As I look back on 2013 and the photographs I chose to highlight every week, I feel a sense of accomplishment. The previous year (2012) I did the ‘Picture a Day’ personal challenge and, even though there were times I wanted to quit, I completed it. However, a lot of the time the images were taken just to ensure I had a picture for the day and just to complete year – it became automatic in a sense. In 2013, things were a bit different.
I realised that my mistake the previous year was that I didn’t have enough time to commit to my photography and developing as a photographer. So, I undertook a less demanding personal challenge in 2013 that would allow me to focus more on what I wanted as opposed to what I can get. Looking at all fifty-two images, I think I’ve improved my eye for detail and composition and decreased on my OCD where all pictures had to be ‘perfect’ or as perfect as I can get them. I realised that sometimes I might not get the sharpest, best composed image possible; sometimes, the best images are in the story they tell and how they appeal to the person viewing them.
Note: You will notice two different watermarks on my images. It took a while for me to get one that I liked and in the end, I didn’t create it. Michael Lam, the photographer behind The Michael Lam Collection, a layout artist and a friend of mine, got tired of me using the gaudy lettering and created my watermark. I’d like to thank him through this post, once again, and promise that I’m working on making my photography as professional looking as the watermark!
Some of my favourites from 2013
Water taxi service across the Demerara River: This image was captured on a photography walk with some friends one afternoon. We decided to explore the Stabroek Market area in Georgetown, Guyana. By the time we walked through the crowds and made it to the stelling (wharf), the sun was setting and workers were headed home across the Demerara River in water taxis (speed boats) from Georgetown to Vreed-en-Hoop.
Grandmother’s Hindi writing in her own hand bound book: I was tasked with writing an article on artefacts for Horizons, a local magazine on East Indian heritage in Guyana. In the beginning, I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to approach the article but I settled on a personal storytelling point of view and included information on my grandmother and some of her treasured possessions. Even though she speaks English, and the more common Creolese popular in Guyana, she still remembers her Hindi and writes it too.
Peacock: While I was in India (from 2009-2011) these beautiful creatures challenged me. The campus I was on had them living in the wild forest areas and it was quite rare to actually see one – however you can hear them quite well early in the mornings and as dusk approached. Having been fascinated with them for quite some time (the beautiful colours of the males), I was determined to get a picture of one before leaving India. As I sorted through my vast amount of images from the years there, I realised I was able to take several pictures of them. Alas! None were sharp or close enough – the fast moving teasers were always blurry as they ran away from me. I finally lucked out and got a picture of one in Canada. Personal challenge to get a picture of a peacock in India – failed. However, I think this is a pretty good substitute.
Baby Playing: While I was on vacation, my niece developed very quickly. By the time I was home, she was standing on her own. I captured this shot one afternoon by accident, while she was playing ‘peek-a-boo’ with me. At first, my OCD self wanted it to be sharper and better composed, etc., etc., etc. However, in the end, I loved it for the simple fact that it’s a picture that truly depicts her at that age.
Cousins’ Joy: It seems like the little ones in my extended family love to hang out with me – I’d like to think I’m your modern day Mary Poppins, however, it might be as simple as my immaturity and petite size that attract them. This picture was taken on Boxing Day as I hung out with the children.
For the complete set of images taken for last year on my personal picture a week challenge: 2013 – Project 52