ARCHIVE 76 – A TORTOISE, FUNCTIONAL HEADGEAR, AND ME

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Tortoise at Lake Bogoria, in the Kenya rift valley; November 1979.

These reptiles are helpless when lifted up from the ground but, in this situation, their last ditch, shock tactic is to eject great spurts of urine – hence when picking one up it pays to keep its rear end pointed away from yourself and anyone you are friendly with!

OM-1 with 50mm Zuiko; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro.

And below is a decidedly slimmer version of me taking the photo – this shot courtesy of an old friend in The States.  I’m using the OM-1 with a 50mm F1.4 silvernose Zuiko – and sporting the legend that was Photographic Hat. This hat was originally bright orange, and I’d bought it to shield my hairless dome from the sun during fieldwork in the Middle East. Later, bleached and sunblasted, it accompanied me to Kenya.

The hat’s crown was fast getting too thin to be an effective sun blocker so, to help matters, I hacked a circle of denim from an old pair of jeans and very crudely “sewed” it over the hat’s decaying top. I was of course wearing a faded rag on my head, but the great thing that drew me to it – and the origin of its name – was that its limp brim fell down just nicely over the gap between my glasses and my camera’s viewfinder, so that I could always see well to photograph, even in the blazing, overhead sunlight of the equatorial midday.

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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.

18 Responses to ARCHIVE 76 – A TORTOISE, FUNCTIONAL HEADGEAR, AND ME

  1. Malin H says:

    What a lovely portrait, so cute!
    I read that “tortoise” can also be a “slow person”. 😉

    Very nice to see “behind the scenes” – with your portrait of this wonderful tortoise and the slimmer you when you are photographing it. (SLIMman instead of FATman).

    Like

  2. Meanderer says:

    I remember this picture of you and the patched hat. Do you still have it – kept as a souvenir of those days?

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I don’t know if its still here – in my mounds of junk, I mean, treasured keepsakes, it may still be. But I wore it in the earlier days of “my Kenyan sojourn” and one of my safari clients – the safaris being years later – sent me a shot in which I’m wearing a khaki bush hat. Maybe Photographic Hat never survived Kenya …

      Like

  3. krikitarts says:

    I’ve been having fun trying to envision what our friend the Meanderer has in store for us on the basis of her blog titles, and yours intrigued me as well. Your explanation was well worth the mystery of anticipation, and it’s wonderful to see a photo of you making the photo, as an added bonus. “Oh, would some power the giftie gie us / to see ourselves as others see us!” (Robert Burns, wasn’t it?)

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Sorry, Burns is right off my radar, Gary – you’re leaving me standing with that quote! >>> but I’m glad you like the shot! And I wish I could fling myself flat onto rocky ground now with the same ease and alacrity that I did then! Adrian

      Like

  4. Thanks for the heads up on the urination situation. Nice hat. 😉
    xxx

    Like

  5. bananabatman says:

    I can remember being told how to pick up a tortoise when on one of our trips to Africa, but can’t remember where. Never needed the advice, but I’m now wondering whether this is really a defensive tactic, or just the natural reaction of any animal that is scared half to death.

    Nice photo Adrian. I guess that you didn’t need too high a shutter speed! 🙂

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Its probably both, Dave. No, no problem with the shutter speed – and much less problem than these days with getting flat out on the rocky deck! Thanks for your appreciation. Adrian

      Like

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