TRAVEL AND CITYSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY WITH EDDIE NGUGI – PART II
Here we are again with Eddie Ngugi, London based photographer specialized in cityscape photography. In this second part of the interview we focus more on travel and the opportunity the “tourist view” gives in this kind oh photography. Enjoy!
- Is photography a matter of creativity according to you?
Overall it is a matter of creativity. When you begin on your journey as a photographer it doesn’t seem as creativity is playing a big part but when you advance and decide on a niche, like cityscape photography, is when perspective and creativity start to play a major role. Especially now, since photography is accessible to everyone, being creative is even more crucial. In other words, showing the audience something they haven’t seen before.
- But a city is usually a very photographed subject… how do you see and consider this thing?
You’re absolutely right. So I focus on perspective. I’ve learned that it is not necessary to include everything in a shot but it’s more important to think about what not to include. Isolating an image and capturing it from a unique point of view, is one way of making a cityscape different from your traditional take on the image. Considering other elements such as post processing can further make a photo your own. It depends on how you use your imagination.
- Do you consider that in order to capture the best of a city it is necessary to be familiar with it? Or is the looking at the city in the right way enough, according to you?
You don’t have to be familiar with it. In fact someone with a fresh outlook of the city often captures very empowering photos. Everything is new to them and therefore they pay attention to details better than a native. If you’re a photographer you have already trained yourself to be mindful and predict a photo or see a composition before taking the picture. As for myself whenever I travel to a new destination, I see things from the eye of a tourist but it is how you use your knowledge and skills in photography that depicts the result.
- Do you have a theme or a specific idea in mind when you shoot?
The idea I have in mind when I shoot is “a city with no people but with a human touch”. In other words, I always think about how to convey humanity in pictures without including people and what that means to an audience with no photographic experience. In landscapes I mostly work with 3 major elements in a photo and I like to keep them minimal and play with tones and shadows.
- Which impression or sensation would you like other people to feel by looking at your cityscape photography?
I want people to look at my photos and be reminded of how much of an influence we have on our surroundings. The possibilities of what we can do when we come together and those precious moments that can inspire influence in a person. I want to evoke an emotional response that will make that viewer appreciate the essence of home.
- Is this cityscape view of the city something you look for wherever you go?
Yes it is. I feel there is a strong message to convey with cityscapes other than beauty and brilliance. There is a different type of mood for every city that I visit and I take that into consideration. The approach is always starts the same though.
- Finally, we are particularly interested in the relation between travel and photography, can you please tell us something about a travel experience that has been particularly touching or interesting for you? Where would you suggest us to go?
The most memorable travel experience I’ve had was in Fairbanks, Alaska. This was my biggest trip and the most challenging. In the week that I was there I learned a lot about myself as a person and as a photographer. I was shooting in -21 degrees in 20 minute intervals for a week.
It was a rewarding experience to be able to see the Northern Lights, experience dog sledding and life in a completely different world to mine. To be able to capture scenes and moments otherwise so far out of reach. I personally love winter and Alaska is somewhere I would recommend to anyone with the same interests. Summer is also a beautiful time of the year there. It is important to challenge yourself whenever you travel and learn to work outside of your comfort zone, that’s where growth really happens.