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

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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-

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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~


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~


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~


Family & A Friend

Hey good people!

What’s poppin’ yo? Hope all is well this fine Friday. Mine’s began well.

This post was a long time coming partly because I’d wanted to do it since forever but also because my cousin (whom you shall see below) coaxed me into it. So as usual I buzzed my partner in crime for such shoots, one @SteveKitots to help me out. A lot went under-way..OK, a little, since the models were slightly late for the shoot. So all in all we had to squeeze in whatever in about half an hour or so.

Anywho, one of the challenges in the shoot for me was using a 50mm lens f1.4, which is fully manual. To say I struggled with it is an understatement of epic proportions but once I kind of got the hang of it, I was chaffed by it’s brilliance. Almost never wanted to return it to it’s owner! [I returned it after he, the loaner, threatened me with his super-stardom and photographer celebrity status. I caved in like cards in a toilet bowl – sic!)

Long story short, the 2 models below are Chao and Asha. Chao is like my small sister so to speak. First cousin actually, and no I am not dishing out her number or email add. I met her friend Asha, whom they are bosom buddies, and Chao enticed me to a shoot.

Enough yap, this is a bit of what I captured.

N/B: Studio photography is not my forte so I was very extravagant in experimenting different feels and themes in my post processing work (grains, soft focus, tonal and hue adjustments, the works!)

All in all, for me, they are a representation of African beauty. Kenyan beauty.

Hope it makes sense to ya’ll!

~El Fin~


Lunar-see

Morning dudes and dudettes!
Quite cold it is, especially if you are in the +254 area code. Hope you are all warmed up and sliding around in your socks like a penguin..like me.
This picture I’ll admit is one I took some time back but didn’t blog, then figured I might as well seeing I didn’t get to shoot what I wanted to over the weekend.
Hope it is good enough to grace some of your desktops!
God bless ya’ll!

~El Fin~


Remember The Titan

Morning great people!

Hope all is well with you.

This post is simply about a time-piece that I impulsively bought after I realized that I had gone years on end without one. My previous watch – a Casio- mysteriously disappeared after it fell under my bed and I told my myself I’d pick it in the morning. Lo and behold, the boogie monster is real!

So basically I set up the watch as close to  the window as possible..whose natural light was beautifully diffused by the blinds. Experimented between 6 and 13sec exposures at ISOs of 100 and 200 so as to get the movement of the second hand.

Long story short, here is what I got. Enjoy.

~El Fin~


Mbololo.2011

Ola!

Hope your morning has started great (or evening, depending what time zone you are in)

This past week I had the pleasure of travelling with 2 of my mates @tujak and @stanleymuthoka (their respective twitter handles) to Mombasa on some business. The stop-over was in Mbololo, some 2 kilometres just before you get to Voi. To say the place is beautiful and serene would be an understatement. It’s the kind of place you go to and forget your purpose on earth.

So as usual I carried my beloved ‘Liza’ to see what we would share. It was mostly baobab, And of course @stanleymuthoka literally making a meal of it.

Note to self: Baobab seeds (‘Mabuyu‘ in swahili actually tastes better from the source than after all the crappy food colouring and stuff).

So without much ado here we go!

“A good picture is all about making the ordinary look extra-ordinary”

~El Fin~


Check_mate

Morning Ya’ll!!

Hope the day’s started well for you. I wanted to shoot some more macro stuff but couldn’t really figure what so I just ended up experimenting shooting chess pieces (Kings & Queens). After much ado, (and a busted tripod) here’s to you.

So let’s go out there and make moves!

-El Fin-


Almost Ed-ible

Hey Guys!

Happy Belated Easter!

Speaking of Easter, I hope ya’ll had a blast and celebrated the REAL reason for the season.
Back to photography, I realized I hadn’t shot nor blogged in a bit so I cordially invited myself to my good buddy, @SteveKitots studio, who happened to have a shoot last Thursday. It was quite random.. quite experimental too (Starting with using car brake lights and reverse lights as strobes!) to shooting in the studio. Quite the load of fun, until my good hosts gave me bread minus a drink to wash it down. (The soda was effortlessly dispatched by my good brothers.. at least I know who not to share a tent with when a camp arises!)
So aboard I hopped and with the able @profkatts helping set up, the stage was set for the introduction of a very fine young lady.
Lights, Camera….EDNA!

~El Fin~