ARCHIVE 59 – LAGOON AT MAGADI (MONO)

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Alkaline lagoon at Lake Magadi in the rift valley of southern Kenya; Nov 1977.

The volcanic rocks of Kenya’s rift valley are very rich in sodium.  This element is leached out by the rain and, in this area, the sodium-rich waters flow down underground into Lake Magadi.  This lake has no outlet apart from evaporation, and so the sodium content in its waters builds up.

Much of the lake has a solid sodium carbonate crust, but here a small lagoon still retains a liquid, if rather slimy,  surface.  The water is so alkaline that it feels soapy to the touch – it starts dissolving your skin as soon as you touch it!

OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko;  Agfa CT18 rated at 64 ISO; Silver Efex Pro.
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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.

22 Responses to ARCHIVE 59 – LAGOON AT MAGADI (MONO)

  1. Sonali Dalal says:

    There are so many things I like in this photo. Wonderful monochrome tones. Perspective. Reflection of clouds. Abstractness of sodium built up. Everything make it a perfect package.

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  2. great shot, Adrian!! wow… 🙂

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  3. krikitarts says:

    The clouds are beautiful, and I like the way that they and their reflections are counterbalanced with the whitish swirls in the lower part of your frame. So, then, not so good for skinny-dipping, eh?

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thanks, Gary, glad you like it! And of interest to you – there are small fish, tilapia I think, that live in the hot springs around the lake’s shore. Its a fascinating environment – and just over the border in Tanzania, is the similar but far larger Lake Natron. A

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      • krikitarts says:

        Now, that one I’ve heard of before. It’s a lot like Mono Lake in California, I believe, with its sodium salt deposits. In fact, it’s really aptly named, as “Natron” is the common term for the mineral cocktail that forms the crystals: if one wants to get technical, it’s a mixture of sodium carbonate decahydrate (Na2CO3·10H2O, a kind of soda ash) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda, NaHCO3), along with small quantities of sodium chloride and sodium sulfate. If one doesn’t care to get technical, just look at the salty fairy crystals!

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  4. Dissolving your skin?!?!? Not something to be washing up in!
    Great picture though. 🙂

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  5. Malin H says:

    And of course, always interesting reading your stories too.

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  6. Malin H says:

    You are very good at landscapes, Adrian. I like this a lot – and I really like the feeling.

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thank you very much, Malin – the only trouble with this is that it was so long ago that it makes me feel old! Adrian 🙂

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      • Malin H says:

        I understand… bu age is just a number… as long as you still feel young at heart… 🙂

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        • Adrian Lewis says:

          Yes, that’s true, but however young at heart I feel – and I do! 🙂 – there is still the inescapable fact that, mentally and physically, I am no longer the person I used to be. Not to acknowledge these things would be completely unrealistic >>> apologies for this sombre attitude!!! 🙂

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          • Malin H says:

            Well, I understand what you mean. Even if I’m a bit younger than you. And we all have sombre attitudes from time to time. 🙂

            I wish you a wonderful weekend my friend and I hope you are feeling better now. Big hug!

            Like

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