4: Landscape Identities 5: Resolution

Mathua Mateka Rough Notes

Website   much too flashy. One very large image that takes ages to load, even on my fast connection, never mind slow ones in Africa. Rolling slideshows etc down right hand side lead to very slow loading large images. Seems to be trying to use the most jazzy tools for photo galleries. But very confusing and doesn’t really work.

Entry screen is Maasai ?girl with nipple half exposed. Is this a tongue-in cheek parody of African exoticism or just cheesy??

Confusing icons like the power button to get to the main menu.

Landscape not very original.

Instagram showcase  some possibly interesting ‘over-the-top digitally-manipulated colour’ images for advertising.

I am a city-changer

General impression he is rather full of himself.

Artist Statement

I – Mutua Matheka – am an artist born and bred in Machakos and fine-tuned by Nairobi. I draw, sketch, mold stuff, destroy stuff & occasionally create stuff… I have been drawing and sketching since my mother placed crayons in my hands at just 3 years of age. The art has since then morphed from Drawing, Illustration, Graphic art, Architectural Visualization to Photography, my latest obsession. When I’m not meeting a deadline or sharpening crayons, I love to get my adrenaline pounding by riding motorbikes, mountain climbing, and (if I got a chance) para-troop and ski.

I am a graduate Architect from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (J.K.U.A.T), now fully applying my architectural eye to capture Architecture, cityscapes & landscapes. I love photography and I hope you can see that love by looking through my images.

I credit my creativity to The Creator who is the number one creative in my books, and my mom for the 3yr old crayon awakening. Also, I’m happily married to a beautiful woman who also doubles as a personal model.

Together with David ‘Blackman’ Muthami and the UN Habitat, we are using my photography of urban spaces in Africa to showcase a beautiful Nairobi and eventually Africa. Through the ‘I’m a City Changer‘ campaign, we seek to change mindsets of people in cities especially in Africa about their cities. Take a look at the ‘I’m A City Changer‘ page on my website to see the images that people all over the world are sharing to show why they love their cities. To this effect we held the first photography showcase for ‘I’m a City Chager’ in Nairobi that attracted lots of media attention.

I’ve been featured in Nokia’s ‘Teddy Bears & Talking drums’, a documentary (view here), ADA (African Digital Art), Afri-Love (, BBC News Africa’s In Pictures, Nation Newspaper feature, Kiss 100′s Breakfast show with Caroline Mutoko, Zuqka magazine (Nation newspaper). I have won the pioneer BAKE AWARD for best Photography Blog in Kenya, as well as being nominated for the International CSS DESIGN Award based in the United States, putting both Kenya and Africa on the Map in photography. My photos have been used by BBC MEDIA, KUVAA IN NETHERLANDS, African Digital Art, NTV’s PM LIVE, among other avenues showcasing excellence.

I’ve also had the privilege of working with: Image 360 designs, Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates, Symbion Architects, Reata Apartments, Radio Jambo, Kiota Guest house, Exotic Golf Safaris, UP Magazine, Kobo Safaris, and artists like: Blackman, Daddy Owen, Bupe, Anto Neosoul, Neema, Ruth Wamuyu, Kevo Juice, Five.Oh.One, Dj MO, Monique, Ma3 band, Sara Mitaru, among many other amazing people.

You can connect with me through any of the avenues listed below:

To contact me on any general thing please email [info at]

For information about my prints or to purchase any of my images kindly email [sales at]

4: Landscape Identities 5: Resolution

Emeka Okerere Rough Notes

Nigeria  website

Much more voyeuristic and less engaged than eg Michael Tsegaye. Performance photography,

Artist’s statement

Emeka Okereke born in 1980 is a Nigerian photographer who lives and works between Africa and Europe, moving from one to the other on a frequent basis. He came in contact with photography in 2001. He is a member of Depth of Field (DOF) collective, a group made up of six Nigerian photographers.

Presently, his works oscillate between diverse mediums. He uses photography, poetry, video and collaborative projects to address issues pertinent to his convictions. His works deal mainly with the questions of co-existence (beyond the limitations of predefined spaces), otherness and self-discovery. Often times they are subtle references to the socio-political issues of our times.

