ARCHIVE KENYA 94 – SOMETIME EARLIER IN THE WORLD – AGAIN

 

 


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Sunrise at the mouth of the Njoro River at Lake Nakuru, Kenya; Jan 1978.  I showed this scene in colour in an earlier post – and that version is again shown, below.

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The colour version more reflects reality.  The colour is a little “off”, but then this is a decades old colour transparency that spent many years in the tropics, often as a valued part of slide presentations.

The mono version is rougher, grainier.  There is more structure in the mist, which I like.  And rather more detail and contrast in the foreground which, again, does it for me.  But what do you think? 

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

Click on each image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.

Here is the colour post’s text:

Early morning mists rise above the lake and, as the sun appears, everything is flooded by warm, golden light – a scene seemingly from long ago in the world that has always fascinated me.  Here is something primeval, here we are an irrelevance.

The gaunt skeletons of trees out in the lake are Yellow-barked Acacias that were killed as the lake’s soda-rich waters rose up around them.

There are two types of birds here.  Those holding their wings out to dry, and those perching on the dead trees, and those very faintly seen bottom right, are Cormorants – the same species as found in Europe.  The dark scrum of larger birds at the lake’s edge are White Pelicans – one great head and neck can be seen as, preening, a bird reaches deep into its plumage.

Technique: tripod-mounted OM-2 with 400mm Vivitar lens; Agfa CT 18 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 KENYA 93 – THE VIEW SOUTH FROM BABOON CLIFFS

 

 


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The view south from Baboon Cliffs at Lake Nakuru; 27 Apr 1980.

Looking out across the lake on a calm day – which, in this area of convectional rainfall, can often turn into a towering thunderstorm later in the afternoon.

Nakuru is a soda lake in the rift valley’s floor and this view looks southwards down the rift.  The hills on the horizon, below the white clouds, are a group of small volcanoes, and the freshwater Lake Naivasha is just over the horizon to the left of them. 

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

Technique: OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens and polariser; Agfa CT18 colour slide film, rated at 64 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

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 84 – SOMETIME EARLIER IN THE WORLD

 

 


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Sunrise at the mouth of the Njoro River at Lake Nakuru, Kenya; Jan 1978.

Early morning mists rise above the lake and, as the sun appears, everything is flooded by warm, golden light – a scene seemingly from long ago in the world that has always fascinated me.  Here is something primeval, here we are an irrelevance.

The gaunt skeletons of trees out in the lake are Yellow-barked Acacias that were killed as the lake’s soda-rich waters rose up around them.

There are two types of birds here.  Those holding their wings out to dry, and those perching on the dead trees, and those very faintly seen bottom right, are Cormorants – the same species as found in Europe.  The dark scrum of larger birds at the lake’s edge are White Pelicans – one great head and neck can be seen as, preening, a bird reaches deep into its plumage.

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: tripod-mounted OM-2 with 400mm Vivitar; Agfa CT 18 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 KENYA 77 – LEOPARD

 

 


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Leopard in Yellow-barked Acacia trees at Lake Nakuru National Park, in the rift valley in Kenya; June 1980.

Leopards can be very difficult to see because they are stalkers par excellence.  Although they can be seen in the open as here, they live in dense, tangled habitats where their camouflage and stealth enable them to make most of their kills from only a few yards’ range – there is no prolonged pursuit, just the unseen killer exploding without warning from very close quarters.  Leopards inhabit the woods and forests in Nairobi, but the only evidence of their presence is usually from the very few that are killed on the roads.

I remember hearing of a man who kept a Leopard as a pet in Nairobi – he had presumably reared a lost cub.  He arrived home one evening to see his Leopard sitting on the verandah, so he walked past it and on into his house, only to find his “pet” indoors.

The easiest places to see these magnificent creatures – for me the most beautiful of the African big cats, although Cheetah is a very close second – are at lodges and camps that regularly put food out for them at night.

We observed Leopard from the safety of vehicles, and one of my enduring, wonderful memories from those days is staring deeply into their amber eyes – and those of Cheetah too – becoming lost in those amber eyes.  You can just about see their colour in this photo.

Just before I retired in the UK, I worked in an office that, against all regulations, had its own cat.  We got on well and, along with my memories from Kenya, I will always recall how, after I’d stroked him, our office cat always looked up, long and deeply, into my eyes.  We communed with each other in those moments, and I at least was not spiritually the poorer for it.

