ARCHIVE 236 – SAVANNAH GRASSLAND

 

 

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This image is best viewed enlarged, there’s a lot of detail here – when in my blog, click onto this picture to open a larger version in a separate window.

Savannah grassland with scattered Acacia thorn bushes in the south of the Maasai Mara Reserve, Kenya; April 1979.

The small thorn bushes in the foreground are probably Whistling Thorns.  These bushes have swollen, hollow bases to some of their thorns, in which live symbiotic ants.  The ants make holes in the swollen thorns to get in and out, and the wind blowing through these holes produces a whistling sound that gives the plant its name.

There is some thicker and darker bush just right of centre, along a small and probably seasonal watercourse.

This picture was taken in southern Mara, in extreme southwestern Kenya, and the distant hills are in Tanzania’s Serengeti Reserve.

Use of a polarising filter has greatly increased the definition of the clouds but caused the few patches of visible sky to be an unnaturally dark blue.  I loved using the Olympus OM-1 SLR.  It was light and compact, as were its Zuiko lenses, and the three that I always carried with me – 28mm f3.5, 50mm f1.4 and 75mm-150mm f4 – all used screw in filters of the same diameter – a wonderfully handy, compact and lightweight arrangement!

OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko; polarising filter; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

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ARCHIVE 167 – EAST MARA CLOUDSCAPE

 

 

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Cloudscape over the eastern side of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya; April 1979.

If such a photo can have a subject within it (i.e. as opposed to the subject being the whole skyscape), I think that here its the large cloud at top right, which is well defined against the very dark sky, and which is at a compositional strong point –  the intersection of the upper and left hand thirds. 

Also notice the effect of the polariser, which has more clearly defined the whole scene and which, in particular, has turned the sky at upper right almost black.

OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko and polarising filter; Agfa CT18 colour slide rated at 64 ISO.

UPDATE: the mention of “thirds” refers to the Rule Of Thirds, which is an aspect of image composition – Google “rule of thirds definition” for further info.  This rule is useful but, like all such “rules”, it should not be used every time, or your images will start to lose their spark and originality, they will become too predictable.   Instead, when creating images, be a rule-breaker, go with what your heart and your gut feelings tell you, and be ……. YOU!!!

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ARCHIVE 145 – ASLEEP IN THE ROAD (MONO)

 

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Adult male Lion sleeping on a track in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in western Kenya; Apr 1979.

This picture is really all about that thick and very powerful foreleg and paw, and the few flies taking the opportunity to openly forage “while the beast sleeps”. Because the underside of the foreleg and paw are a little paler than the rest of the animal, converting the shot to mono further separates the leg from the out of focus, slumbering face behind, which was my intention.

OM-1 with 75-150 Zuiko at 150mm (and from the safety of a vehicle!); Agfa CT18 colour slide; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro.
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KENYA 71 – SAVANNAH GRASSLAND

 

 

Savannah grassland
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Savannah grassland with scattered Acacia thorn bushes in the south of the Maasai Mara Reserve; April 1979.

The small thorn bushes in the foreground are probably Whistling Thorns.  These bushes have swollen, hollow bases to some of their thorns, in which live symbiotic ants.  The ants make holes in the swollen thorns to get in and out, and the wind blowing through these holes produces a whistling sound that gives the plant its name.

There is some thicker and darker bush just right of centre, along a small and probably seasonal watercourse.

This picture was taken in southern Mara, in extreme southwestern Kenya, and the distant hills are in Tanzania’s Serengeti Reserve.

Use of a polarising filter has greatly increased the definition of the clouds but caused the few patches of visible sky to be an unnaturally dark blue.  I loved using the Olympus OM-1 SLR.  It was light and compact, as were its Zuiko lenses, and the three that I always carried with me – 28mm f3.5, 50mm f1.4 and 75mm-150mm f4 – all used screw in filters of the same diameter – a wonderfully handy, compact and lightweight arrangement!

OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko; polarising filter; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.
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KENYA 67 – SUNRISE OVER MAASAI MARA 2

 

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Sunrise over the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, southwest Kenya; Nov 1977.

The low buildings may be at Keekorock Lodge in the southern Mara.  Towering above is an Acacia thorn tree.

OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO.
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KENYA 66 – SUNRISE OVER MAASAI MARA 1

 

 

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Sunrise over the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, southwest Kenya; Nov 1977.

Well, a 37 year old colour transparency that resided for over a decade in the heat and humidity of the tropics.  The colours are altering slightly, a little too much purple or mauve in there now, I think. 

But does this matter, is this important?

I could refrain from posting this image because it is no longer a totally accurate representation of the scene – or simply enjoy it for what it now is. 

To me, the former option would be far more than a tad puritanical, somewhere along a long road to nowhere perhaps.  Somewhere I never want to be.

OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO.
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ARCHIVE 90 – MAASAI WOMAN (MONO)

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Maasai woman, Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya; April 1979.

One of two Maasai women that we met as they walked together across the open grasslands of Maasai Mara, amidst the large mammals – Elephant, Lion, Hyaena, Buffalo, Hippopotamus, Leopard, Aardvark, Cheetah, Gazelle, Baboon, Giraffe, Black Rhinoceros and so on – that are an integral and accepted part of their everyday lives.

OM-1 with 75mm-150mm Zuiko; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono in Alien Skin’s Exposure 2.
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ARCHIVE 15 – MAASAI (MONO)

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Maasai woman in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya; April 1979.

OM-1 with 50mm Zuiko;  Agfa CT18 colour slide rated at 64 ISO, converted to  mono in Capture NX2.
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KENYA 52 – EVENING AT THE SAND RIVER GATE (MONO)

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Evening at the Sand River Gate, Maasai Mara; 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 – and 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.

OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko and polarising filter; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Structure Smooth preset.
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ARCHIVE 4 – EAST MARA CLOUDSCAPE

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Cloudscape over the eastern side of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya; April 1979.

If such a photo can have a subject within it (i.e. as opposed to the subject being the whole skyscape), I think that here its the large cloud at top right, which is well defined against the very dark sky, and which is at a compositional strong point –  the intersection of the upper and left hand thirds.

Also notice the effect of the polariser, which has more clearly defined the whole scene and which, in particular, has turned the sky at upper right almost black.

OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko and polarising filter; Agfa CT18 colour slide rated at 64 ISO.
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