Just a photo 🙂
Liliendaal, Georgetown, Guyana, South America.
Click on the image to see it in the Seawall Gallery.
Photography; I shoot what I like, and sometimes people like what I shoot. All photos are copyright to Michael C. Lam unless explicitly stated otherwise.
There’s much that could be said, but little that I feel like sharing.
In the meantime, enjoy a photo that has my mind crossing space, time and emotions. I’ve also included this into the extended Oniabo Collection.
Canon EOS 60D | Between 15 and 50 | February 2016
Click on the image to see it in the Gallery
Whether it is the soft roar of the waves as they rush to shore, the melodic crash as they break upon the rocks along the seawall or the almost deafening calm that engulfs you when the tide is at its lowest, there is a serenity that reaches deep within and soothes like a herbal balm, and sets your mind, your soul, your very being at ease.
I remember the afternoon I took this, there was a girl walking a dog along the seawall, a few boats were moored at the usual spot near the Lusignan/Anandale outflow canal, my daughter and her cousin were playing among the rocks, then later they played on a swing (old tyre on a rope), the tide was so far out that it would take quite some time to walk to the tideline, I was out there hoping for a nice sunset or interesting clouds to make a good scene… I took quite a few photos, this one being among the earliest, not because it jumped out and screamed “take me”, but just because I was there, the scene was there and I felt like shooting something… it happens sometimes.
Revisiting the image after two years, I saw the potential that my subconscious saw… or I only now have a different detached perspective on it, whichever excuse works for you, I think I finally got what the scene was saying to me. 🙂
Canon EOS 60D, Tamron 18-270 | 84mm, 1/160s, f/5.0, ISO 160
Click on the image to see it in the Black and White Gallery, that gallery now holds quite a number of my monochromatic images that I am very fond of..
Balance is over-rated… it’s boring, right?
I mean, eat a balanced diet… where’s the fun in that? Balance your time between sleep and wake, work and home, business and pleasure…. you get the drift… keeping the balance is just too hard; of course, going totally unbalanced is not good, not good at all, trust me, I know.
I was out along the seawalls on a midday walk (yes, no one who is balanced would be doing that either!), and I was composing some shots, I normally do not position my horizon in the centre anymore (that was the default position when I started taking photos), but something about this scene made me want to balance the earth to heavens proportion in the frame.
My thought processes often differ from the moment of pressing the shutter-button to the time of processing, and that might be a good thing, at the time of processing, I was looking at the elements and the thought that came to mind was a bible verse… no, I do not normally go around quoting bible verses… but this one many people already know; it is from what we know as The Lord’s Prayer
“… on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10)
I think it fits… in a way 🙂
OK, so I’ve babbled enough nonsense to confuse even myself, here’s the photo:
Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm | 10mm, ISO 100, 1/200s, f/10
Click on the image to see it in the gallery along with others from the Sewall album
Taking time away from the images can be a good thing… but it’s important to actually go back to them, because if you don’t, it becomes a matter of “out of sight, out of mind”…
I was looking for a certain Mashramani photo this morning in my 2010 photo library… and I stumbled across this image…
This day was a good one, I really have to sort out a few more images from it 🙂
2010 | Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 18-270mm
Click on the image to see it in the Flora Gallery along with other photos in the Floral category 🙂
I don’t normally do abstract photography, actually, even including this photo I’m not sure I’ve ever done abstract photography, I just don’t see the world that way.
This photo I liked, I am not sure why, it just appealed to me, even when taking it.
To me it has an amalgamation of the things that make me “feel” like I am where I feel most comfortable, where I was born, where I was raised, where I belong… I am of Guyana, I am in Guyana, I am Guyana!
Now that I’ve gotten the crazy bits out of the way, here’s the photo 🙂
Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm | 1/125s, f/10, ISO 100
Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.
…. and yes… that bit in the top right hand corner was knowingly left in the frame 🙂
The Coastal Seawalls that protect us from the mighty Atlantic Ocean, are familiar to most Guyanese, that’s because most of the population lives on the coast… it is not surprise that many of my photos for the Deck Project this year are from the Seawalls.
I’ll let the photo do the rest of the talking…
Click on the image to see it in the Gallery!
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.
Time never stands still.
It only seems like a few moons ago that my daughter was born, yet she’s now nine years old.
For a little while, on the Sunday before school re-opened, I let all else be lost, all worldly matters be forgotten, as I sat among the rocks on the seawall, with family, a snack or two, some drinks and the cool breeze brought by the incoming tide. I just sat, camera in hand and as my daughter and her cousin played in the water, enjoyed the little slice of time that stood still…
I don’t often do photos of “people”, but I think this year I’ve uploaded more “portrait type shots for the Deck Project than before 🙂