Another aspect of his practise lies in project organising which artistic interventions to promote exchanges cutting across indigenous and international platforms.

To this effect he organized the first ever photographic exchange projects between a school in France and one in Nigeria involving the Fine Art School of Paris and Yaba College of Arts and Technology Lagos. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of “Invisible Borders Trans-African Photography Project” an annual photographic project which assembles up to ten artists from Africa towards a roadtrip across Africa. There has been three editions of the project since 2009. Through Emeka Okereke Photography & Projects, he co-ordinates projects based on exchanges. The most recent of these projects include: Crossing Compasses, Lagos-Berlin Photo Exchange (May – June 2012) and Converging Visions: Nigeria – Netherlands Photo Exchange (June – September 2012)

In 2003, he won the Best Young Photographer award from the AFAA “Afrique en Création” in the 5thedition of the Bamako Photo Festival of photography. He has a Bachelors/Masters degree from the National Fine Art School of Paris and has exhibited in biennales and art festivals in different cities of the world, notably Lagos, Bamako, Cape Town, London, Berlin, Bayreuth, Frankfurt, Nurnberg, Brussels, Johannesburg, New York, Washington, Barcelona, Seville, Madrid, Paris, etc. He has also won several awards both in Nigeria and Internationally.

Invisible borders: Trans-African Photography Project

In 2009, I founded a project which every year unites up to ten African artists – photographers, writers, film makers and art historians on a road trip across Africa in a bid to reflect on exchanges across geographical borders. The core concept of this project is deeply rooted in the philosophy of movement and the ardent need to transcend inflicted limitations, by creating a crossbreed of realities which in turn offers the possibility of an extension of oneself beyond predefinitions.

There has been four editions of the road trip project with journeys to Mali, Senegal, Ethiopia and Gabon – always departing from Lagos Nigeria.  I have taken part and coordinated all  four editions, travelling across over 15 countries in the process.

During the trips, my works consisted of images, writings and films which looks at the intricate interactions between people and their spaces as experienced in the Africa of today – that friction between people and space in the quest for existence and co-existence. Furthermore, these works testify to an Africa at the brink of a turning point, that point where the new is struggling its way out of the old…and we are the signs as well as symptoms.

Sao Tome

It is a small Island with only 180,000 inhabitants. Everything man-made seems to be engulfed by the freshness of nature. There are more trees and forests than people and due to this, the people have a unique relationship with nature. Food is abundant because the land and plants are far from barren. All year round the trees produce all kinds of fruits. It is an Island of immense greens. Where only the thought of the concept of selling “bio” foods at acutely exorbitant prices becomes immediately ridiculous.

In the way of material acquisition, we do not see much. The cityscape is plagued with old dilapidated building of obviously Portuguese architecture. One could tell that much has not been done in terms of an independent advancement since its independence from Portugal in 1975.

The buildings are chipping away with every passage of time, with no scheme towards preservation talk more of restoration – they just stand there obtrusively like phantoms of a colonial past, creating a picture of people meandering through “beautiful” shacks and rubbles. But all of this is perfectly cocooned every inch of the way, by the freshness and liveliness of the many plants.

Rituals Lagos 2001-2003

This project was one of the first body of works produced at the earlier stages of my carrer. It explores the relationship between body and light. These works won the Afrique en Creation Price at the 2003 Bamako festival of Photography.


4: Landscape Identities

Michael Tsegaye Rough Notes

Michael Tsegaye, Ethiopia,  portfolio website

Born in 1975, Michael Tsegaye lives and works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He received his diploma in painting from Addis Ababa University’s School of Fine Arts and Design in 2002, but soon gave up painting after he developed an allergy to oil paint. He subsequently found his real passion in photography and has made of it not only a profession, but a way of expressing a very particular voice.

“As a photographer I try as much as possible to escape being pigeonholed. I place myself among my peers (photographers and painters) across the world. While the spirit of my culture — its traditions in music, poetry and literature — informs my photography, my goal is that of any artist: to understand my life and standpoint in the 21st century, and express these through art.”

Future memories chronicles the urbanization of various neighborhoods in Addis Ababa.

