Photography is becoming more and more popular in Africa. After decades of photographic misrepresentation by observers from outside the continent, Africa’s photographers are today showing the world what they see through their lens and expressing their passion and creativity for the people, rich cultures, diverse wildlife and vast landscapes of Africa. This article spotlights the work of 12 African photography blogs.
Wim van den Heever: www.wimvandenheever.com
Wim is a South African photographer that comes from a family where photography runs in the blood. He started his photographic career as a commercial photographer but soon realized that his passion lay with wildlife photography. In 2015, Wim’s image “The Final Leap” received a feature in the mammals section of the (ex BBC) Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards. This ceremony is seen internationally as the Oscars of wildlife photography. His son Juan’s photo also received a commendation at the same awards ceremony in the category Young Wildlife Photographer.
Joana Choumali: joana-choumali.squarespace.com
Joana Choumali is an Ivorian photographer who seeks to alter the opinions of those with a wrong view of the African continent in general and her country, Ivory Coast, in particular. Rather than force people to change their prejudiced views, she uses her lens to make them reflect, interact and draw their own conclusions. Choumali lives and works in Abidjan where she studied at an art school. Her photography allows her to express herself, talk about her country, her generation and her continent as an insider. In her latest photographic series “Resilients”, Choumali documents young contemporary African women and their relationships with past generations.
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Neal Cooper: coopernaturephotos.com
Neal Cooper’s passion for the wild and wildlife photography enables him to host and lead groups of photographers to the world’s most amazing places. He enjoys sharing the wonders of nature with clients and enabling them to capture these moment. With each safari, Cooper aims to help photographers grow their knowledge of nature, improve their photography skills and build on their editing skills. Cooper is a winner of the Nature category in the Trierenberg Super Circuit and has achieved a high commendable result in the Sienna International Photo Competition.
Mario Macilau: mariomacilau.com
Mario Macilau is a Mozambican photographer who uses still images as a tool for altering people’s mind about the world we live in, with a focus on the living and working conditions of socially isolated groups. Macilau reveals that he mostly thinks about how his work can contributed to changing their situation. As a social documentary photographer, he tries to break the silence around them, and bring their long hidden identities to the foreground. His hope is that this will result in some social impact. Activism for progressive change has always been integrated into the work of this young Maputo-based photographer.
Grant Atkinson: grantatkinson.com
Based in Cape Town, Grant Atkinson is a full-time guide and photo trip leader who co-leads photo safaris with Helena Atkinson. A wildlife photographer and nature enthusiast, Atkinson has a deep knowledge, love and appreciation for wildlife, and leads special-interest photographic safaris in Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana and Brazil. His photographic interest lies particularly in big cats, elephants, African wild dogs, birds of prey and marine mammals and his images have been featured on the covers of both Africa Geographic and the US National Geographic Kids magazine. Atkinson is also a regular contributor of both images and text to Africa Geographic, African Birdlife and Pix magazine.
Jumoke Sanwo: jumokeshotme.shutterchance.com
With her imagery, Nigerian photographer Jumoke Sanwo aims at addressing social issues that plague the African continent. A member of the Invisible Borders Trans-African Photography group, Sanwo is motivated by the fact that she believes these stories need to be told by Africans. She sees Africa as a fascinating place for photographers, only that many outsiders come here merely in search of pictorials that illustrate the ideas they already have about the continent. In her portrayals, Sanwo tries to show the continent in a more positive light, while focusing on African identity in all its diversity and aesthetics.
Graham Springer: grahamspringer.com
Graham Springer has always been drawn to the wild places. In trying to create his art, he combines his creative drive with a love for Africa’s great wilderness areas. Based in the Okavango Delta of northern Botswana, Springer tries to portray a sense of the majesty and spirit that the wild places and creatures of Africa inspire in him. Harnessing the power of photography, he communicates his own aesthetic interpretation of the essence of the African wilderness, and pays homage to its places and creatures. Springer has worked on productions for the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery and Smithsonian through award-winning production companies.
Barry Christianson: thesestreets.co.za
South African photographer Barry Christianson is part of the “Everyday Africa” network, a social media platform for images of daily life on the continent. He strives to avoid perpetuating stereotypes in his work. He does this by showing images that Capetonians will recognize as being from their home, rather than the kind of marketing aimed at overseas visitors.
Andy Biggs: andybiggs.com
Andy Biggs is an outdoor photographer whose work celebrates the landscape of Africa, its rich wildlife, people and culture. His deep respect for African wildlife unfolds with striking depth the worlds of the Okavango Delta, the Serengeti and other destinations rich in wildlife. He offers a range of African photographic safaris and photography workshops that enable travelers to improve their skills in photography, wildlife and lighting, while also developing an admiration for the beauty of Africa. Biggs is a winner of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year award, in the ‘Wild Places’ category, as well as a Highly Commended in the category of ‘Unique Visions of Nature.’
Edward Duckitt: edphoto.co.za
Edward Duckitt’s portfolio includes weddings, portraiture, couple shoots, fine art landscape, real estate and interiors, music and fashion. With regards to his photography, Duckitt describes himself as a perfectionist and places a lot of emphasis on the creation of images that are not only creatively beautiful, but also technically correct. He prefers working in the background rather than being an in-your-face photographer, which isn’t his style.
Laura El Tantawy: lauraeltantawy.com
Although she was born in the UK, El-Tantawy identifies more with her Egyptian heritage and focuses her photography accordingly. Social and environmental issues form the backdrop of her work. Commenting on the limitations of street photography in Egypt, El-Tantawy says that Egyptians are a conservative people by nature, used to protecting themselves as they grew up in a society where they were always being told what to do. They learned to follow rules and conventional educational and career paths. Taught to conform, Egyptians are generally a closed-up people yet to move beyond the perception of photography as something that’s only done in the studio rather than on the street.
Edward Selfe: edwardselfephotography.com
Edward Selfe is a photographic guide who lives and works in the South Luangwa National Park of Zambia. His choice to make the park home, rather than be a fly-in expert only during the busy months, has enabled him to see the seasons come and go, watching the park through its annual cycles of dry and lush green. By fulfilling both roles of guide and photographer, Selfe is able to read animal behavior and position the vehicle accordingly which is important in high-pressure situations of lion or wild dog sightings. Selfe’s portfolio includes portraits, weddings, sports and wildlife photography.