11 April 2006

My latest hobby

MMY took my pictures the other day, although he has refused to let me see them yet. 'They are not ready they are not ready' he keeps insisting. I have warned him not to ‘Photoshop’ my pictures or else!

I have always been interested in art, and also like to think I am creative. I apprenticed with my tailor while in university, the idea for me was to make the most of the ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities) strike by gaining some useful knowledge, Princess was just glad that I found something useful to occupy my time with (if only she knew that half of what I got up to after I closed at 4 pm!). I also knit and crochet (I have this sweater I have been knitting since 1997!). I have never taken a picture in my life ... well that isn’t true, I do take pictures while I am on holiday, and I have a camera phone with which I try to capture interesting scenes like the one i witnessed some time ago; two women on an okada (motor bike), dressed to the teeth, obviously going to an owambe clutching their ‘gele’ (head tie) as the okada whizzes through traffic, or the one I saw recently, a lady waiting at the bus-stop in ‘poured on’ jeans with an ass like a ledge (I named that picture ‘bench’). I spent New Year's Day hanging out with family friends. My dad and ‘Uncle S’ where great friends, as evidenced by the ton of photographs of their youth we spent the better part of the afternoon poring over. After making a selection of must have pictures, we went to his study where he scanned them for me (I was too impressed, my uncle is almost 60 and he can scan, heck he knows what a scanner is!) He then asks if I had a flash drive to save the pictures on! (What am I going to do about Princess o!) Over his table he had this self-portrait of him ‘burning the midnight oil’ studying for some exams. I asked how he took the picture, where, etc I was transfixed by it. I added 'learn photography' to my list of 'to-do's' this year and promptly forgot about it.

Writing the essays for my graduate school application (yes o!), I was reminded of my promise to myself and here I am, learning the rules to enable me ‘see’ in photography speak. The main
object of learning these rules is so I can break them later to produce great pictures. Alongside learning the rules, which I will later break, I am also researching different photographers. MMY is a really strict teacher (translation - task master); one wouldn’t know it to look at him. I was supposed to research Diane Arbus, and the rule of thirds with respect to photography and because I defaulted he added Walker Evans to the assignment as well as a long list of definitions of photographic terms! I avoided my teacher all week, and when I finally got around to doing my assignment this weekend, I was pleasantly amazed to find I was familiar with Diane Arbus' work well one of them. The MET held an exhibition of her work last year (Diane Arbus: Revelations), and Time published this picture from her work. I marvelled at how she was able to capture this person 'naked' even though he was fully dressed. Although the subject seemed to portray confidence, perhaps sophistication and freedom, he managed to show that his sophistication and confidence were all a facade, he was just a scared, scarred, trapped person.


Ore said...

My Dad will be thrilled to hear that he inspired (or rekindled) your interest in photography. I wish he still took a lot of photos now.

I remember our open days in primary school. He was the only parent who would come with his camera and insist on taking class photographs. I was always so embarrassed by it (I mean, why couldn't he just be like all the other parents and come in and leave as unobstrusively as possible?) His visits always ended with a mass re-arrangement of chairs and desks as he tried to get us all into the picture.

Looking back on those pictures now, I'm glad he wasn't like every other parent.

adefunke said...

Isn't it ironic don't you think?

The things your parents did when you where younger which embarassed you to no end are the very things you appreciate them for today?