Set it thrice. Aim it twice. Fire it once.

Author Archive

Taita | Hellos and Goodbyes

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Had a good one I hope? I always love the turn of a new year..it’s like smelling freshly cut grass, or being in the countryside (what urbanites here fondly refer to as Reserve or Ocha). The joy of saying goodbye to the past years triumphs, tribulations, opportunities and mistakes. Who doesn’t love a clean slate?!

On towards the post, this is a random post of pictures I took in Taita, the nucleus of my motherland. I proudly hail from there and I will be blatantly biased and declare we have arguably the most beautiful landscape (and women :)) in the land. I travelled down with family in not so good circumstances but all in all it was handy that I went with my camera.

Enough rambling, hope you enjoy the images.

The home away from home

The home away from home

The Taita, The better :)

The Taita, The better ūüôā

All ears..

All ears..

*Sigh* :'( :'(

*Sigh* ūüė• ūüė•

Say what?!

Say what?!

Game. Of. Throse :)

Game. Of. Throse ūüôā

And last but not least, an image I took from my phone – un-edited with no filter..

Wusi Primary welcoming the morning fog

Wusi Primary welcoming the morning fog

Taita, my beautiful motherland, I’ll be back!

-El Fin-

Advertisements

Pain and Gain | The Olkaria Experience

How’dy good people!

Oh my it’s been¬†a minute, an eternity hasn’t it! Humble apologies for my erratic and very scattered posts. Let’s just blame it on life and move on shall we?

Now, as we celebrated Mashujaa Day I had the great fortune of being misled to do something I have thought of before, but never really put it to mind until yesterday. Accompanied by 4 other gentlemen, who are also my close buddies in work and life, we psyched ourselves to do something our 5 unfit bodies would later regret.

Hidden in Naivasha, lies a great spa. Kengen have taken the opportunity to begin, and still continue constructing what will be among the best (and probably biggest?) naturally heated spas. Harnessing the condensed steam emitted into the atmosphere ¬†by the natural geysers, the steam is then condensed and cooled into a pool – entering at a searing 300 degrees Celsius – before being channelled into the ¬†vast spa at much lower temperatures (30 – 35 degrees) The naturally heated pool is rich in minerals said to be beneficial for skin rehabilitation and cleansing purposes. For what it’s worth, it definitely is a must go to place, and you can read more about it here.

Back to these 5 unfit chaps who thought biking 28.something ¬†kilometres on torturous terrain was a sound idea. At the day’s end, the only oasis was the spa. The biking experience was very scenic but the murderous pain our backsides are nursing is a testament that prudence sometimes should rule over adrenaline. Or not. The rush, the pain, all led to a single gain.

And so I salute my 4 fellow brave yet in hind sight (no pun intended) not so bright, partners in crime. Let’s do this again amigos!! cc/ Tuja Kimori, Chris Mwenda, Dennis Karingithi and David Muraguri.

The rest as they say, is history. Enjoy the snippets of the trip.

 

Photo credits: Tuja Kimori, Shadrack Mwamburi

Soaring over the Great Rift Valley escarpment..

Soaring over the Great Rift Valley escarpment..

Setting off (for what we thought would be an easy ride)

Setting off (for what we thought would be an easy ride)

Still smiley and happy (unaware of what lay ahead..)

Still smiley and happy (unaware of what lay ahead..)

First gorge..(we thought the destination was near..)

First gorge..(we thought the destination was near..)

..Until we realized Paradise was miles off. Some wanted to turn back.

..Until we realized Paradise was miles off. Some wanted to turn back.

..But we persisted with a smile (even if some places hurt more than others)..

..But we persisted with a smile (even if some places hurt more than others)..

And we finally reached tarmac..albeit bruised and battered in places we shan't mention *ahem*

And we finally reached tarmac..albeit bruised and battered in places we shan’t mention *ahem*

..,and the unfit 5 were forced to take a break courtesy of the steep climb

..,and the unfit 5 were forced to take a break courtesy of the steep climb

Part of the gorges formed along the Ol Karia road..as we recovered :)

Part of the gorges formed along the Ol Karia road..as we recovered ūüôā

And we finally got there...and cooled off( actually warmed off) for quite a bit..

