Taking photos in Africa

On the river below St.John's Falls 1975.

After completing studies at the Tropical Agricultural College in Deventer and eighteen months conscription in the army, I spent six years in Nigeria and Liberia.

I was mainly confined to my workplace – a number of rubber plantations scattered in the South of Nigeria and one in Liberia. It made for one of the more interesting times in my life. Taking photos in Africa was challenging sometimes in as much that is was difficult to obtain materials and to protect your gear from the ever present very high humidity.

My camera was always with me and as a result I have an impressive number of pictures of life on and around the plantations. This photo was taken by a third party, of me – the nervous chappy in the middle – in a dugout canoe hanging on tightly to a small fortune in camera gear. Photo paper and chemicals had to bought while on leave in Europe and the bathroom had to double up as a darkroom. Any camera gear was stored in bottles on top of the fridge where it was driest above the radiator. This to stop fungus growing between the lenses. It wasn’t always that simple.

The first picture in the sliding gallery is the one I took from that same canoe, of the St.John Falls in Liberia.

all pictures copyright © to ACW ten Broek

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