kenya

Nairobi by Night

Nairobi by Night

Nairobi is a city that without much effort manages to be beautiful no matter what time of day you visit it. The way people from very different places on the planet interact and punctuate the city’s architecture creates scenes begging to be photographed, from sunrise to sunrise.

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BMXing on the Helipad

BMXing on the Helipad

A quiet day at the office yesterday was interrupted by a pat on my shoulder by Allan Gichigi. He’d been invited to see some BMX riders doing their thing on the KICC Helipad. I quickly cleared my schedule and tagged along. I didn’t have my camera on me, only my Xperia Z1 which I decided to shoot with.

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#Pray4Kenya

The attacks we have suffered as a nation over the past year have made us live in fear. With unverified warnings of more to come, I’d like to invite you to join me in a week of fervent prayer for this blessed land.

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African Screens 35 – Turkana Landrovers

African Screens 35 – Turkana Landrovers

Turkana is a beautiful yet unforgiving place. The terrain will take your breath away, as well as your car’s shocks, springs and about any moving part.

In the 1960s and 70s, teams the National Museums of Kenya were sent to explore the eastern shores of Lake Turkana in the best 4 X 4 X far. They excavated fossils in areas where no car had been to before and while at it, carved out roads that are used to this day. These are the machines that made sure the teams led by Dr Richard Leakey shared their discoveries with the world, making Sibiloi the Cradle of Mankind.

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Travelling Marsabit to Sibiloi

Travelling Marsabit to Sibiloi

This October, after many years of waiting and one failed attempt, I finally got to travel to northern Kenya thanks to Safari Desk. See part one of my journey here.

Northern Kenya holds a beauty you won’t find anywhere else in the region. This is the one place you will struggle to get out of mud-bogged rain forest roads and find yourself cruising on dry sun-scorched desert sands few minutes later. It doesn’t sound like much but when you experience it, it is a magnanimous event that will be permanently etched in your mind, right next to memories of the first time you attempted to make chapos.

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World Elephant Day

World Elephant Day

The illegal trade in ivory kills up to 40,000 elephants in Africa each year.

That is 5 elephants, every hour, every day, every month, for 12 months!

That is around one every 12 minutes!

It’s not just the animals that are dying. While working to conserve elephant populations in Kenya, two KWS rangers were recently felled by poachers.

I thank God for organisations like KWSIFAW and David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust that are active in protecting the elephants, because if they don’t continue with their conservation efforts, estimates say photos like these below will be the only elephants we see in 20 years.

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Amboseli National Park.

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Amboseli National Park.

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Tsavo West National Park.

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Tsavo West National Park.

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Tsavo West National Park.

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Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

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Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

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Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

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Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

 

 

 

Live Green Screen Photography

Live Green Screen Photography

The Niko na Safaricom Live concert directors had an idea that many said couldn’t be done. We listened to them, planned how to and did it.

 
Every year, Safaricom promote their brand through countrywide music concerts dubbed Niko na Safaricom Live. They get the top music artists and have them perform in major towns with fans in their thousands showing up to see them live.

 
For the launch of the 2013 edition at Carnivore Gardens, event directors Kijiji Entertainment had a street theme running, complete with matatus, hawkers, shoe shiners and the notorious CCN askaris occasionally chasing after the hawkers. For photography, they had an idea that others said was impossible to execute. To extend the street experience, Kijiji wanted photos of guests taken at the venue superimposed on city street backgrounds, and delivered the same night of the event. We accepted the challenge and got down to work.

 
Days before the launch, we took different shots of Nairobi streets at night.

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During the launch event, we shot the invited guests in front of a green screen.

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The poses taken had to show some street cred, and the guests didn’t disappoint.

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As they were shot, we had our photoshop expert quickly working his expertise on the photos shot to deliver what the client had in mind.

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Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park

Its amazing what we have in the backyard of this great city we call Nairobi – the only capital with a National Park!

Spent a couple of hours there two weeks ago hoping to spot the lions but wasn’t successful. I did however have a great time there despite getting lost for several minutes while looking for a good spot to shoot the sunset from.

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The grass in the park is so high it dwarfs Nairobi’s growing skyline.

 

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The view the animals have of Nairobi.

 

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King of the watering hole?

 

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No, not a dwarf giraffe, but the lady to the guy in the foreground who apart from being taller, was standing on higher ground.

 

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The tall guy who was standing on higher ground.

 

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After I found my bearing, I was delighted to get this sunset shot.

 

 

Ol Pejeta Wildlife

Ol Pejeta Wildlife

This week, allow me to take you back to the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa and the only place you can see chimpanzees in Kenya.

There’s lots of other wildlife to be seen in Ol Pejeta Conservancy. It is one of the few places you can see the big five.

Earlier, I shared about the elephants and chimpanzees. Let me share photos from some of the other wildlife I got to see while there.

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Buffaloes are known to attack with no provocation. So maintain your distance when you see one.

 

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My wife and I were blessed to spot two cheetahs playing in the shade as they sheltered from the midday heat. One of them got up, went round the bush and that is how I got the shot below.

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In photography, anticipation is key to getting great shots.

 

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This was the first time spotting a jackal since Carlos. He saw us, darted across the road several metres ahead of us and started running away. Again, I anticipated – and prayed – and he paused for this shot. A couple of seconds is all I had and he was gone.