And we finally got there…and cooled off( actually warmed off) for quite a bit..

Club house_unfinished

The unfinished club house which will boast an eatery, changing rooms, showers, et al. And it was sadly time to leave. The ride back would be rough, unforgiving.

The first pool that acts as the intake of the super heated water..yep, you don't want to fall in there!

The first pool that acts as the intake of the super heated water..yep, you don’t want to fall in there!

~El Fin~


Image

Monday Blues | No hunting mood

Monday Blues | No hunting mood

Hey folk,
It’s a drab hot Monday in the +254. Nothing like feeling lethargic..which reminded me of these mature male lions that lazed under a shade, unwilling to expend precious energy looking for prey.

Which is what I’m feeling this Monday too…

Have a lovely week amigos ūüôā


From Mara, with….

How’dy do folk!

Hope the start of the year has been kind to you all. Last week some report was published online about how¬†Nairobi¬†is the 2nd worst city in the world to reside in. That article started a major uproar on twitter with many ranting and raving on how inaccurate the report was. And I totally agree. Nairobi, in spite of it’s ups and downs, I believe is one of the best cities in the world to live in. From climate to food to it’s inhabitants; all warm. Not to mention we are the only city to have a National Park at it’s heart, boasting the Big Five.

It is in pursuit of this Big Five that I travelled to the Masai ¬†Mara in December. Now, I have never done wildlife¬†photography¬†before so be gentle on me, but needless to say, the views and wildlife were breathtaking. After 2 game -drives, one of which was full-day, I happily kicked up my feet at what I had seen. Ranging from the majestic pride of lions to schools of elephants to Topis, Gazelles, warthogs, cheetahs, vultures…it was a photography feast out there [sadly though I didn’t spot any Leopards or Black Rhinos].

Hopefully the following pictures will inspire more positive reports about Kenya and in the same breath, encourage each one of you to at least one day make a trip to the¬†Masai¬†Mara. It’s beauty is too lovely to pass off in this lifetime.

Enjoy.

Just grazing..

Grazing in Peace

mara2

Camouflaged. Almost.

who woke me?

“Who woke me?”

"hey baibee.."

“Not today hun”

Motherly Love

Motherly Love

Moving Mountains

Small and majestic

"yaaaaaawn!"

“Is it lunch time yet?”

"Gimme dat!"

Creating the legacy..

Alone

Alone.

Muratina Tree

Muratina Tree

Alone 2

Lone Tree.

We Are Family

We Are Family

we are family 2

..and we move in droves.

Big Momma feeding..

Big Momma feeding..

big momma1

Big Momma

Hidden like a stone..

Slow and steady..

I'm walking away..

“And we’re off!”

Still sleepy..

Still sleepy..

Sleeping King

Sleepy but peeking…

Looking for Rongai

“Going to Rongai. Ciao!”

vulture

I spy..

Chillin'..

Chillin’..

Purposeful poise..

“My better side, no?”

Tall order

A tall, tall, order.

Another tall order..

“You check there, I’ll check here.”

Getting a tan..

Getting a tan..

Head in the grass..

Head in the grass..

Marabou Storks scheming

Marabou Storks scheming

Cloudporn1

Cloudporn

Graceful

Graceful

~El Fin~


A World Apart | Incognito

Happy New Year Folks!!

Cheers to new frontiers and delving into the unknown, which is 2013.

I begin blogging with a post that should have been published last year but the timing of events meant otherwise. Also, this will be my LONGEST post to date, so brace yourselves.

Allow me to digress a bit by first saying that I am a music lover/critic/collector prior to even picking up a DSLR camera. I pride myself in vast collections of different genres of music and those who know me quite well will testify to my love for jazz. Love it. From the era of John Coltrane, Count Basie, Etta Jones and Miles Davies to the new school vibes. Acid jazz, Nu jazz, Smooth Jazz..I love it all. So for among the founders of Acid Jazz to grace Nairobi at the Bomas of Kenya, brought in by sponsors Sierra and Capital FM, I was game from the get-go.

