Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire River, lagune ebne, Ivory Coast, photo of Abidjan

Photo of the Week: Abidjan Waterway

After the many bumpy roads in West Africa, the trip to the Abidjan- after visiting the stilt dancers in Man, Cote d’Ivoire – was like riding around on a pillow.  I had been joking around for quite a while that the capital of Cote d’Ivoire was going to be my reprieve from West Africa.  The bus ride from Man alone was proof that I probably wasn’t all too far off.  Instead of being stuffed into a trunk, or on the back of a motorcycle in the rain, I sat, upright, with a decent amount of leg room, in a bus.

Arriving in Abidjan also was meant to be a bit of a break from the chaos that many of the other West African capitals find themselves surrounded by.  And the city was, for a change, what I expected.  It was modern, it was a little more calm, and it was certainly not like anything else I’d seen in Africa before.  In fact, the district known as the plateau, where this photo of Abidjan was taken from, felt far from Africa,  Interesting skyscrapers build atop of a hilly island in the middle of a calm lagoon, in the capital, I almost felt like I was somewhere in New Jersey.

All that being said, as nice as it was to plop myself down in Abidjan a bit, there wasn’t a whole lot in the city that inspired me.  Nothing really moved me the way I had been in Freetown or in even Man just before it.  As such, I took very few photos.  This was one of them:

Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire River, lagune ebne, Ivory Coast, photo of Abidjan

How I Shot this Photo of Abidjan

Sometimes getting a great shot means missing a boat. I was waiting for a water taxi to take me from the plateau to the district of Yopougon when I looked over my shoulder and saw these perfect clouds rolling over the lagoon that Abidjan sits on. These were the perfect types of clouds to photograph, the type that just seem really full and hold light really well. Intent on grabbing this photo of Abidjan in this completely different light than most see it, I pulled myself out of the line and pulled out my camera gear. I didn’t have my tripod with me, so I stabilized using the railing leading into the water taxi terminal. Whenever you can, find something to stabilize your camera. Of course, in getting this photo, I missed the next water taxi and had to wait about 25 minutes more for the next one. Thus, the lessons of the days today are 1) find good light, 2) find something to stabilize, and 3) sometimes getting a great photo means missing the boat.