Chasms of the soul  images are of gravestones in Ethiopia. When a person dies, his or her relatives place a photograph onto the tombstone and also inscribe a short history of the deceased. Thinking about the family’s photographs, and the idea of memorials and loss, I am struck by the personal sense of damage that these images—and the air that falls about them—evoke. As a result of time, those buried continue to experience a second death: the gradual deterioration of their entombed identity.

Ethiopia at work 10 years ago it was said that it took a full day for the average farmer to walk to the closest road. This prevented farmers from communicating with neighbours or engaging in independent small-scale market activity with each other. But in the Wollo region of Ethiopia, I came across a new market that was created by the building of a road that was still under construction. (2008)

Working Girls ll Commercial sex workers who live in Sebategna, a busy neighborhood in Addis Abeba close to the central bus station and Merkato (the largest open-air market in Africa). (2009) Black and White chiaroscuro.

North Road  Impressions of northern Ethiopia along the road that leads from Addis Abeba to Wello, Tigrai, Gonder, and Gojjam. (2008) Full saturated colour.

Ankober (2007) Misty atmospheric Black and White

Arenguade (2011) Semi-abstract patchwork images of Ethiopian fields taken from a plane. Colour.

Afar (2011) Erta Ale active volcano in Eastern Ethiopia Danakil depression. Black and white textures and rock formations.

3: Landscape as Political Text Documentary Inspiration

Martin Parr

Martin Parr (born 1952) trained in photography at Manchester Polytechnic.

Described in the past as Margaret Thatcher’s favourite  photographer, Parr caused a stir when he tried to join

Magnum Photos. The issue was one of integrity. Photographers within Magnum’s ranks guarded their territory jealously and felt that the work that Parr offered was voyeuristic, titillating and
meaningless. Parr was eventually accepted at Magnum in 1994 and went on to become one of the leading authorities on photography in the UK.

Parr has an ability to turn the snapshot into art. There is however something of the satirical about this work – many of the images raise a smile. Parr worked mainly in colour and his approach was to over-light with fill-in flash, causing a frozen moment in time to be even more false yet far more real.  His work is quirky and opportunistic. He makes no bones about the latter; invited to an event, he takes the opportunity to produce images that will lead to further projects. His approach is direct. He doesn’t ask permission and if someone sees that he is photographing them he will continue on the basis that it’s his job to photograph them, record their reaction, etc. The characteristic Parr style is still there 30 years on.

Listen to Martin Parr talking about his images and practice:


Parr has produced a wide range of work.

  • Last Resort: Photographs of New Brighton (1986). One of his first
    major colour pieces.This style was to become synonymous with Parr and his ability to create from the ordinary. The little girl could be the focus of the image but the boy is also interesting. The car and the lighthouse are both essential to the composition.
  • A recent project in the suburbs of Paris depicts ordinary
    life within a diverse, mainly immigrant, community.
  • St Moritz series shows the rich at play in a way that only people who work there would normally get to see.
  • Luxury – a recent Martin Parr project where he looks at the rich and their pastimes.

The Parrworld (2008) show exhibited some of Parr’s extensive collection of kitsch souvenirs and other disparate paraphernalia: a watches with pictures of Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, bubblegum pop pin-up wallpaper. He compares photography to collecting: the world is out there for the having.

Parr has edited three volumes of his collections of postcards:

  • Boring Postcards (1999)
  • Boring Postcards USA (2000)
  • Langweilige Postkarten (2001).

The subjects within Boring Postcards are what we judge to be mundane or prosaic, such as motorways, service stations, tower blocks, school and other modernist municipal buildings – structures that we take for granted and might even consider to be ‘eyesores’. They weren’t necessarily photographed for their beauty in any traditional sense, but because of their novelty value as photographic subjects. [Many of the images in the UK edition are attributed to the Frith photographic company.] They are in fact often quite unusual and remarkably intriguing.

