|The Photos Cynthia Abatt|
|Mark Sandman||Wulingyuan National Park||African Wildlife||The People of Wulingyuan|
|Farmer's Markets||S.T. Hospice||Musicians||Nature|
|Kakamega, Kenya||New England||Portraits||A Kenyan Funeral|
|George||The Serengeti, The Maasai||Cape Cod and The Islands||Archives|
This is part of a collection of photographs taken over the last several decades. With any exceptions noted as "photo art". none of these photographs were digitally enhanced beyond what could easily be done in an old fashioned darkroom. The majority of these photos were taken with either a Nikon F or F2 with Nikkor lenses, motor drives and Agfa film - while it was still being manufactured. A few were taken with a Panasonic Lumix digital camera. All are digitally signed using Digimarc.
Use of these images is restricted to those who have received permission from the owner. All of the photos are available for purchase either as rights to use or as custom made prints. Please feel free to inquire if you would like more information.
|Cynthia Abatt is a Cambridge, MA based photographer and owner of Abatt Design, which specializes in candid portraiture and image-based web design. She is also a Master's Degree candidate in the Public Affairs / International Relations program at the University of Massachusetts' McCormack School of Public Policy. Abatt says: "It's my goal to combine my photography and technology skills with a concrete academic background in international relations and use this to promote thoughtful and sensitive international development projects. I would like to be able to both chronicle people's lives on film and help them build solid foundations to go forward from." She is also the proud mother of son George, a third year student in Northeastern University's Civil Engineering program.|
|The late Mark Sandman (1950 - 1999) was an extraordinarily gifted musician and a Cambridge, MA rock and roll institution. Inventor of the low rock genre, he first led the band Sandman in the early 1980's (when I met him...) and later reached regional success with the band Treat Her Right. Sandman reached international success fronting his band Morphine and playing his self-designed tri-tar to create Morphine's signature low rock sound.
To listen to the quintessential Morphine, try the cd's Cure For Pain or Like Swimming.
Mark Sandman died suddenly, on tour in Italy, in 1999. These photos were taken at Morphine's last US appearance on June 6th, 1999 at the Central Square World's Fair in Cambridge, MA.
Some of these photos of Mark are available as 11 x 17 posters; this entire group of photos is available for display, as a tribute to Mark; it is a 12 piece show of framed and archivally matted "C" prints from sizes 11 x 17 to 20 x 24. To order a poster or inquire about the photo show, email Cynthia Abatt. For more about Mark Sandman, see Joe Harvard's history of Boston Rock 'n Roll at The Boston Rock Storybook. An article about Mark and his music by fan and friend Matt Ashare is in the Boston Phoenix archives.
|Wulingyuan National Park in Zhangjiajie, China (29° 29´ 15. 50 N x 111° 13´ 44.34 E)|
|is a UNESCO registered national park of about 100 square miles in size, located about 800 miles south/southwest of Beijing. It is famous for its spectacular quartzite sandstone karst formations, some of which are over 2500 ft. tall. Underneath the rolling hills leading up to the karst pillars is the network known as the Yellow Dragon Caves. From the encyclopedia of earth, about the heritage of Wulingyuan - "Unlike many other areas of China, the site does not have a long human history. In ancient times it was regarded as remote and inaccessible. Local legends indicate that Zhangliang, a lord in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), lived in seclusion in Wulingyuan and was buried below Qingyan (now Zhangjiajie) Mountain. Some references to the beauty of the area are made by Liuzhongyuan, a famous Chinese writer of the Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD). From the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) onwards, the area is mentioned more regularly in official records and in other literature, although most of these refer to the wild nature of the region and the small size of the local population." When the rain rolls in over the peaks of Wulingyuan, giving them the otherworldly look you see in some of the photos, the locals call this Heaven.|
|These photographs of African Wildlife were taken at the Masai Mara, a wildlife preserve on the Kenya / Tanzania border. With all of its natural beauty, one might think that Africa is an easy place to get great photographs. One the contrary, it's just a little tricky. On the equator, which runs almost directly through the Mara, the sun shoots up into the sky in the morning, stays at a noontime-like position for most of the day, then drops like a rock in the evening. All day long the sun is directly overhead, producing the least favorible kind of conditions for taking photographs.|
|The people and the community of Wulingyuan in Zhanjiajie, China|
