Joyride

Growing up in Guyana, a joyride meant what it sounded like, jumping on a bicycle/ motorcycle and going out for a ride with friends and having fun, but it seems that up north it means and meant a completely different thing… I guess we were wrong.


Joyride – 16-1823  |  Canon EOS 60D, Sigm 10-20mm  |  2016, Lusignan, E.C.D, Guyana


Click on the image to see it in the “Out and About” Gallery, a rather quirky collection of images.


2015 Deck – Week 41

For the duration of week 41 of 2015, I was out of circulation, I was in hospital for a bit of minor surgery, and amazingly, I got a few good pics with the phone…  😀

This is one that I favour above the other few good ones.

I think that my Instagram experiment this year was a success, I do not regret it at all, not with  a few gems like this coming from it:


Earth Tones (Brannon)  |  Instagram  |  Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini Duos


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery

Saturday Smoker in Sepia

I was actually thinking Coppertone CIgarette as a title since I actually used more of a Coppertone than a Sepiatone on this one… eventually the actual image remains mostly Untitled, except for the numeric designation of 15-5337.

Taken during the second week of this year, I gave it a single star rating so that I’d remember to go back to it for further attention.

I liked this one, even though I could not line up my composition in time for what I am accustomed to doing, getting the thirds sorted out, the vanishing point more thorough, and my lines running where I wanted…  either in spite of that or because of that, I think it came out well 🙂  As I’ve been told many times by Nikhil, we need to know the rules so that we can know when to break them effectively.


2015 | Ogle, East Coast Demerara, Guyana.


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

2015 Deck – Week 01

Every year I have a photography project that I call The Deck, it’s basically what other photogs refer to as a Project 52, one photo for every week of the year.  The main reason I do it is to keep me shooting, with work and family life it is easy to sometimes put the camera down and not shoot anything, and I prefer not to have that happen, some weeks I get good stuff, other weeks I get a load of crap, even in those weeks the “crap” has to have something salvageable, and I find that in those instances I find myself seeking out the basics of the composition and putting the little artistic portion of my mind to work for the best processing possible to make it worthy of the project, failing which that would be the end of the Project, and I don’t really want that.

In shooting images all year round, I get more than I need for The Deck, and out of these I’ve been able to narrow down some to my Oniabo collection, I intend to keep the Deck Project going, and hopefully get more smaller collections developing.

I decided that for January 2015 I want to also try and photograph (not exclusively) around a sub-theme: Square.  I started using Instagram (see my last post) and the square composition, while at first very ill-fitting for me, has become a bit more appealing, so my first week’s image will be an Instagram photo, and I hope to include “square” into other images for the month, not necessarily as the crop ratio, but maybe as elements in the composition.

Since you’ve probably already seen the last post I did, and in there is the image I chose for this week’s Deck photo.


Respect – Samsung S5 Mini Duos  | Instagram


In Guyana, we have many cultures that have merged into this cook-up that we call our “One People”, and many are from the east, as in Asia, most eastern culture have in their traditions or as part of their religious beliefs the habit of removing one’s footwear when entering a home.

I’ve always seen this as a sign of respect, but I also know that in some religions it is mandatory, and in some cultures such as in Japan it was originally a hygiene/health habit (not tracking dirt and germs into the space that you eat and sleep).

In many parts of Guyana, this is how we’ve been taught, but the western culture has slowly crept in over the years and the respect we the dwellers show the visitors to our homes is one of acceptance, in that we may ask them to take off their shoes, and they may refuse, often we let our own judgement dictate who to ask and who not to.

In this photo, I also show respect for the change in photography as it widens its doors to an acceptance of non-traditional devices, processing and distribution methods, my older phones would produce some real crap, but with my current phone, I think I can produce acceptable images.


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.

2013 Deck – Week 04

On some photo-walks you just never know what you’ll come away with.  We were walking around the area near Parliament Buildings and Big Market (Stabroek Market), when we noticed this building.

It was aging, had a nice muted colour (due to faded paint by the harsh sun), and the paint was peeling.  If only I had caught someone leaning on the building!  But I still think it’s a nice shot, even without the person leaning on it  🙂

Click on the image to see in the Gallery.


