Dynamites in small packages
They may be small in stature but these two pack a punch when delivering on their everyday commitment of telling tales through their camera lenses.
Apart from the memories engraved in our hearts and minds, actual pictures help us keep both precious and challenging periods in mind.
Momentous times can also be shared across the board with those far and those that were not a part of the times gone by.
Voice photo journalists Jeniffer Letshwiti and Oranotse Mpudi are professionals in their own right in this fast paced field.
“I have always loved and admired art. Be it paintings, drawings, fashion; you name it! I can’t help but feel my heart squeeze whenever I come across great art. I don’t tire from staring at it and every time I get that feeling I want to be able to make others experience that same feeling and photography affords me the chance to give others that feeling as well.” Says Mpudi.
Energetic 23 year old Mpudi completed a degree in Bachelor of Arts (media studies) degree at the University of Botswana in 2014.
As a photojournalist I spend most of my time taking pictures that communicate what the audience is reading about.
But every week I get the opportunity to do the type of photography I am passionate about, which is Fashion Photography.
It is difficult to cite a particular favourite photo moment as it is always fulfilling to be able to capture moments in time.
Paint is crucial to a painter as the voice is to a singer. For a photographer light is a critical element.
I love using natural light to take pictures.
Pictures taken just after sunrise and in the afternoon around four till sunset work best for me as the light is not too harsh or low then.
However for simple uncomplicated images, one must make sure that their subject does not stand against the light.
Take the rule of thirds into consideration for balanced pictures.
For instance ensuring that one does not leave too much head room.
Mpudi says that as a photographer she finds that most of the time people expect her to always be taking pictures and fail to understand that at times she also wishes to be the subject.
“There are times I put down my tools and just want to have fun and be taken pictures of. It is a pity that as a photographer one strives for the perfect shot but cannot expect the same from others because not everyone takes great pictures despite owning a camera or smart phone.”
To keep one’s prints in good condition Mpudi’s advice is to follow the old rule of keeping one’s finger print away from pictures.
“Developed pictures belong in a frame, away from wet or humid areas. Do not leave them in the sun. Though I strongly advice that we keep up with the times and archive favourite pictures electronically.”
Photography is an art to be shared. There is no right way of doing it, think outside the box, pick your camera, explore and play around with the settings and see what you come out with.
JENNIFER NEO LETSHWITI
“My mother cultivated my love for pictures. She owned a few cameras she treasured and we had many photo taking moments at home. She would hire a photographer and at times take us to the photo studio. These regular camera moments became a norm in our household. Through the many albums made over the years, I get to share my history with my daughter; Michelle.”
Even though Letshwiti holds a Degree in Film and TV Production, she trades as a photo journalist.
“I get to take pictures that complement and at times influence the stories covered in the paper. Being a reserved person I express myself eloquently through the lens.”
I love trying out new things and through training I am skilled to take pictures suited for different settings.
However my passion lies with Fashion and Sports photography. I am also fascinated by Nude photography.
I have a lot of great pictures I have taken as I always strive for the best.
To take amazing pictures, Letshwiti says its crucial to consider the perfect lighting, ambiance and of course applying various camera settings.
“Early mornings are best suited for taking pictures when the sun is not yet out but usually in my case as a Photojournalist I don’t have the luxury to opt for best time. I am on call everyday to take pictures at any given time that tell a story.”
Letshwiti says photography is not so much about the camera model as it is about the art one has and applies.
“One must have an eye for photography complemented by knowledge of camera usage settings. It irks me when a fellow photographer says; “Wow that picture is awesome, what camera do you have or use? The camera model is not that important and if you want to sound knowledgeable, ask me what lens, focal length or aperture I used for a particular image.”
Asked if she has the ultimate picture opportunity she wishes for, Letshwiti chuckles and shares.
“A picture with award winning starlet Lupita Nyongo. I have since been told we look alike so it will be great to have a close photo opportunity with her for comparison.
Both Letshwiti and Mpudi admit that working for a leading publication it is imperative to consistently harness their skills.
One cannot overlook the fact that in this era of social media and the influx of smart phones, everyone is taking pictures but to be a cut above the rest one needs constant practice and the discipline acquired from studying photography both professionally and socially.
New technologies have vastly improved the quality of images taken and their storage.
Images can be stored and shared much widely through e.g online services such as online hard drive called dropbox.
“Photography has given me great confidence and I get to connect with so many people outside my comfort zone of family and friends.” Ends Letshwiti.