Friday, October 24

Uganda: Highway Takeaway

In the 14th century
“To advertise”…
Meant to reflect or think- 
Upon something.

Now there’s reality
And advertising’s
Of it.

But on a Sunday morning along the road to Mbarrara, Uganda, this advertising once again made me think upon the tradition versus modernism of this couple as a Highway Takeaway….

Last August 19th, my Canon 7D was a time machine as I cranked the 17-85mm zoom wide to imagine this moment coated in the ancient palette of Kodachrome II slide film - the brand that ruled  from the 1940s through the 60s.

Anyone remember how it rendered stark, narrow-range color, through a grainy veil? Yeah… So, after tweaking the dynamic range in PS4 I poured K-II all over this image with Alien Skin’s magical Exposure 6 to return to the faded-memory hues of the early part of the last century - the place where Uganda’s hopes seem stuck.

Or wait… maybe that is a time before chrome at all?

Thursday, October 9

Uganda: Sleeping Baby

Silent Dog, Still Leaves

Along this path 
Men and beasts
Come and go
Like shadows among
Whispering things that
Lurk in the night.

"Be on your guard against a silent dog and still leaves." - Latin proverb

I flew then bussed a total of 8,000 miles to find this path by Lake Mburo in Uganda. Moments later, safe in an Arcadia cottage as the light died, a hippo growled from that hole in the darkness.

Alone, my Canon 7D captured this moment hand-held at an ISO of 1250 - f5 at around 7:45 in the evening (sun sets at the equator at about 6:30pm) through my 17-85 Canon at 35mm.Lightly post processed in PS4. The moment was mystical, even the monkeys whispered. 

Monday, October 6

Uganda: Safari - Uno

Remorse ain't guilt, y'know what I mean? Read Ugandan history and your head hurts. It's an angry geyser of horror. Recently international authorities report torture and extrajudicial killings remain a pervasive Ugandan problem. Its people are breeding themselves out of space. Yesterday they reported an extremely virulent strain of ebola's struck down a hospital worker in Kampala, the largest city (where we spent four nights). And here we were, eleven european faces visiting a four star lodge high over Lake George in the Queen Elizabeth Game Park on Safari on a plain in the southwestern mountains.

The place isn't shabby… 

They have a menu of safaris, we chose one from the lion column and checked a box next to a water trip. See there in the bottom pano above… Right below the lip in the center behind the curvy railing? Down there are the docks where we boarded the African Queen to ply Lake George for a cruise to the right along the far bank. But more on that later. Safaris are done in the early morning and late evening when the nocturnal animals are still awake or awakening. We went lion-ing in the AM, hence the blue shift in the guy up above. Does my squirming conscience peek through these words? 

BTW, safari sounds so… so… 19th century romantic, eh? An adventure into the jungle and bush. Hiking miles with bearers lugging supplies dangling from bamboo poles. Pitching tents. Lying awake, guns in hand, eyes darting through the darkness to spot what rustling or growling so nearby. Well, that ain't it kid. 

Nope, we bundle into Land Rovers, drive off road with the heaters on against the chill, windows up against the spitting rain, and a tracker with a directional radio aims us toward beasts with transmitters dangling from their collars. Very Eight Flags or Disneyland. And that's what Bwana Ted did. Every one of these pix was captured through the car's rain spattered window. So much for buying the best optical lenses available, eh?

Hey, if they can pretend that safaris are great adventures, why can't I pretend that my pictures are…. well in this here hall? Huh? Huh? 

So soon I'm going to post some pix. A handful. You all  know that we can capture thousands of images in a day. I did. Who can manage all of that? Who cares to see all of them? Who wants to watch granddad's slide show from his summer vacation? Yawn. Sooooo…. I shall pluck out maybe a baker's half dozen or so of lions lying, and elephants menacing, and … 

But before I do that, let me show you the one animal that truly terrified me… These guys tried to climb inside with us. Worked to yank open windows. With dagger teeth and razor claws these omnivorous seventy pound acrobats are methodical killers. And they hunt in troops. More than snakes, panthers, or apes, it was baboons that made me glad we weren't huddled into skimpy tents, in the night, clutching guns…