The Proud Agama

They say when the Agama lizard falls from a high tree it nods its head and says to itself ‘If nobody will praise me, i praise myself.

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Reptile. Agama lizards are sometimes called rainbow lizards because of the colorful displays put on by the dominant males. While most agamas are green and brown, dominant males show off by rapidly turning their bodies blue and their heads bright red or yellow. Most agamas live in small groups with the dominant male ruling over several females and sub-males. While sunning themselves each morning, the dominant male will claim the most elevated spot, with subordinates in lower areas. Agamas hunt by vision and prefer to wait for an insect to come by. Their sticky tongues help them hold onto prey. yummy!

Bad weather photographing

The light during bad weather is soft and diffused, great light for photographing nature. When you take a photograph, you create your composition with light. But bad weather can throw a curve ball at your camera if you’re not careful._MG_9319

Here are some tips for photographing during inclement weather:

  • Choose a larger aperture.When you photograph landscapes, you want a large depth of field, which means using a small aperture, but when you photograph in low light conditions, you have to compromise. Instead of shooting at f/16, stop down to f/8. You’ll still get a decent depth of field at this setting.
  • Change the object on which you focus.When you stop down, focus on an object two-thirds of the way into your scene. This will increase the depth of field in the foreground.
  • Have a well-defined center of interest.This is a rule you should follow with all your photography, but it’s even more important when the sky is gloomy and visibility is limited. The viewer needs something to latch onto.
  • Review all images.Your camera may have difficulty metering a scene properly during inclement weather. In foggy conditions, the camera may underexpose the image. In stormy conditions, the camera may increase exposure and render an image that is brighter than the scene actually was when you took the photo. If what you see on the monitor isn’t the same brightness as what you see in front of you, use the next tip.
  • Use exposure compensation.Your camera may deliver an image that is brighter or darker than what you see before you. Use exposure compensation to increase exposure to brighten the image or decrease exposure to darken the image. Exposure compensation on most digital cameras can be done in one-third EV increments.

After you change the exposure, take another picture and review it. If you have to increase exposure, don’t go over the top and blow out highlights to pure white. Always review your camera histogram before you consider photographing another subject, and remember to reset the EV when the light gets brighter.

  • Take pictures from inside your vehicle.In abysmal conditions, when you see interesting photo opportunities, consider taking some pictures from inside your vehicle. You can roll the window down just long enough to take a picture. If you’re photographing during a driving rainstorm, shoot through the window. Make sure your window is clean. If you shoot through a side window, press the camera to the glass to avoid any reflections.
  • If the weather turns bad and you’re forced to seek cover, do so, but wait a while for the weather to change. In some areas, the weather can go from good to bad back to good in a relatively short period of time.

 

The hollandaise picture

IMG-20160208-WA0000 most of us remember this picture back in the day when we were babies. Our mothers would use her most expensive wrapper which was hollandaise and lay it against the couch to serve as background for the picture and the photographer would click away. Gosh! Those photographers had to get it right, no luxury of ‘ouch she blinked let’s take it again ‘. Now posh studios have taken over the ‘hollandaise picture’. I love those photos so I decided to reenact the 80s photo. I don’t have the famous yellow and red but my black and white wrapper worked well with my baby’s brown skin tone. It was lovely.

 

 

I found this on instagram as well. A picture of a friend and her old hollandaise picture too.12142631_1508283496153477_881108140_n

And I guess I am not the only 21st century mother who likes the hollandaise picture. (Picture was found on Facebook)

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End #FemaleGenitalMutilation

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I was asked to take pictures for a project that had to do with FGM (female genital mutilation) in an area in Oyo State, actually it was meant to be a re-enactment of what is really done. Getting to field we found out that the girls we were to use as models were actually circumcised. This came as a shock to us because we did not expect it in this community. FGM is more common in Nigeria than we think. Although some communities do not make use of the regular razor as shown here others do, while the slimy substance from the snail is used together with herbs as a healing property after the cutting is done. As a development photographer, this was my first time on this kind of project and I did not know how to ask an already circumcised girl to pose as if she is being circumcised. What if it brings back the painful memories of the event? I had to reassure the models that they were safe and showed them the kind of pictures we wanted to take. In the end the pictures were well taken despite the challenges. I stand against female genital mutilation.

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CAPTURE THE MOMENT

2016 is here. It is a good time to start blogging again.  The end of 2015 was quite a challenging period for me and my work as a photographer.  Well this year is looking bright. How were we able to capture the interesting moments of the festive period so that we can remember it for life? Selfies behind the Christmas tree, in the shopping mall, beside Santa, or boring yourself on the sofa at home like I did? Whatever caught your fancy, I just hope you committed it to memory with your cameras. this was mine.

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Sometimes you feel like deleting that picture that you felt was worthless, but trust me five years down the line you will laugh over that picture and you will be glad you kept it. Don’t delete your pictures except you feel they are repetitions. It’s true about the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. look forward to more insightful posts here and do have a wonderful year ahead.

