This was one of those times when you’re kicking yourself after for a very silly mistake.
I don’t recall the reason now, but at some point I had set the camera’s ISO high… and then forgot. So my first large batch of photos with the camera the next morning were all grainy because of a higher ISO.
I almost didn’t process any, but this one caught my eye and I decided to process it through as if nothing was wrong 🙂
I recently saw (again) a panorama of Kaieteur that James Broscombe had done, and I remember the one I had done with a Canon PowerShot S5 IS, point and shoot, so I went to look for it and upload it to my page. It’s the one seen here:
Seeing James’ panorama also reminded me that I was meaning to write this post and share with whoever might stumble across it.
I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Sarah and James Broscombe a few years ago, Sarah was working in remote areas of our country with some of the Amerindian communities and James seemed to tag along camera in hand 🙂
These two talented people made quite an impression on me, and on most (if not all) people who they’ve met and interacted with.
Whatever their initial intent on coming to Guyana, the mark they’ve left on me was most likely not in the original plans… and I daresay there are others who may feel the way I do.
I was introduced to Sarah through her blog, one that she kept as a record of her “adventures” here, what struck me about her writing was the clarity of expression, and the vividness with which I could visualise everything she described. Her grasp of the English language and her ability to use it to reach across miles of terrain and to describe the nuances of a culture that engulfed her made her writing a compelling read for me.
But this post is more about the work of her husband, James. James dealt not with the expression of the written word, but with the capturing of scenes from their stay in photographs. From the streets of the capital to the trails of the Rupununi, he captured an amazing array of cityscapes, landscapes, portraits and other scenes. His amazing panoramas are breath-taking in the book, so I can only image what they’d look like printed large. His, now iconic, photograph of lighting over Kaieteur is featured alongside many photographs that showcase the life of the Amerindian communities they spent time in.
The book is titled “Guyana: Land of many waters”, and although t can’t cover everything, it covers more than any other book of its kind. As a book of photographic work it is packed, no, it is crammed full of beautiful imagery. The only thing that could have made this book better would have been short stories written by Sarah. Although I’ve seen most or all of the images online in his blog, it was so much more satisfying to turn leaf by leaf through the book!
If you are Guyanese, or love Guyana, or even just love photography, this is a boo to own, and at that price, it is a steal considering the sheer magnitude of its content. The book is available here, and below I’m putting some samples I think may peak your interest even more.
The cover alone, should make you want to delve into it 🙂
Pages 24 and 25
Pages 58 and 59
Pages 124 and 125
and the Back Cover, the amazing image of Lightening over Kaieteur
At the list price, James isn’t making any kind of profit, so I suggest you get one before he changes his mind about that price 🙂 Get your copy of “Guyana – Land of Many Waters”, you won’t regret it.
As we were behind schedule, I thought we would have left Paramakatoi extra early, but we started out close to 8am and headed for Kato.
At Kato we had a brief stop, some vehicles were attended to, and some thirst needs were also attended to 🙂
Our next stop would be at Kurukubaru, although I did not take many photos on the way into the village or even at the village, this one of a family at their home I liked.
From Kurukubaru, our next stop would be the destination of the entire Safari, Orinduik Falls, the route there proved to be unusually treacherous for the vehicles, it was on the way there and back to Kurukubaru that evening that the vehicle suffered the most damage 🙂 Unfortunately, no photos, not a lot of stopping on that leg of the journey 🙂
Just to prove that the Destination was worth it, I’ve selected quite a few photos to show you of Orinduik.
Although we wanted to make it back to Kato that evening, we lost the main convoy in the rains up at Kurukubaru, and were advised by the villagers not to descend the mountain in the rain, so we spent the night at Kurukubaru, the highest village in Guyana.
There may be one more post in this series, but it will be sometime next week, the Easter Weekend is upon us 🙂
Please click on the photos to see them larger in the Gallery.
Third day of the full reunion, we visited the famous Dunn’s River Falls, and the tour guides split us up into two groups (we were apparently too large a number to keep together, especially with other tourists there too 🙂 ) In their introduction the guides said that there were two famous waterfalls in the world, Niagara Falls and Dunn’s River Falls, ALL the Guyanese in the group said without hesitation “KAIETEUR FALLS”, after giving us a look that could curdle milk in the goat, he ignored us and carried on with his “talk” 🙂
I didn’t mind a talk about safety on the falls, but when I have to start chanting “hot hot hot” and “wet wet wet”, and have to answer tour guides questions on camera, when all I want to do is enjoy the climb, I can get testy, I didn’t go for the Kumbaya and to make the guides look good on camera, especially when all the notices going down had a number of warnings for climbers and at the very top was “Anyone climbing the Falls to so at their own risk”, so kept thinking to myself “back off Rasta, and let me climb”
The guides were only interested in getting photos and video of their groups to “sell” to you after the climb, safety was the last thing on their mind. Our group got separated numerous times, members fell, and even had slight injuries.
