ARCHIVE KENYA 58 – MT KENYA (MONO)

 

 


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Mt Kenya, seen from the gate of Mt Kenya National Park; August 1978.

The dark highland forest surrounding the mountain has mist clouds. Above this forest is a great mass of slightly paler, hummocky country known as the Vertical Bog, a steep and muddy section. Further up again, are bare rock, ice and snow.

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 into mono with Alien Skin’s Exposure 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 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 531 – FANTASY IN INFRARED

 

 


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Mist on Tadham Moor, and the road past the Magic Carpark given the look of colour infrared film, courtesy of Nik’s excellent Color Efex Pro 4 image editing software.

One of my aims with this blog is to present a variety of imagery.  This is both to stimulate and perhaps even enthral those looking at these posts – and also to keep myself on my toes in terms of imagination and creativity.  Producing a blog with a constant theme might be a way to attract a large and loyal number of viewers who enjoy that theme, but I have to hold up my hands and admit to not being able to resist going here and there, following where my imagination takes me, and here is an example.

Its a core belief of mine that its always worth looking long and hard at images – and I (and many others too) have found that returning to an image weeks, months or even years after it was captured can and does inspire new ideas and new ways of looking at it.  Indeed, some photographers make a point of never working on their images soon after they have been taken but, instead, of always coming back to them some days or even weeks after the event – with fresh minds and well rested eyes.

I am not returning to this particular image long after it was taken, but I have subjected it to another of my core routines, which is to look at it long and hard before deciding upon what, if anything, to do with it.  What sorts of things to I think about in this situation? – well, colour/mono/both, possible types of crop, potential for rotation/flipping, effects of various software edits, etc.

And experimenting (which is another way of saying “playing around”!) in Color Efex Pro 4 I came upon this infrared colour film filter, and was instantly attracted by its effect here.  There are of course the mysterious silhouettes and the warm orange glow, but this is not like simply using some kind of orange filter because the colours of the tarmac road and its grass verges are still faintly visible.  Whether this image will stand the test of time – whether I’ll still like it in a month’s or year’s time – is another matter but, for now, here it is.

Other thoughts.  Does it represent reality?  No, of course not but, as I say, I like the look of it, and if I like the look of it – its in! 🙂  

And fantasy – well, ok, what’s out there beyond those “last two trees”?  If you’re a TOLKIEN fan, are we standing on the edge of the desolation wrought by the dragon SMAUG, looking out on a land ravaged by his fire and covered by rolling clouds of glowing smoke?  I’ll go along with that.  And who, or what, is going to appear in all that smoke, dimly seen at first but growing ever more stark, as they trudge up this road trying to escape a vast and monstrous foe that, for all of their lives, has just been an old and half-forgotten legend, the stuff of childhood nightmares, the stuff of fireside tales?

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 230mm; 200 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4; the Somerset Levels; 8 Apr 2015.

UPDATE 2020: well, its considerably more than a year after this image was posted, and yes I certainly do still like it >>> and I am certainly still a fan of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings!

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OUTER SUBURBS 240 – I DIDN’T LIKE MY FAMILY SO I MADE A NEW ONE

 

 


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Well, I’m still walking in the lockdown, usually leaving home at 0530.  The lighter summer mornings make early starts easier, and I relish the emptiness the lockdown has brought.  Although there is some traffic about – and with the lockdown loosening that has increased a little – in the course of walking for two hours I may only see 10 or fewer other pedestrians at this early hour.  And the fact that some of us now regularly encounter each other has brought a welcome camaraderie – a greeting, a few words exchanged, always at many yards’ distance – which brings a little more sense of normality, a little less desolation in the midst of all this quiet emptiness.

I’ve mapped out a route for walking along which, in most places, there are spaces that make it easier to distance myself from oncoming people.  Those out running are the main problem, and I am by no means the first to notice that many (but not all) of them simply run straight towards you, spraying out great lungfuls of moist breath and evidently expecting you to get out of their way.  Me being me, I have on a couple of occasions refused to move, and have seen the shocked looks as they veer suddenly to one side at the last moment.  This pandemic has revealed many interesting aspects of human psychology.

But the point of this post is to pass onto you something strange.   For there is one short section of my long walk that I have for some bizarre reason grown to like and welcome each early morning – and it is the scene above.  This is a long, wide, dead straight road, a major thoroughfare, that our really totally inadequate and inept local authority has chosen to place a 20mph speed limit on.  And as I walk out onto this road and look to my left, I see the scene above.  There is a lovely grove of trees on the right that always have squirrels around them, and occasionally foxes too.  And further up on the same side of the road there is a little patch of red, that is a lurid advertisement on the side of a bus shelter.  And beyond are the slopes of Dundry Hill which – on this particular morning – had lovely mist in the treetops along its summit.

And I can’t explain why, but every time I come out onto this big, empty, quiet road, and look up towards the lurid red poster on the bus stop and the green hill behind, I have definite feelings of peace, calm and belonging.  And I also have a feeling that when that poster and the lockdown are gone, that this place will not affect me in the same way.  And so I’ve taken a few photos to remind me of this scene, to help remind me of how these strange days were – and here are some of these pics.  And I’ve remembered that, as always, Life itself can be strange.