Selfie Moments

Young people take the largest number of ‘selfies’ in the world. The word selfie became popular in 2002, although the first ever selfie was taken in 1839 when the photographer Robert Cornelius was testing his new equipment. Am sure you are wondering how he held the camera, considering its weight at that time, well he didn’t. He set the camera, snapped it and ran into the shot because the process was very very slow.

I have seen a lot of selfies; the good, the bad and the ugly. You better tell yourself which one it is before your friends tell you. There are things you should avoid when you want to take a selfie and there are also things you should do to get a good selfie. For me I don’t think there is such a thing as the ‘PERFECT SELFIE’ because selfies are taken for different reasons. When taking a selfie, watch out for these selfie tips:

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Be Natural

When taking a selfie, be as natural as natural can be, trust me it’s more fun to see your natural self. Your friends see you all made up all the time so seeing you natural gives a different angle to your personality, except if you have a monster to hide behind all that made up face. As my lecturer would say ‘You cannot run away from yourself can you’?

Pick well lit areas

When it comes to photography, light is the secret to great photos. So when you want to take a selfie, stand close to a light source from the door or window, better still take it outside. Natural lights do it best so avoid built in flash as much as you can because it can cause a forehead glare and that’s a no-no.

Don’t fake it

Girls girls girls pleassssee! avoid the duck face (aka ‘the pout’). Its well overrated and ugly. Someone said  ‘are you a bird enthusiast? Is your favourite Disney character Donald Duck? Are you a big fan of the University of Oregon Ducks? If you answered yes to any of these questions – STILL DON’T DO THE DUCK FACE. So whether you’re smiling, making a crazy face, showing off your new glasses or anything, we have faces for a reason which is to express ourselves! So capture your feeling and make it real. You cant take a selfie while you are asleep and don’t tell us you didn’t even know when the picture was taken, we know what a selfie is. PS “duck face is not and will never be an expression

Facing the camera head-on

Some people don’t think that taking a selfie at a straight angle is good ‘selfieing’, rather a slight tilt to the left or right is just fine. But personally I think there is nothing wrong with a straight angle selfie if it is well taken. All you need to do is study your pictures and find which is the most flattering and keep it there.

Don’t stand above the camera

This goes to both girls and guys, when taking your selfie, make sure your phone or device is positioned above your head. When you angle your camera below your head and take a picture with the flash on, we might be forced to ask if you want us to see your face or the hair inside your nostrils. For girls who are busty, guys will love your lower angle selfies because they will be focusing more on your busts rather than your face. So when taking your selfies, make sure you completely eliminate this position from your selfie poses.

Finally take a selfie as a memory of an awesome event

When you are out with friends at a cool serene environment or even alone, if you are not shy, take a selfie with your background in sight to remind you of your awesome event.

We will be talking more on selfie do’s and don’ts in the next post.

Keep smiling.

They Really Love Pictures

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At a training event for farmers in Oyo town by Onelife Initiative with support by the International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC), I witnessed some very interesting phenomena. First, it was how old and neglected the hall was. It was so neglected that birds and wasps made their nests on the blades of the fan.  I was afraid of getting stung by the wasps as I walked around the hall to take my pictures. I was careful not to upset any wasps for fear of getting stung but at the same time my eyes were on the participants to get the action moments.

Secondly, I noticed the interest by the participants when the pictures from the previous training were being projected. Suddenly everyone wanted to ask a question or answer a question. Then I realised they all wanted to speak because they knew they would be the focus of my lens at that time, and if I was resetting my camera while they spoke, they would keep standing until I was done and took their pictures…LOL. Good thing is that it made my job easier. The training was altogether a learning experience for me as well as the local farmers in Oyo town. Plenty Yoruba words flew around and I really wish I understood them. I however went away with one word. It is called ‘Agbado’! Hehehehe. Continue reading

Babies are Cute. Always.

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My brother-in-law’s wife just had a cute baby boy and as always I had to do what I love to do – see how cute they are behind the lens. The great thing about photographing a new born is the fact that they are so peaceful at that age as they are asleep most of the time. But more challenging is the fact that you don’t have enough time to focus on the baby to get what you really want because he is being passed from one hand to the other- mother to father to pastor to grandmas and it’s a tiring circle. With this I have learned that I have to go to such ceremony on time and have a special moment with the baby while it’s still early in the day before the baby gets cranky and tired. By the way, the boy was given only three names, I’ll choose and call him Samuel.

Dearly Departed…

Taking pictures at a grave site can be quite challenging for a photographer especially if you have never been to a grave site before. Questions like – is it cool to step on another grave to take the pictures you need comes to mind, What if the relative of that person sees you; will he or she be cool with it?

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I had the opportunity of covering a burial ceremony about a week ago and like every other job, it came with its own challenge. At the grave site and wake keep, I had little space available for me to move around, especially when everyone gathered around the newly dug grave. It was my first baptism in burial photography. Looking at the pictures now, I think I did a decent job. May the soul of Mrs. P.M Saiwo continue to rest in perfect peace.