on the road

Driving on the A23

Driving on the A23

After handling an assignment in Arusha recently, I needed to join friends from ARK in Tiwi, about 15km south of Mombasa. I chose the quickest route which took me past Moshi, back into Kenya via Taveta, then Voi, Mombasa and finally on Tiwi’s white beaches.

The Taveta – Voi highway is currently under construction but most of it remains not a road really, but a stretch of reddish-brown earth devoid of vegetation. Known as the A23, it is avoided by most motorists due to its state, making it quite lonely to drive on. In fact, I met only four other cars on the 100km stretch that had me swerving from one side of the road to the other at will, depending on which was smoother.

My highlight of the journey was driving through the vast Tsavo West National Park. It is quite a beauty. Apart from the breathtaking landscapes, God indulged me in spotting several animals including a family of elephants!

Canon 7D. 24mm (EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM) 1/500sec at f/5.6, ISO 100

Canon 7D. 160mm (EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/500sec at f/5.6, ISO 200

Canon 7D. 24mm (EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM) 1/640sec at f/5.6, ISO 200

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

Canon 7D. 235mm (EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/800sec at f/5.6, ISO 500

Canon 7D. 190mm (EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/800sec at f/5.6, ISO 500

Canon 7D. 250mm (EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/1000sec at f/5.6, ISO 500

Canon 60D. 17mm (EF 17-40mm f/4L USM) 1/1600sec at f/6.3, ISO 100

#ShootingKenya Thika

#ShootingKenya Thika

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.

Canon 7D. 25mm (EF 17-40mm f/4.L USM) 1/4sec at f/22, ISO 100

Canon 7D. 285mm (EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/350sec at f/5.6, ISO 500

Canon 7D. 17mm (EF 17-40mm f/4L USM) 1/6sec at f/22, ISO 100

Canon 7D. 45mm (EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM) 1/125sec at f/4.0, ISO 100

Canon 7D. 17mm (Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8) 0.5sec at f/22, ISO 100

Shooting_Kenya_Thika-9

Shooting with the Nokia 808 PureView

Mini vs Mini.

Shooting with the Nokia 808 PureView

At 41-megapixels, the Nokia 808 PureView has a pixel count that leaves even pro D-SLRs in the dust. Here’s a quick intro to the phone.

Basically, the 41-megapixels are useful when zooming into your subject. With the 808 PureView, there is virtually no loss in photo detail when you zoom in.

When Nokia asked me to test drive it, I wasn’t excited, mostly because image processors are more important than pixel count when shopping for a good camera. It was a while before I un-boxed and started using it. I first took these two shots at a place I spend most of my awake hours. They are inspired by Allan Gichigi who will be making a short film using the 808 PureView.

Mini vs Mini.

Mini vs Mini.

Mini vs Mini.

Mini vs Mini.

The 808 PureView’s macro abilities are good. It gives good bokeh all the time.

On a #ShootingKenya trip to Thego in Central Kenya, I used the 808 PureView to shoot river Thego and my drying shoes after an unexpected swim.

Thego River.

Thego River.

Boot drying time.

This was the first video I shot. It isn’t edited at all but uploaded as shot by the 808 PureView. The sliding tutorial is by Joe Were and he offered it in Nyeri when we were shooting Kagumo Falls.

On another #ShootingKenya trip, this time to Magadi via Ngong, I used the 808 PureView as my main camera. I had shot with it several times between the two trips and now knew its capabilities and limitations.

Ngong Hills Wind Farm.

Ngong Onions.

Bicycle.

Olepolos Fence.

After returning from Magadi, I went for a jog in Karura Forest. It was my first time here and needed to take memories with me. Great thing about having the 808 PureView is I didn’t have to slug my D-SLR across my shoulders to take photos as I kept fit.

Karura Forest moss.

I did not carry my tripod for the jog either so for the next shots, I had to place the 808 PureView on stones to avoid shake at the slow shutter speeds.

Karura River.

Karura Falls.

Finally, I was invited to cover an event at the National Museum and decided to carry my 808 PureView along. Having it challenged me to shoot interesting things at the venue that weren’t in my client’s brief.

Nokia_PureView_NationalMuseum_MwangiKirubi-1

Sunset at the National Museum.

Nokia_PureView_NationalMuseum_MwangiKirubi-2

No need for a caption here.

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Glass sculpture at National Museum.

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Cocktails.

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Cocktails in colour.

I was impressed by its performance in low light conditions. My verdict: the Nokia 808 PureView has a great camera. And just like any camera, once you know how to use it, you will be taking very good shots with it.

#ShootingKenya Nyeri

Canon 60D. 70mm, 1/2500sec at f/3.2, ISO 100

#ShootingKenya Nyeri

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.

Canon 7D. 17mm, 0.5sec at f/10, ISO 100

Canon 7D. 17mm, 0.5sec at f/10, ISO 100

Canon 60D. 145mm, 1/8000sec at f/4.0, ISO 100

Canon 60D. 145mm, 1/8000sec at f/4.0, ISO 100

Canon 60D. 200mm, 1/3200sec at f/3.2, ISO 100

Canon 60D. 200mm, 1/3200sec at f/3.2, ISO 100

Canon 60D. 70mm, 1/2500sec at f/3.2, ISO 100

Canon 60D. 70mm, 1/2500sec at f/3.2, ISO 100

mission katsangani 2011

mission katsangani 2011

You won’t find it on Google Maps, so here goes:

Drive 80km north of Malindi to a trading centre called Mwenda Pole. Board a boda boda and after about 20 minutes, you’ll be in the heart of Katsangani, an island in the Tana Delta.

I was here in 2010 to spread the Gospel with the Discovery Africa team from Mavuno Church and didn’t pass on the opportunity to do the same this year.

A mute spoke, a deaf person heard – these were the great miracles we experienced during the mission.

And every evening, Katsangani witnesses one of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever treat your eyes to.

Canon 7D. 105mm (24-105mm f/4L IS USM) 1/500sec at f/20, ISO 160

wrong way down

wrong way down

The more random a plot is, the better it is.

Monday: the plot is hatched to go to South Coast via Amboseli and Tsavo.

Tuesday: we meet at Westgate and shop for supplies at Nakumatt.

Wednesday: we hit the road.

Amboseli is teeming with wildlife. Especially elephants.

Tsavo is huge. So huge we saw very few animals.

Tiwi is the undiscovered holiday destination in South Coast.

Canon 40D. 390mm (100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/600sec at f/5.6, ISO 200.

Canon 40D. 320mm (100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/125sec at f/5.6, ISO 800.

Canon 40D. 400mm (100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/250sec at f/5.6, ISO 200.

Canon 40D. 400mm (100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/100sec at f/5.6, ISO 1600.

masai mara

masai mara

The last and first time I was here was in 2004.

This time, we got to organise the trip ourselves, making it more enjoyable. Being able to plan your itinerary especially when you love taking photos is paramount.

Don’t think I’ll ever go for one of those group camping trips again.

Canon 350D. 17mm (17-40mm f/4L USM) 1/800sec at f/7.1, ISO 800.

Canon 350D. 190mm (100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) 1/100sec at f/5.0, ISO 200.

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