UP MAGAZINE Vol 7.07 Photography Issue - Page 16

PHOTOGRAPHY profile I really am not trying to do. Jeremy Cowart, because he has taught me that there’s no limit to the amazing things you can do especially if you open it to people. Chris Burkard’s travels and theory on places of solitude. His photos are beyond. Sarah Waiswa and how she captures the new African aesthetic is amazing to me. It’s unapologetic and embraces blackness fully. Osborne Macharia has ridiculous ideas and fantastic execution. He is part of the African photographers creating stories that are African but not tied and limited to any expectation of Africa. How do you compare digital photography to film photography? Never shot film, started digital. That said, the biggest difference to me is that in film, you thought a lot more before shooting. In digital, we have the option of trying stuff out till we get it right. Both have merits to the true artist. MUTUA MATHEKA Crafting Beauty into Life Could you define what it is that motivates you to press the shutter at a certain moment in time? Beauty draws me. I don’t even think much before I shoot. Unless I’m shooting a project where I intentionally think a lot before I shoot. But, mostly, I am drawn to beauty even where it’s not supposed to be. I am also drawn to showing as much of this continent as I can. Please tell us a little about what kind of equipment you use and why? A photographer whose name I’ve forgotten once said “I use my camera like I use my toothbrush. To get the job done”. I am the same. I’m not too attached to my camera as long as it does what I need it to do. That said, I shoot a Nikon D610 and my mobile, a Huawei p9. Is there a particular kind of lens you like to use and why? What makes it special? My go-to lens is always the 50mm f/1.8. It’s small and nifty and so sharp, and it has the best balance in frame for me. www.upnairobi.com 16 August 2016 Do you set a series of rules that you must follow as sort of regulation for yourself? I have one main rule — I want all my photos to preserve the dignity of the people and places I photograph. Why did you choose to be a photographer and what does the photography mean to you? I feel like I didn’t choose it, it kinda chose me. It’s been a way for me to see the world afresh. Because of photography, I see the beauty in the mundane. I am also more drawn to God because photography has enabled me to experience such beauty. It’s amazing. What or who are your favourite photographic subjects? Cities and and amazing landscapes. Who are your role models and why? I would say they are people whose application of the craft and way of thinking inspires me to be a better photographer and person. ‘Role model’ feels like I am trying to craft my life after them, which ““ I’m trying to be true to myself. If I am, I believe I will be different from everyone else. What is your all time favourite photograph? I don’t do well with favourites. I can’t choose a photo over another. I probably have like 20 favourites. Is luck essential for you in the making of good photographs? Isn’t luck essential in any form of success? Even in photography it is, but I also like to think that many never get to take advantage of luck because they weren’t ready. So when you’re ready, luck is much more helpful. What bottlenecks do photographers in East Africa face that hinder the development of the medium? There are many. A lot of work here is given based on who you know than who is best equipped. Also, many foreign and some local companies would rather come in with foreign photographers than give the local ones work. There is very little support from camera companies like Nikon & Sony, by not being fully established here, equipment is easier & cheaper sourced from the West. Warranties and repairs become harder, or lens trials before buying. What advice do you have for people starting out in the photography business? First, learn to do what you claim to do —shoot. Learn to make photos. This part takes time. Take your time to provide a quality service to your customers. Second, a photography business is a business. Treat it as such. Meaning that there’s no difference between a photography business and a supermar-