To shoot or not to shoot?

Today we got picked up from the guesthouse, piled into a minibus and took off for a place outside of the city. It was not too far away from the airport so I recognized some major landmarks from our trip into the city when we first arrived.

I decided that this would be a great opportunity to bring my camera to get some good shots of the city and the surrounding area (because my camera is fairly low quality I am going to apologize right now for the blurry nature of many of the pictures). As I sat in a little bus just snapping shots I felt a bit like I was working for Google Street View.

The only problem was that I’m finding it more and more difficult to take pictures each time I go to a new place. For example, nature shots are almost always acceptable, but out of respect I try very hard to avoid having people I don’t know in my pictures. Of course they may not realize that I am intending to take a picture of the river when they see a van full of foreigners drive by and a camera poised at the open window.

The other issue for me is buildings. Even if I take a range of shots (affluence and poverty), it doesn’t change the fact that it is still someone’s house, office or place of worship. They never asked to be bothered by me and my camera.

I guess what I am trying to get across is that there is a power imbalance and as our friendly neighbourhood spiderman has told us, “with great power comes great responsibility”. I can at anytime hop on a plane and go somewhere (almost anywhere). Many cannot. I have access to funds so that if I need something (or within reason want something), I can get it. And I have a camera, giving me the ability to post pictures online for the world to see (though thankfully the world will not all read this blog), and therefore, the power to represent people’s lives for better or worse.

This is an issue that I have had to work through before and I am very certain that I will continue to work through in the future whether I am in Belleville, Regent, Tijuana, Georgetown….or wherever I am called to next. The reason why I am writing this is because I want this blog to be more than just a page with nice pictures but also a page that raises questions and where I can share some of the things that I have been working through. I’m not likely to have too many answers and I know that many things will be nearly impossible for me to try and share with you but if you are up to the challenge of trying to navigate through the muddled brain of Drew Badgley then I am sure to give you some challenges in the weeks ahead.

(So at the end of the day I have some pictures that I can share so here you go).

rum distillery

The rum distillery. Very famous and very... aromatic.

guyana river

The Demerara River. One of Guyana's 3 largest rivers.

houses on stilts

Common architecture - many houses are built on stilts and there are little canals everywhere!


A herd of cows overtook the other lane as we made our way back into the city.

As a bonus you also get a couple of shots of me swimming in a ‘black water creek’. Different types of water are described by colour in Guyana. They say if you drink the black water you will always come back to Guyana. I didn’t drink it today but one never quite knows what the future holds.


About uoftscarborough

The University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) is home to a community of active learners drawn from all over the globe, determined to use what we discover – through investigation, collaboration and experience – to make our world a better place. Our campus is an integral component of Canada’s leading research-intensive university, a place where faculty contribute to cutting-edge knowledge, where the finest students are taught by the finest professors. Upon graduation, our students have earned one of the most rigorous and respected post-secondary degrees in the world. At UTSC, we are working together to find answers to tomorrow’s most important questions. And because the search for knowledge must always be conducted in a meaningful way, our campus is continually alive with innovative programming, engaging discourse and dynamic experiences that feed our spirits and enrich our minds. This is how to prepare students for the best possible future. This is how our scholarship contributes to a better world. This is our promise. Because tomorrow is created here.
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