ARCHIVE KENYA 114 – LAKE MAGADI

 

 

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View southwards across Lake Magadi, in southern Kenya; Oct 1978.

There are many things to see here.  First, the eastern side of Africa is disintegrating, and the cracks along which this break up is taking place are the rift valleys.  Here we are on the fairly flat floor of one of the rifts, and the hills in the far distance, right of centre, are the Nguruman Escarpment, which is the rift valley’s western wall.  Everything in the landscape between us and those distant hills is new crust – volcanic lavas and ashes – that has been forced up from inside the Earth to seal the widening cracks in its surface.

To the left of Nguruman is a very distinctively shaped hill – it looks as if its had a chunk bitten out of it: this is Shombole volcano, near the border with Tanzania.

Just in front of the left hand side of Shombole some smoke is rising from a promontory.    The lake’s soda is mined, and this smoke is rising from the soda factory in Magadi town.  The volcanic rocks of the area are rich in soda, which is leached out of these rocks by rain.  This soda is carried in solution down into the lake by streams and springs.  But, since the lake has no outlet, its waters are lost only by evaporation, leaving the soda to accumulate and form a solid crust on the lake’s surface.  The redness of the soda near the lake’s shore is caused by red algae that thrive in the highly alkaline water – the water is so alkaline that it starts to dissolve human skin when in contact with it – fingers dipped into the water start immediately to feel soapy as their skin dissolves!

This photo was taken in the dry season, and the foreground is occupied by dry, brown acacia bush.  After rain, this landscape will become temporarily green again.

I very much enjoyed Lake Magadi.  It was an easy day’s drive from Nairobi, it was fascinating geologically, and it was a very wild and exotic area (though I have a feeling it is rather less wild now).  Its at low altitude, and it was always very dry and very hot – and the air was always pervaded by the acrid stink of the lake’s soda.  A wonderful and very, very real place; when I was there, all those years ago, there was absolutely no advertising, no hype, simply raw and really quite exotic nature.

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

Technique: 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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OUTER SUBURBS 306 – PAVEMENT AFTER RAIN

 

 


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Out walking, and looking down – a gate’s shadow on a pavement, after rain.  

The pale linear structure towards upper right is the kerb along the pavement’s edge, and right of this is the road surface.

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 400 ISO; spot metering for the highlights; Lightroom, starting at the Modern 03 profile; south Bristol; 16 Jan 2021.
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ARCHIVE 599 – RECTANGLES WITHIN RECTANGLES (MONO)

 

 


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Caravans, Newquay, Cornwall; 10 Sept 2013.

A series of pale boxes, apparently floating in blackness.  The one on the right displays a slightly curved roof, and is leaning gently away from the vertical.  Otherwise, these are a series of rectangular shapes containing many other rectangular shapes.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Pinhole preset.

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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 40

 

 


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Old tyres at Tyning’s Gate Barns, southeast of Shipham, on the Mendip Hills; 17 Oct 2004.  This is a picture with very little colour, and hence the colour version is good.  But I’ve chosen the mono version as Silver Efex Pro makes it look rougher and more contrasty, which suits the subject.

And this is a photo from quite long ago – when I was wedded to hauling a really quite weighty 300mm telephoto and tripod around, and to using a colour slide film – Fuji Velvia 50 – that was a must for all “serious” photographers.  And it wasn’t until I got into Nikon film cameras, notably the F6, a little later, and then bought the absolutely wonderful 70-300 Nikkor zoom ( still an absolutely favourite lens, in later incarnations, right up to the present day), that photography suddenly became a far less weighty and more mobile and versatile, image-stabilised affair.  I still used Velvia 50 sometimes but then – another revolution – got into other emulsions like Fuji Provia 400X, which could be push-processed to 3200 ISO and more, and also Agfa Scala black and white slide film. 

Sitting here now, with the Z 6, X-T2 and TG-5 – and Capture NX2 (still useful!), Silver Efex Pro 2 and Color Efex Pro 4,  and of course Lightroom –  all of that film photography seems so long ago.  And, having shot film and used wet darkrooms since the late 1950s, I feel so very fortunate now to still be photographing during the time when the advent of digital has given photography so much more creative potential.

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.  These 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 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 .  Each post will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: OM-4 with 300mm Zuiko lens; tripod; Fuji Velvia 50 colour slide film; rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise; Silver Efex Pro.

