At Home with Guyana Photographers

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Lockdowns around the world are taking on different forms, here in Guyana, we have a curfew, and many people are indoors, also, most photographers who rely on photography for income are finding it difficult, added to that, any photographer worth their salt is probably itching to shoot something, anything!

To this end, we’d like to invite the members of Guyana Photographers’ Facebook Group to turn a fresh eye to what’s around you, embark on a project to show us what your idea of “At Home” is.  The selected images will be compiled into a virtual magazine.

Guidelines:
All photos must have been taken after April 1, 2020
Photographs must have been taken by the entrant
Each photographer may submit up to 20 images to convey their idea of “At Home”
Each submission must be accompanied by an Artist Statement and an Artist Biography
Start shooting! Submissions will be accepted from July 27th, 2020 to August 31st 2020

Submission details to follow.

Submitted Photographs will be curated by a Curatorial Panel, and the results published in a Virtual Magazine for electronic distribution.  Photographers retain all rights to their work, by submitting you give VISIONS and the Guyana Photographers the right to reproduce your images for this publication and for any promotional use regarding the publication.
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UPDATE and EXTENSION

Due to the activities surrounding the tenth anniversary, we decided to extend submission to the end of September 2020, this is more for the organisers than it is for the participants, we thank the many people who have contacted us regarding this project.

The Upload Form is open and we encourage you to be your own critic, and submit your best work .

Check the form, there are some details there regarding the Artist Statement, Artist Bio and the Image submissions that may be helpful to you.

The upload form can be found here.


WWII Women

PhotoTalk 2020/20

This weekend, some antic or the other had my daughter mentioning the “woman with the muscles” poster. This got me to thinking about the Rosie the Riveter Posters and the images during World War II, yes, before my time, but still relevant.

During times of conflict, times of dramatic change, photographs (and video) provide a record of people, events, environment, etc. The Rosie the Riveter campaign was responsible for women entering the American workforce in unprecedented numbers, and they were crucial to the war-effort (despite being paid far less than their male counterparts).

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This post is not about Rosie the Riveter nor the campaigns and illustrations of that time, in our April 03, 2020 PhotoTalk #6, we spoke about Margaret Bourke-White, today we show another of her images taken during the war-effort, of women in the work-force. As an image it is powerful, and it should also be said that Bourke-White was one of the first photographers hired for LIFE Magazine and the first female war correspondent.

Even today, it is still a male-centric world, and seeing images like this impresses me, not because I can’t see women doing these things, but maybe because I don’t see it often enough.

So, what’s the importance of a photographic record, in journalism and in art, during times of change, such as our current time? What are your thoughts of the similarities or differences between photographers of different genders and the photos they produce? Lets Talk!


The original comments and discussion can be seen on the Guyana Photographers’ Facebook Group’s post.


Overtopping

PhotoTalk 2020/19

As a photographer who has a penchant for the seawalls, most of my seascapes and seawall images tend to be at low-tide.   I somehow prefer low-tide…  I will admit that one aspect might be the lack of salt-water spray on the camera, but that’s not the main reason.  I do admire images taken at high tide, especially when they are done right, and by right, I mean that they have an impact.

Two “over-topping” images immediately came to mind when I was thinking of this post, and I decided to use both.  As photographers, I have long admired the amazing nature photography of Bobby Fernandes (Robert J. Fernandes), and I’ve always marvelled at the technical skill in Dwayne Hackett’s studio work, so its no surprise that they both produced the images shown here.

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On the coastland, we live below sea-level, and all that protects us are our natural and man-made sea-defences.  It is our responsibility to maintain these defences, but to also acknowledge that as humans, we are contributing to climate change and the rise of sea-levels, and we, especially in Guyana, are dumping garbage that clogs our drainage, and prevents proper drainage; much of that garbage is thrown back at us by the sea.

Of great interest, although its video and not photography, is Alex Arjoon’s Coastland documentary, you should check that out!

As photographers, are we also responsible for the recording and documenting not only the ravages of the sea, but also the efforts of the builders of our defences? The keepers of our dams and kokers?  Let’s Talk!

#PhotoTalk


You can also see more of Dwayne’s work on his website, and on Instagram.

Original comments and discussion can be seen on the Guyana Photographers’Facebook Group post.

Moon Landing

PhotoTalk 2020/18

Moon Landing.

On July 20, 1969, the crew of the Apollo 11 landed their Lunar Module on the Moon, Neil Armstrong became the first man to step onto its surface, he was also the crew member trained in the use of the special Hasselblad cameras, and while two such cameras were with the Lunar Module, only one went outside, and Armstrong had that for almost all of the time spent on the moon’s surface, so he was also the first man to take a photograph on the moon’s surface, that of his friend and crew-mate Buzz Aldrin.

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Hasselblad worked with NASA to produce specialised cameras for the missions, there were many things different, but two notable ones were the lack of a viewfinder (not all) and the inclusion of a Réseau plate.

Jennifer Levassur (in 2019) was a curator in charge of the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s astronaut cameras, with regards the viewfinder she said “They needed to know that the position of the camera … along their body was going to produce a certain king of image,” While the landings produced some stunning images, it’s not surprising that without a viewfinder, some of them were poorly framed, she says. “There are about 18,000 or so images taken during the Apollo program and there are plenty that aren’t any good.” (taken from NPR.org)

The Réseau plate was a special glass plate included that added several crosshairs to the image, this assisted in correcting any lens distortion as well as to assist in judging sizes and distances of objects in the frame, since the moon is devoid of landmarks and other objects with which to compare scale. (You can probably make them out in the image)

Famous man, famous photo, famous camera, now about the photo… Let’s talk!


Original comments and discussion can be seen on the post in the Guyana Photographers’ Facebook Group.


Rhine II

PhotoTalk 2020/17

Rhine II
Touching on some things that might prove controversial today.  The Rhine II by Andreas Ghursky is the most expensive photograph in the world, there was one called Phantom that disputes this, but the sale of the Phantom has never been verified.

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The Controversy: why would someone pay US $4,338,500 for a photograph? Let’s deal with the artist’s approach for a bit; by this stage he no longer approached a photograph without a plan, and lots of setting up; as I understand it, he shot several exposures on medium format film, then scanned and combined he images on his computer, with quite a fair bit of digital editing, removing buildings etc.  The print itself is an impressive photographic C-print mounted to acrylic glass at a staggering 73″tall by 143″ wide (that’s roughly six feet by 12 feet).

Is it fair to call it a “photograph”?  Should we call it a composite? Should we call it a photo-illustration? Should we simply classify it as art?

Let’s talk!


Originally posted to the Guyana Photographers’Facebook Group on May 15th, 2020; comments and discussions can be seen on that post.


Through the eyes of a Foreigner

PhotoTalk 2020/16

  I came across Jean Ross’ images of Guyana recently, and the selection she had on her website had me thinking about a few things.

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  When I first began an interest in Photography, it was usually the case that when photographers came to our country, the images that they got were of a different calibre to those taken by locals; due to different factors, including training, access to better cameras, and also they saw things differently.

  That has changed a lot since then, and I think that with the talent available locally, that gap has narrowed and may even be non-existent to some extent.

  In looking at Jean’s selections, I do see that seeing Guyana from the perspective of an outsider has had a distinct influence on the images, but I dare say that images such as these have been produced in recent years by locals.  I had found the Guyana images on her website.

  What are your thoughts?  Whose work so you think may resemble some of Jean’s own?  Can we as photographers compete on par on the world stage?

Let’s Talk!


Original post can be seen on the original post Guyana Photographs’ Facebook Group and along with comments and discussion.


Making Photographs – Frans Lanting

PhotoTalk 2020/15

For our fifteenth post in the PhotoTalk series we bring you the amazing wildlife work of Frans Lanting.  This image was the cover of a book called OKAVANGO – Africa’s Last Eden, I think it was first published in 1993. Frans Lanting is a well-known photographer who was actually the Photographer-in-residence for the National Geographic Society for a number of years.

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His wildlife photographs has resulted in him being considered one of the great nature photographers of our time. His works have captured and documented wildlife and our relationship with nature across the globe, from Africa, to the Amazon to Antarctica.

In an interview back in 2015 regarding one of his Exhibitions, when discussing smartphones, apps and mobile photography, he mentioned something that struck me: “What it does to the more deliberate kinds of photography, of which this exhibition is a result—hopefully it’ll stimulate a small percentage of the people who start with this to consider taking the next step from taking pictures to making photographs.”

These days, everyone can “take a picture”, but it takes some amount of deliberate consideration and a different approach to actually “ Make a photograph” – and looking at his amazing range of wildlife photographs, it is obvious that he has a point, we can all point our cameras at an animal or nature scene, but to come away with a “ photograph” we need to compose correctly, and develop a relationship with the scene/subject that goes beyond just seeing it through the lens. Again in his words: “If you don’t understand what you are photographing, you are just looking at the surface of things.”

Let’s Talk!


Originally published to the Guyana Photographers’ Facebook Group on May6th 2020, you can see the original comments or discussion on that post.