ARCHIVE KENYA 120 – MT KENYA: NELION AT SUNRISE

 

 


.

Looking up at sunrise from Top Hut on Mt Kenya towards Nelion, one of the twin peaks of Mt Kenya; August 1978.

Almost the roof of Africa!  Nelion stands at 17,021 feet, while the other peak, Batian, rises to 17,057 feet.  These two peaks are separated by the wonderfully named Gate of the Mists, and they are the tallest peaks in Africa second only to Mt Kilimanjaro, which is nearby in neighbouring Tanzania, and which soars to over 19,000 feet.

What was it like being up there on Mt Kenya?  Well, taking this photo, it was extremely cold – I remember having trouble changing the lenses on my Olympus OM-1 SLR; they were very stiff to twist off, presumably due to the intense cold having slightly contracted the metal.  Getting up to this altitude on the mountain required no rock climbing skills, it was simply a long walk, made more strenuous in its later stages by the decreasing oxygen content of the air – but after a day or so at these altitudes, breathing became easier.  We were up there for several nights, sleeping in the various mountaineering huts around the peaks; and my abiding memories of those huts concern the rats which ran over and around us every night as we slept!

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

Click onto the image to open another copy in a separate window.

Technique: OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide film, rated at 64 ISO; Lightroom.

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.

.
.
.

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

 

 


.

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.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE KENYA 85 – KILIMANJARO (MONO)

 

 


.
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.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE KENYA 82 – KILIMANJARO

 

 


.
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.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE KENYA 27 – LOOKING UP AT MT KENYA

 

 


.
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.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE KENYA 7 – EAGLE OWL AND HYRAX (MONO)

 

 


.

Cape Eagle Owl (formerly known as Mackinder’s Eagle Owl), in Teleki Valley, on Mt Kenya; August 1978.  I found this owl amongst rocks in Teleki Valley, as we were preparing to spend the night there on a visit to Mt Kenya.  The light was poor and I was using slow, 64 ISO film, so my choice of lens was restricted to that with the widest aperture, the 50mm f1.4 Zuiko.  The problem then of course was I would have to get quite close to the bird, to make it look like anything except a small dot in the resulting photo.

But I’d heard that various creatures found up in these montane fastnesses are often quite tame, so I resolved to try slowly crawling towards the owl, flat out on the ground, and taking a series of photos as I moved ever closer in, until the bird flew.  But as I crawled nearer and nearer, and seemed to be getting an image of quite reasonable size in the viewfinder, I decided not to scare it off, but instead to edge backwards along the way I’d come.  Only I had no idea what awaited me as I crawled slowly backwards … : see following photo.

.

.
As I was lying flat out, starting to slowly retreat from the owl, something warm and wet was suddenly thrust into my right ear, causing me to cry out in alarm, and then go face down into the rocks, convinced that the owl would by this time be far, far away.  However on raising my head I saw the owl unruffled, while walking towards it was a Rock Hyrax, a small furry mammal that is a close relative of elephants.

The hyrax had walked unobtrusively up beside me while I was keeping my gaze on the owl, and then, wondering what this warm, prone form could be, had stuck its nose into my ear to have a closer look and a sniff!  My cry alarmed the hyrax and it blundered further forward, moving right at the owl, until it suddenly recognised the Angel of Death standing mute and sombre before it.  Panicked, the hyrax blundered straight back the way it had come, straight into my waiting lens – and here is my very blurred shot of the hyrax (blurred due to the very shallow depth of focus of the F1.4 lens) blundering straight back into me with the majestic owl, aloof and unruffled, in the background.

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

Technique: OM-1 with 50mm Zuiko lens at f1.4; 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.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 346 – KILIMANJARO (MONO)

 

 


.

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

There is another Kilimanjaro image here .

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

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

.
.
.

PEOPLE 297 – PEOPLE FROM MY PAST 2 (MONO)

 

 


.

Yesterday, I introduced these People from my Past images, along with a picture from my time as a geologist in the mountains of Oman.  This is another picture from Oman.

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, quite possibly 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.  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 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.

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

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

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 231 – KILIMANJARO

 

 

ADL233X
.
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 image to see a larger version.

OM-1 with 75-150 Zuiko at 150mm; Agfa CT 18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO.
.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 98 – KILIMANJARO (MONO)

 

 

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

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

.
.
.

%d bloggers like this: