Category Archives: Travel

A Theroux Look at The Streets of Tanzania


“That was taken for the natural order in Africa:

frolicking children, labouring women, idle men.”

While in Tanzania I was reading a book recommended by my father called “Dark Star Safari”. It’s one of the many highly acclaimed books written by travel writer Paul Theroux. I do like the guy, he writes with a healthy dose of cynicism. He also shows no fear in the face of this “P.C. gone mad” world of ours, writing with the intent of helping the continent he once called home, as opposed to regurgitating the same old, tired-yet-safe phrases to which it, and it’s people, are so often attached.

With a broad yet vibrant brush he paints a picture of Africa that has forever stuck in my mind. “Africans, less esteemed than ever, seemed to me the most lied-to people on earth – manipulated by their governments, burned by foreign experts, befooled by charities, and cheated at every turn. To be an African leader was to be a thief, but evangelists stole people’s innocence and self-serving aid agencies gave them false hope, which seemed worse. In reply, Africans dragged their feet or tried to emigrate, they begged, they pleaded, they demanded money and gifts with a rude, weird sense of entitlement.”

Looking back to what it was like for him in Africa as a young school teacher, somewhere in Africa, I think maybe Zambia, again he paints a picture: “…living near a settlement of mud huts amongst dusty trees and parched fields: children shrieking at play; and women bent double – most with infants slung on their backs – hoeing the corn and beans; and the men sitting in the shade stupefying themselves on chibuku, the local beer, or kachasu, the local gin.”


Man being wheeled home on a recycled door after a big night on the Konyagi, advertised as the local spirit it tastes just like gin.

“That was taken for the natural order in Africa: frolicking children, labouring women, idle men.” It is this phrase which I have tried to mould my Tanzanian street photos to.















Of course, much like the nature of a street survey, it’s easy to collect data to suit a theory, rather than finding a theory to suit the data. All one has to do is highlight the evidence that supports it while ignore any evidence to the contrary. The following are some images that do not support his observation.




















Funnily enough, I still couldn’t manage to find a shot of an idle woman. Perhaps there is some truth in Theroux’s words.

These last images have no real place here but ima post them anyway.

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I’m Just Waiting For A Mate

A friend recently informed me of this ozi meme that’s apparently been circling for ages. That’s usually how I’m made privy to the happenings of the world. This shot was taken on our drive from Dar Es Salaam to Moshi, Tanzania. In case there are some as bad as me, in keeping up to date with pretty much everything, here’s a link to the original I’m referencing:


To see more posts from this trip follow this link: Tanzanian Trip 2013

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The beginning, the end and everything in between

Javier, Joe, Joseph

Javier, Joe, Joseph

We hired the infamous Prado, the one with tires made of glad wrap, for ten days. Each day I set up the tripod exactly six paces from the middle of the bumper. Focus point was set one notch lower than the centre and fixed on the Toyota emblem. The idea being to keep everything as controlled as possible to accentuate the change in surroundings, if our beard growth became more evident in the process then no harm done. ( :

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“Ten days? I see but eight!” I hear you exclaim, a little pretentiously I might add. Well my astute, make believe companion, the first day I gave the shot a miss. Being almost delirious with exhaustion from the flight (I refer you to the post I made during this period) AND having been almost arrested in the immigration office of Dar es Salaam for taking some, not so sly, documentary style photos, I couldn’t be bothered to set up the shot.

Incidentally, as a self diagnosed dyslexic, Dar es Salaam is not a fun name to fill out on a visa form, although it does lend itself to some ironically fitting word play. Not the cleanliest city in the world. I did take a shot the second day but I didn’t have the system down yet, six paces and so on, and what’s more, we had yet to pick my brother up from Mt Kilimanjaro, so it was just me and dad. It’s a nice photo but something big and scary is missing. Repetition is a cheap trick and I plan to use it.

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I have a soft spot for people with a soft spot for elephants. This animation is my gif to you.

elephant gif


Buon Natale Amici

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Magic Hour in Tanzania – Africa

joseph byford landscape photagraphy

They say there are two hours of the day that are “magic” for photographers. These include the very first hour of daylight, as the sun rises, and the very last. While I agree the last hour has its merits, the first hour is actually one where I usually feel at my least “magical”. In the words of Frank Sinatra, “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink, because when they wake up in the morning, that’s the best they gona feel for the rest of the day”.  

