Photographing ‘Catching Nothing, Capturing the Heavens‘
On Susuni Mountain, Wanchari clan, near Tarime, Tanzania, 2018.
We were about 1° South of the Equator, and a few miles away from the Kenyan border. It had been long day, a lot had been done within a very small window of time, but there were just a few more photographs..
When the sun goes down, we knew, that would effectively be the end of the day for photographing on Susuni Mountain. Not only because it was a sacred site, with a different set of spiritual protocols kicking in at sunset, but also because the light would be different, and the photographs I envisioned making would no longer be possible. Unless we came back the next day–which was not an option.
Rachel Malde and I worked rapidly, making sixteen (8×10) large format exposures in less than two hours. Meanwhile, Sarah Mwaga and her son, Richard, shepherded the Wanchari chief and our cluster of moped drivers around, shunting them out of shot or out of the way as we rushed around. Rachel moved the tripod, dragged the gear bag around, held reflectors, and in the case of the photograph of this boulder, glanced two LED portable lights off the boulder’s face, while I tried to stay connected to the place, and work quickly without hurrying.
Suddenly, we were done. We stopped, as the sun dropped, and looking past the boulder, we could not let go of the correspondence between the cupules in the foreground and the orb in space. Not a coincidence.