ARCHIVE KENYA 99 – LUO FAMILY

 

 


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

The backdrop is the painted wall of a wattle and daub hut, the smooth surface layer of which is starting to flake off on the far right.  Minor points, maybe that I’ve only really appreciated now, after all these years, are the Vicks poster and the kitten.

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

Technique: OM-1 with 50mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide film, rated at 64 ISO.

UPDATE: The people in Kenya were in the main very friendly and hospitable.  I very much enjoyed my years in that country.  Again – once again – I wish that I had photographed more of the people that I met there.

THE ARCHIVE KENYA SERIES

I’m re-posting photographs that I took in Kenya over 30 years ago.  You can find more context here .  Click onto the “Archive Kenya” tag (below) to see more of these film images from Kenya.

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ARCHIVE 563 – FOUR CHAIRS BELOW A TABLE (MONO)

 

 


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Browns restaurant, Queens Road, Bristol; 3 Feb 2017.

My day started early as they often do, and I got downtown at dawn and took a few photos.  But my heart wasn’t really in it because I know that yet another deep depression was steamrollering its way in from the Atlantic, and that it would be saturating Bristol with rain well before the morning was through.

And so to a stop in Browns up market (and certainly not down budget!) palace for Eggs Royale and a pot of very nice english tea.  I lounged there, looking around and feeling a bit out of things after the early start, and a table with four chairs that was catching the light from a window kept drawing my eye.

And so to opening my bag and getting out the camera, and looking through the viewfinder – but by then a couple had occupied the table next to the one I was looking at, and I had the uncomfortable feeling that they thought the camera was being pointed at them.  But at least this Fuji is not so large and intimidating, or so loud, as the Nikons, and I pressed quickly on and took two frames.

Technique: the table’s top was brightly lit and cluttered with many things, but I liked the look of the seats of the four chairs that were faintly glowing in the table’s shadow – and so to a composition in which the table’s bright and cluttered top is squeezed into the top fifth or so of the frame, while the seats of the chairs glow in the less brightly lit ‘underworld’ below.  There was a lot of contrast in the scene but the camera’s multi-zone metering (aided by the live histogram I’ve opted to have visible in the viewfinder) dealt with it well, and although the colour image is attractive – one of those instances where the near absence of colour really works – it really seemed to be a scene that would suit black and white, and so to SEP2.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 125mm (equiv); 12,800 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Dynamic Smooth preset and adding a tone.

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ARCHIVE 560 – THE DANCERS (MONO)

 

 


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Folding chairs outside a café in Bath, Somerset; 28 Mar 2009.

Immediately I saw these stacked chairs I thought of a group of (probably rather inebriated) people dancing a merry jig, and that impression has never gone away.  If only they could move, they’d dance off to the left as they are now, and then lurch back right again to the accompaniment of energetic music and much merriment and laughter – I’d like to be joining in with them!

The original slide has some confusing detail between each pair of struts, but I’ve darkened this to show just the detail and shapes of the  “front rank”.  The brightest dancer is somewhere around the left vertical third.

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 500 ISO; converted to mono and further manipulated in Silver Efex Pro 2 and Capture NX2.

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ARCHIVE 537 – CHAIR, WALL AND SIDELIGHTING

 

 


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I enjoy lounging around in holiday chalets and caravans.  Its a wonderful opportunity to sprawl back in comfort and enjoy the moment – and also a good chance to watch how the light interacts with things as the sun moves across the sky. 

Here, with lighting from the left, a chair at the bottom of the stairs throws its shadow onto a rough wall.  The woodwork at upper left is part of the banister of the narrow stairway.

This photo is something of a departure for me as its one of the few times that I’ve used my 50mm lens: most of my images use focal lengths far above or below this “standard” lens, which roughly approximates to human eyes’ field of vision.  I ought to use this lens more often.  It has a very useful maximum aperture of f1.4 and so is good in low light situations, and using the D800 in DX (= APS-C) format, when focal lengths are magnified by 1.5, I end up with a very useful – inspiring, even – 75mm f1.4 chunk of glass.

Click onto this image to see a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: D800 with 50mm Nikkor lens; 3200 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4; 11 Apr 2016.

