Why I Shoot People

There was a time when I thought that picking up a camera was the quickest path to becoming an artist. And so there I was, with a pink Casio point-and-shoot, ready to bestride the world with effortless artistry. Silly rabbit. Ten years down the hole, and I’m still nowhere close to creating what I’d call ‘art’. The only difference is, now I have a camera that has more functions than my TV remote.

In the early days, I was smitten with the idea of freezing time with a single click. It seemed so… easy. But as the clicks turned into thousands of shutter snaps, the naïveté faded, much like the memories of my initial photos that were more blur than beauty.

I feel no shame in saying there was a stage where every like was a standing ovation, every comment a review. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t give me a rush. Posting a photo and waiting for the likes to roll in was like waiting for rain in a drought. Or electricity after a GPL interlude. But then came the question, was I doing this for art or affirmation?

Now, a decade later, the reality is clear and, ironically, captured in high resolution: I am hooked. It’s not about chasing the elusive dragon of ‘art’ or the digital nods of approval anymore. It’s about the urge to capture the light just right, the colours vividly, the world in a frame – likes or no likes, art or fart.

The addiction is real. There’s no morning without wanting to capture that golden glow off a building. No walk on Regent Street without seeking a story in a single frame. It’s a compulsion, a need, a reflex. My camera has become an extension of my being, a companion in my daily sojourns into the mundane and the magnificent.

I may have embarked on this journey with a naïve ambition, fueled by the simplistic idea of creating art. But over time, the journey has become the destination. Each photograph, a reflection of my growth, each snapshot, a lesson in humility.

So, the learning quest continues. Point-and-shoot in pocket (ninja black), I step into the light, chasing shadows, textures, and the endless stories that lie in wait. There’s a subtle joy in this routine, satisfaction in the click of the shutter, a quiet dialogue between me and the myriad hues of life.

I’ll still take likes though.

Click click.

Kwesi is a communications specialist who spent over a dozen years as a practicing journalist.

Follow him on Facebook, and on Instagram.

Anniversary Photowalks Volumes 1-3


Photowalks have become part of the DNA of the Guyana Photographers’  Facebook Group, when ideas regarding the tenth anniversary of the formation of the group started being discussed, this became the central one almost immediately.

As part of the celebrations, three weekends of Photowalks were planned; four were planned for the weekend of June 6-7 2020, another four walks for the weekend of June 20-21 2020, and six more photowalks for the weekend of July 4-6 2020.

These walks were led by members of the group, namely Darrell Carpenay, Tana Yussuff, Brian Gomes, Dione Vanderhyden, Fidal Bassier and Michael C. Lam (Photos of them in order to the left.)

Participants were asked to self-curate and submit up to 10 images from each weekend, it was open to all members of the group in Guyana at the time of the photowalks.

The resulting images were compiled into three magazine-styled publications, one for each weekend, these were compiled and edited by Fidal Bassier, Taijrani Rampersaud, and Michael C. Lam, and published by the team at VISIONS.

The publications were done in the magazine style to cater to all economic brackets, making them as affordable as possible, there’s no profit markup on Blurb, other than the site’s expenses (production and shipping, etc.)

We encourage everyone at home in Guyana, as well as our supporters in the diaspora to acquire copies for yourselves, you would not be disappointed.  Together, all three cost USD $32.17 plus shipping, for more than 100 pages containing more than 400 photographs.

To purchase, check them over on the Blurb platform at:


Afghan Girl

PhotoTalk 2020/22

In June 1985 Steve McCurry’s photograph (since called Afghan Girl) was printed on the cover of the National Geographic magazine, anyone looking at the magazine was immediately struck by the intent look of an adolescent girl staring intently out from the magazine.


It is such an iconic image that it has been named “the most recognized photograph” in the history of the magazine.  It portrayed an adolescent Sharbat Gula (or Sharbat Bibi) in a red head scarf, with her striking green eyes staring intently at the camera.  McCurry’s use of Kodachrome film was widely known, and the colours he achieved were brilliant, needless to say he used his tools to advantage.

The context in which the image was published likely aided the readers, but the image itself stands alone.  It has been widely discussed, widely reprinted, and widely reproduced on the internet as well.  McCurry has lost some standing worldwide due to a few scandals involving some of his photographs and “editing”, but the impact of the Afghan Girl image is undeniable.

Fame or infamy, Photo-Journalism or Exploitation? Let’s talk!


Original comments and discussions can be found on the Guyana Photographers’ Facebook post.

At Home with Guyana Photographers


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.

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 (Extended to September 30th)

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.


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.


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.

The Third Element by Kirth Bobb

PhotoTalk 2020/14

As someone who sees color as the third foundational element (light, shadow,+ color) of photographs. I’ve long studied and emulated the work of Alex Webb. Growing up in Guyana, the color was everywhere for me. From the vivid scenes at Big Market to all the colors of Pagwah, Easter, and Christmas. I can’t help but be drawn to color.


This particular photograph, like much of Webb’s work in the Caribbean and Mexico, uses color, light a bit of his signature layering to give the photograph, what I think is a strong sense of place.

Here’s an excerpt from an interview where he discusses his use of color.

“What I also realized, and this took place over a period of a few years. As I did that (and I was working then in black and white) I realized that something was missing. That the intense, searing light that exists in the tropics. And the kind of brilliant colors that exist in a Haiti or a Mexico. I wasn’t capturing those in black and white. I wasn’t dealing with, at some level, the sensuality of some of these cultures. So I began photographing in color in 78 and 79 as a response to that. And basically have been working in color ever since. I mean, initially it was a response to working in certain kinds of places where there is vibrant color. Now I sort of work in color everywhere.”‘

The full interview can be found here:


How do you use color in your photo recipe when you’re making photographs? Guyana has so much fantastic color and harsh light, that when I look at Webb’s works, I can; ‘t help to think of home. a

This book remains one of my top 10 photo books to date:


And The suffering of light is another classic that’s in my top 10:


Thanks for joining in the conversation,

Kirth Bobb

Kirth originally published this to the Guyana Photographers’ Facebook Group on April 30th, 2020. To see the original comments and discussion please check that post.

Portraits as “Productions” – the Dalí Atomicus.

PhotoTalk 2020/13


Portraits as “Productions” isn’t a new thing.

Dalí Atomicus. First some background… Salvador Dalí was a renowned Spanish surrealist painter, his works were well known not only for the display of Dalí’s technical skill and his amazing craftsmanship, but also for the striking and bizarre images in his paintings. To understand this unusual portrait of him by Philippe Halsman, you have to understand the nature of Dalí’s work, and the unusual approach (at the time) of Halsman towards portrait photography; Halsman tried to capture the “essence” of his subjects, while portrait photography at the time was seen as being very “clinical”, with the photographer and subject not knowing each other, and the portraits of the time having that poised look, and the soft blurred look; Halsman wanted sharp images that spoke of who the subject was, bringing the person themselves into “sharp focus” literally and metaphorically, in the resulting image.

Now about the image, I used this image in a workshop once, and I winged the description, but here I’ll quote directly from Time.com “Halsman created an elaborate scene to surround the artist that included the original work, a floating chair and an in-progress easel suspended by thin wires. Assistants, including Halsman’s wife and young daughter Irene, stood out of the frame and, on the photographer’s count, threw three cats and a bucket of water into the air while Dalí leaped up. It took the assembled cast 26 takes to capture a composition that satisfied Halsman.”

Just imagine that. Let’s Talk!

Originally published to the Guyana Photographers’ Facebook Page on April 28th, 2020. To see the original comments and discussion please check that post.