ARCHIVE 51 – THE KAISUT DESERT AND MT MARSABIT

mmm

.

.
A small settlement in northern Kenya’s Kaisut Desert, looking northwards towards the distant highlands of Mt Marsabit; 1981.

The settlement consists of a few buildings with mud walls and corrugated iron roofs and some hemispherical mud huts.  Each group of buildings is surrounded by a fence of dead thornbush, within which stock animals are kept at night.

The desert is unusually green after recent rains.  Each conical hill in the distance is a small volcano, and the massif on the horizon is Mt Marsabit, a national park of entirely volcanic origin.  Marsabit rises over a thousand metres above the surrounding plains and, in its higher reaches, supports dense forests that derive their moisture from the clouds that frequently cloak the high ground.

I love the colours in this picture.  Agfa CT18 was an excellent but quite slow film which tended if anything to err towards brownish hues perfect for many Kenyan landscapes.  I used to slightly underexpose it to further saturate the colours.

OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO.
.
.
.

About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

21 Responses to ARCHIVE 51 – THE KAISUT DESERT AND MT MARSABIT

  1. Sonali Dalal says:

    like a painting. Brilliance of the colours are amazing!

    Like

  2. krikitarts says:

    I remember CT-18 with great fondness (and Tri-X for monochrome). I used it extensively while I was studying in Berlin, and shortly after returning to the US I migrated to Fujichrome Velvia, another very fine film. Your greenish browns here are just wonderful!

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      My greenish browns are just wonderful? >>> I bet you say that to all the boys! 🙂

      I used Velvia too, mainly for tripod work. But by that time I was getting into all sorts of imaginative images – in dark places, strange orientations, etc etc – and I needed something faster and easier to use, and that’s when I got into push processing Fuji Provia 400, and later the even more wonderful Provia 400X – 1600 ISO was par for the course, and on up above that.

      I also used Agfa Scala black and white slides, which were glorious, and which were also very pushable >>> and I think the saddest aspect of the advent of digital for me was Scala’s demise. But now, I find that I can do far, far more with mono that has started life as full colour Raw files, than I can with scanned Scala! >> its strange how things turn out! A

      Like

      • krikitarts says:

        ‘Tis very strange indeed. I, too, moved up to Provia, and I think there’s still a partially-exposed roll in one of my two Pentax PZ-1s, which I’ve hardly touched since I went digital in 2000. I wish I’d sold them then! I had no experience with Scala, but I had a brief love affair with Scotchchrome 1000, which had the grainiest grain of any color film I’d ever encountered. Hey–must do a post with one from the archives!

        Like

        • Adrian Lewis says:

          Oh I’ve heard of Scotchchrome but never used it – its known for “grain like golf balls” I think! Yes, post some!

          Well you can still sell your film cameras, but prices are not high. I traded in a lot of my cherished Olympus OM gear to get the D800 – I loved that OM gear, we went through so much together, but, simple fact, sad but true, I was never going to use it again.

          I was using the fastest Provia, but from what I’ve seen and read, the whole Provia film suite had an excellent reputation for quality and colour rendition. 400X became a Jack of All Trades – exposed at 500 ISO as a fine grained, well saturated, detail film, and then at anywhere up to 6,400 ISO for riotous behaviour! After all these digital years, my last unused films are still sitting in our fridge – 20 or more of them!

          Happy New Year, my friend! A 🙂

          Like

          • krikitarts says:

            We are, indeed, kindred souls, Adrian. I can’t confess to keeping film in my fridge any more, but I was reloading my own canisters for the last 10 years or so of the olden times, and earlier this year I finally let go the ones I was still saving (as a result of repeated, mostly-gentle probes by my wife) several rolls of the Scotchchrome 100 and at least two partial bulk rolls of Fuji Provia and Kodak T-Max 100 and 400. Ah, the memories–but then, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

            Like

            • Adrian Lewis says:

              Memories – most definitely! And as we age, two things happen – we have more of them due to the passing of time – and although we can’t remember what we did a moment ago – what’s your name, again? – our long term memory blossoms and we have even more. I used to think the line “An old man, left alone with his memories” terribly sad, but now I’m not so sure.

              I hope you have a very good 2014, my friend – and in particular I hope your two peepers get back to 101% efficiency! A

              Like

  3. Meanderer says:

    I love the colours in this too. Wonderful image.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thank you very much, my friend, I’m glad you like it – what a film CT18 was, just right for African landscapes. I got down to the Levels today and it was wild – I wouldn’t have missed it for the world! Hope you’re fine – I think you said you’re on leave now >>> great stuff! A 🙂

      Like

      • Meanderer says:

        Excellent – can’t wait to see your images from today. It must have been very wild! I was blown all over the place on my way to and from work today!

        Yes – on leave now until Friday. Feeling tired but feeling good!

        Like

  4. drawandshoot says:

    This is just gorgeous, Adrian. I love the colours too, and the light is magical.

    Like

  5. Malin H says:

    1981 … at that time I was ten years old… 🙂
    I also love the colors in this.
    Wonderful image.

    Like

  6. Jimi says:

    Adrian, this one is just wonderful. I really like it.
    Happy holidays. =)
    Jimi

    Like

  7. Dave says:

    Remote and simple communities are facinating, aren’t they? I like this one. Merry Christmas, Adrian.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, they are fascinating – when my time was finished in this area, I felt a great disinclination to leave. Climbing this low hill each morning, to look out over this little village, had become a treasured experience.

      Glad you like the picture, Dave – a very good Christmas to you too! Adrian

      Like

  8. Patti Kuche says:

    What a glorious shot Adrian and, as you say, the colors are perfect!

    Like

This blog has two pleasures for me - creating the images and hearing from you - so get your thoughts out to the world!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: