Three dhows at sundown on Lamu

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You, the very lovely people who have been following my blog for a while, will have seen this image before – possibly more than once. But I’m sure you won’t mind seeing it again. Even if I say so myself, it is a blissful scene,  and a chance capture in the Manda Strait on Boxing Day too long ago.
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Black & White Sunday

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Today Paula’s guest blogger over at Lost in Translation is Debbie Smyth who many will know from her own blog Travel with Intent. Today she is setting us the challenge to ‘let the shapes shine through’. This is what she says:

 

For me the most important point about monochrome is that by removing the distraction of colour, the photographer is able to direct the viewer to the key elements of the image.  Going monochrome is one of several tools we have as a photographer that allows us to provide focus.

The composition of my own photo is perhaps a little ‘busy’ in this B & W version (it could have done without the pole), but I like the play of light on the dhow sails, the clouds, and Lali’s straw hat. It was taken in Manda Strait, in Kenya’s Lamu archipelago.

For the story behind the photo, please go HERE. But now here are more versions. The second one down is a ‘red filter’ edit, followed by sepia. Let me know what you think.

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Dhow Dreaming ~ Lamu Angles

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One Christmas, long ago, we went to Lamu, one of Kenya’s Indian Ocean islands. Our trip there was as peaceful as this image suggests, although the nearby mainland has long been preyed on by gangs of Somali Shifta. This then is an idyll with hidden angles, some of them tragic. But for now, please enjoy these Lamu dhows with their triangular lateen sails in this gentle display of synchronised sailing along the Manda Strait.

You could say that Swahili culture was born of the monsoon winds, from the human drive to trade and of prevailing weather. For two thousand years Arab merchants plied East Africa’s Indian Ocean shores, from Mogadishu (Somalia) to the mouth of the Limpopo River (Mozambique), arriving with the north easterly Kaskazi, departing on the south easterly Kusi. They came in great wooden cargo dhows, bringing dates, frankincense, wheat, dried fish, Persian chests, rugs, silks and jewels which they traded with Bantu farmers in exchange for the treasures of Africa: ivory, leopard skins, rhinoceros horn, ambergris, tortoise shell, mangrove poles and gold.

 copyright 2014 Tish Farrell Culture: The Swahili

See also: Christmas on Lamu: Views of a Swahili Community

Daily Post Photo Challenge: Angular

Dhows in Dubai ~ Living Relics

 

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There have been dhows sailing out of the Persian Gulf for India and East Africa for a thousand years and more, following the gyre of monsoon winds. Dates, jewels, fine carpets and chests went one way; ivory, gold, leopard skins and slaves came the other.

These days in Dubai Creek you are more likely to see cargos of Coca Cola, white goods and Japanese cars being loaded on deck. But for all that, and yet among the ever sprouting  high rises, there is still a drift of Arabian Nights’ romance, and more than a hint of Sinbad’s voyaging.

Related posts:

Zanzibar: time’s twists and turns

Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture (The Swahili)

Inside looking out on Lamu Island

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