Here is Roy Udeh-Ubaka, one of the photographers whose photos made it into the best photos shot at the just concluded Owerri Photo Walk. His 10 best photos and a short interview we did of him is here. Enjoy.
1. How was this journey? How did you actually encounter photography or how did photography encounter you?
I was 7 the first time I owned a camera, it was a gift from my uncle, a miniature camera that I often wonder now if it was actually real. Skip to many years later when started using a camera phone -this defined photography for me. It taught me the little I know today about angles. To take a photograph is to participate in a person's or thing's mortality, vulnerability, mutability, and this for me stand the paradigm of my love for photography. So maybe photograph found me at the age of 7, maybe I requested for a camera before it was given to me, I don't remember. But I simply like to think we were destined to encounter and fall in love with each other.
2. Where do you think is your best area? Do you enjoy street photography more than the rest?
Street photography can be somewhat broad. I like to think of myself as a nature photographer. I love taking photos of flowers, trees, birds in the sky, the setting sun, nature generally. There are mostly found in the streets, so maybe in a broader sense, I could also pass for a street photographer.
3. Would you like to study photography in school or something like that?
Oh, certainly. I just recently began an online education on photography and editing. These two things work hand-in-hand, and it's something I would very much like to explore better. Perhaps someday, I would have the opportunity of doing it more professionally.
4. Do you have photographers who you look up to?
Strange thing is, there are several nature photographers out there, but the ones I look up to are of much different esthetics. There is the very well renowned Obi Somto, the delectable TY Bello, my dearest Emmanuel Oyeleke, and of course, the god himself, Kelechi Amadi-Obi. And how can I forget my favorite TJ Benson. These people define Photography for me each day.
5. What and what inspires your photography?
I would say my mood is major. Because I often feel one with nature, I take long walks when I feel disconnected from most things and have to clear my head, and I never do this without my camera. I take photos of things around me, the flowers that pattern the streets, the golden circle of the setting sun, and sometimes children playing in the field. I like to tell stories with my photos, mostly as it pertains to my feelings at the time. And I sometimes find in these photos memories that have been suppressed for far too long. In my opinion, Photography testifies to time's relentless melt.
6. What would you say about the just concluded Owerri PhotoWalk that got these pictures for you.
Owerri is a beautiful place. This really changed my perception of it. Before the walk, I had a single story of Owerri, it was a story I referred to as "Night Life". I assumed Owerri was simply made for "Jolly", a place where nothing but night parties and clubs were primary, and drivers drove around recklessly because there were simply drunk or excruciatingly impatient, and with very little regard for developing the city's basic amenities. But this walk severed as an eye-opener. I got to see the beautiful places the city contained, the road's connectivity, the waterfall. Owerri is beautiful. And though my previous story of the city was not entirely untrue, I learnt that it was much more than just that. I hope to see more of it next year.
7. How much did you get your first camera
My first camera was a Nikon Coolpix L830, a portable camera that could zoom all the way to ends of the world. Lol! I got it for 48,500 which was a little over $200 at the time.