Boys fishing at Dunga, near Kisumu, on the shores of Lake Victoria in western Kenya; April 1979.

A moment 41 years ago, frozen in time, and to me, now, many of these children seem like statues – they have a simple and unknowing grace.

Photographing dark-skinned people on any sort of bright day can be problematical if any kind of detail, facial features, etc is required.  In such a situation, its best to seek out some shade or to use a little flash.  I had neither of those options here – and I probably wasn’t even thinking about them anyway – so, decades later, I’ve used a high key preset to strain every last bit of detail out of the scene.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended .

Technique: OM-1 with 75-150 Zuiko lens at 150mm; Agfa CT18 colour slide film, rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Key 1 preset.




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.

16 Responses to ARCHIVE 443 – BOYS FISHING (MONO)

  1. Adrian, this is a great photo. I really appreciate you posting it


  2. Adrian, this is a lovely image, and I admire your choice and skill in processing. It definitely worked. An African American who worked where I did as an editor and sometime photographer used to tease me about photographing people with dark skin. It’s how I learned to be especially sensitive to this problem.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, photographing dark skins can be difficult – its certainly not “have the subject in front of you with the bright sun behind you””!!! My late wife, my first wife, was African, and so I did a lot of African snaps / portraits – usually, getting people onto the shade was good, but of course exposures had to be longer. Very glad you like this, Linda – thank you! 🙂


  3. krikitarts says:

    You’ve brought out the details very well. Imagine trying to do that in the old darkroom!


  4. Arati says:

    I love the composition, the way the kids line up in little vignettes, with the one boy standing, as if anchoring the whole scene. and the fishing poles going in different directions.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Emily Gooch says:

    Such simple and innocent childhood… a stick, a string, and a hook.


  6. I share similar thoughts. One thing is certain, however: this is an excellent shot.


  7. bluebrightly says:

    I wonder what this would look like either with the boys almost in silhouette, or with the boys very, very pale, like a haze was over the whole scene. In any case, it’s a keeper – and I’m glad you kept it! 😉


  8. Whenever I look at photographs I made of children in the 1960s-early 70s, many of whom were low income, I always wonder if they made it, are they still alive, did they find a life. And I have no answer, I did not personally know them then and I never saw any of them again. I hoped the best for them then, and still do, but I will never know what happened to them.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Steve, thank you for this, your words apply 100% here; I have often thought along these lines with many images. If any of these boys have survived, and that is by no means a certainty in an area ravaged by malaria and other tropical ailments, they will be middle aged men now, most probably with children or grown up children of their own. But, I – we – will never know. Adrian


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