places I knew I shouldn’t… I remember being beaten with a 2×4 (piece of wood) by a thief try to get that bicycle from me…

I remember riding from home down to South Ruimveldt to visit my friends Andrew, Ian, and then to Durban Backlands to visit Dayal… sometimes just for the ride; and years later I rode to and from UG daily, and I remember leaving UG at 8pm after History lecture and riding down in pitch blackness with Scheme alongside on his bicycle (trying to remember where the potholes were) !

I remember riding to the seawall to work off the buzz of a beer that I drank while (legally) too young, I remember riding from Turkeyen to Bel Air hoping to wear off the buzz of too many beers from a Raymond’s birthday celebration, this was when I was a student at UG, only to stop at Nikhil’s home to ask for coffee before continuing home 🙂

I seldom ride a bicycle now, but I think every child should learn to ride one… it gives a sense of independence, of freedom… of adventure.

The photo that sparked a deluge of memories…


Click on the image to see it on the site, along with the other images from this year’s Deck Project.


2013 Deck – Week 01

As an exercise to keep my photography going, I’m continuing my Deck Project, hopefully in 2013 I will be able to expand more on my photography.

I almost started off with a photo of the inside of a tent, then I changed my mind and began on a seascape, but for some reason neither felt right; although I prefer to start with a coloured image, I think that this image felt better to me, it’s a Black and White processed in Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex, those of you who have followed me know that when I say processed I don’t mean “Edit”, nothing has been added or taken away from this image.


Let the New Year of Photography continue!


2012 Deck – Week 20

Aday.org had come up with an idea to present “A day in the world” through photographs, they wanted photographers worldwide, from amateurs to professionals, basically anyone with a camera, to take a few photos on May 15th and upload them to their site.  They had so many uploads they quickly got problems handling it and I am still not sure if my photos are there and if they are eligible for the final project, I think a lot of the information went AWOL during the upload.  At the time of writing this blog-post, they are still sorting out everything to relaunch the website.

I took a few photos within the city to contribute, and I am choosing one of those to share as my photograph for Week 20 of this year.

Its a very familiar scene in Georgetown, this was “after-work” and these people are most likely workers on their way from their jobs to get transportation home, and I used City Hall as a backdrop for some added familiarity 🙂

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