landscape

The Box set

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One thing I become slightly obsessed with from time to time is the power and impact of sets of images  Mundane objects that if individually photographed and presented as a lone image may have no impact - when shown as a set however the objects may take on a sense of importance and relevance in relation to the others in the group.  The recent post "Boys Toys" is another example of this.

For example: Take a single picture of a teacup or a kettle and it's probably just a dull image of a teacup or a kettle - take a set of pictures of teacups whilst traveling around Kenya though and you might show something more than just a set of cups - it might display poverty or a sense of pride, it might show fashion, it might be a reflection of taste or at worst it will just be an interesting bunch of images.

This set came from the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides.  I loved the way there were bright red post boxes located in what seemed like the remotest of locations - all obviously situated carefully to most effectively serve the local community.  But in an area where there are so few houses there is frequently no central village location in which to place the box so they end up in beautiful remote locations seemingly miles from the nearest croft.  Driving around the island we came across many of these and it soon became an obsession to photograph each one that was passed.

Shot on Iphone using the Hipstamatic app.

Shooting the falls

I very recently returned from a 3 week commissioned shoot in Africa during which I visited Mozambique, Rwanda and Zambia.  Each country was memorable for different reasons; Rwanda for the legacy of the 1994 Genocide, Mozambique for being the first Portuguese speaking African country I've visited and Zambia for the truly magnificent Victoria Falls.

I was very fortunate that we ended up in Livingstone for the last couple of days of the trip and had the opportunity to visit the falls at the peak flow of the flood season, sometimes work and play can come together and give these great opportunities.

Driving through Livingstone you are almost constantly reminded that the falls are nearby - a large cloud permanently sits over the falls and can be seen from miles away. The local name of Mosi-oa-Tunya is very apt meaning "the smoke that thunders".

Photographing the falls well is not really something to be done in an afternoon - I guess proper landscape photographers would take weeks to scout the area and work out the best time to be where.  I was limited to a rushed visit of about an hour and knew nothing of the landscape of the falls and surrounding area so it was a bit of a lucky dip to be honest.

In truth getting a good view of the falls from the ground is difficult with the water levels as high as they were as there is an unbelievable amount of spray that's carried high into the sky and obscures the view.  Visitors wandering along the numerous paths run the constant risk of being soaked by torrential downpours as waves of spray fall back down to earth - one second you are fine and the next it's like being hit by a fire hose.  Again not conducive to having a camera in your hand.  Nonetheless I did manage to grab a few shots between being soaked by spray and then run off the path by a large male baboon whose territory I was obviously encroaching - the following are from the falls, the riverside and the small Mosi-oa-Tunya National park.

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Livingstone-1
Spray rising up from the boiling pot below
Spray rising up from the boiling pot below
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Zambia © Toby Adamson / Oxfam America
Zambia © Toby Adamson / Oxfam America
Zambia © Toby Adamson / Oxfam America
Zambia © Toby Adamson / Oxfam America
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Livingstone-9
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