 Exercise: Getting the Parr ‘feel’

For this exercise, photograph people engaged in a fun or social activity outdoors. For example, you could go to a seaside resort and photograph people having a good time. Or photograph people at an outdoor party or function. Try to capture the Martin Parr ‘feel’.
Use your camera flash or a flash gun to balance the daylight. You need to take light readings from the ambient light and then set the flash gun to produce a small amount of flash – not enough to turn the scene into night – running the camera at a slower speed than the flash would normally synch at.
Getting the flash /ambient light balance right is the key to the technical side of the whole look.
This is the camera’s reaction under normal circumstances. A slower shutter speed than the recommended flash setting may help a lot.
This will work very differently for a range of cameras and you may need individual support and advice for this relative to your personal camera equipment.
Produce a set of eight colour images. Ensure that the colour is bright and reflects the nature of Martin Parr’s work. How does this lighting effect change the nature of your images? Make
some notes in your learning log.

1: Beauty and Sublime

Helen Sear

Creative Wales award.

Not just the eye. Uses the hand to pain in parts. Sculptural and 3D form. Liberate from computer screen. Different types of paper. Or use CAD.

Body in the landscape, or landscape in the body

What does it mean to be both human and animal?

Wants to concentrate on unremarkable landscape – portrait of a field over a year. Landscape as a living being. And walk to a particular part of forest that changes through being cut down and exposes a particular view suddenly.

Inside the view

Beyond the view

Pond 2011  installation at Crescent Arts Scarborough, UK, March 2011. video of frozen winter pond and trees. Occasional birds. Sheep in silhouette on the horizon.

Documentary Inspiration To Do

Shirley Baker

Images on Mary  Evans Picture Library

Google Images

Shirley Baker, (1932-2014), was one of the rare female photographers who chronicled life in the north of England from the 1950s onwards. Her street photography was in the ‘flaneuse’ tradition of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank, whom she named as influences. Unposed snapshots of people going about their business were juxtaposed with telling graffiti. She had a great eye for composition that has been under-appreciated next to her compassionate documentation and concern for social injustice, with a particular focus on women and children.

From the 60s, Baker taught photography at Salford College of Art and would always carry her camera modestly stowed in her handbag. In free periods, she began a body of work, spanning 15 years, of the social housing in the area that was being demolished as people lived in semi-derelict slums. Shirley’s work in Salford and Manchester (shot mainly between 1960 and 1973) captured a time of rapid social and economic change in the lives of working class people in Manchester and Salford.”It was a time of much change: people were turfed out of their homes and some squatted in old buildings, trying to hang on to the traditional life they knew.”

Slum clearances, started in the 1930s, resumed in earnest in the 1950s, and in the twenty years between 1955 and 1975, around 1.3 million homes were demolished nationwide. When Shirley Baker began photographing the streets of her native Salford, it seemed that no-one was interested in recording the human story of these soon-to-be demolished communities. Old ladies sitting on doorsteps in a row of condemned houses, men with handcarts searching for refuse to be recycled, children playing inventively among rubble and abandoned cars. That she chose to preserve these moments on film, now seems like the only perceptive response to a vanishing environment. It was not until 1989 that her first book, Street Photographs: Manchester and Salford, was published and Baker began to be more widely appreciated.

In addition to her work in Manchester and Salford, she spent a considerable amount of time capturing Camden Market at the height of punk. Her work was often humorous and she added over the years to collections such as owners who look like their dogs and people falling asleep in public.

Remembering the work of Shirley Baker Phil Coomes  BBC


(from Guardian Obituary)

Born in Salford, to Alec, a furniture maker, and Josephine, a housewife, Shirley had an identical twin, Barbara, who would also become an artist. They both went as boarders to Penrhos College, in Colwyn Bay, from where during the second world war they were evacuated to Chatsworth House, in Derbyshire. Their parents were unfazed by their daughters pursuing the arts professionally after they left school.

Baker married Tony Levy, a GP, in 1957, and the couple eventually settled in Wilmslow, Cheshire, where their daughter, Nan, was born in 1963. Baker never displayed any of her photographs around their home, although she did like to take pictures of the family. This perhaps summed up the private, almost secretive, nature of her work.

When Baker studied  photography at Manchester College of Technology, there was only one other woman on the course. On finishing, Baker’s plan was to work in-house at a company, recording processes and producing promotional images. She started at Courtaulds fabric manufacturers before freelancing for other businesses and doing some journalism, including for the Guardian. Baker encountered difficulties getting a press card, so was unable to pursue photojournalism seriously, and believed she was only given the assignments deemed unsuitable for men. From the 60s, Baker taught photography at Salford College of Art.