 
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Baraka is a blind black rhino. He lost one eye during a territorial fight and a later got a crystallised cataract in the other. You’ll find him in Ol Pejeta’s Rhino Sanctuary.

 

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She should have given birth by now.

 

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A parting shot.

Good Night Nairobi, Pt 2

Canon 7D. 17mm, 30.0sec, at f/16, ISO 100

Good Night Nairobi, Pt 2

Last Tuesday evening, I hooked up with Steve Kitots and Mutua Matheka on a hurriedly-put-together shoot of Nairobi from street level.

Steve and I scouted for a good spot where we could position ourself and we picked the junction of Koinange Street and Kenyatta Avenue and were joined by Mutua just as we set up.

We spent about 30 minutes shooting as buses and other fast-moving traffic whizzed past us.

As we packed up, we spotted KICC lit up for the Rockefeller Foundation’s Centenary Celebrations and shot that as well.

We high-fived each other, went to our different homes and let Nairobi sleep in peace.

Canon 7D. 17mm, 10.0sec, at f/22, ISO 100

Canon 7D. 17mm, 10.0sec, at f/22, ISO 100

Canon 7D. 17mm, 15.0sec, at f/22, ISO 100

Canon 7D. 17mm, 15.0sec, at f/22, ISO 100

Canon 7D. 17mm, 30.0sec, at f/16, ISO 100

Canon 7D. 17mm, 30.0sec, at f/16, ISO 100

Canon 7D. 19mm, 30.0sec, at f/18, ISO 200

Canon 7D. 19mm, 30.0sec, at f/18, ISO 200

Mt Kenya Sunrise

Canon 7D. 190mm. 1/5000sec at f/5.0, ISO 500

Mt Kenya Sunrise

I spent four years schooling on the slopes of Mt Kenya and I can’t recall mustering the courage to brave the morning chill to get a glimpse of the sunrise over Kenya’s highest mountain. The blankets were either too heavy or a certain magnetic force always pinned me down to my bed around sunrise.

Apart from the morning chill, there is cloud cover to contend with when attempting to shoot a sunrise over Kirinyaga. Lenana and Batian are very shy, spending most of their times hiding behind a thick blanket of clouds.

But two weeks ago, God smiled upon me and I was finally able to capture two sunrises – back to back – while staying at Serena Sweetwaters in Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

 

Canon 7D. 190mm. 1/5000sec at f/5.0, ISO 500

Canon 7D. 190mm. 1/5000sec at f/5.0, ISO 500

Canon 7D. 24mm, 0.25sec at f/20, ISO 100

Canon 7D. 24mm, 0.25sec at f/20, ISO 100

Canon 7D. 24mm, 1/50sec at f/8.0, ISO 100

Canon 7D. 24mm, 1/50sec at f/8.0, ISO 100

Canon 60D. 300mm, 1/1250sec at f/22, ISO 100

Canon 60D. 300mm, 1/1250sec at f/22, ISO 100

Canon 60D. 365mm, 1/320sec at f/14, ISO 100

Canon 60D. 365mm, 1/320sec at f/14, ISO 100

Canon 7D. 24mm, 1/1000sec at f/4.0, ISO 160

Canon 7D. 24mm, 1/1000sec at f/4.0, ISO 160

Ol Pejeta Elephants

Canon 7D. 260mm (EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/640sec at f/5.6, ISO 200

Ol Pejeta Elephants

My fascination with elephants continues this week after an encounter with several while at Ol Pejeta Conservancy last week.

Elephants here are many in number and were easy to spot as they enjoyed the lush vegetation from the ongoing rains.

The first and last shots below were taken at the watering hole at Serena Sweetwaters.

On one of the nights, we had lions visiting the watering hole. Elephants were the only animals brave enough to stand their ground as impala, waterbucks, warthogs, zebras and gazelles avoided being dinner by hiding far, far away, only to return the next morning when the coast was clear.

Canon 7D. 50mm (EF 50mm f/1.4 USM) 1/50sec at f/1.8, ISO 3200

Canon 7D. 50mm (EF 50mm f/1.4 USM) 1/50sec at f/1.8, ISO 3200

Canon 7D. 365mm (EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/500sec at f/5.6, ISO 200

Canon 7D. 365mm (EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/500sec at f/5.6, ISO 200

Canon 7D. 200mm (EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/800sec at f/5.6, ISO 200

Canon 7D. 200mm (EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/800sec at f/5.6, ISO 200

Canon 7D. 160mm (EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/800sec at f/5.6, ISO 200

Canon 7D. 160mm (EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/800sec at f/5.6, ISO 200

Canon 7D. 260mm (EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/640sec at f/5.6, ISO 200

Canon 7D. 260mm (EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/640sec at f/5.6, ISO 200

Canon 60D. 28mm (EF 17-40mm f/4L USM) 1/125sec at f/13, ISO 125

Canon 60D. 28mm (EF 17-40mm f/4L USM) 1/125sec at f/13, ISO 125

Canon 60D. 67mm (EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM) 2.0sec at f/4.0, ISO 640

Canon 60D. 67mm (EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM) 2.0sec at f/4.0, ISO 640and last

 

 

 

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