ARCHIVE KENYA 48 – THE SHORE AT LAKE NAKURU (MONO)

 

 


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Dead trees on the shore of Lake Nakuru, in central Kenya; 27 Apr 1980.  These trees grew beside the lake, but then were killed when the lake’s highly alkaline waters rose and flooded their roots.

Despite the fact that its over 40 years ago now, I can still remember taking this shot, which was originally in colour.  I remember placing the nearest tree on the right of the frame, and liking it because it was partially sunlit, and because it was leaning into the frame.

Looking at it now, my eye is taken from this leaning tree, out across the bright sky reflections in the shallow pools of water, to the tree with a dense canopy, which looks rather like an upside down ice cream cone.  This tree is also leaning into the frame, while being silhouetted against the bright sky, and just about at a compositional strong point in the picture, on the junction of the upper third and the left hand third.

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; converted to monochrome in Silver Efex Pro.

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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OUTER SUBURBS 244 – PHOTOGRAPHING IN A WORLD OF DIAGONALS (MONO)

 

 


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Walking in the lockdown, and photographing the long shadows thrown across a main road by the rising sun.  A shadow photographer – in both senses of the phrase – caught up in a world of stark diagonals.

There are three types of lines here.  Those running from lower right towards upper left are the shadows of roadside trees and utility poles.  The strong black and white lines running up from the lower middle of the frame towards the top right corner are the road’s pale kerb and gutter and, between the two, the black shadow of the kerb on the gutter.  And finally there are the road markings, a thin, dashed white line along the middle of the road at upper left, and other dashed lines, at a bus stop, towards upper right.

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: TG-5 at 65mm (equiv); 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Plate 1 preset; south Bristol; 22 June 2020.
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ARCHIVE KENYA 44 – TORTOISE AT THE HIPPO POOLS (MONO)

 

 


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Aquatic tortoise at the Hippo Pools, Nairobi National Park, Kenya; Oct 1979.

This colour slide has been converted to monochrome because this is a graphic image, its all about structure, and this is best shown in mono.

There are three compositional ingredients. First and most prominent are the sunlit trunks of the fallen tree, which make a bold texture right across the image.  Then there is oval area of sunlit water.  Finally, there is the tortoise, which is at a compositional strong point on the conjunction of the picture’s thirds and also within the halo of the milky, sunlit water.

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.

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 KENYA 36 – BOATS AT LAMU (MONO)

 

 


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Boats on the beach at Lamu, on the coast of Kenya; July 1978.

This photo has been digitally manipulated (in Silver Efex Pro) to produce a dark, brooding look. The dimly seen white motor boat out on the sea balances the picture – obscure it with your thumb to see what I mean. I also like the repeating patterns of the two boats nearest the camera, which have similar shapes and which are inclined at the same angle.

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

Technique: Olympus OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide rated at 64 ISO; Silver Efex Pro.

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 516 – WOMAN IN THE FOG (MONO)

 

 


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Woman walking down the Wells Road in south Bristol on a foggy morning; 13 Mar 2014.

The G11 produces images that are already below full (i.e. 35mm) frame in size, and this is a substantial enlargement from one of those images.  Hence image grain has played its part here, and I’ve added to this with grain from SEP2.   This is a dank, foggy morning, all things are diffuse, and this very visible grain adds to that effect.

Where is she going?  She is hurrying down the pavement and, first drawn to that great catapult of a Plane tree, my eye is then drawn left to her – she and the tree are both very dark objects surrounded by light.  She is the stark, central point between the converging lines of the pavement and its attendant trees, which are dissolving off into the distance.  She is headed into that convergence.

The dark mistiness of the road is also headed down that way (with ghosts of buildings just visible over on the right), and a line of road markings, the brightest things in the frame, confirm that direction.

And what of her?  She is hurrying – to work probably, or to some appointment perhaps.  The morning was not really cold, but her coat, wide-brimmed hat and boots add to the inclement effect.

