ARCHIVE KENYA 99 – LUO FAMILY

 

 


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Luo family on a farm near Akala, in the far west of Kenya; April 1979.

The backdrop is the painted wall of a wattle and daub hut, the smooth surface layer of which is starting to flake off on the far right.  Minor points, maybe that I’ve only really appreciated now, after all these years, are the Vicks poster and the kitten.

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

Technique: OM-1 with 50mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide film, rated at 64 ISO.

UPDATE: The people in Kenya were in the main very friendly and hospitable.  I very much enjoyed my years in that country.  Again – once again – I wish that I had photographed more of the people that I met there.

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 97 – HOUSE ON A FARM

 

 


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House on a farm near Akala, in the far west of Kenya; April 1979.

These are Luo people who live in the immensely fertile far west of Kenya, not far from Lake Victoria – a vast body of water that supplies them with vast quantities of fish, and with frequent thunder storms which keep their land totally green.

The structure consists of mud walls, above which a conical thatched roof is mounted on a great mass of wooden poles. There is quite a gap between the roof and the walls but, in this hot, equatorial area, cold weather is not an issue. This hut has at least two rooms: the doorway to a second room is to the left of the people. The mud walls have decorations drawn straight onto them, and there is an oil lamp hanging up. Notice how everything, including the chest of drawers and some of the pictures hanging on the walls, has cloth covers.

Food and water are not an issue for these people, they live in a wonderfully fecund landscape. But there are diseases – it was here that malaria first got its claws into me, despite my using mosquito nets and prophylactics.

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.

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ARCHIVE KENYA 91 – IN THE DIDA GALGALLA DESERT

 

 


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Nomadic tribeswoman leading camels through the Dida Galgalla Desert in northern Kenya; June 1978.

This image is rather pale and insipid because I’ve lightened it to show more detail – it was taken in very harsh, overhead sunlight so that much of the subject matter is in shadow and silhouette.

This photo shows a person and her home on the move.  Amongst other things, the camels are carrying sections of the curved walls and supports of low huts, which will be erected at the new dwelling site.  A nomadic existence is essential in such dry areas – people follow rainfall, which is a source of water for man and animal alike, and also of greenery for the livestock.

This was a hurried photograph – soon after I raised the camera, rocks were flying my way.  Which reminds me of the roving packs of feral – and no doubt rabies-ridden – dogs in the Sultanate of Oman.  They were so used to having rocks thrown at them that there was no need to actually throw anything – all that was required was to momentarily stoop towards the ground as if about to pick up a rock – of which, as here, there was an inexhaustible supply – and the canines were heading quickly for the hills.

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

Technique: OM-1 with 75-150 Zuiko lens at 150mm; Agfa CT18 colour side 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: LOOKING AT CARS 10 – RUSH HOUR, RED LIGHT

 

 


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Red light in the rush hour:  queuing traffic, frustration, cold winter sunshine.

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

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: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); Lightroom; Bristol Bridge, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.

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ARCHIVE 562 – WOMAN AT A CASHPOINT (MONO)

 

 


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The morning stop for cash – Park Street, central Bristol; 2 Dec 2016.

Three dark elements, two for automatically dispensing and one for gratefully (or maybe even indifferently …) receiving. 

I was struck by this tall, dark figure and the shadows (accentuated a little here) cast by her wide-brimmed hat: she is restocking her purse with the spending ammunition required for the day ahead.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 12,800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Architectural preset.

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ARCHIVE 557 – WALKING AROUND BATH

 

 


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A walk around Bath with the Canon G11 Powershot – 24 July 2011.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.
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ARCHIVE 556 – ELDERLY WOMAN, WAITING FOR SOMEONE

 

 


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Elderly woman, waiting for someone, in the main street of Perranporth, Cornwall; 12 Sept 2013.

I like the way that she is sandwiched within – and only partly emerging from –  a world of reflections.  She is real, but many of the other contents of the picture are the reflected images of things that are not, in a material sense, within the frame.

Aside from the parts within plain view, much more of her is visible through the shop window of the Family Butcher.  But because her left hand and arm are protruding sufficiently far left, they are reflected in this window.  Her pale blue jacket harmonises with the paler blue-greys around her.  And a sense of depth is given by the right hand vertical window edge cutting her form, while the wider window edge further left is cut by her hand.

This picture was taken within a very brief timeframe.  As I walked along the pavement, another woman was walking towards me and the elderly lady was just behind her – and gazing about all over the place, looking for the person she was due to meet. 

She turned away to look into the distance, I raised the camera and readied it in one movement, the woman approaching me looked momentarily askance – and I fired.  There was just time for two frames – before the woman in the doorway, catching sight of her friend, was gone.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO.

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ARCHIVE KENYA 67 – WOMAN ON A FARM

 

 


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Luo woman on a farm near Akala in Kenya’s far west; Apr 1979.

There are two others in the frame but I’m taken with this woman’s level stare and calm self-possession – and hence to a grainy selective crop – it could almost be a passport photo.

A meeting of two worlds.  Her home, and my privilege to be there.  Conversation via a Luo and (inexpert) English speaker and my few words of Swahili – and also quite a lot of mime, gesticulation, smiling and laughter!  They were friendly and welcoming, as were people throughout Kenya, and that is something that remains with me.

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

Technique: OM-1 with 50mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide film, rated at 64 ISO; Dfine 2; 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 545 – WOMAN ON HER PHONE (MONO)

 

 


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Woman talking on her phone, central Bristol; 15 Oct 2013.

Blazing sunshine on Bristol Bridge, and two women, both distracted, walk towards me.  The young woman in front is in urgent conversation on her mobile, struggling to hear the other voice above the traffic noise; and the second woman glances away, across the river.  I look down into the G11’s wonderfully articulated screen and squeeze the shutter release.

I’ve left the second woman in, but can’t decide whether she adds to the image or not – and hence, maybe, why she is not mentioned in the shot’s title.  Any thoughts? 

I like the main subject’s long, trailing hair – and along with her hand, it makes a rough frame which her face is within; and she’s inclining to the right while her hair is trailing out to the left.  So if the second woman were to be removed, the first woman’s hair would need to left intact.

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

Technique: G11 PowerShot at 140mm (35mm equiv); 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Janice’s Infrared Preset.

UPDATE: looking at this again now (2020), I’m glad I kept the second woman in the shot.  To me, her pale face provides balance, both in terms of her looking to the left while the other woman is inclining right, and of her pale face providing some counterbalance to the subject’s larger, paler face.

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ARCHIVE KENYA 63 – WOMEN ON A FARM

 

 


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Luo women on a farm near Akala, in the far west of Kenya; April 1979.

On the left is the girlfriend of my travelling companion.  This was taken on his father’s farm, where I received much hospitality and friendliness.  Everybody was curious about my camera: that it was a fairly compact and unimposing Olympus OM-1, which I mostly used with an equally unimposing 50mm lens, was helpful – it didn’t scare people off! 

And so to this relaxed picture: I especially like the straight and open gaze of the woman on the right.

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

Technique: OM-1 with 50mm 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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