Rwanda is a small, land-locked and mountainous country in east-central Africa with wonderful landscapes and a fascinating culture. Emerging from a troubled past, the country has enjoyed marked progress against many development indicators and is an increasingly popular travel destination.
This set of photographs provides a first look at the destination. They are from a number of work trips, where I have taken time out to go exploring with my camera, and they include a range of landscapes, candid and posed portraits.
The first city of Rwanda, Kigali, is these days a relatively easy going African capital. Being perched on a series of ridges at over 1,500m (5,000ft) in altitude also takes the edge of the equator hugging location. This article by Kit Buchan shares a little more on the what makes the place tick.
While rapidly expanding, the city has a relativity low-rise profile outside a small downtown and retains ornamental and cultivated green space. The city is also centrally located for venturing to other places of interest in the country.
Hillside Villages and Terraces, Western Rwanda. ISO 100, 55mm, f /7.1, 1/160 sec, E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS, Sony Nex-7
Hillside Settlement, Kigali. ISO 100, 52mm, f /8.0, 1/320 sec, E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS, Sony Nex-7
Kigali Centre. ISO200, 55mm, f /14, 1/125 sec, E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS, Sony Nex-7
Kigali View. ISO 100, 18mm, f /6.3, 1/160 sec, E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS, Sony Nex-7
Terraced Field & Workers, Musanze, Rwanda. ISO 100, 18mm, f /14, 1/100 sec, E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS, Sony Nex-7
By chance, I followed the noise of some loud drumming coming from downstairs at the place I was staying and came across this fantastic performance of Rwandan dancers and musicians. Thankfully, I had picked up my camera on the way.
The low light setting for the candid shots of dancers required boosting the ISO settings of the camera from 400 to 800 and up to 1600, which risked a lot of noise in the images. However, the performance of modern censors has kept the problem to a minimum.
These shots are from the old royal palace and museum in Nyanza, the former capital of the Kingdom of Rwanda. An interesting stop, and not least down to the herd of velvet-skinned traditional longhorn 'Inyambo' cattle and their whistling herdsman.
This shaded situation was an opportunity to use a fast prime portrait lens, which hadn't seen much light of day on this trip, allowing emphasis on the subject by defocusing the background and still permitting a low ISO setting. See more from the Rwanda on 500px.
Red Dancer, Kigali. ISO 800, 40mm, f /5.6, 1/160 sec, E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS, Sony Nex-7
Male Dancers, Kigali. ISO 400, 55, f 5.6, 1/60 sec, E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS, Sony Nex-7
Female Dancers, Kigali. ISO 1600, 36, f 4.5, 1/160 sec, E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS, Sony Nex-7
Inyambo Cattle Herder. ISO 125, 50mm, f /7.1, 1/80 sec, E 50mm F1.8 OSS, Sony Nex-7
Cattle Herder. ISO 125,50mm, f /7.1, 1/80 sec, E 50mm F1.8 OSS, Sony Nex-7
Cattle Herder. ISO 125, E 50mm F1.8 OSS, f /7.1, 1/80 sec
Longhorn Cattle. ISO 100, E 50mm F1.8 OSS, f /4.5, 1/30 sec