|The town of Wulingyuan s a pastorally beautiful community bordering the Wulingyuan National Park in Zhangjiajie, China. Activities are often centered around the river where people swim, play and wash food in preparation for the evening's meal at the outdoor barbeque on the outdoor pavilion. The economy is largely supported by tourism, mainly from the Yellow Dragon Caves and the Wulingyuan Scenic and Historical Interest area. To stay comfortably here, book a room at the Pipaxi Hotel. Reviews available at Trip Advisor|
|Farmer's Markets around the world always seem to have the finest and freshest food a region has to offer. In Seattle it's the fabulous Morel mushrooms and spiny rock lobster, in Zhangjiajie it's the many kinds of dried fish. Farmer's Markets are always the most fun places to go to get an insight into local culture. At the Wulingyuan National Park in China, the snack vendors offered corn on the cob, fruits, vegetables and bottled water. Not a potato chip, candy bar, ice cream or soda in sight. On the flight from Beijing to Zhangjiajie, the boxed snack was cucumber slices, a roll and fruit. Although the rural Chinese people have no government sponsored health care, they appeared to be healthier (save for dental care, perhaps) and were considerably thinner than the "average" American.|
|S. T. Hospice, on the outskirts of Beijing, is the Chinese equivalent of a private nursing home. It's a rare commodity and exclusively for those families who can afford to have their elders cared for; China has no government subsidy for health or nursing home-type care. The dedicated and largely volunteer staff of S.T. Hospice (which does not stand for "Saint") care for about 300 people at any one time, often with an infant or toddler or two in the mix. For most of the residents this is their final home; this nursing home doesn’t serve as a rehab facility. If you look way in the upper right hand corner of the photo of the building, you can see the red heart with the S.T. logo on it.|
|Musicians are a favorite photographic subject of Ms. Abatt's. "I just love the combination of music and photography; it seems to me that they are a natural match " she says."To capture the musician at the height of their enjoyment of their own performance is just a thrill". Coming soon are more portraits of musicians in the archives, including vintage KISS, Gino Vannelli, Diana Ross and Jean Luc Ponty.|
|A hard scrabble town of about 50,000, Kakamega in western Kenya (0° 16´ 57.97° N x 34° 45´ 04.53° E ) typifies life in rural Africa. Life is hard; even the youngest family members carry more than their share of the seemingly endless amount of manual labor needed to keep things moving along. Near the spacious and beautiful Rift Valley, this region is home to the Luhya tribe of Kenya. Kakamega is also home to the only tropical rainforest left in Kenya, the Kakamega Forest National Reserve
The portraits in this section are mostly of children whose care and comfort is provided for by the Kakamega Orphans Care Centre, Dorothy Selebwa, Director.
The Ileho Community Centre for Social Services (ICCSS), Pastor Oscar Siema Mmbali, Director, is an innovative rural non-profit providing care and counseling to those who are victims of violence as well as working to meet the many diverse needs of the community and working with youth at risk for AIDS. Pastor Mmbali is a young man of outstanding vision working in the most difficult of conditions; read his insightful thoughts on AIDS in Kenya (pdf) .
|A Kenyan Funeral:|
|When Ms. Abatt approached the family of the deceased to ask for permission to photograph this funeral, she was expecting to be politely refused. Instead the family was welcoming and grateful, telling her that they were glad for the opportunity to have their loved one remembered in photographs. In these photos you will see the custom of placing the coffin (usually hand made) on the deceased's bed. Some folklore has it that this represents the transition from the earthly resting place to their new, heavenly resting place. The deceased here is survived by his mother (in photo wearing white head covering......), his father (in a navy blue suit, being escorted ...), his wife and his children. AIDS still takes the lives of thousands of people in Kenya every year, mostly young men in their prime working years. AIDS leaves more orphans than we can imagine every year in Kenya. Please consider making a donation to The Ileho Community Centre for Social Services. Your entire contribution is passed along to the project.|
|The Serengeti, The Maasai:|
|These photos were taken in a Maasai village in the Massai Mara in Kenya. The Mara is an extension of the Serengheti and a game preserve. The Maasai traditionally wear red; folklore has it that this is so they can easily be seen in the desert. The Maasai are the cattle hearders of the region. Tradition also has it that the Maasai men have jumping contests (pictured here) as a show of manhood and strength.|
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