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ARCHIVE 461 – TWO SUNLIT CHAIRS (MONO)

 

 


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Two sunlit chairs outside the Hurtwood Inn Hotel in Peaslake, Surrey;  25 Mar 2012.

I focused on the nearer chair, and made sure that it exits the frame through the top right corner.  The second chair is left semi-focused, and is reduced to three elements – its rear, left hand leg, which casts a shadow on the ground; the lit but unfocused wickerwork of its left side; and the shadow cast by its upright back.  All structure (ie detail) has been taken out of the backdrop, to remove any distraction from the chairs. 

The result is a combination of two, featureless black areas (the shadow from the unfocused chair’s back, and its black leg), the variously lit and textured, illuminated parts of the chairs, and the shapes made by the creamish (toned), negative space between them.

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

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 120mm; 400 ISO; converted to mono, and toned, in Silver Efex Pro 2.

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ARCHIVE 431 – ON A FARM IN WESTERN KENYA

 

 


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Sub-Saharan Africa’s love affair with bright colour: Luo woman on a farm near Akala, in western Kenya; April 1979.

She is sitting in front of the wooden door of a mud hut with a thatched roof.

Technique: OM-1 with 50mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO to further saturate colour.
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BRISTOL 151 – TABLE AND YELLOW CHAIR

 

 


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A couple of years back, I was doing a lot of early morning visits to Bristol city centre, and glorying in the abilities, light weight and compactness of my second mirrorless camera, the Fujifilm X-T2 (my first being the X-T1).  Having tramped the early streets for several hours, I would at last fetch at some or other eatery, and flop down to a second breakfast – which was usually a Full English.

One of the eateries I frequented was Browns: the food is excellent and, while not inexpensive, the Full English with a pot of tea (together with a tea strainer!) has a definite sense of occasion and ceremony about it – which I’ve tried to convey in A Distinctly Civilised Full English, here .  Even though I say so myself, if you’re anything like interested in food, this post might be worth a look.

And while waiting for the food to arrive, I took many pictures of the restaurant’s tables and beautiful yellow chairs, which were side lit by large windows looking out onto the street.  Some of these images have already been posted – search for Browns in the tags shown along the bottom of this post – but here is another that I came across recently.  Mostly low key, its about the way the light coming in from the street illuminates the various objects in the frame, notably the yellow chair.  I hope you like it.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 212mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Provia/Standard profile; Browns restaurant, Bristol; 24 Feb 2017.
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ARCHIVE 415 – TABLE AND CHAIR, WITH DAFFODILS (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Table and chair, with daffodils, in the William Bray, a restaurant and bar in the village of Shere, Surrey; 24 Mar 2012.

This restaurant is on different levels, and I was able to get up onto one floor and look down on the one below.  The wonderful lines and forms made the by the chairs, tables and floorboards – and the colourful flowers –  caught my eye, and I took several photos, none of which were “THE ONE!”, to work on later.  With all these lines and textures, I knew that there was something there – and that it was screaming out for mono conversion, with the plant’s colours restored.

It took quite a time to find this crop, but it has what I searched for – the lines and textures, the great contrast between the wooden and metallic structures, and the great contrast between the daffodil’s leaves and flowers and everything else.

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 24mm; 6400 ISO; converted to mono and manipulated in Silver Efex Pro 2, and then manipulated further in Nikon’s Capture NX2.

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BRISTOL 135 – TABLE OUTSIDE A CAFE (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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Table and chair, the offer of fashionable alfresco dining on a city street but – at a rather cool and early hour – with no takers. 

The flowers added a wonderful splash of colour, and selective restoration of that colour in black and white immediately came to mind.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 70mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid V2 picture control; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Soft Sepia preset, and then selectively restoring colour and adding a slight pale vignette; Corn Street, central Bristol; 10 May 2019.
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STILL LIFE 250 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 26: SOUTH BRISTOL (MONO)

 

 


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The backs of terraced houses in Bedminster, south Bristol: garden chairs on an impromptu and rather stark “patio” that is sandwiched between a garage door and a wired security gate – garden chairs??? – relics of this summer’s record breaking heatwave, no doubt.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found hereSubsequent posts are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  9  10  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 .  Each will open in a new window.

Click onto the image to open another version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it.

Technique: TG-5 at 57mm (equiv); 500 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 2 preset; Bedminster, south Bristol; 12 Sept 2018.
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