Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm glad the Sony A77 has dust seals

It was about a two hour drive to the south of Malawi. The main road wasn't too bad but the village we were going to was off the main road. The dirt road was a dream for those who like to go off roading, or ride the trails with their mountain bike. It was 38 degrees in the shade, but there wasn't much. The dust was crazy.

I was glad I bought that Pelican case from Daymen. I've said it before but I'll repeat it here, the Pelican 1510 is the best carry-on you can get. Water proof and most importantly... dustproof. You can lock it, put all you're gear in it and roll it along.

We were heading to the village to check on a program for orphans. There are a large number in Malawi and each village has their share.

The real young kids were in a daycare building. Just one room, open windows and a thatch roof. There was no power in the town. Only a couple of these young ones are orphans but for a small town there sure were alot of kids. The parents are working the fields or watching that the birds don't get the rice seeds that were just planted.
Even though it was sizzling out the teacher took the kids for a jog around the village. I guess he likes to send them home exhausted so they can nap during the real heat of the day. I was surprised how far he took them and a single cup of water was the reward when they returned.

I shot with three cameras during the day, the Sony A77 prototype I have was the gear I used most. It has a 16-50mm pre-production lens on it. This is Sony's first dust-proof lens, and the A77 also has the weather seals expected on pro-level gear. I didn't change the lens all day, why get dust on the sensor when it's so hard to clean on the road.

I traveled with the team to different homes in the village. About 3000-4000 people live here and survive as subsistence farmers. There are no jobs in the town except for a couple of teachers and a pastor. A few of the houses had bikes and I found this nice shot in the shade..... again with the Sony A77 and 16-50mm.

When the sun is glaring down, I try and work the shade as much as I can. This young girl is in the doorway of her mud brick house while her cousin peaks out from the back. Working the shade keeps the contrast in check, plus why have people standing in the sun longer than needed. I was invited into the house to take a look. Two rooms in a building about the size of a backyard shed where I'm from. Bamboo mats to sleep on, one stool and some cooking kit was all they owned. A mother lives here with three children. I tried to make a photo but even though it was midday, it was just too dark inside.

When we had finished the tour of the orphans we sat down in the now empty daycare room for a meal on the floor. These women cooked for us but I'm not sure what we had. I know rice was part of it and also Nsima, which is maize flour mixed with water and boiled till it feels like Playdough. You can see them dishing it out for the kids in this shot.

Rob Skeoch
My retail store for traditional photo supplies is
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