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

Click onto each image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended for the first two shots only!!!

Technique: TG-5; Lightroom; south Bristol; June 2020.
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Getting closer to the bus stop: the poster and the misty hilltop now more plainly in view.
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LOL!!! and here is “the artwork” itself.  I have not the slightest idea what its advertising – but I like the lurid red!!!

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ARCHIVE 516 – WOMAN IN THE FOG (MONO)

 

 


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Woman walking down the Wells Road in south Bristol on a foggy morning; 13 Mar 2014.

The G11 produces images that are already below full (i.e. 35mm) frame in size, and this is a substantial enlargement from one of those images.  Hence image grain has played its part here, and I’ve added to this with grain from SEP2.   This is a dank, foggy morning, all things are diffuse, and this very visible grain adds to that effect.

Where is she going?  She is hurrying down the pavement and, first drawn to that great catapult of a Plane tree, my eye is then drawn left to her – she and the tree are both very dark objects surrounded by light.  She is the stark, central point between the converging lines of the pavement and its attendant trees, which are dissolving off into the distance.  She is headed into that convergence.

The dark mistiness of the road is also headed down that way (with ghosts of buildings just visible over on the right), and a line of road markings, the brightest things in the frame, confirm that direction.

And what of her?  She is hurrying – to work probably, or to some appointment perhaps.  The morning was not really cold, but her coat, wide-brimmed hat and boots add to the inclement effect.

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

Technique: Canon G11 PowerShot at 28mm (equivalent); 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 1 preset.

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ARCHIVE 515 – A FARMER AND HIS WIFE, OFF TO CHECK THEIR CATTLE AS THE DAWN BREAKS

 

 


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A farmer and his wife, off in their Land Rover to check on their cattle out on Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels, after the long, late November night; 27 Nov 2014.

I was having a second breakfast of hot coffee and thick, bitter marmalade sandwiches in the Magic Carpark, when this old couple drove by, waving and smiling in a very friendly way, and made off down the foggy track to make sure that all was well with their cattle after the long, cold night.

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: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 86mm; 6400 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

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OUTER SUBURBS 236 – MISTY ROAD

 

 


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Mists, shadows, parked cars and an empty road: early morning in the locked down outer suburbs.

This is the Olympus TG-5 working near its limits.  The zoom lens is at its maximum telephoto (100mm equivalent), I’m shooting at 200 ISO to enhance image quality, and this image is only about 10% of the original frame.  The TG-5 is wonderful – light, compact, (very) robust, highly adaptable and high quality.  If only it could reach 300mm (equiv) telephoto it would be stellar.  Although, with such a small sensor (only measuring 6.17 x 4.55 mm), it would never be a camera for wafer thin depths of focus or oodles of glorious bokeh.

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 (+ more grainy!!!) version in a separate window – highly recommended.

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 200 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Modern 07 profile; south Bristol; 20 May 2020.

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ARCHIVE KENYA 27 – LOOKING UP AT MT KENYA

 

 


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Mt Kenya, seen from the gate of Mt Kenya National Park; August 1978.  The dark highland forest surrounding the mountain has mist clouds. Above the forest is a great mass of slightly paler, hummocky country known as the Vertical Bog, a steep and muddy section. Further up again, bare rock, ice and snow.

Actual rock and ice climbing techniques and equipment are not necessary for all but the summit, which is slightly obscured by cloud here.  Most visitors (including me!) only climb (walk) up to the tall pinnacle on the right, which is just below the main peaks.  But, still, this is really quite a formidable, wet and steep walk, the later stages of which are made more difficult by the thinness of the air – it took me about a day to become used to the lower oxygen levels.

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

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 500 – FISHERMEN (MONO)

 

 


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Fishermen far off across a lake on a misty morning; 17 Oct 2013.

The local water company stocks Chew Valley Lake, near Bristol, with trout, and makes good profits from anglers.  There is also a sailing club, and some barely adequate birdwatching hides – returning from Kenya’s wide open spaces, I was astonished to be restricted to these little huts with their narrow viewing slits – something of a culture change!  I retain the feeling that birding ought to be out in the fresh and open air.

If you love grain >>> click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: D800 with 80-400 Nikkor lens at 400mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s High Contrast Smooth preset.

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SOMERSET LEVELS 467 – FOGGY MORNING (MONO)

 

 


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Pollarded willow appearing out of the mist, early in the morning, beside Swanahard Lane.  Pollarding of trees is a common practice on the Levels; I discussed it recently here .  Its shown well in this tree, which has a really thick trunk, with large numbers of much thinner branches emanating from it: pollarding has been carried out sometime back, possibly more than once, but then discontinued, so that the cut stumps of the branches have grown to great lengths.  The problem here is that the thick, original trunk is leaning slightly so that, as the weight of the thinner branched above it increases, there is the danger that the whole tree will topple over.

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: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 3200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Graphite profile; Swanshard Lane, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wells; 23 Aug 2019.
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