Kenya 2010 / by Dawn Webb

I had only been an Army Photographer for a few weeks after I volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan, I thought this would be the best way for me to learn my trade and work right at the frontline.  Working in Afghanistan taught me more about the backend of photography, the taking pictures was the easy part however the supply of timely images to international news agencies and making sure file info was accurate was a steep learning curve.  Making images of relevance was important too.


Anyway once I got home and settled back in the UK I was offered a last minute trip to Kenya.
My brain went into overload....
I, yes me was going to Kenya as a working Photographer and getting paid to do it!!!!  Amongst the normal mundane hometown stories that were the obligatory purpose for any news team to collate, there were bound to be trips through local towns seeing local people.  Making sure I never had to drive I positioned myself in the back of the 4x4 with camera always primed.

It was late in the afternoon and we had encountered the normal "Giraffe or Elephant trying to cross the road" type of obstruction when we had stumbled across a wadi (dried up river bed).

This wadi was clearly a choke point for all vehicles, it was rutted and rock laden with fallen trees amongst other house sized obstacles.

We had barely entered the forward slope on the approach as several guys appeared from nowhere asking us for water/cigarettes/batteries and food.  They were clearly waiting in ambush - who knows they probably placed half of the obstacles blocking our way.

I was working with a fellow cameraman, Kev Capon - years of experience and to some an "Elephant", who got out of the 4x4 and immediately took control of the situation in only the way Kev can!  The first thing I remember him doing was shaking the hands of our new visitors, each in turn crushing their weak little hands ( Kev was insanely strong for an old git) - this immediately broke the ice and created an air of humanity between us all.  So whilst Kev was crushing bones, I thought I would grab a few portraits - the light that day was so nice, sublime quality.  The men were clearly malnurished and underweight with facial structures any portrait photographer would wish for - cheek bones pronounced, deep set bright white eyes, skin aged and leather like with a shiny almost polished appearance.

Here are the only 4 images I took.