ARCHIVE KENYA 109 – 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!

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

Technique: OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens; polarising filter; 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 103 – 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.

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: 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 102 -SUNRISE OVER MAASAI MARA

 

 

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

Well, a 43 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 on a long road to nowhere perhaps.  Somewhere I never want to be.

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 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 KENYA 54 – DUSK AT THE SAND RIVER GATE, MAASAI MARA

 

 


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Dusk at the Sand River Gate, Maasai Mara Game Reserve; April 1979.

Click onto the image to open 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 52 – 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.

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

Technique: OM-1 with 75-150 Zuiko lens at 150mm (and from the safety of a vehicle!); Agfa CT18 colour slide film rated at 64 ISO; converted to mono 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 22 – THE HUGE SKIES I MISS SO MUCH!

 

 


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Skyscape on the eastern side of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve – the huge skies that I miss so much!; April 1979.

Notice the effect of the polariser, which turns the sky at upper right almost black.  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 (polarised) sky, and which is at a compositional strong point –  the intersection of the upper and left hand thirds.

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

Technique: Olympus OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens and polarising filter; 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 19 – MAASAI WOMAN 2 (MONO)

 

 


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One of two Maasai women that we met as they walked together across the open grasslands of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, 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; April 1979.

Inevitably being effected by western culture to some extent, many Maasai still lead fairly traditional lives. I have lightened the whites of her eyes, to give the photo more punch.

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

The portrait of the other Maasai woman is here .
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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 4 – MAASAI WOMAN (MONO)

 

 


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One of two Maasai women that we met as they walked together across the open grasslands of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, 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; April 1979.  Inevitably being effected by western culture to some extent, many Maasai still lead fairly traditional lives. I have lightened the whites of her eyes, to give the photo more punch.

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

Technique: probably my (now battered and mouldy) Olympus OM-1 camera (oh what a wonderful camera!!!), shooting Agfa CT18 colour slide film rated at 64 ISO; 50mm Zuiko lens; converted to mono 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 442 – MAASAI WOMAN (MONO)

 

 


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One of two Maasai women that we met as they walked together across the open grasslands of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya, 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; April 1979.

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

Technique: probably my (now battered and mouldy) Olympus OM-1 camera (oh what a wonderful camera!!!), shooting Agfa CT18 colour slide film rated at 64 ISO; 50mm Zuiko lens; converted to mono in Silver Efex Pro.

UPDATE:  well, 41 years on.  What are my feelings about this encounter?  I can only say that its an education to meet someone like this; I gained so much Life Knowledge in Kenya.  After all, she and I were both human beings, and yet so totally different in culture, way of life, you name it.  And let there be no thought of superiority or inferiority here, I regard such words as totally meaningless in this context – the two of us were simply extremely different.  And, she was entirely at home in the wild landscape in which we met; whereas on foot as she was, and left to my own devices, even if I could survive in the 12 hours of the equatorial day, I probably wouldn’t have lasted through the ensuing 12 hours of darkness.

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