ARCHIVE 80 – SHARKS ON THE BATINAH COAST (MONO)

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Two sharks, one a Hammerhead, being sold on the beach at Sohar, on the Batinah coast of Oman; mid 1970s.

I spent some time in the Sultanate of Oman, in the southeast of the Arabian peninsula, during the mid 1970s.  I still have a few colour slides from there, mainly Agfa CT18, but they are starting to feel the ravages of time – and especially so from having been stored in equatorial Africa – in Kenya – for a good few years.  Oman is now a wealthy, modern country, but back in the 1970s it was far less developed.

The Batinah coast is that part of Oman that faces out into the Gulf of Oman, a part of the Indian Ocean.  Sohar was a small town and, with scant refrigeration facilities, much fish was simply landed on the beach and eaten almost immediately.  Here the fishermen have caught two sharks and they are laid out on the sand for sale.  The image is presented upside down and with peripheral detail darkened, to concentrate interest on the two fish.

And, in terms of cameras, here is mention of my first SLR, an East German Praktica.  I bought it as a replacement for my Ilford Sportsman not long after getting my first real job, and what a thrill it was to at last be able to see (more or less) exactly what the camera was seeing >>> and to have through the lens (TTL) exposure metering too! 

OK, the metering was not open aperture – when you metered at F22 you looked through F22 gloom at the scene, but it was still a huge improvement on a cheap, handheld exposure meter.  And the screw (as opposed to bayonet) lens mount was not ideal for dusty desert conditions – but it did enable me to use Pentax lenses – I had a 135mm Super Takumar.  It was, as I say, a significant step up from my 35mm viewfinder camera.  But, not long before I finished my stays in Oman, the Praktica was replaced by absolutely incredible and ground-breaking cameras – the Olympus OM-1 and OM-2 >>> but that’s another story – for which, should you be interested (and not have better things to do on this beautiful sunny day …), you can click on “My Photography”, in this blog’s menu bar.

Praktica LTL with 29mm Pentacon; Agfa CT18 colour slide rated at 64 ISO; converted into mono, and toned, in Silver Efex Pro 2; rotated 180 degrees.

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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.

13 Responses to ARCHIVE 80 – SHARKS ON THE BATINAH COAST (MONO)

  1. Sonali Dalal says:

    Simply amazing! I admire the way you look at things. You always give things such a wonderful twist, it makes them more interesting & intriguing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thank you, I’m very happy to know that you see my images in that way – one of our basic aims, isn’t it, is to make the usual unusual, we must always be looking for that.

      Like

  2. drawandshoot says:

    Wow, this really grabs me, Adrian. I like the processing very much. Turning it upside down is brilliant. Completely engaging!

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Well thank you for all that enthusiasm, Karen, it’s really encouraging! Two thoughts, I suppose. First, that its good to contemplate every photo in any orientation. And two, its a shock to me to think that this was taken nearly 40 years ago – suddenly, I feel old! Adrian

      Like

  3. wonderful picture! my first slr camera was also a Praktica. The my brother in law lent me his Cosina so I started playing with both. Your writing has brought these memories back 🙂

    Like

  4. krikitarts says:

    Archives are so fascinating–one never knows what’s going to, um rear its head. A large part of me seems unable to anthropomorphize the “expressions” that can be found in the faces of many of our fellow creatures. The hammerhead looks totally befuddled and rather punch-drunk, like a fighter who has been in–and lost–far too many brawls. And who can possibly refute the look of absolute surprise on the mug of the other, as if to say, “Whoa! What the #%$& am I doing HERE?!”

    Like

  5. Helen Cherry says:

    As you know I had an olympus OM1 ( still have it but don’t use it ) marvellous camera.. I love to hear about your 70’s travels 🙂
    I am doing B& W stuff at the moment Adrian which I know you love too.. ttp://helensphotomania.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/london-in-monochrome-2-bags/

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I will get over to your blog soon, Helen, looking forward to seeing the mono. Have been rather deluged in Comments this weekend – I love them, but rather a lot this w/e! Glad my travels get you – its had to imagine all that now. A

      Like

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