KENYA 35 – ON A FARM IN WESTERN KENYA (MONO)

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.Luo people on a farm near Akala, in the far west of Kenya; April 1979.

I love these portraits.  The man is at ease with me and my camera, he knows me well, and in his expression we see nothing contrived, just a calm and direct gaze.  The little boy is nervous, but is being reassured by the man’s closeness – while the little girl’s radiant smile is a delight.

This smile reminds me powerfully of African children in general!  I was often in out of the way areas in Kenya, often far off the well beaten tourist tracks, searching for unusual birdlife.  And I can remember entering villages where white people were only infrequently seen – and being beset by a tide of brightly smiling little children like these, chanting “mazungu, mazungu!” – swahili for “white man, white man!”. 

And sometimes they were so curious to see me, maybe not having had close contact with a european before, that they came and wondered at the pale hair on my pale arms – and touched my arms and head as if they couldn’t quite believe what they were seeing – it was a real, uninhibited examination!

I like children anyway, I vastly enjoy interacting with them – and especially so when they can talk – and these were simply wonderful and fascinating experiences.  And I also want to mention here how friendly Kenyan people were in general, throughout my years there – friendly, hospitable and humorous.

On the negative side of things though, it was on this trip that I first contracted malaria – and that is something truly unpleasant.

OM-1 with 50mm Zuiko; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro.
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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer - using mono, colour and combinations of the two - many types of subject, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous, trying new ideas, working in multiple genres. And I've a weakness for Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

10 Responses to KENYA 35 – ON A FARM IN WESTERN KENYA (MONO)

  1. Helen Cherry says:

    Oh yes. I love the way your eye is drawn from right to left past the serious faces to the delightful smiling one.. Good work

    Like

  2. Sonali Dalal says:

    wonderful portrait ! I particularly like that smiling girl on right. She gives life to the picture.

    Like

  3. Great shot – so classic, and yet the contrast between the expressions of the two children (each powerful on their own) really makes this for me.

    Like

  4. Meanderer says:

    Super image. I’m generally not ‘into’ portrait photography but this is lovely. The strong elements for me are – as you say – the smiling child, but also the strong arms and hands of the father around the nervous child.

    Like

  5. That’s a beautiful picture, and a bright smile from the child behind!

    Like

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