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.

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 70 – CORMORANT

 

 


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Cormorant leaving its perch and flying off into the sunrise; Lake Nakuru, Kenya; January 1978.

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: Olympus OM-1 or OM-2; and a very quick (and lucky!) grab shot with a 400mm Vivitar telephoto.

UPDATE: a photo that reminds me of cold, clear dawns on the lake edge – yes, cold – although almost on the equator, Lake Nakuru is over a mile above sea level and dawns can be, by Kenyan standards at least, distinctly chilly.  Frosts occur not too far above this, in the mountains.

I forget which colour slide film I used – it might have been Kodak’s High Speed Ektachrome, which attained the dizzy heights of 160 ISO!  And which, if we were really daring, we could have push processed to 640 ISO – heady days indeed!

Sometime back, probably when I first posted this, one viewer remarked upon the similarity between the tree stump’s outspread shape to the bird’s outspread wings – a valuable point.

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 69 – STORM AT NAKURU

 

 


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A large thunder storm heads down the rift valley in Kenya, and looms over Lake Nakuru; the late 1970s.

Large storms like this are common in and around the rift valley.  This is convectional rainfall – the sun rises and starts to suck the ground’s moisture up into the sky.   As a result, the mornings are beautifully clear but, as the moisture rises, clouds start to form and, usually in the afternoons, large storms like this one drop the water back onto the land again – after which the sun often reappears for a fine end to the day.

The birds in the water in the foreground are flamingos, and the line of flying birds further out comprise three pelicans on the left, followed by yet more flamingos.

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.

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 60 – NAKURU SUNRISE, WITH MARABOU AND CORMORANTS

 

 


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Marabou Storks and cormorants silhouetted in the sunrise at Lake Nakuru, Kenya; Jan 1978.

Lake Nakuru is a soda lake located over a  mile above sea level in the floor of Kenya’s rift valley.  It is most famous for the vast flocks of flamingos – flocks that can be over a million strong – that periodically reside on the alkaline waters.

Here are two other resident members of the lake’s teeming birdlife.  The Marabou is a huge stork – five feet from beak to tail – and a very successful scavenger of anything at all eatable,  and also an opportunistic killer of anything small and defenceless.  It frequently attends kills of large mammals alongside vultures, and has a similarly unfeathered head for retrieving entrails etc from deep inside carcasses.

The cormorants are the same bird that we have here in Britain: they exist on a diet of fish which they catch underwater.  Despite the fact that they are predominantly waterbirds, their feathers are not waterproofed like those of ducks so that they must be dried out after underwater sorties – and the bird top right is doing just that – standing in the warming sun, with wings out to dry.  (The bird bottom right appears to have a beak protruding from the back of its head, but this is in fact the beak of another individual, swimming on the water behind it.)

This shot might very well have been presented in monochrome, but the gold of the sunrise is not to be abandoned!

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: 400mm telephoto on Olympus OM SLR, mounted on a tripod; 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 KENYA 51 – DAWN MISTS AT LAKE NAKURU (MONO)

 

 


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Dawn mists rising from Lake Nakuru in central Kenya; Jan 1978. 

The large birds with huge bills in the foreground are White Pelicans.  In the lake behind them are the remains of trees that, flooded by the lake, have been killed by the high concentration of sodium bicarbonate in its waters.  Cormorants  perch on these dead trunks, and there is also a nest of sticks.  Around the bottom of these trees, three flamingos are feeding, heads down in the water.  More pelicans are further out on the lake, fading into the haze.

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: Vivitar 400mm telephoto on Olympus SLR, mounted on a tripod.

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 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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ARCHIVE KENYA 20 – RAINBOW, LAKE NAKURU

 

 


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Rainbow in Lake Nakuru National Park, against a dark, stormy sky; and with Yellow-barked Acacia trees on the right (also known as “Fever Trees”, as formerly thought to be the source of malaria); June 1980.

Note the difference in brightness of the sky on either side of the rainbow, and also how the sequence of colours in the rainbow’s dim reflection is opposite to that in the rainbow itself.

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

Technique: Olympus OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko; lens Agfa CT18 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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