ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 29 – LAND ROVER (MONO)

 

 


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Geological research (and a vast amount of birding too … ) in the mountains of Oman, sometime around 1976.

Here is our campsite, two tents, the vehicle, and rock – rock everywhere – with the bare mountains all around.  I’m slouching in the shade of the vehicle on a camping stool, with my sweat-soaked hat on my knee after a long day’s work – and the photographer is my colleague Don.

It was extremely interesting exploring the interior of a country which was only just opening up to the outside world.  The interior was wild, I remember many apparently ancient sites lying open on the surface, but the going was tough.  The days were hot, I wore two pairs of socks inside stout boots to keep the heat away from my feet, and the vehicle’s bodywork was burning to the touch. Picking up a rock to examine it often involved juggling it around in the air to cool it down a bit.  There were no tarmac roads, and indeed very few roads of any size at all; we often found ourselves driving across country, or up into the many deep wadis that radiated out from the mountains’ flanks.

The Land Rover was rugged, tough, very basic and an absolutely wonderful vehicle for these conditions.   There is a jerry can visible in the roof rack: we carried most of our water and spare petrol up there above our heads – which in the case of the petrol was distinctly unnerving, but luckily we never turned the vehicle over.   The water was solely for cooking and drinking, washing being a luxury that had to wait until we got back to our base at Sohar, on the Batinah coast.

The terrain was mentally as well as physically taxing, since nearly the whole landscape was in shades or brown or maroon, so much so that the rare patches of greenery, near water, were often quite shocking, even strident, to the eye.  Flying home, the endless greens of England were a definite shock too.

Before going to Arabia, we had been trained to give and receive intravenous injections of serum that would counteract snake bites and scorpion stings.  I can’t recall seeing any snakes, but scorpions were common under stones, especially near water.  During our training, the sight of the large, intravenous needle, and then having to stick it either into myself or someone else, to extract a little blood from the vein before injecting the serum, always made me pass out.  I would feel my head getting tighter, and then wake up lying on the floor, looking up at a ring of laughing faces looking down at me.

And so the scenario was all too predictable – Don would be stung or bitten, and collapsed, flat out on the desert floor.  I would rush up with the large needle, push it in – and then there would be two of us flat out on the desert floor …  We were very careful, and this scenario never unfolded – the worst sting I had was from a hornet that landed on my neck.

The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  Earlier Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 .  Each post will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: Don took this, and looking at it I would guess he used his Olympus OM-1 with a 135mm Zuiko telephoto.

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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 25 – STORM

 

 


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Cars in a storm: high winds, driving rain and dark clouds rolling in across the top of the Mendip Hills, a Somerset landscape that was the roof of the world in my childhood, sixty and more years ago.

The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  Earlier Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 .  Each post will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 136mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Velvia/Vivid profile; Silver Efex Pro 2.  On the edge of Priddy Mineries Nature Reserve, east of Priddy, on the top of the Mendip Hills, Somerset; 20 Sept 2018.

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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 22 – DRIVING WESTWARDS, TADHAM MOOR

 

 


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Moving cautiously westwards across Tadham Moor on the Somerset Levels, through fog turned incandescent by the rising sun.

The Looking at Cars series: looking back through the nine years of the FATman Photos archives (and some new images too), I’m posting pictures of cars in various contexts and styles.  Earlier Looking at Cars posts are here: 1 (with context); 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

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: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Totney Drove, Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 19 Oct 2018.

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ARCHIVE KENYA 100 – ENCAMPMENT BELOW SHOMPOLE

 

 


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Maasai encampment below the towering slopes of Shompole volcano, on the Kenya-Tanzania border southwest of Lake Magadi; Aug 1980.

This is very hot, semiarid, thornbush country, in the floor of the rift valley in southern Kenya.  The great bluffs in the background are on the flanks of Shompole, one of the many volcanoes in the rift valley’s floor.

Scale is difficult to judge here, but there is a single, cloaked person, seen as a dark spot, standing near the left hand end of the encampment’s bare, brown earth.  Several low, pale-roofed huts can be seen, and the camp is enclosed by fences of cut thornbush, which serve to help keep the stock animals in – and their predators out – during the 12-hour equatorial nights.

With the eye of faith, some very thin, pale paths can be seen crossing the rocky ground (there is one near the prominent green tree in the foreground), and white spots below the camp’s right hand end may be cows or goats.

