ARCHIVE 320 – LIONESSES AT MIDDAY – AND AN ANNIVERSARY

 

 


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Lionesses in the baking heat of the equatorial midday at Amboseli Game Reserve in southwest Kenya; Jul 1978.

Click onto the image to view an enlarged version in a separate window.

Technique: OM-1 with 75-150 Zuiko lens at 150mm; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO.

UPDATE: forgetting what day this is, I looked through my archives and found this – and then remembered that I first arrived in Kenya 40 years ago, which seems forever.  This shot brings three things quickly to mind.

First that it was taken from a vehicle, obviously – although the usual reaction of a lion to a human is to retreat, you don’t mess around with these babies even when, as here, they’ve probably had a good meal and are sleeping it off in the midday heat.

Second, that in terms of sheer beauty and style, the spotted cats – Cheetah and Leopard – always did it most for me.  But, for all of these big cats, staring long into their amber eyes, drowning in those eyes (from the safety of a vehicle of course), was a profound spiritual experience for me.  Well, I grew up alongside a cat, maybe that had something to do with it; and I do of course still find cats extremely beautiful, even mystical perhaps, now.

And lastly, the camera, the Olympus OM-1, that was also a thing of great and somewhat Minimal beauty, combined exquisitely with function.  And, after all these years, sitting here beside me, it still is.

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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for many types of subject, 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.

8 Responses to ARCHIVE 320 – LIONESSES AT MIDDAY – AND AN ANNIVERSARY

  1. Meanderer says:

    A beautiful photo – and 40 years. Seems a long time ago, but sometimes – especially as one ages – those days come back very easily and strongly, don’t they? What an experience.

    I love the thought of the trusty camera still by your side – holding all the memories, also.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, an experience. As we get older, our Short Term Memory declines (I can’t remember what I went upstairs to do) but Long Term Memory increases – and so to memories of very far off days, sometimes even to individual conversations.

      Yes the camera is still here, and the OM-2 too, but both took a beating in Kenya, and their interiors are mouldy now. But the mechanical OM-1 still fires – Olympus were trying to develop something with as quiet a shutter as the legendary Leica rangefinders as so the OM-1 has the least obtrusive of clicks – I sometimes fire it, just to recall the (almost lack of) sound! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. bluebrightly says:

    A lovely post, Adrian. The photo, the memories, the observations. What an adventure, to have worked in Kenya back then.

    Like

  3. I can sense the awe in your narration, and rightfully so.
    40 years, huh? Time just slips away, skulks. Kind of like a cat. Indifferent. Elusive. You were brave to be so close. What a feeling that must have been!
    XXX ATP XXX

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, awe, certainly, my friend. And yes, time slips away – as Dylan Thomas so wonderfully put it, in Under Milk Wood, “Time passes. Listen. Time passes.”. Google it, its wonderful stuff. No, I wasn’t brave, foolhardy would be nearer the mark – but that’s ok from a vehicle – but on foot I would have been paralysed with fear. OH YES – an anniversary is approaching for Your Goodself and I still haven’t got your new address – but don’t need to have it if you’d rather not. ATP xxx

      Like

  4. paula graham says:

    What bittersweet memories you must have of your many years in Africa…Lovely photo.

    Like

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