Procrastination got the better of me on this one. I shot these way back on 23rd July 2012 on a #ShootingKenya expedition to Thika, Central Kenya. The day started quite eventfully with us being ‘arrested’ by some security guard at a fuel station on Mombasa Road for attempting to mount a GoPro in one of our cars. The super paranoid dude thought we wanted to rob the ATM he was guarding. Then at Blue Posts Hotel, the guides on duty wanted us to pay Kshs25,000/- to shoot at Thika and Chania Falls which are best accessed through their establishment. Luckily, the sensible manager intervened and we paid the usual Kshs200/- per person for nature walks. Arriving at Fourteen Falls just before sunset felt like we’d saved the best for last. Despite the stench from the sewer-soaked water and having to cross the river on a rickety leaking stick of a boat, it was quite scenic and fun. Search Twitter and Instagram for #ShootingKenya to keep up to date with our regular showcase of our beautiful country.
Our night light is looking lovely tonight, isn’t it?
Lovely enough to be shot.
And after shooting it, I found out not as lovely as on 18th August 2011.
Several weeks ago, together with other photographers, I started taking Monday photographic trips to different parts of Kenya in what is tagged #oneTOUCHLive and #ShootingKenya on Twitter. This past weekend, we were in Central Kenya.
Our first location was Kagumo Falls in Nyeri County. These falls are quite hidden in Tetu Constituency and we wouldn’t have found them if it wasn’t for Charles our guide.
Second was Thego, a place none but one of us had been. It is a fishing camp located off the A2 after turning right at Chaka. Again, Charles gave us a guided tour of the pristine surroundings.
We then took the scenic route back to Nairobi by looping Mt Kenya and shot some wheat fields in Timau.
After taking in the sights towards Isiolo, we think this will be our next destination.
Located between Lakes Naivasha and Nakuru, Lake Elementaita was recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and made a National Park.
It also has some of the most beautiful sunsets in Kenya.
I was there early July and reminded of this fact.
DJ Sparrxx and I met in July 2007 when doing Mizizi. We were teamed up as prayer partners and we’ve had a high-impact Kingdom friendship ever since.
Sparrxx asked me to shoot his profile pics and I agreed. He wanted something different though. It didn’t take long for us to decide to shoot in a setting that borrowed from his name. We found the perfect location a couple of minutes from his place. We spoke to Oti who works there and agreed to return later in the week.
Come shoot day and Kenya Power had done their thing. We wanted to have sparks flying from the grinder but… Anyway, the shoot went on.
I had fun shooting DJ Sparrxx because he’s easy to direct and pushed my creativity to the next level.
Being at Kenya’s Olympic trials felt like being in London for the Olympics. The athletes I got to see up close are the very same who will show the world how to run, hog the podium and with medals dangling on their necks, make sure the Kenyan anthem is played over and over again. These are Kenya’s greatest exports.
Big kudos to Athletics Kenya who didn’t charge a cent to anyone coming to watch our heroes, and for their organisational excellence that showed in the races starting on time and officials handing printed results to members of the press shortly after each race. My man of the day was Kibunja, a patriotic Kenyan who run alongside the 5,000m runners to show his support. He was lapped several times but received some of the loudest cheers when he crossed the finish line.
It was quite chilly and windy and I didn’t have a sturdy tripod.
I setup for one of the shots, set the timer and as the camera started capturing the exposure, I ran away to shelter from the cold. I returned to the camera after sometime to find the camera tilted at 90 degrees from where I’d left it, but still on the tripod.
This is the resulting shot. Truly a happy accident.
This was the first time I was going to Kasarani after it was closed for refurbishment in 2010.
The date was June 2nd and Kenya were hosting Malawi in a first-leg World Cup qualifier. The security was the tightest I’ve seen at any venue, even where the president is present. It didn’t ruin the atmosphere though.
The Malawians had the upper hand during the first half with the Kenyans taking control of the second. The game ended in a goalless draw to the disappointment of the home crowd.
I spotted these birds at the just concluded KCB Safari Rally. I arrived at the Parane Spectator Stage quite early and was taking a walk around, looking for places to position myself as the cars came by when I saw these lovlies. I have no clue what breed they are, but I know they aren’t chicken. If you know what they are, please educate me.
These are bee-eaters, Merops pusillus. Thanks Jake Grieves-Cook!
After missing the 2012 Rhino Charge because of family commitments, I wasn’t going to miss this year’s Safari. My first motorsports event for the year brings back many memories.
There were some scary moments for me on Saturday: I’d positioned myself at a culvert to take shots of the cars catching air as they sped past. As each car came hurtling down towards me, caution made my right leg scamper off into the bushes while my left leg stayed put, shaking in fear, until the brutal, grunting rally car flew past, a few inches from my lens.
Here’s some of the shots I captured. You can find many more on KWELI Magazine’s page.
Kenya’s been blessed with amazingly beautiful birds. There’s over 1,100 different species within our borders, not including the Kenchic variety.
Here are some of the ones I spotted on a tour of Lakes Naivasha, Nakuru, Baringo and Bogoria in April 2012.
Nothing really special about today’s post.
