"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Saturday, September 08, 2012

photographing in uganda

Working creatively in Uganda gets more challenging each time I go. Yes, I get to know the people, places and traditions more fully (which should lead to deeper and more confident portrayals of such), but I know it's easy to fall into a rut and keep doing what has worked in the past. I don't like feeling stuck, especially when I have a finite number of days designated for shooting.

Each year I've made this trip, then, I lay out a new set of objectives for myself.

One year it was to shoot with the camera phone. One year it was to use the Lensbaby and do a project about the children's dreams. One year I did formal portraits in front of a backdrop.

This past December it was to use my Hasselblad there for the first time.

I loved working with it and plan to do so again on this visit. The camera slowed me down, made me more thoughtful, more deliberate. I've been looking back through my files and am glad to see that I usually only made two, five, maybe seven captures to get the image I was after. (This is quite different from my SLR files, which often reveal a "shoot til you know you've covered your ass and if you take enough pictures you'll probably get the shot you're after" approach.)

At any rate, my camera bag will be a thirty-five pounder again this year, as I'm planning to take both the SLR and the Hassie. Obviously, the smaller, quicker, absolutely fantastic Canon has its place, and I will use it frequently. But I hope to stick to my plan of mostly using the larger camera, so I can participate in the more disciplined and slower, more engaged, more methodical and more meaningful dance of photographer and subject.

The end results of the larger files aren't anything to sneeze at, either. The lush colors and exquisite detail of the images I shot last year pretty much make me swoon.

I'm really looking forward to photographing the children at the orphanage once again. They know and trust me so much by now. But I am also excited about roaming around and photographing the warm and open people who live in the village, just as I did last year.... just trying to dig a little deeper this time.

When I couldn't sleep last night (those pre-trip butterflies have surfaced) I found several images that I'd kinda sorta overlooked before. Here are three of them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous, Gloria!