Okpa is a meal made from Bambara nut. Bambara nut looks like giant bean seeds and is not as easy to cook as normal beans; it takes a really long time. In a city like Abuja where the cost of living is really high, some people can’t afford to eat lunch at a restaurant, if you want to make that a habit you should budget at least N1500 (about $5) which is high for an average Nigerian to spend in 5 working days. That amounts to N7500 (about $24) this can be the salary of an individual in other parts of the country in a month.
So average individuals patronize women like the ‘Okpa Woman’ as she is usually called by her customers. Once she arrives at a particular office, the one who notices her announces her presence to others and they all rush to buy before it finishes. Even if you are not ready to eat you need to buy it and keep it because before about midday, Okpa is all sold out.
This meal costs only about N50 ($0.16) – N150 ($0.48) depending on whether or not she included egg while preparing it. So if you buy two wraps of Opka at say N100 ($0.32) then you spend N1000 ($3) every week on lunch in Abuja. That’s if you don’t mind eating Okpa every day for lunch but that is how a lot of people survive in a city like that.
He was so mad that I had taken his photograph you see because he thought I was one of those street hustlers that forcefully take your picture and make you pay to collect a printed copy. I was too shocked at his disapproval to explain to him that I was the official photographer for the day’s event. Before he could cover his face I had taken the shot and for no reason I kept it even after I had delivered the job to the client. His facial expression confuses me, was he smiling? because I remember he was really upset so why the smiley face?
When I met her in January this year she just started her business at the market in Bodija, selling baby stuff, she didn’t look like my ideal customer but she gained my patronage by her demeanour and honesty. And unlike other customers of mine she needed to be extra nice to people so she could gain their patronage too. So I just asked her nicely if I could take her picture and she gladly obliged me because she knew she looked good that day which was a Sunday. I also got her neighbour who is also my nice banana girl to pose for me. The weather wasn’t so good for a naturally lit photograph but I was able to manage the little light that the sun provided that evening. It was good though and we had fun doing it.
Malala believes that every girl should and has the right to be educated, it doesn’t matter what tribe, culture or religion she is from, she should be educated. Her words- ‘one child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world’.
We had our own Malala down in the quiet town of Erunmu community in Oyo state Ibadan who spoke passionately about the education of girls in her community and the place of the Nigerian government and the educational system. Photographing her as she spoke was touching because as she spoke tears welled up in her eyes because of the challenges of education in her state. I had to stop my photographing and decided to do a video instead, even though the conditions for a video were not right I felt it was better to have to listen to what she had to say rather than see her speaking.
OneLife Initiative took the film of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who got shot in the head for speaking up against the Taliban in her small town of Swat Valley for prohibiting women from being educated, to Erunmu community. This was done to start up the conversation of the importance of girl education. We saw from their point of view the challenges facing the girl child. All the conversations were done in the native language which left me in limbo although I had to learn the word “importance of education” which was the Pataki èkó because it flew around a lot. All I had to do was stand behind my lens and watch things happen.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
And I guess I am not the only 21st century mother who likes the hollandaise picture. (Picture was found on Facebook)
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.