My third love in genres of photography after portraiture and fashion is documentary photography. Documentary photography excites me because I love to tell stories through photos. The other part that most interest me is the uncertainty and the adventure that unfolds when embarking in such assignments. However, this shoot was not an assignment but rather a personal shoot to add to my portfolio. I did this shoot on 27th September - 28th September 2016. The following is the story behind the images.
I went to Kigamboni the day prior to the shoot to ask and find the people that are going to fish so as I can join them and be able to make some powerful images. To be specific I was looking for a guy who has a boat. I found one had a talk with him and he introduced me to two other fishermen Hamis Omary and Captain Shimbi. I greeted the guys and we agreed to meet the next day to go fishing with them. The fishing trip was supposed to be during the night, we were supposed to spend the night on the sea. We agreed to meet the next day at 5:30 pm.
5:30 pm, I was there accompanied by my cousin. Well prepared for spending the night on the sea with our jackets and some snacks in our backpack. So we waited for the guys as they prepared the boat and packed all the requirements. We were supposed to start our journey into the sea by 06:45 pm. So I took upon that time to interact with Omary and Shimbi.
7:00 pm we are on the boat sailing and trying to find the first place to start fishing. In my documentary work, I do not like to pose my subject. I let my subject be and let them relax in their native environment. I know I won’t make some great images in the fast instant. But after they are comfortable with me and have interacted with them for a while then I get the images I want. I want them at first to know that yes I am the guy with the camera but still that should not hold us to get along. If they are comfortable then I can pose them if need be, but most of the time I don’t pose them. How they react to their environment that is what I want to portray and they only react naturally if you don’t pose them.
Ok, let us get back to the boat! Now we found a fishing spot and we are ready to try our luck. They lowered the anchor into the sea. Then Captain Shimbi started preparing lamps so as we could have light because it was totally dark. The light would also trick the fish to come up.
I took the above picture while captain Shimbi was setting up the lamps. I shot it with the highest aperture of my lens the 50mm f1.8. I also needed to freeze the motion we were in the boat and it was not steady so I used 1/500 shutter and ISO 100. I used ISO 100 because I knew my subject was already lit with the lamp properly and there was enough light on his face. Also, I wanted a low key image. This was my favorite image on that trip.
Long story short, the day was not that great so we did not get that many fish, we only got four, because it was also raining at some point. Also, they were many challenges of shooting because it was very dark. But the overall experience was amazing and would definitely do it again but well prepared.