Apart from the fact that one of the zebras we saw while at Lake Nakuru had spots on its stripes.
Gives the phrase ‘I spotted a zebra’ a whole new meaning.
Much respect to the Mo Sound crew for putting together another great event. I can’t wait for Groove to go Africa-wide with the accolades being sought after like Stellars and Doves. And salutations to all the nominees and this year’s winners. It is because of you Kenyan music is flying high on the continent. May the Almighty God increase your influence. And as DK Krowbar said, ‘We are just vessels.’
Shooting at Nairobi Baptist was a challenge initially because front stage was too low. Shooting from there would have given me a worm’s eye view. I found a spot on the right side of the auditorium and shot mostly from there, away from the crowded centre aisle.
Here’s a selection of the photos I took, with a special bias to Juliani. My Canons loved watching him on stage.
Lake Bogoria is hot! And its not just because of the hot springs. Here, the sun is served as dry fry.
Despite heavenly showers 20km north at Lake Baringo where we were camped during #TourDeRift, we encountered a choking dust storm on our visit to Lake Bogoria. Maybe the sun had fast-dried the previous night’s rain, leaving the bare brown soil at the mercies of the howling wind. Standing boldly and braving the storm was this lonely tree, resilient and unshaken, having survived countless dust storms before.
It was the first time I was in a dust storm. Unlike the tree, I quickly retaliated into the protection of our Landrover Defender which lived up to its name.
Lake Nakuru is a great place to watch wildlife. From lions to buffaloes, flamingoes to giraffe, Lake Nakuru has it all. The lions can be elusive though, just like in my trip there in April 2012.
The birds on the other hand aren’t shy. I spotted so many, most of which I don’t know by name. I need to learn their names, and soon.
A good spotting was this egret which I got to snap as it took off from the shores of Lake Nakuru.
I took a break from normal work last week and accompanied Team Inflatables on a cycling expedition that took them from Nairobi to Iten via Naivasha, Nakuru and Baringo. I was providing support and taking photos, not cycling.
While in Naivasha, I got to photograph this Kingfisher doing what it does best, and it got me super excited. I ended up taking many more photos of birds of the Rift Valley which I’ll share in another post later this week.
Enjoy this one while the others are cooking.
The annual Groove Awards hold a special place in my heart for three reasons.
Firstly, no other event held in Kenya has such a professional level of organisation and coordination – hands down. This I believe is because of the prayerful team at Mo Sound. Guys, I can’t wait for Groove to go Africa-wide!
Secondly, while taking photos at the 2009 Groove Awards, a special anointing – I believe from the Holy Spirit – came upon me and I haven’t shot the same ever since. Shooting at Groove for me is like a return to where serious concert photography started for me. A time to reflect at how far God has brought me and meditate on the territories yet to be conquered.
Thirdly, while shooting the 2010 edition for KWELi, we shot and uploaded photos to the Facebook page as the awards went on – this had never been done before! We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and the result of great team work.
As we look forward to this year’s ceremony, here’s five of my favourite Groove Awards shots.
I finally got a taste of rugby action last Saturday – at the wrong venue. Alan Hicks told me Nondies were playing Strath at Impala and in my absent mindedness, I rocked into RFUEA instead.
From the sidelines, I got to watch a great game amidst colourful grammar from a section of the spectators. As a referee, you need to be made of a special kind of metal for all those insults to be hurled at you and just ignore them. Or, maybe the guy was wearing ear plugs.
Anyway, Quins carried the day and here’s some of the photos I took.
I recall making rally cars out of wire hangers and used metal tins with my brother. We dreamt of entering the Safari Rally in our dad’s Datsun 120Y. As part of early preparation, we’d take our hand-made toy cars and race each other within Doonholm estate, and during school holidays, compete against other boys in rallies run in what are today Tena, Greenfields, Sunrise and Savannah Estates. The first boy on the finish ramp had to stand on his car like we saw on TV, and shower in a cold Coca Cola that was intended to assist in swallowing the marble cake won. The rest of us settled for tropicals, patcos, KSLs and, if budget allowed, Big Gs. The whole operation was funded through the five shillings we paid for entry – a hefty amount at the time.
Every Easter, without fail, we would gather at the Outer Ring and Jogoo Roads junction to wave rally cars by as they headed to Central Kenya. Patrick Njiru drew the biggest cheers. He once – I’m told – slowed down and threw sweets at the crowd. I believe he was time barred in that rally. When my brother and I performed well in school, dad would take us not too far from town to watch the rally cars zoom by. On the way home, we’d entertain him with rally car sounds and ask him to drive fast, like the rally cars. If you ever saw a white 120Y coughing and wheezing down Jogoo Road with two boys cheering like crazy from the back seat – that was us! At home, we would keep glued to the radio to listen to the results from the check points as broadcast by VoK and made sure the tallies we made in the newspaper pull-outs were up-to-date and correct.
The first photo below was the first good photo I ever took of anything. This was in August 2006. I treasure it as I treasure memories of me, my brother and our dad enjoying the Safari Rally.
I hope to rekindle my love for the rally and indulge my son in the battle of man and machine against the elements. And maybe, finally take part in a rally with my brother. We’ve practiced enough.