Ladies and Gents, introducing Incognito – A diverse¬†cultural¬†yet singular music band formed in 1979. The look and sound of Acid Jazz. Acid jazz, going by their 15 albums released to date (yes, 15!) is a fusion of Soul, Funk and up-tempo Jazz. Why Incognito? Well, going by their medley of backgrounds it really is a band with only one unifying factor: Good Music. Led by the timeless Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick from Mauritius, Incognito boasts having present and past members from diverse backgrounds – sample this; A bass guitarist from Jamaica, Lead vocalists from Sri Lanka, Britain, America and Germany, An Italian drummer, A Jewish Music Director/Keyboard, A¬†Portuguese¬†percussionist and A Scottish trombonist. Phew!

So you can imagine my surprise when I saw the low turn-out to the Sierra Jazz Festival, an issue that was not lost on them either. Thankfully, that did not deter them from dropping on us the audience the mother of all concerts- showcasing their brilliance to the point that they could afford to switch up their whole set by playing a piece with different band members on different instruments from what they usually play. So torn between shooting and enjoying myself I was, that I eventually packed up my gear early and joined the rest at the front of the stage to shake a leg. I figured I had enough pictures plus it was better to be up close to hear the immaculate voices and instruments, while ogling at Imaani.

I can gab on and on about how awesome it was but no words or pictures can do the experience that was justice. Not to mention, the very able Kato Change and his band being the curtain raisers , gave a performance worthy of the ticket itself. he definitely is going places – fast.

On to the select images but before I do, please familiarize yourselves with this unbelievable group of musicians here and sample some of their stuff.

Enjoy.

Kato1.1 kato1.2 Kato1.4 Kato2 Kato3 Kato6

Inco6

Tony_Momrelle3

Sid_Gauld5

Tony_Momrelle4

Trevor_Mires2

Tony_Momrelle2

Bluey3

Bluey1 Bluey2 Francesco2 Francesco3 Francis_Hylton1 Francis_Hylton2 Imaani1 Imaani3 Imaani5 Joao3 Matt_Cooper1 Mo_Brandis1 Matt_Cooper4 Matt_Cooper2 Sid_Gauld1 Mo_Brandis2 Tony_Momrelle2 Tony_Momrelle1

Trombone

~El Fin~


Tusker Lite Experience | FatBellyBella

How’dy good folk!

Been ages [again] since I was up in here, it’s almost Christmas! It would be injustice if I didn’t blog at all before the turn of the new year.

On to matters more important, introducing one of the pioneers of Neo Soul, in the flesh, actually regarded as The Queen of Neo Soul, Grammy Award winner, Ericah Abi Wright or better known to us all as Erykah Badu, ¬†finally set foot on Kenyan soil. The stage was all set at the Carnivore grounds , with the irony probably not lost on her,¬†considering¬†she’s vegan.

Anyway.

Curtain raised by the exemplary Isaiah Katumwa (backed up by the very able James Jozee of Gogo Simo Band on the keyboard), the audience were almost hushed into awestruck silence as the roller coaster shuttled from the mellow to groovy and back to the mellow tracks. An encore was therefore in order, which got all to their feet, as anticipation of the main event inched towards fever pitch.

Cue in the intermission as the mercurial DJ Adrian and freshly talented DJ Andre tag-teamed to ensure the crowd was kept on it’s toes, dishing out throwback tracks on their wheels of steel, I almost thought I was lost in the ’90s [no pun intended].

Thereafter.

Silence. Dimmed lights. Breathless anticipation. Suddenly, a gentle rhythmic beat preceding a medley and crescendo of rhythmic instruments pushed to their limit as the diva of the moment made her grand entrance. And a grand entrance it was! Soaking in the deafening cheers and applause, FatBellyBella took to the stage and struck one of her trademark poses, before preceding to churn out hit after hit off her famous albums “Baduizm“, “Mama’s Gun” with songs such as “Bag lady”, “On and On”, “Appletree”, “Tyrone” and “Didn’tcha know” just to mention a few. So good and long was her performance (almost 2 hours non-stop), that an encore would ¬†probably have been overkill.