At the beginning of the climb, from the bottom of the falls, there were at least five groups of people trying to climb the same section, simultaneously… The first stop they made was at a “pool” in the falls where they got small groups (families etc) to get in (it was fun!) and smile and wave for the camera 🙂 It was all for their camera, this was the photo they’d try to sell you when you reached the top! Yes I’m complaining, and I’m a photographer! Here’s one Andre took at that point 🙂
I prefer his photo, not because it is better (which it is), but because he didn’t twist my arm to take it, and he didn’t twist my other arm to buy it 🙂
Remember I mentioned the groups of people trying to climb simultaneously? Here’s a photo of a (relatively) calm spot, now go pick out the groups, remember that each group has two “guides”, one has on a blue shirt (he’s the official guide) and the other has on a yellow shirt (he’s the one with the video camera, who will disappear halfway up to go make the DVD) 🙂
Somewhere before this point (after my daughter had fallen and was saved by my cousin Nyuk-Lan in true action hero fashion, and my father had fallen twice, a few of us departed the falls, and I took over Andre’s camera to get some shots in, I really have to get more experience on strange cameras, I got fewer good ones than I’d hoped 🙂
Being totally fed-up with the guides, Nyuk-Lan led a team of rebels on their own merry way up the falls, including a section that was obviously being avoided by the guides and their groups, and it made for a few lovely photos 🙂
After all that, getting back to the hotel and it’s pools was relaxing 🙂 Joan had made reservations at La Diva Italian Restaurant, while waiting for dinner we noticed what was going to be a lovely sunset, both Andre and I headed out (while the servers were serving the appetizers) to take a few photos. The sight of the two of us taking photos seemed to have spurred numerous diners in other restaurants to do the same, and heading back to the restaurant, Andre noticed numerous people on their room balconies with their cameras too 🙂
From my seat in the restaurant, I noticed the colour of the sky contrasting nicely with the lighting in the restaurant area 🙂
The endpoint or destination of the Pakaraima Mountain Safari is Orinduik Falls, so I thought I’d end this series with one of my favourite photos of the Falls itself.
Orinduik falls is a series of small drops, This is a small portion that I thought was framed nicely.
Hopefully this year I come away with some nice photos again 🙂
In 2009 I was shooting the Canon PowerShot S5 Superzoom bridge camera, it was shortly after this photo (in time and shots) that I fell and damaged the camera. This year, I’m trying for surer footing (maybe my additional weight will help keep me stable as well) 🙂
Since I had damaged my camera, my brother loaned me his Nikon D80, my first shots on an SLR 🙂 I took the liberty of including one with him under the falls 🙂
The mighty Kaieteur, the largest single drop waterfall (by volume) in the world. Let’s not get confused, it’s NOT the tallest single drop waterfall in the world, but when you’re comparing the sheer volume of water flowing over it, it is the largest single drop waterfall in the world, make note of that distinction. It has a single drop of 226 meters (741 feet), and averages about 663 cubic meters of water per second (23,400 cubic feet per second). It is awesome!
For you Canadians and Americans, it’s about five times the height of Niagara,
You can read more about the falls and its history on other sites, I’m not about to go regurgitating all that data here 🙂
For years I’ve always avoided flying into Kaieteur because I could always say that my money would be better spent (in terms of distance and longevity) in going to one of the Caribbean Islands, it was cheaper to go to Trinidad (and stay for a week or two) than to go to Kaieteur and spend two hours.
My first visit to Kaieteur was in 2009, and if I could give up my day-job and become a guide for a tour company just so I could see Kaieteur every week, I’d do it, but then again, I like my job 🙂
This photo was resurrected from my files recently, I had taken three exposures for an HDR, and I decided to re-process those files and see what happens. It won’t be great (especially to enlarge it), it was taken with the Canon PowerShot S5 IS bridge camera with a Raynox 0.66x wide angle adapter attached, You can probably see some of the lens distortion at the edges.
This is my favourite view of Kaieteur (other than the views from the airplane, of course) This is known as Johnson’s View, it’s the furthest view from the falls and gives a beautiful view on the vista.
Definitely, click on the image here to see it better in the gallery.