Into the Mountains – Part 2

After lunch on my second day in Jamaica, we drove up to Cinchona Gardens, what was once a beautiful Botanical Gardens, a destination for families and tourists, an old Colonial house and out buildings, gardens and ponds, and bamboo copses.  The road up to it is impassable by regular cars, so Cecil’s Safari enthusiasm came out as he tackled the mountain with gusto.

Before even going towards the Cinchona Gardens proper, the view to the right of us as we drove up was very compelling, so I just had to take a few photos in the hope that one would help express what I saw,the tops of the range were obscured by low-hanging clouds:

The Gardens stand in a spot of the mountains that is five thousand two hundred feet above sea level (5200ft), and there is usually a constant “misting” from the clouds, so most everything is wet.  The first steps into the garden proper brings you to some tree stumps of tree cuttings, makes great seats for the weary 🙂

From an upper vantage point, you can see the seating area in the walled section of the garden with a small man-made pond, the sky had begun to clear a bit so that I could get more than just a blanket of gray clouds in the photos  🙂

Alexis stood for quite a while admiring the view of the valley below and the mountains in the distance, he even went as far as shouting out to hear the echo… which he got  🙂

The main building was cordoned off with a “Danger” tape,warning visitors not to go in, I was tempted to venture in, but Cecil wisely told me not to try it, so I satisfied myself with a few photos from the outside.

As the skies were clearing a bit, I took another set of photos of the view into the valley and across at the Blue Mountains, this time I could actually see the tops of the range in some areas.

From the Cinchona Gardens we were to make our way towards the Blue Mountain to visit Whitfield Hall, where people desirous of climbing the peak would start their trek, on the way there as we neared Hagley Gap, we stopped to take photos of and near an old bridge that appears to be out of use.

We stopped along the road to get a few photographs of a beautiful view down another valley, this was probably about 15 minutes outside of Whitfield Hall.

Whitfield Hall is an old House and Coffee farm, it is snuggled beneath some very very tall trees and is such a tranquil spot, we sat and ate the rest of our food before heading back home.

On the way back I couldn’t resist a passing shot of the hills/mountain showing the barbed demarcation of the end of the road, where the cliff drops down to the valley below.

Into the Mountains – Part 1

Veteran Guyana Safari expeditionist Cecil Beharry (CB to his friends), told me to just let him know when I’m in Jamaica, so I told him I was coming down for a family reunion, and he insisted that he take me into the mountains, how could I refuse?

The day after I arrived in Jamaica, he took me and my cousin Alexis (I’m told he is my First cousin Once Removed, although I prefer not to have him removed) on a mountain drive, some of these spots were apparently where he “practiced” for the Pakaraima Mountain Safari in Guyana.  He had just gotten back his vehicle from the last Safari, and we were going to give it another mountain drive  🙂

As it happened, we were on the road near Irish Town when we noticed some strange sounds coming from the vehicle, on stopping and checking (Alexis being a hobby mechanic and Cecil being Jamaica’s Power-steering specialist) it was discovered that there was a leak somewhere, Cecil called his son Craig to come exchange vehicles (a Trooper to the rescue)

I didn’t mind stopping / breaking down in that spot, I got a few photos, my two favourite are below:

With a new vehicle at our disposal (ok, we’ll apologise to Craig for the dents and scratches and the dirt…), we headed onto Newcastle where there was on old colonial army base that is now housed and maintained by member of the Jamaican Armed Forces (restoration work was being undertaken while we were visiting), I’ll share two photos from that location, one of the “barracks”,as I thought of them, and one of the cemetery, I must say that the view from the cemetery was very tranquil 🙂

On the way to Newcastle, we stopped to take in one of the breathtaking views of the hills/mountains, but I was also captivated by the walls along the road, they are apparently built to help retain the earth on the sides of the hills and prevent landslides, in these “walls” are holes which are meant for the drainage of water caught behind the walls, the holes are called Weeping Holes.

