ARCHIVE KENYA 89 – BACK ROAD NEAR AKALA (MONO)

 

 

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Back road through farms near Akala, in the far west of Kenya; April 1979.

The wideangle lens makes the road appear in worse condition than it was – and, in any case, it was dry weather; tackling this in wet conditions would be something else again.

The VW Beetle was wonderful for this sort of thing.  No 4×4, just drive in the two rear wheels, the engine seated over the wheels – which made for very good grip –  and a large metal plate underneath most of the length of the car, to guard against rocks and boulders.

But the car took quite a hammering on this trip and, as I pulled out at the end of my stay for the long drive back to Nairobi, my front wheels had, unbeknown to me, taken such a pounding that they were facing outwards, i.e. away from each other.

This very soon wore both tyres completely bald and, when I came upon a police road block, I had a hard job persuading them to let me through.  Luckily there was an excellent garage specialising in VW repairs in Nairobi, and however badly I damaged the car, they were always able to fix it.

Another thing about this picture is that it was taken in a very fertile, agricultural landscape teeming with people.  I’ve only just stopped for a photo, and already there’s a young lad standing by the car.  If we were really to get stuck or break down, there were always plenty of willing hands to help push and pull us on our way.  They were friendly – and distinctly humorous – people.  Less friendly was the malaria, which initially got its teeth into me during this safari.

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 mono in Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Red preset.

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 88 – UNKNOWN SUNRISE

 

 

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Sunrise, somewhere in Kenya, probably in the late 1970s – how’s that for vague?

An Agfa colour slide with absolutely no information on it.  Am I sure its a sunrise? I think so – it has that clean, clear look – but who knows? And where is it taking place? Well, somewhere very flat – the bush country of Tsavo maybe, or perhaps the Maasai Mara grasslands? 

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

Technique: OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens; 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 86 – EVENING AT THE SAND RIVER GATE (MONO)

 

 


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Evening at the Sand River Gate, Maasai Mara, Kenya; April 1979.

The dark foreground consists of bushed grassland  – dark acacia thorn bushes set in a sea of straw-coloured, savanna grassland.  Further back there are low and very rounded hills – and they’re in the Serengeti Game Reserve, in Tanzania.

I remember that there were three of us – myself and a married couple – on safari in their VW Kombi.  Kombis and VW Beetles too – with their rear-mounted, air cooled engines, rear wheel drive, high clearance and protective metal underbellies –  were excellent for rough roads and for off road too.  The couple slept in the van and I had a tent outside – I recall hearing Lion grumbling around nearby in the night.

And the great thing about camping in places like this was that we were always out and about at first and last light.  Sunrises and sets happen very quickly on the equator, far more quickly than at temperate latitudes, and you’ve got to be quick!  One of the things I missed about dear old England were the long summer evenings – on the equator, days are always something like 6am-6pm, with very little twilight either side.

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

Technique: OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens and polarising filter; Agfa CT18 colour slide film, rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Structure Smooth preset.

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 568 – NEAR WEST LITTLETON

 

 


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Something Minimal, there’s really not much here, both in terms of content and colour, but straight black and white would lose a little I think.  And the bird – and getting focus on the bird – were fortuitous!

Click onto this image to open it in a separate window.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Classic Chrome film simulation; near West Littleton, South Gloucestershire; 12 Apr 2017.

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ARCHIVE KENYA 85 – KILIMANJARO (MONO)

 

 


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Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, seen from Kenya’s Amboseli Game Reserve; July 1978.

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

Technique: OM-1 with 75-150 Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide film rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2.

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 565 – MEGALITH 5 (MONO)

 

 


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Amongst the prehistoric ritual stones at Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley south of Bristol.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 10-24 Fujinon lens at 15mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Tin Type preset; Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley south of Bristol; 6 Nov 2017.

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ARCHIVE KENYA 83 – THE EASTERN RIFT VALLEY AND THE MAU ESCARPMENT

 

 


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View westwards across the rift valley floor in Kenya, with the dark hills of the Mau Escarpment, the rift’s western wall, in the far distance; June 1978.

The eastern side of the African continent is breaking up and the Eastern Rift Valley, which runs through Kenya, is one of the vast fractures along which this fragmentation is occurring. 

The Mau Escarpment, seen in the distance, is the main part of the African continent, which stretches from there westwards right across to the Atlantic coast.

The terrain between the camera and those far away hills is the floor of the rift valley – a vast fracture in this ancient landmass –  and all of this land between the camera and that far range of hills has been created relatively recently by molten rock welling up from within the Earth to fill the fractures in the fragmenting continent – like blood filling and healing a cut in our skin.

When below ground, molten rock is known as magma.  Magma can be erupted out onto the Earth’s surface, when it is called lava – and lava is erupted through volcanoes.  There is an obvious volcano lower left in this scene, quite a small cone, and the undulating ground further away has many more.  The presence of hot springs and steam jets shows that there is still vast amounts of heat not far below the surface of the ground here – the volcanism here is not extinct, it is dormant and it might restart at any time.

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.

UPDATE: love those blue hills receding off into the distance.  Wish I was still there, clutching a camera – though sadly realising that, to me at least, it might no longer be the same place that I left those 31 years ago.

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 82 – KILIMANJARO

 

 


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Sunrise touching Mt Kilimanjaro: the view from Amboseli Game Reserve in southwest Kenya; Nov 1977.

At over 19,000 feet, this is Africa’s highest mountain and snow can be seen around the top.  But both the snow and the glaciers there may be gone within a few decades – they are melting fast.

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: OM-1 with 75-150 Zuiko at 150mm 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: LOOKING AT CARS 2 – RAINY MORNING (MONO)

 

 


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On the Somerset Levels: Liberty Moor, east of East Huntspill, looking north to the slightly higher ground around the village of Mark; 29 Apr 2016.

A major road is temporarily closed, so commuters speed down the Levels’ back lanes to get around the blockage.

The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives, I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  Earlier Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context).

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Dynamic Harsh preset.

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ARCHIVE KENYA 74 – MACKINDER VALLEY, MT KENYA

 

 


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Mackinder Valley, Mt Kenya, looking across to the peaks of Terreri and Sendeyo from the Kami Hut; Aug 1978.

This deep valley has the classical U-shaped cross-section that indicates that it was gouged out by a glacier flowing outwards from the Mt Kenya massif.  The Mt Kenya glaciers are now of very limited extent and, with the withdrawal of the ice, Mackinder Valley has been left precipitous and empty. 

The plants are Giant Groundsels, which are able to withstand the great ranges of temperature that occur on the East African mountains – I remember feeling quite comfortable in the sun, but instantly chilled in the shade.

Clicking onto the image will open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.

Technique: OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens; Afga 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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