ARCHIVE KENYA 101 – MENDING A ROOF

 

 

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Adding thatch to the roof of a house on a Luo farm near Akala, in western Kenya; April 1979.

The agricultural west of Kenya, to the west of the city of Kisumu, with rich soils and plenty of rain from the frequent storms which move eastwards from nearby Lake Victoria.  Lush trees and shrubs border the farm’s compound, within which are these roundhouses, which have wattle and daub walls and thatched roofs.

This house’s doorway is outlined in pale orange and the wooden door is ajar.  An old man, an experienced thatcher, has climbed up onto the roof via a homemade ladder, and is adding more thatch.

Chickens scratch around, and the farmer stands beside a pile of thatching material destined for the repairs.

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

Technique: OM-1 with 75-150mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour side 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 581 – FISHEYE LENS MEETS IRON AGE HOUSE

 

 

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This is not some huge mushroom, although that’s what it reminds me of every time I see it.  It is in fact a side view of a house in a reconstructed Iron Age village, near Westhay on the Somerset Levels.

The house is round, with walls made of wattle and daub, which is a building technique over 6,000 years old where straw mixed with wet clay, dung, etc is plastered (daubed) onto a wooden frame (the wattle) and left to harden and dry.  The roof of the hut is thatched, and it overhangs the walls quite a lot, to help keep them dry in bad weather.

The photo was taken looking at the hut side-on, using a full frame fisheye lens.  The extremely wide angle view of this lens encompasses the full diameter of the hut, as well as some of the thatched roof.  But the thing which really baffles my eyes here is that cut logs – firewood – have been stacked around the house’s wall, to dry more speedily beneath the overhanging roof.  The pale, cut ends of these logs catch the eye and – for me at least – provide a distraction that prevents identification of what otherwise might be a reasonably straightforward structure.  The faintly bluish grey wall of the house can just be glimpsed between the tops of the logs and the gloom of the overhanging thatch.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended, for greater clarity.

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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 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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OUTER SUBURBS 246 – MODERN HOUSING 12

 

 


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There are earlier Modern Housing posts here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11. Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait profile; south Bristol; 26 Apr 2020.

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OUTER SUBURBS 235 – WALL OF A HOUSE, EARLY LIGHT

 

 


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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 – highly recommended.

Technique: TG-5 at 65mm (equiv); 400 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Modern 01 profile; south Bristol; 1 June 2020.

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ARCHIVE 508 – LANDSCAPE NEAR NEWQUAY (MONO)

 

 


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Landscape near Newquay, Cornwall; 23 Oct 2012.

The lines of windblown trees first attracted me to this scene, and then there were the partly seen house and the bold, dark lines of the field boundaries.

Letterbox is an ideal format here, and I’ve used a pale vignette to suggest mistiness around the frame edges.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2, using the Full Contrast and Structure preset as a starting point.

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BRISTOL 172 – STREET SCENE 12

 

 


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Gaily coloured houses and many parked cars in the steep, narrow streets of fashionable, middle class Totterdown.

Other images in the Bristol Street Scenes series are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 .  Searching on the “street” tag (below here) will also find these posts.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; Totterdown, south Bristol; 21 Jan 2020.
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OUTER SUBURBS 223 – MODERN HOUSING 11 (MONO)

 

 


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Walking in the lockdown.

There are earlier Modern Housing posts here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 . Each will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 400 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 3 preset and adding a light Coffee tone; south Bristol; 5 Apr 2020.
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OUTER SUBURBS 221 – HOUSE WITH TREE IN ITS DRIVEWAY

 

 


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Walking in the lockdown, and seeing shadows on walls, and a house too – half glimpsed – with a small tree in its driveway.

I’m not at all sure about this image.  To me it looks rather jumbled, with too much in it perhaps, but then its showing several layers – the wall + shadows in your face in the foreground, the tree + more shadows in the driveway, the decorated wall and larger tree beyond, and the barely seen house of course = ??? a series of overlapping and interlocking spaces or (even) realities???  I don’t know, but in any case I’m posting to see what you think, I’d welcome any views.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 32mm (equiv); 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 5 Apr 2020.
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