Nairobi throwback

 

In 2004 I was sent to Nairobi. Unbelievably my first Africa assignment. I had done extensive work in SE Asia and in the Americas , yet Africa had escaped me. So I hit Nairobi a raw untried unschooled neophyte. Africa was a speciality for so many and I was pitching stories in the Spanish world anyway. Yet when I was offered Nairobi as part of an all Africa issue for NatGeo, I jumped. I always try to add a bit of adventure to anything , so I went to Nairobi as a street photographer BUT with 1500 wattseconds of strobe power and a 6 foot by 6 foot softbox. So with an assistant to help with the light I hit the streets. Nobody in their right mind would think they could “hang” in the bustle hustle muscle of Nairobi with that rig. Yet I did. I wanted to light up my portraits. Make them glow. This man was on his way to church. Preacher man. Sundays in Kibera a magic moment. Mud streets smoke filled air open sewers did not keep the locals from being well groomed and spotless on Sundays. Praise the Lord. I asked this one preacher to please wait for a few moments while I photographed him. Yet the railroad tracks are also a popular foot path. So many people entered the frame. Just what I hoped. 4-5 shots and my time was up. Pressure. No room for error no time and I loved this preacher man. In those moments you pray. 🙏🏻

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