ARCHIVE KENYA 97 – HOUSE ON A FARM

 

 


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House on a farm near Akala, in the far west of Kenya; April 1979.

These are Luo people who live in the immensely fertile far west of Kenya, not far from Lake Victoria – a vast body of water that supplies them with vast quantities of fish, and with frequent thunder storms which keep their land totally green.

The structure consists of mud walls, above which a conical thatched roof is mounted on a great mass of wooden poles. There is quite a gap between the roof and the walls but, in this hot, equatorial area, cold weather is not an issue. This hut has at least two rooms: the doorway to a second room is to the left of the people. The mud walls have decorations drawn straight onto them, and there is an oil lamp hanging up. Notice how everything, including the chest of drawers and some of the pictures hanging on the walls, has cloth covers.

Food and water are not an issue for these people, they live in a wonderfully fecund landscape. But there are diseases – it was here that malaria first got its claws into me, despite my using mosquito nets and prophylactics.

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

Technique: OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide film, rated at 64 ISO.

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ARCHIVE 576 – THEATRE! (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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The walls of the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe, Devon; 2 Oct 2007.

This theatre in Ilfracombe is highly controversial architecturally.  Its Victorian predecessor caught fire and was demolished – only to be replaced by something bearing a strong resemblance to nothing other than power station cooling towers!  However, if you’re into modern design, photography, etc this is a real stunner.  As a photographer, I enjoy Ilfracombe’s cramped tattiness – so many interesting things to photograph, so wonderful for textural and abstract studies! – but even amidst all of these photo opportunities, this theatre stands quite apart, absolutely unique.

The backdrop here are the walls of the “cooling towers”, and in SEP2 I’ve piled on the contrast and structure, and left them as monochrome.  But I’ve re-introduced some of the green of the palm’s leaves, and vamped that up quite a bit too, so that the greens look sci-fi or artificial.  And then some dark vignetting and edge burning in SEP, to concentrate the viewer on the photo’s interior with its massive walls and patch of living greenery.

And that leaves the whole thing looking – artificial, alien, sci-fi, unworldly, other worldly, you name it!

May 2013: I’ve made a lot of use of SEP2‘s ability to selectively restore colour in black and white images – I think this was the first posted image that I tried this on.  The title means two things of course >>> this is a photo of a theatre, but the photo itself is also theatre.

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

Technique: F6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens; Fuji Provia 400X colour slide film, rated at 1600 ISO; converted to mono, and re-coloured, in Silver Efex Pro 2.

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ARCHIVE KENYA 95 – IN LAMU

 

 


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Alley in Lamu; July 1978.

Lamu is a small town on an island just off the coast of Kenya.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – see more info here.

When I was there in 1978, Lamu was peaceful, fascinating and a delight.  However the section on modern Lamu in the report linked to above suggests it is threatened; and not least by the fact that, being quite close to the border with Somalia, it has been the scene of terrorist attacks.  I returned from Kenya 31 years ago, and the world has changed much since then.

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

Technique: OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide film, rated at 64 ISO.

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OUTER SUBURBS 282 – WET MORNING AT THE SUPERMARKET

 

 


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Sitting in my car, in a supermarket car park on a wet morning >>>  FATman Photos takes you to some exotic places, there’s no denying that …   Anyway, here’s the view through my car’s wet window.

There are the supermarket’s white emergency exit doors, and a bollard to prevent the over-enthusiastic driving straight in through those doors; then there’s a yellow container full of salted grit in case of ice; and, on the right, one of the columns – looking somewhat the worse for wear, it has to be said – that supports the structure of the building.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Modern 01 profile; south Bristol; 2 Oct 2020.
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OUTER SUBURBS 281 – BUS SHELTER 2

 

 


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Bus shelter at sunrise.

The first image of this bus shelter, photographed very differently, is here .

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.  

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 200 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 5 Sept 2020.
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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 15 – WHITE CAR (MONO)

 

 


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White car with its boot open, Broad Street, central Bristol; 16 Aug 2013.

I guess that here I’m attempting something abstract and different, trying out an idea.  I was approaching this car through a covered alleyway, the open end of which framed it.

The car is stark – pure (i.e. completely blown) white highlight, pure black windows, and a very few more middling tones.  And, as a foil to its immaculate, streamlined lines, it has its open boot stuck up in the air at an acute angle.

And then, in this abstract composition, other, somewhat less pale, elements are set in the enveloping blackness.  Most notably, the pale column coming downwards from the top of the frame (where is cut by the dark lines of a grill) to intersect the car’s black back window.  Then there are the two white rectangles on the pavement below the car, and the less obtrusive white elements left and upper left of the car.

This is a simplification of reality and an attempt at graphic design.

The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  Earlier Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

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

Technique:  G11 PowerShot at 140mm (35mm equiv); 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Silhouette preset.

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OUTER SUBURBS 280 – BUS SHELTER (MONO)

 

 


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

Technique: TG-5 at 28mm (equiv); 500 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the B&W 12 profile; south Bristol; 8 Aug 2020.
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ARCHIVE 564 – LOOKING INTO A BUILDING AT NIGHT

 

 


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Offices with the lights on, empty in the early morning; beside Bristol Bridge, central Bristol; 16 Sept 2016.

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3,200 ISO.

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ARCHIVE 551 – WINDOW BOX

 

 


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Window box in Christmas Steps, a narrow and ancient alleyway in Bristol city centre.

May sunshine was flooding across Bristol, but one side of the deep cleft of Christmas Steps was still in deep shadow.  I’m not usually someone who waits around for photos to happen, I’m usually on the move, if only slowly.  But the sunlight was inching its way around towards the Steps’ northeastern side – you could almost see the light creeping across the masonry – and I decided, this once, to be patient, because I wanted to see the light flooding across the textures of the buildings’ facades.

It seemed like an eternity, but a cat came over to see me and that passed some of the time.  And then the blazing light hit a window box, with the wall behind it still in deep shadow, and I took this picture.  The slightly open window frame is glowing in light reflected from a shop sign just out of shot on the left.

What does this picture do for me?  Well, it talks to me about peace – something not in limitless supply in the UK on this particular Sunday morning – and quiet; it talks about warm air, warm breezes and warm shadows to relax in, and some release from the pace, stresses and lowered quality of modern life.  It reminds me of pictures from more southerly climes, there’s something Mediterranean here perhaps, something not experienced over large parts of the year by us relative northerners.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 195mm (equiv); 200 ISO; spotmetering for highlights; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Christmas Steps, central Bristol; 26 May 2017.

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ARCHIVE 533 – WINDOW, ABERAERON

 

 


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Beside the harbour; Aberaeron, west Wales; 24 Sept 2014.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO.

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