Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 28/07/2011

Walk away Renee

Haller Park, originally uploaded by andyskelton-a Blog a day

…and back to Africa for today’s image.  Another departure in photographic styles; you’ll all be familiar with the up close and personal type images I take or at least try to take, so this image comes as a bit of a diversion.  Every now and then I do try and show the subject in it’s natural habitat, which when we’re talking about a zoo might not make for such a good photography, this wasn’t the case however with the cormorant.  If anything the bird’s presence in the photograph was incidental so beautiful were the surroundings, it truly was the Garden of Eden/Paradise or any other metaphor you can think of.

The ironic thing is that the area where this photograph was not always as beautiful as when we had visited it. Originally the site had been the source of raw materials used in the production of cement by the Cementia Holding, in fact the processing side of the business is still next door and employs a great number of people from the northern suburbs of Mombasa where it is based.  Haller Park, as it is now know, was a project started in the late 1950s to convert the area of wasteland that was left over from the mining carried out by the company and return it back to nature.

This was no easy task as the environmental conditions and lack of plant nutrients did not lend itself well to such activities but by careful experimentation and observation with flora and fauna over many years a lush oasis was established where locals and tourists now come to relax.  Unfortunately the day we visited was the only day we encountered any form of bad weather, dark clouds marring the skies which had previously been so devoid of any obstructions.  Whilst the low light levels didn’t not greatly enhance the vistas, the park was undeniably beautiful, great credit should be shown to the company and especially to Dr Rene Haller who’s job it was to turn the limestone wasteland into the ecological wonder it is today.

Ideally I would have liked to have a little more light, especially dappled light, to illuminate the scene but the biggest improvement to the photograph was definitely more under my control (and therefore my own fault, well until I can start controlling the weather (which is next week’s task!)) – I should have used the wide-angle lens I had taken with me for this shot rather the Sigma 150-500mm lens which even at it’s shortest focal length didn’t manage to frame that much of the view.  I suppose I could have also processed the photograph a little to enhance the lighting, colours and contrasts but as I’ve said before – I don’t use processing on any of my nature photos these days what you see is how it was (wysihiwI don’t think that acronym will catch on some how).  Oh well, so many things I should have done leads me nicely to a quote from Dr Rene Haller who said “All my successes are based upon my failures” as are all my photographic failures (luckily there are less of them than successes these days.. well I think so!)


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