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; 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 578 – MALLARD ON THE RHYNE BESIDE JACK’S DROVE (MONO)

 

 


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Mallard on the rhyne beside Jack’s Drove, on Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 31 Mar 2015.

Springtime, and a pair of Mallards swim up the water-filled ditch or rhyne (rhymes with “seen”)  beside the little road known as Jack’s Drove.  These ducks will breed on this backwater, the more brightly patterned male (on the left) more prominent on his territory while the darker, drabber and more camouflaged female sits undetected on their nest, somewhere in the dense waterside vegetation.

In contrast to these two quietly swimming beings, I see the bare tree on the right as a mass of writhing snakes or sinuous fingers, reaching up, furiously grasping, skywards.  And in fact on this extremely windy day, while the ducks were relatively sheltered on their little waterway, the tree was twisting and writhing as it took the full force of a westerly howling in from the Bristol Channel.

Click onto this image to see a larger and far more detailed image that opens in a separate window – recommended.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Portrait preset.

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ARCHIVE 577 – NEAR WEST LITTLETON (MONO)

 

 


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Early in the day: above the byway, east of West Littleton; South Gloucestershire; 12 Apr 2017.

More context on this second visit to the extreme south of the Cotswold Hills, and more images, can be found here.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 206mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Neutral preset.

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ARCHIVE KENYA 96 – BIRDING ON THE ROAD TO MOYALE

 

 

Birding in the Dida Galgalla (or Galgalu) Desert of northern Kenya; June 1978.

This is the main road running northwards from Mt Marsabit in northern Kenya to Ethiopia.  It carries on up through this arid wilderness to the town of Moyale, which is on the border with Ethiopia.

The whole area in this photo is volcanic, and on either side of the road can be seen the large, dark lava boulders that were bulldozed out of the way when the road was made.  Flat, dark lava flows can just be seen on the horizon.

Despite the heat and aridity of this area, faint tinges of green are visible off to the left.  This photo was taken in June, not long after the “long” rains (which are often not long at all), and this area was in the process of rapidly returning to its mixture of brown and maroon surfaces.

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I was much younger and more irresponsible in 1978 – well I suppose we all were! – and I thought this area tremendously exciting.  But it was dangerous and often lawless even then, with periods when all traffic had to be marshalled into convoys with military escort.

Oh, and that’s Bill, a birding friend from long ago >>> wow! we saw a lot of birds in those far off days!

Click onto each 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 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 92 – KILIMANJARO AND MAWENZI (MONO)

 

 


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Mts Kilimanjaro (on the right) and Mawenzi seen from Tsavo West National Park; Dec 1977.

Both of these mountains are vast volcanoes, again associated with the fragmentation of eastern Africa, as mentioned in my Shaitani post (Archive Kenya 90).  They are just over the border in Tanzania – having been given by Queen Victoria to her cousin, the Kaiser, when the colonial powers were dividing up Africa.

This ancient colour slide is in deteriorating condition – with much grain and increasing discolouration – but here it is, doctored and in mono, to make it as presentable as possible!

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

Technique: OM-1 with 75mm-150mm Zuiko lens at 150mm; Agfa CT 18 colour slide film rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Low Key 1 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 91 – IN THE DIDA GALGALLA DESERT

 

 


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Nomadic tribeswoman leading camels through the Dida Galgalla Desert in northern Kenya; June 1978.

This image is rather pale and insipid because I’ve lightened it to show more detail – it was taken in very harsh, overhead sunlight so that much of the subject matter is in shadow and silhouette.

This photo shows a person and her home on the move.  Amongst other things, the camels are carrying sections of the curved walls and supports of low huts, which will be erected at the new dwelling site.  A nomadic existence is essential in such dry areas – people follow rainfall, which is a source of water for man and animal alike, and also of greenery for the livestock.

This was a hurried photograph – soon after I raised the camera, rocks were flying my way.  Which reminds me of the roving packs of feral – and no doubt rabies-ridden – dogs in the Sultanate of Oman.  They were so used to having rocks thrown at them that there was no need to actually throw anything – all that was required was to momentarily stoop towards the ground as if about to pick up a rock – of which, as here, there was an inexhaustible supply – and the canines were heading quickly for the hills.

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 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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