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

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot at 28mm (equivalent); 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 1 preset.

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ARCHIVE 513 – HAZEL, A (FOR ONCE) PLANNED IMAGE

 

 


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Hazel leaves, in our back garden; 25 June 2013.

This was captured with a definite visual plan – the eye enters the frame from the left, very soon hits the brightest component, and then moves rightwards and upwards along the “tail” of darker objects leading to the upper right corner of the frame.  The eye might then exit the frame in the upper right corner: having the final element of the “tail” there might stop it, or it might have been better to have this corner dark.

I never cease to marvel at the beauty of Nature.  What am I looking at here, what is my camera recording?  Well, light that has travelled 93 million miles from Our Star, to partially shine through a small component of one of Earth’s myriad lifeforms.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 250 ISO.

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ARCHIVE KENYA 22 – THE HUGE SKIES I MISS SO MUCH!

 

 


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Skyscape on the eastern side of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve – the huge skies that I miss so much!; April 1979.

Notice the effect of the polariser, which turns the sky at upper right almost black.  If such a photo can have a subject within it (i.e. as opposed to the subject being the whole skyscape), I think that here its the large cloud at top right, which is well defined against the very dark (polarised) sky, and which is at a compositional strong point –  the intersection of the upper and left hand thirds.

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

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

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 495 – CHICKEN 5

 

 


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Once again, up close and personal – in close with a long telephoto.  I love getting in close like this to living things, both in terms of being there with them, and also of seeing the resulting very shallow depths of focus.

The expression is one of consternation and horror – well, its not unknown for me to have that effect.   I like the curve of the body from the head out to the tail.  Compositionally, viewing the image from left to right as we Westerners do, the sweep of the creature’s back leads my eye into the photo and up and on to the in-focus face.

Other pictures of these birds, and context, are herehere and here.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 4 May 2018.

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ARCHIVE 493 – EARLY MORNING GARDEN 9

 

 


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Seeding grasses; 25 June 2013: part of a project I was doing in my back garden, in Bristol, seven years ago.  I get up early on the morning anyway, and so the project’s simple plan was to down a cup of strong tea and get out into the garden early in the day, using mainly this 70-300 telezoom (the lens I continue to be married to) or a 105mm macro lens.  >>> but  LOL!!! >>> I tend to be a little less athletic and supple now than I was then so that, if I were to attempt such photos again, I may need the emergency services to get me back up onto my feet!  Well, after all, one must suffer for one’s art … 🙂 …

For those looking at composition, my eye tends to start appraising the image from the left, and is initially caught by the in focus subject of the shot, which is set against a somewhat darker background.

This subject is mirrored by the similarly orientated (i.e. repeating patterns) but out of focus stems further back, which are set against, and which tend to blend into, a rather paler backdrop.  These diffuse stems give the shot depth.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO.

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ARCHIVE KENYA 5 – MAASAI GIRAFFE (MONO)

 

 


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Maasai Giraffe, Nairobi National Park, Kenya; probably late 1970s.

Although this is a portrait of a wild animal, and so a representation of the natural world, it is also partly abstract.  The animal is (more or less!) in focus, but behind it, even close behind it, the landscape is only diffusely visible.  Looking at this very limited depth of focus, I think this must have been taken with an old Vivitar 400mm telephoto that I had in those far off days.

Composition: in terms of the “rule” of thirds, the giraffe occupies the right vertical third of the photo (i.e. the vertical line about one third of the way into the image from the right margin), which is a visually strong position in which to be.  The thornbushes immediately behind the giraffe are out of focus, and those further out towards the (just about visible) horizon are more diffuse still.  This gives a sense of distance and depth.

Technique:  use of Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro has added a slightly bluish tint to the image, and rendered the out of focus areas still more diffuse.  These effects are enhanced by the addition of a pale vignette, a quite thick zone of pale diffusion right around the image’s borders, the effects of which are best seen to the right of the bush immediately behind the giraffe, and on the distant bushes in the image’s top left corner.

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

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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