Bugging- Macrophotography : Interview with Martha Mutiso

The exhibitors (From left to right)-Sabore Noah, Abdul Mutuma, Eric Gitonga, Martha Mutiso and Larry Asego

The exhibitors (From left to right)-Sabore Noah, Abdul Mutuma, Eric Gitonga, Martha Mutiso and Larry Asego

Our very own, Martha Mutiso was among 5 photographers who exhibited their work titled “Bugging: Macrophotography” at the Alliance Francaise last month. RCNC members showed up in droves to support her and view this wonderful pieces of art. We asked Martha a few questions about photography and Bugging.

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RCNC Members at the exhibition

  1. What inspired the theme “Bugging: Macrophotography”

The idea to hold a macro photography exhibition was conceived by five photographers, Eric Gitonga, Larry Asego, Sabore Noah, Abdullah Mutuma and I. The exhibition focused on the tiny things that run the world-arthropods.

  1. What was your experience like working on the project?

Humorous. I’m a conservationist, the rest of the group are focused on art. The combination of both art and conservation had an amazing output, the beautifully captured photos brought you close to features of the insects that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Features like the many patterns of compound eyes on different insects, little veins on their wings, little hairs on their mouthparts and the colourful pollen on their feet. The endless lessons taught and learnt the hard, “easy” and hilarious way made the project a success.

  1. How much effort (in terms of time and cost) went into the project?

A LOT!!! Imagine taking a thousand photos of the same fly and only choosing one to keep! What made the exhibition possible was the support by various sponsors including the Alliance Francaise-Nairobi, the Insect Committee of Nature Kenya, National Museums of Kenya, PAWA254 and Photographers Association of Kenya. This coupled with the willingness of the photographers to sacrifice time and finances to have a successful exhibition.

  1. Which projects are you currently working on/ planning for the future?

We plan to have more macro exhibitions around Nairobi and anywhere else we can afford it J. The exhibition was meant to be educational, introducing the general public to the world of arthropods and pollinators. The group, together with other photographers also plan to hold macro photography training sessions which will introduce enthusiasts to macro photography using DIY techniques.

  1. What is a typical day in the day of a photographer?

Ahh…everyday is a photography day, whether we do it as a job or as a hobby. There is always something that will fascinate a photographer. And should those moments arise where a situation fascinates you without your camera, we have photographic memory too J.

  1. What/Who can you cite as the greatest influences on your work in general?

Personally, my role model in macro photography is Dr. Dino Martins, a scientist whose work is to “watch insects” and one who has been very instrumental in most of the things and behaviors I know about arthropods. As for the others, a photographer whose work and technique we admire is always a great influence in our work.

  1. What is your advice to aspiring professional photographers?

Photograph, because you love it!

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