Needless to say, this concert by Tusker Lite Experience’s books was definitely worthy of being the¬†full-stop¬†in their calendar of events for 2012.

Enough gabbing on, here are my select images [in random order as I get the hang of blogging back]. Enjoy.

DJ_Adrian - EB DJ_Adrian2 - EB DJ_Andre - EB FatBellyBella1 - EB FatBellyBella2 - EB FatBellyBella3 - EB FatBellyBella4 - EB FatBellyBella5 - EB FatBellyBella6 - EB FatBellyBella7 - EB Isaiah 5 - EB Isaiah1 - EB Isaiah2 - EB

~El Fin~


Magadi | In Pursuit Of A Sunset

How’dy do folklore!

It’s been ages up in here before I posted something so I beseech thee by the mercies that be to bear with me. It’s been a bit topsy-turvy on my end but I am glad to report that caressing my camera, the feel of it, has not become numb on me.

On to matters forward. Last week I had the¬†privilege¬†of being reunited with my fellow photographers frat – aptly dubbed OneTouch, because with single clicks of their shutters, beauty abounds. ¬†As old and new faces met, the¬†wolf-pack¬†(howl here if you’ve watched ‘The Hangover’) of 17 photographers met at an ungodly hour¬†at the first stop, the public viewpoint at Uhuru Park. Pleasantries were quickly traded as apparatus was quickly assembled, as anticipation of the glorious sunrise neared fever-pitch. And OH! What a glorious sunrise it was!

Next stop was Ngong’, at the Kengen Windmills Power Station. A great landscape unfolded before our eyes as we beheld the beauty of Nairobi. A few pictures and a chilly breeze up our spines later, hunger struck. Hell hath no fury than a woman...photo/videographer starved. 35 chapatis, 17 cups of tea/coffee ¬†and a happy cook later, smiles and a hint of normalcy resumed.

The entourage of 4 landrover defenders [ *ahem*, *cough* *cough* *splatter*?] soon departed Ngong’ town and snaked their way to our final destination, Magadi, with a pit stop at Kona Baridi. In between, our anxiety was sky high as we raced against time on a semblance of a road – incurring minor hiccups, as one landrover defender almost lost its brake pad, while another rammed into the side of a donkey and subsequently killing a bird, which was quickly packed and prepared for dinner by the perpetrator.

Nonetheless, it was a glorious sunset to behold and the following images, I hope, prove to be a testament of the #oneTouchlive roadtrip – Magadi edition.

Side Note: I was mainly shooting with an add-on Opteka 0.2x fish-eye lens to get the larger than life feel, which subsequently gives off the curvatures and skews (and a blurry vignette on the edges of the pics).

Enjoy.

Wolf-pack Credits (feat. 3 vixens) :

@dipwiz, @mwarv, @joemakeni, @jaydabliu, @truthslinger, @SteveKitots, @paulobuna, @profkatts, @sirnare, @Nyingez, @skubi, @kevjapicha, @AmungaTheGreat, @MemyKenya, @SunnyLikeNjeri, @NKatetei and lastly myself, @shaydest

Kindly follow these fine ladies and gents for a wider scope of #oneTouchlive travels, via their personal blogs/websites,  instagram feeds and twitter with the hash-tags to look out for being #oneTouchlive and #ShootingKenya

Thanks and God bless.

~El Fin~


Bengenge: The Sound of the Villagers Band

How’dy folk!

Trust all is well with you.

‘Tis the season to be jolly so hope you are gearing down towards that. Personally I am jolly pleased how that the year is ending. I’m a sucker for new beginings bringing along new tidings.

Among the reasons that I’ve been jolly this week is for having the opportunity to shoot The Villagers Band as they entertained fans and friends at the MJ Centre to #Bengenge. What is Bengenge? The distinct fusion of Benga and urban Kenyan sounds (Initially I thought Chris Adwar said it is the fusion of Benga and Genge, but that was my mind wandering hopelessly).

