UP MAGAZINE Vol 7.07 Photography Issue - Page 15

op-ed PHOTOGRAPHY Is Everyone a Photographer? By Karanja Nzisa tickets, opens up a public Facebook page and calls themselves an Event Photographer. Picture blogs have become ubiquitous, and editing software sells like MDMA at an electronic music festival. Now while all this is fine and dandy, it has brought with it a generational malaise. The sharing of the more envy arousing moments in people’s lives (however run-off-the-mill) through photography and public sharing is a practice that in my eyes causes more harm than good. A mundane activity like walking from point A to B would not ordinarily stir much emotion when viewed through a camera lens until point A is a street café on Champs-Elysées, B is the Arc de Triomphe and your colleague’s feet are doing the stomping in a neat pair of designer brogues which he manages to include in the shot along with a dozen other nice things. This serves to make you a little envious, and while you comment with a thumbs up emoji, you are secretly thinking which financial responsibility to renege on so you can plan a similarly glamorous trip whose pictures you can post. The real talents and genuine craftsmen are drowned in a sea of filters, plebes, and fabricators who use this wonderful medium to position themselves in places within the social structure “ “ The real talents and genuine craftsemen are drowned in a sea of filters, plebes, and fabricators who use this wonderful medium to postition themselves in places within the social structure. which they could never have reached otherwise. Once photography was used to tell stories. N ot too long ago I was invited to participate in a social media challenge that required participants to describe their relationship with Instagram; a photo and video sharing platform which popularized the Selfie phenomenon. It was all fun and games until I reached into myself for a little more clarity and found instead heaps of self-judgment. My Instagram account is replete with posts of my dining experiences, new purchases, pictures of myself, family, friends and stills from my travels. There is the odd, meme or generic ‘Pray for this or that country’ which has been struck by tragedy but my persona on there is largely one which glorifies materialism and all of her cousins. This is true for thousands of Instagram users. The lines between vanity and modesty, misrepresentation and enhancement, pomposity and introspection are blurred to near dissolution with the click of a camera and that bothersome caption space which spurs people to conjure up the most absurd poopoo. Somewhere in the space between hating and defending myself, my mind settled on the nature of the very medium upon which this madness rolled into our lives and its evolution. Photography in Kenya today is perhaps as abused as the judicial system. Every third teenager with a healthy stipend buys a DSLR camera, concert Accounts of pain and suffering, joy and victory and the beauty of fashion and nature were captured in rolls of film, printed and exhibited for us to share in these expressions. Raw images transferring feeling from the hearts photographers and the profiles of their subjects to varied audiences. Today you will be lucky to find someone even with seemingly great skill who can genuinely explain their motivation for taking a particular picture. However, the pool is not so mucky. Kenya today has some genius youths who have broken YBHHZ[وX\]YH[۝[[ۂ۝^Hۙ]X[ [[[ۘ[[XX[Y\Y\XX\HYHX\›و\[Y\\K] YX[ۋH[و[X[^\[B[^[ۙ H\\وZ\ܚ[H[Y\X[܈\\K]Z\^[[B[\Y ]\\H\\H\[[[XHܙX]ZY[H\\\[B\Z]YH\\Y܈\\وB[Y\H[˂˝\Z\ؚKBMB]Y\ M