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ARCHIVE 598 – OLD MAN TAKING A PHOTOGRAPH (MONO)

 

 


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Old man taking a photo, West Bay, Dorset; 21 Apr 2015.

Someone engrossed – doing what I’m doing – on the other side of the road.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, beginning at the High Structure Harsh preset.

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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 39 – WHITE GLOVE

 

 


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Chaos, close in, with a wide angle lens: raindrops on the bonnet, blown highlights, saturated colours and a cavalier disregard for the horizontal.

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.  These 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 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 .  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 10-24 Fujinon lens at 36mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Color Efex Pro 4; Capture NX2; outside Hart’s Bakery, Temple Meads, Bristol; 28 Apr 2017.

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ARCHIVE 597 – POSTER

 

 


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Poster in a Truro shop window; 25 April 2007.

I don’t usually take photos of other people’s photos, pictures or graffiti – although I do like good graffiti / street art very much ->>> I am, after all, a resident of Banksy’s hometown. 

Its not so much that photographing others’ images feels like theft or plagiarising, its more that I prefer to concoct my own images.   Having someone else’s image as a part of a composition is ok – see this example –  but making someone else’s image the principal subject or all of one of mine just isn’t really me.

But this picture struck me – the pose and vacant gaze on the right and the gawping, mindless expression on the left.  Whoever took this picture deserves abundant applause!

And what should we all do?  Well, of course, like sheep, we should all mindlessly follow whatever fashion chooses to dictate ….  but that bus is overcrowded >>> anyone for the Individuality Special???

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

Technique: Nikon F6 with 24m-85m Nikkor lens; Fuji Sensia 400 colour slide film rated at 800 ISO.

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ARCHIVE: LOOKING AT CARS 38 – RUSH HOUR (MONO)

 

 


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Morning rush hour:  alone amongst a torrent of temporarily stationary metal.

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.  These 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 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 .  Each post will open in a separate window.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Cool Tones 2 preset, giving the image the look of Fuji Neopan Acros 100 black and white film, and adding a strong selenium tone; Victoria Street, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.
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ARCHIVE 596 – QUEEN CHARLOTTE STREET (MONO)

 

 


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Morning sunlight across a rough façade.  I’m down an alleyway in the city centre and the décor is, shall we say, functional.  Lots of rough texture, no need for the expense of glamorous, smooth surfaces here.  And off the main road a little, out of view a bit, so plain bars to deter those who, seized by an excess of entrepreneurial zeal, might not want to enter through the front door.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 145mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Architectural preset; Queen Charlotte Street, central Bristol; 8 July 2017.

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ARCHIVE KENYA 113 – WATERS FROM KILIMANJARO

 

 

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Freshwater springs in Amboseli Game Reserve; late 1970s.  This water originates in the snow and ice on the top of nearby Mt Kilimanjaro, and flows underground to emerge as springs in Amboseli’s dry bush country.  It is a great draw to large animals, especially elephants.

Amboseli is an especially good place to see elephants because Cynthia Moss and other scientists have studied them there for decades.  Hence they are semi-accustomed to humans, and not disturbed by their (considerate) presence. As always, whenever I visited Amboseli, it paid to be very wary of lone bull elephants, especially when they were in musth (akin to being in heat), which was often shown by seepage from glands on the sides of their heads. 

But the big herds of females and young (led by a matriarch) were far more placid – when taking clients on safari to Amboseli, I would often stop our vehicle in the path of a long line of females and young and, completely still and silent, we would watch them passing slowly around us, like slow-moving water flowing around a small island in a stream.  Once, one took some vegetation that had become attached to our front bumper.  We never had any problem doing this – although my hand was always on the ignition key – and it was really one of Life’s great experiences.  So slow, so quiet and so massive they were, but with a deep gentleness too, that often had a perceptible effect on those in the vehicle.

Elephants are one of those animals that are far more intelligent than they seem.  Examples?  A definite attitude to death, resulting in their fondling and trying to bury dead elephants; a very low frequency communication system that works over vast distances; and the ability, apparently, to smell (and remember) each individual occupant of a vehicle.  The word “awe” is used far too frequently these days, it has become devalued.  However, quite simply, awe is an emotion that elephants never fail to evoke in me.

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; 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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