Wednesday, August 21, 2019

SERIES PREVIEW PART 3: The Overlay of Touchstones & Time

As in the previous two posts, this is a sampling of images and text previewing my developing series in conjunction with the Raffles Bicentennial celebrations currently in progress and continuing through the end of 2019 in Singapore.  Refer to the previous posts for other image overviews of this project. All photos and original texts ©Rick Burnett Baker 

These four images are of benches on Coleman Street, adjacent to St. Andrews Cathedral. The text is inlayed in each bench.  I've then overlaid other Singapore images onto these bench photos. I felt that the message here is what we in the US talk about and what Singapore actually does. These images would represent the last four images in an exhibit of this series. 


Photos ©Rick Burnett Baker
Taken February, 2019. 

Sunday, March 10, 2019

SERIES PREVIEW, PART 2 "The Overlay of Touchstones & Time

As in the previous post, this is a sampling of images and text previewing my developing series in conjunction with the Raffles Bicentennial celebrations that are currently in progress and continuing through the end of 2019 in Singapore. Refer to the previous post for the overview of this project. All photos and text ©Rick Burnett Baker


"Surrender is the spirit of trust, 
the loving touch of all known and unknown;
A communion of being." 


"Pause for reflection and memory; 
forest and lake; stillness and breeze. 
Prayer, like the wind, is movement." 


of every passing

we are 
fire and ash, 
water and stone, 
flowers and earth

we are
sons daughters
mothers fathers

of every
passing and ascent 
of night to 



"We are most beautiful when we are not, 
for in that image is the seed
of all that behold 



"We memorialize our veterans for being noble and brave. 
If ever humanity learns the greater lessons of war,
we will have truly honored them." 



Image Notes: 

Image 1: Base photo is Masjid Sultan Mosque, Singapore. Overlay image taken on Muscat Street @Arab Street. 

Image 2: Base photo taken at Wei Too Fa Gong Taoist Temple, Pulau Ubin. Overlay image of the monks taken on Mosque Street, Chinatown. 

Image 3: Base photo taken at Sri Thendayuthapani Hindu Temple, Singapore. Overlay image taken at  Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple, South Bridge Rd. 

Image 4: Base photo taken on Smith Street. Overlay image of young tourist girl taken on Temple Street. 

Image 5: Kanji War Memorial. 

All photos and text ©Rick Burnett Baker 


This sampling of images and text is a preview of a developing series in conjunction with the Raffles Bicentennial celebrations that are currently in progress and continuing through the end of 2019. All photos and text  ©Rick Burnett Baker.


A touchstone to the past is most often a house, school, building, or a place where we used to hang out with family or friends. Years later, when we return to any of those elements of our past, we are sometimes flooded with myriad emotions and memories.  One element of touchstones that we sometimes forget is that those memories were most often created, not simply by a physical structure or place, but by the people who shared those places with us. 
In Singapore, so many of the places that Singaporeans, expats, and visitors remember fondly have disappeared to the ever changing landscape of development and redevelopment.  This project will explore some of my personal touchstones, but also those that older Singaporeans remember, and younger generations never knew. 

This will be a photo narrative, in the spirit of the Raffles Bicentennial, spiced with commentary, quotes, and poetry!  This will also be a challenge to the younger generations of Singaporeans to create their own, new touchstones, keeping in mind that people will be the most cherished part of those new creations. 

"When we pull back the curtain of our inner child
we unleash the art of creating our future." 


"I had designs on you. 
Paths were carved from every decade 
of emotion, a blueprint unfathomed.

I'm long past the dedication, ribbon-cutting, cornerstones; 
You are a time capsule, empty."
Adapted from my 2014 poem, 'metropolis'. 


"We stand where heritage has drawn us. 
self is the gathered vision of history against uncertainty."
Adapted from my 2013 poem, 'crossings'. 


Sometimes we create temporary touchstones..... 
(Love Locks @ Clarke Quay, Singapore
Text on image is an excerpt from my 2013 poem titled "milieu".)

Click on image to enlarge:


"We are view, we are days, we're the 
looking glass windows to unnamed futures." 
Adapted from my 2012 poem, 'paths'


Image Notes: 

Image 1: Base photo taken at Singapore Art Museum (SAM) Waterloo S. 
Overlay image of “Superkid” is the side of a building at Heritage Chalet, Pasir Ris Park. 

Image 2: Base photo taken at Dakota Crescent Estate. Overlay image take at Chinatown Complex.

Image 3: Base photo is a stylized rendering of an applied mural in the pedestrian underpass near Boat Quay in 2013. The overlay is Raffles Statue, Empress Place. 

Image 4: Love Locks @ Clarke Quay. 

Image 5: Photo of Raffles Statue overlaid on an image taken at Marina Bay Sands.  

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Linguistics Of Music: A Portrait

"Portraits should offer more than perfectly 
lit images of someone's face. 
They should open a window 
to that person's essence." 

-Rick Burnett Baker

We were privileged yesterday evening to have Cellist Kevin Maa join us at the Montanus Gallery for a photoshoot and impromptu 'concert'.  Kevin is an accomplished musician, and has been auditioning for entrance into Rochester NY's acclaimed Eastman School of Music.  (Visit these embedded links.)

Here are a few photos I took during our session.  These are not typical 'portraits' but rather what I call 'candid portraits' that attempt to peer deeper into a person's being.

Portraits should offer more than perfectly lit images of someone's face.  They should open a window to that person's essence.

We wish Kevin the very best in his artistic and professional endeavors!




 "Listen To The Melody"

 Kevin Maa



All Photos ©Rick Burnett Baker 
All Rights Reserved

Friday, February 9, 2018

Photography Challenges

Been a while since I've posted here.  Seems that blogs tend to be considered "last century" with all the changing social media platforms these days.  I retired in November of 2016, and have been busier than ever with my photography endeavors, road trips, photo essay exhibits, media coverage, and work at our gallery. I'll be off to Asia for a month in March/April for photo shoots and business talks.

To update anyone still following blogs, I was invited to be a gallery partner with noted Rochester photographer Jim Montanus over a year ago.  This January we have moved with two other photography partners to Village Gate here in Rochester NY.  Larger space, retail presence, and many exciting photo exhibits and events planned and in the works!

I invite you to look me up on Facebook:  Rick Burnett Baker.  (Have to use the middle name because of that Academy Award winning special effects artist Rick Baker).

Also I have two other Facebook pages: , and .  There is also the Bird Can Sing Facebook page that is the precursor to my charitable foundation that is being developed now.  Here are a couple of links:  and my website

Check out the Montanus Gallery Facebook page, Google my gallery partner Jim Montanus and his father Neil Montanus, who was a famous Kodak photographer for nearly 40 years.  Neil did Walt Disney's official portrait that is still used by the Disney company today, and President Gerald Ford's official White House portrait as well.  Neil will be 91 next month, and occasionally come into the gallery to greet fans.

Cheers to you all, and I'll try to post more often here going forward!


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Prayer And Redemption? Asceticism Or Madness?

What is the human condition if not uncertain?  I may believe that I'm normal and sane.  My view of the ascetic's behavior will serve to validate my belief.  

The deeper questions require me to qualify that reasoning.  In quiet moments alone, am I the one most in need of prayer and redemption? 

Click on photos to enlarge: 
Prayer serves to plead, beg redemption, or 
give thanks.  Sometimes it's a soliloquy over
real or imagined states of being. 

To witness is a public display of personal belief.
Motives often remain painfully personal. 

The face of resolve reflects determination, 
reluctance, gratitude, anger, relief or any 
number of emotions.  The face of madness,
however, reveals nothing. 

Photos/Text ©Rick Burnett Baker 
All Rights Reserved 

This photo essay is an excerpt from my developing series "Dream: Please Excuse Our Appearance"™.   This photo essay/exhibit is tentatively slated to show in late summer of 2018.   

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Faith At Dawn

                                    Click image to enlarge:

©Rick Burnett Baker
All Rights Reserved