The stage was awash with instruments and colour as the 11 piece band took to stage. Minus the disappointing technical sound glitches, the performance was stellar. The trumpets synchronization, the thunderous drums and the guitar licks in tandem all served to electrify the atmosphere, as sections of the crowd broke out to shake a leg. Befittingly, the encore was their hit titled “They Dance”, which aptly closed the show and wound down on their calendar year for live performances, leaving no doubt that future performances will only be better,¬† as Kenyans brace for the beautiful sounds of Bengenge.

 

~El Fin~

 


East.African.Classic.Safari.Rally.2011

Ola Amigos!

It’s been a good few months since I embraced my camera and took pics so I am firstly grateful to my mate David Mutua for coming through to help me break my duck.

This past few weeks, Kenyans and Tanzanians have been treated to the nostalgic roars of thundering engines from classic cars driven by legends in the game, Bjorn Waldegard, Patrick Njiru, Alastair Cavenagh, Ian Duncan – what motor sport isn’t he in??!! among others.

The sumptious motoring treat, traversing areas such as Mombasa, Tsavo, Tanzania, Voi, Athi River to Nakuru served to whet the rally enthusiasts appetites, who by their spectatorship add their voice to the growing demands for the need to reinstate Kenya as one of the choice countries into the World Rally circuit.

Fast forward to the Athi river leg and the venue and conditions were perfect for photography (and driving, I guess). Sharp hair pins, a muddy flat out and scattered muddy puddles all added an extra edge to the scene. Credit to the events organizers for the choice of venue. The security too was up to the task, with a razor-sharp barbed wire rink forming a menacing buffer from potential stray pedestrians – which was good given the nature of driving witnessed. And the classic cars did live up to their ‘classic’ genre. Among those that revved and splattered mud included the all famous Porsche 911, Ford Escort Mark 1 & 2, Ian Duncan’s Ford Capri, Datsun 260Z and 180B. Needless to say, the eye candies were the Porsches.

All in all, it was a very successful leg which ended with welcome news that the main and title sponsors, Kenya Airways have dug deep and bankrolled the event to ensure its continuity for the next THREE years. Good news indeed for the rally fans!!

Enough chatter, on to the pictures. Enjoy!

~El Fin~


Lady.Smith.Black.Mambazo [Live In Nairobi]

How’dy do folks!!

Hope you are well and enjoying the summer heat as I am.

I have been off the radar for a while and again I do apologize, but I figured I might come back with a post to try and quench your thirst (assuming you were thirsty)

It had been a minute since I shot a concert so needless to say, I was among the throngs that made their way to the Impala grounds this past Sunday afternoon. The classical fusion, a Safaricom sponsored musical affair, was teeming with life and anxiety as an estimated 12,0000 people (up from last year’s 6,000) hustled their way about looking for the best spots to get a glimpse of the promised action.

I, like many others, was there to witness the legendary and super talented South African accapella group, LadySmith Black Mambazo perform for the very first time in East Africa. For those who grew up in the era where T.V comprised only one channel (VoK) and which started at 4pm, you will recall some of their priceless performances such as “Homeless”, “Diamonds on the Soles”, “Shosholoza”, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” among other hits, aired on Urtna, if my memory serves me well.

So you can imagine my surprise as others left immediately after Sauti Sol’s performances…..

All in all, it was a concert that will long live in memory of those who attended. From the nostalgic songs, to the energy displayed by LadySmith’s members (Tshabalala is 71 years old!),¬† to the emergence of local jazz talent, of particular worthy mention, one Kato_Change.

The only blemishes to an otherwise successful concert lay in 2 areas: The poor sound and unprofessional security.

My challenge to event organizers is to bear in mind photographers’ perspectives as they plan the¬† stage layout and subsequent movement. After all, we are the ones who can make your event look rubbish or great through what we capture. Is it too much to ask to have a photo pit?

~El Fin~