ARCHIVE 330 – BOYS AT A WEDDING (MONO)

 

 


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Young boys – curious, uncertain –  at a wedding near Thika, Kenya, in the late 1970s.

I think I was the only non-African at this ceremony, and so an object of great curiosity to all the youngsters there.

There is another image from this wedding here.

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

Technique: OM-2 with 75-150 Zuiko lens; Kodak Ektachrome 200 colour slide (I think!); Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Landscape preset.

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PEOPLE 194 – BOYS AT A WEDDING (MONO)

 

 

Boys at a wedding
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Young boys – curious, uncertain –  at a wedding near Thika, Kenya, in the late 1970s.

I think I was the only non-African at this ceremony, and so an object of great curiosity to all the youngsters there.

There is another image from this wedding here.

OM-2 with 75-150 Zuiko; Kodak Ektachrome 200 colour slide (I think!); Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Landscape preset.
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KENYA (2)

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Cape Eagle Owl (formerly known as Mackinder’s Eagle Owl), Teleki Valley, Mt Kenya; August 1978.  I found this owl amongst rocks in Teleki Valley, as we were preparing to spend the night there on a visit to Mt Kenya.  The light was poor and I was using slow, 64 ISO film, so my choice of lens was restricted to that with the widest aperture, the 50mm F1.4 Zuiko.  The problem then of course was I would have to get quite close to the bird, to make it look like anything except a small dot in the resulting photo.  But I’d heard that various creatures found up in these montane fastnesses are often quite tame, so I resolved to try slowly crawling towards the owl, flat out on the ground, and taking a series of photos as I moved ever closer in, until the bird flew.  But as I crawled nearer and nearer, and seemed to be getting an image of quite reasonable size in the viewfinder, I decided not to scare it off, but instead to edge backwards along the way I’d come.  Only I had no idea what awaited me as I crawled slowly backwards … : see following photo.

As I was lying flat out, starting to slowly retreat from the owl, something hot and wet was suddenly thrust into my right ear, causing me to cry out in alarm, and then go face down into the rocks, convinced that the owl would by this time be far, far away.  However on raising my head I saw the owl unruffled, while walking towards it was a Rock Hyrax, a small furry mammal.  The hyrax had walked unobtrusively up beside me while I was keeping my gaze on the owl, and then, wondering what this warm, prone form could be, had stuck its nose into my ear to have a closer look and a sniff!  My cry alarmed the hyrax and it blundered further forward, moving right at the owl, until it suddenly recognised the Angel of Death standing mute and sombre before it.  Panicked, the hyrax blundered straight back the way it had come, straight into my waiting lens – and here is my very blurred shot of the hyrax (blurred due to the very shallow depth of focus of the F1.4 lens) blundering straight back into me with the majestic owl, aloof and unruffled, in the background.

Little Kikuyu girl at a wedding near Thika; late 1970s. The bottle of Fanta fizzy orange is about 10 inches tall – and evidently her treasure!  She’s chewing the white Fanta bottle top while wondering with horror what this fat mazungu (white man) is about to do to her!

Cheetah in Amboseli National Park, November 1977.  This is by far the fastest of the African cats.  With 22 ft long strides equalling those of a race horse, this cat can easily outpace a horse over short distances by reaching 45mph within two seconds and briefly attaining a top speed of 70mph.  Unlike other cats, and as an aid in attaining these great speeds, the Cheetah has blunt, non-retractile claws. 

Bound for Kenya: my OM-2 captures the lights of Heathrow as we climb up into the night sky after take off; September 1979; photo rotated 90o anticlockwise.  This was the start of my second two-year contract at the University of Nairobi.

 

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