Baker kept photographing in later life and completed an MA in critical history and the theory of photography at the University of Derby in 1995. She joined the Mary Evans Picture Library in 2008, and in 2012 had solo shows in Oldham and Salford, with another planned for 2015 at the Photoraphers’ Gallery in London. She was always pleased when people who featured in her work came along to exhibitions. At the opening of the Lowry Gallery in 2000, the Queen not only viewed Baker’s photographs but met some of Baker’s subjects, too.



History Technique To Do

Colour Photography

Wikipedia to be properly edited with links
Main article: Color photography

Color photography was possible long before Kodachrome, as this 1903 portrait by Sarah Angelina Aclanddemonstrates, but in its earliest years the need for special equipment, long exposures and complicated printing processes made it extremely rare.

A photographic darkroom withsafelight

Color photography was explored beginning in the mid-19th century. Early experiments in color required extremely long exposures (hours or days for camera images) and could not “fix” the photograph to prevent the color from quickly fading when exposed to white light.

The first permanent color photograph was taken in 1861 using the three-color-separation principle first published by physicist James Clerk Maxwell in 1855. Maxwell’s idea was to take three separate black-and-white photographs through red, green and blue filters. This provides the photographer with the three basic channels required to recreate a color image.

Transparent prints of the images could be projected through similar color filters and superimposed on the projection screen, an additive method of color reproduction. A color print on paper could be produced by superimposing carbon prints of the three images made in their complementary colors, a subtractive method of color reproduction pioneered by Louis Ducos du Hauronin the late 1860s.

Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii made extensive use of this color separation technique, employing a special camera which successively exposed the three color-filtered images on different parts of an oblong plate. Because his exposures were not simultaneous, unsteady subjects exhibited color “fringes” or, if rapidly moving through the scene, appeared as brightly colored ghosts in the resulting projected or printed images.

Implementation of color photography was hindered by the limited sensitivity of early photographic materials, which were mostly sensitive to blue, only slightly sensitive to green, and virtually insensitive to red. The discovery of dye sensitization by photochemist Hermann Vogel in 1873 suddenly made it possible to add sensitivity to green, yellow and even red. Improved color sensitizers and ongoing improvements in the overall sensitivity of emulsions steadily reduced the once-prohibitive long exposure times required for color, bringing it ever closer to commercial viability.

Autochrome, the first commercially successful color process, was introduced by the Lumière brothers in 1907. Autochrome plates incorporated a mosaic color filter layer made of dyed grains of potato starch, which allowed the three color components to be recorded as adjacent microscopic image fragments. After an Autochrome plate was reversal processed to produce a positive transparency, the starch grains served to illuminate each fragment with the correct color and the tiny colored points blended together in the eye, synthesizing the color of the subject by the additive method. Autochrome plates were one of several varieties of additive color screen plates and films marketed between the 1890s and the 1950s.

Kodachrome, the first modern “integral tripack” (or “monopack”) color film, was introduced by Kodak in 1935. It captured the three color components in a multilayer emulsion. One layer was sensitized to record the red-dominated part of the spectrum, another layer recorded only the green part and a third recorded only the blue. Without special film processing, the result would simply be three superimposed black-and-white images, but complementary cyan, magenta, and yellow dye images were created in those layers by adding color couplers during a complex processing procedure.

Agfa’s similarly structured Agfacolor Neu was introduced in 1936. Unlike Kodachrome, the color couplers in Agfacolor Neu were incorporated into the emulsion layers during manufacture, which greatly simplified the processing. Currently available color films still employ a multilayer emulsion and the same principles, most closely resembling Agfa’s product.

Instant color film, used in a special camera which yielded a unique finished color print only a minute or two after the exposure, was introduced by Polaroid in 1963.

Color photography may form images as positive transparencies, which can be used in a slide projector, or as color negatives intended for use in creating positive color enlargements on specially coated paper. The latter is now the most common form of film (non-digital) color photography owing to the introduction of automated photo printing equipment.