From Newcastle, we moved onto Holywell, where there is a camping ground, there were quite a number of youths there camping and playing.   The air is crisp and cool,and the views are pretty:

And if you want to just sit and enjoy the view, here’s the chair:

After Holywell, we went to visit an old abandoned Coffee Mill, from somewhere back in the colonial days.  Some of the building(s) is still intact, and the mill mechanism can still be seen there, what I was impressed to see was the waterwheel that drove the mill, I had never seen one before and I was excited about it, especially when Alexis tried to push it and it actually turned!

There was an archway in the rear wall to access the “Tennis Courts” and to see the building from the side with the water wheel.  I think that archway would make a pretty nice night-time photo  🙂

I realised that this post suddenly had a lot of images, so I decides to split it, so this is it for the first part, we actually left this building and went down to the stream/creek behind it to have our lunch; KFC, stale bread and liquid refreshment (in my case a bottle of Coconut Water)  🙂

Pakaraima Mountain Safari – The Great Wall

Someone apparently likened this section of the trail to the Great Wall of China, and the name Great Wall has been used to identify it since then.

It is probably similar in its winding fashion and the fact that at least one side is a very large drop to the bottom.

This photos does not convey that sense of the steep drop, but trust me, when you’re in that vehicle and you look over the side, vertigo and fear step in 🙂

2011 Deck – Week 27

In the last post I mentioned that I was thinking about the past and the future, and this post was to be the photo about the “future” I was thinking about.

I recently spent a very packed week doing some “sports” photography, something that I don’t do.  I was volunteered to assist with the photography of the Junior CASA (Caribbean Area Squash Association) Squash Tournament.  Squash is an indoor game, played on a “closed” court, and in Guyana, there is very little area available for viewing, much less photographing the game.  The lighting on the courts is not exactly geared towards photography either, the courts are lit by flourescent lights (some more than others), three of them have glass backs, but the reflection in the glass are an obstacle by themselves!

I took photos in each of the five courts, two of them I had to shoot through the glass, no choice, two others have no glass wall, and I had to shoot from the spectator area above the back of the court, and the last court I shot through the glass, from the spectator area at the back of the court, and from windows high on the side of the court.

For simplicity I used the smallest lens I had, the 18-55mm, and since none pf my lens are particularly fast, it didn’t matter too much, I had to play a lot with ISO and shutter speeds  🙂

The photo I chose to use from that week is of one of the first round games of the tournament, as photos go, it’s not spectacular, but it shows the angle from which I was taking photos (up at the window), some athleticism demonstrated by the players, a small piece of the glass back-wall to the far left; it was taken at ISO800, with an aperture of f/5.0 and a shutter speed of 1/320.  During the afternoon I actually got up to those speeds, but as the time passed 5pm the light changed and getting any shutter speeds in the 1/200 vicinity was lucky  🙂

It was a learning experience, hours on hours shooting, hours and hours sorting the photos looking for acceptable ones, playing with camera settings just to get the shutter speed up!  The full gallery of photos from the tournament is at their home page, there are contributions from at least three photographers (all amateur) including myself.

I guess what made me think of the future for this photo, was that it was a Junior Tournament, so maybe some future great squash players, and for some of them (the players in the Under 19 category, like these two) it is their last year as Juniors, their future in Squash is with the Seniors.

Deje and Korin

On the corner

Although Nikhil is no longer pressured on a daily basis for a photograph since he completed his first 365 project, we still manage to go for a photo-walk every now and again.  One of those walks took us into Campbelville, and although it was mostly for him to get some Nas-inspried photographs, I came away with a few goodies  🙂

One was also somewhat inspired by an image I once saw from a controversial photographer called Ken, although my photographs may never become as “professional” as Ken’s I learnt a lot from reading his blogs and rants 🙂  So, I titled this one “Ken”, it was taken at the corner of DeAbrue and Duncan Streets (north-west corner)

 

Ken

The second one, I wish I had spent more time on, the scene reminded me of a photograph I once saw from Errol Ross Brewster, and I am ashamed I let the rain chase me away from this spot without getting more out of it, but there you go, the Canon T1i isn’t weather-sealed.  This is at the corner of William and Middleton Streets (north-east corner), it is a single image, but I used HDR Efex Pro to recover some detail in the clouds, in the shot it was totally blown out.

 

The House on the Corner