Recent Photographic Work
July and August 2020
While still unable to travel out of Kenya to either of my families home countries due to COVID travel restrictions, it was nice to spend another long holiday season in Kenya. With international visitors to Kenya still quite low, there are lots of opportunities for those of us who live here to experience some of the magical places in the country with fewer crowds and cheaper prices than usual. A few weeks ago I spent a few days in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in the Laikipia region with my family. Here are a few of the take-aways I thought worth sharing.
Well...! The past 4 months have certainly been unprecedented - at least in my lifetime so far. We are still smack in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and while various countries and regions around the world are getting infection rates under control, many others are still struggling. Kenya is still waiting for its 'peak' but we can be thankful that the Government efforts have been sufficient to keep the infection rates, and more important, the mortality rates low compared to many countries. Nairobi was locked down for April, May and June, with travel around the country opening back up in July. During lock-down I took the advice of a fellow photog and dusted off my Macro lens for some creative outlet around the beautiful school campus on which I'm lucky to live. After the lock-down was lifted, many people took advantage of the lack of international tourists in the country, and some lower than normal prices, to get out to some of the beautiful places in Kenya. I enjoyed a few days with my family and some friends down in the Mara Conservancy, followed by a few more days camping with some other friends in the very hot desert of Lake Magadi. Here are a few images from both of those adventures.
It's been a very slow few months since my last post. Photographically, most of my work has been for clients, and I haven't had much opportunity to do much for myself. Chalk that up to inertia or laziness on my part I suppose. I had a chance to get away last week to a beautiful lake-side conservation area on Lake Naivasha - Sanctuary Farm. It was a much needed break from the constant media noise regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, Kenya has so far been mildly affected, but that may change in the near future. It was nice to be out in an environment with the animals who are oblivious to human worries and to immerse myself in their world, even for a short time. Lots of animals! And some (hippos) too close for comfort. Nothing raises the heart rate like being surrounded by hippos when sleeping in a hammock. Anyway, here are some images of some of the less worrisome denizens of this acacia woodland. To walk among them is a humbling experience.
I've just returned to Kenya from a 6 week winter holiday in Australia. As is my family's usual practice, in addition to catching up with friends and family, a road trip was a definite must. This year we headed across NSW to Adelaide, SA, and then up to the Flinder's Ranges National Park, about 200 km north east from Port Augusta. Flinder's Ranges National Park is a rugged ancient landscape with rocky escarpments and meandering river beds - mostly dry but we did have to ford a few on the drive in after a rare day of rain. We spend our time camping and exploring the ridges and valleys on our daily hikes. The nights were long and cold, but the day-time temperatures were perfect for walking - much more comfortable than the soaring temperatures would be during the summer months. Below are a few images I though worth sharing. The beach location is obviously not in the middle of South Australia. Rather, these were at Cellito Beach at Pacific Palms, NSW, where we spent a few days after returning from South Australia and before flying back to Nairobi.
With most of my photography time over the past few months being dedicated to shooting for Rosslyn Academy there hasn't been much time to work on a significant amount of my own work, but with the school year drawing to a close, and a 6 week trip to Australia on the horizon, I hope to be able to get out and reacquaint myself to my art. Here is a small gallery of a few images that have made the cut from my own work over the past little while: from my latest climb up Mount Kenya, an adventure north to L'olokwe in Samburu country, and just across the road in the local forest reserve.
It's been a busy few months since my last post mostly shooting for my school - student photos for yearbook, IDs and other sundry usages. Not much creativity involved other than the skills required to eek a smile out of a 'too cool' teenage boy. I have managed some of my own work on three occasions: a 5 day excursion up the eastern slopes of Mount Kenya: a weekend along the Malewa River: and our annual school Cultural Field Study program, which this year had me deep in the Loita Hills with a community of Maasai (and 15 High School students).
Over the past few weeks I've had a great experience shooting marketing photos for Edu-Africa (edu-africa.com) during a four week residential course on local ecology. The course consisted of three modules; wetlands, forests and savannahs. The course was hosted at Brackenhurst Conference Centre so for a couple of days in June I drove up and spend the day with the participants shooting images during the course of their learning activities - both in the classroom and in the field. The savannah module was taught in the Naibosho Conservancy, in the Greater Mara Ecosystem and I was invited to accompany the team down to the conservancy, and to the African Impact field study centre (www.africanimpact.com) for the week. What a great opportunity! Again, I was concentrating on promotional photography for Edu-Africa, but I had plenty of opportunity to photograph outside that brief during our twice daily wildlife survey activities. As the conservancy model here in Kenya is one that incorporates both wildlife conservation and the pastoralist/owner life style, we spend one afternoon with the Maasai herdsmen bringing the cattle home from their grazing land to the protection of the nightime bomas. This was also a great photographic setting. Here are a few of the final images from my 'personal' collection from the week.
The last few months have seen a few outings and a number of images worth showcasing. Ngare Ndare Forest is a reserve on the north side of Mount Kenya, on the slopes between the highland of Central Kenya and the northern plains. It is a haven for elephants and other forest wildlife, as well as being an important water catchment area. The river and pools in these images is an idyllic haven in the heart of the forest. A very rough vehicle track leads through this area and the intrepid visitor can leave the vehicle and scramble either up or down along the watercourse to discover cascading waterfalls, deep blue-green pools of cool water and lush green vegetation. Watch out for elephants!!Closer to home, Karura Forest is an urban oasis not far from the gates to my home compound. Many km of forest tracks and trails are a pleasant retreat from the business of the surrounding city landscape. The Karura River drops over a small falls into a deep gorge lined with huge fig and Newtonia trees. A path has been constructed along the riverside to allow the visitor freedom to meander slowly and soak in the cool forest air.The wildlife images are shot either in the Nairobi National Park or in the Ol Pejeta conservancy near Nanyuki in the Laikipia region of Kenya. The recent rains here in Kenya have greened the usual dry plains and the wildlife are enjoying the seasonal abundance. And the lake animals are all permanent residents of Lake Naivasha, in the Great RIft Valley.