The following series is a collection of my favourite landscapes taken during our drive from Dar es Salaam to Speke Bay and back to Zanzibar. In conclusion, the magic hour for Tanzania is actually 7 (thats 5!+2) hours long and pretty dorm friendly, between 10:46am and 6:15pm.

I do like this place.

10 46

10:46 AM

11 02

11:02 AM

11 46

11:46 AM

12:14 PM

12:14 PM

1:06 PM

1:06 PM

1:53 PM

1:53 PM

2:02 PM

2:02 PM

2:11 PM

2:11 PM

5:42 PM

5:42 PM

6:15 PM

6:15 PM

6:42 PM

6:42 PM

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Serengeti Snaps

In Swahili a Safari is simply the word for ‘journey’, and what a journey it was. Incidentally the swahili word puncture is pumzi.

Most of these shots were taken in either the north or south Serengeti however a couple were shot in Manyara close to Karatu. The speedy monkey was taken on the Island of Zanzibar where I am now.












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In contrast to my last post, this entry is about a sever lack of air. Two punctures would be considered pretty unlucky, eight is just madness.

I had hoped it would stop at five, there’s something very satisfying about that number as a good friend of mine once taught me. Alas five was wishful thinking, the punctures kept coming and they grew old as quickly as a lingering handshake grows awkward.

At least now we are all experts at changing tyres in the middle of the Serengeti.

The following images shows chronologically, the a moment of each one of these incidences, they all occurred within a four day period.

Dar es Slaam to Moshi – One Puncture + Spare tyre discovered to be flat

Moshi to Karatu – Two Punctures

Karatu Robanda (Serengeti + Norongogo) – One Puncture

Serengeti – Two Punctures

Robanda – One Puncture

















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Head in the Clouds

Im currently racking up the hours that iv either been in the air or waiting in the airport for my turn to return to the air. I know its got to be at least 20 now, but could also be as long as 70. Who’s to know. I haven’t slept for the duration though, so this post may be a little sloppy. No time for sleep, much too excited, my little screen tells me its only one hour to go before me and dad touch down in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The three week road trip  around the country won’t officially start until tomorrow when we meet up with Javier, my brother, at Mt Kilimanjaro.


Having not touched terra firma yet I can’t make my first Tanzanian post. I have, however, sifted through some shots taken recently that fit to the sky heavy theme that’s going on out the window.

Italian for clouds, I always thought the word nebia was phonetically unfitting.  It’s too sharp, kind of tinny? Had I internet up here I’d now be stuck on youtube in a perpetual cycle of Monty Python clips.



Cloud, that’s a much better sound for the apparently voluminous yet ephemeral meteorological phenomenon. To pronounce nebia you barely have to open your jaw wide enough to take a sip from your conveniently located scotch on ice. Say cloud and, for a fraction of a second, you have enough room to sneak a marshmallow WHICH!, seeing as wer on the subject of phonetics, is pronounced marshmellos, not marshmarllows. Truth be told I have been known to pronounce the later version, but only for nostalgic reasons, or if I’m looking for a cheap thrill.


On the ground now with some net to post. With the sleep deprivation induced insanity slowly dissipating, I realise this whole post is based on my belief that nebia is italian for cloud, which it is not. Apologies, nebia means fog, nuvole is cloud. Ima post this anyway.


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Italia On 35mm Film – Day Three (sort of)

A little late but, wata u gona do?… A punto.

Train Staion, Venice

Train Staion, Venice









Villa Branca, Toscana

Villa Branca, Toscana

Villa Branca, Toscana

Villa Branca, Toscana



Villa Branca , Toscana

Villa Branca , Toscana

Ice Cream Sandwiches, Venice

Ice Cream Sandwiches, Venice

Fishmonger, Venice

Fishmonger, Venice

Vaporetto, Venice

Vaporetto, Venice

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Italia On 35mm

It’s been a while since I returned from Italy and the digital shots taken back from the trip have long since been posted and forgotten. Film takes more time, in between assignments and work Iv slowly been scanning and editing the rolls in order to give them a place in the spot light. For the next four days Il be posting 12 shots at a time in no particular order. I hope you like them.













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