I love the way that Nigerian photographer Akinbode Akinbiyi works. I mean his approach to photography (see below) and the way that he uses his camera.
At least in the video below, he's shooting with a Rollei Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) camera, using the sports finder. That immediately makes him one of my favorite photographers. I adore Rollei TLRs, and it's tremendous fun to use the sports finder. The technique, like the camera itself, went out of fashion in the early '60s, except among fans and eccentrics. (I'm both, I'll admit.)
I haven't been able to find an online gallery of Akinbiyi's Johannesburg photos, so this video of him at work in the city will have to do. It's mostly in German, but words aren't at all necessary to enjoy it.
I mentioned that I like the way that Akinbiyi plies his trade. In an interview, he describes his approach to photography and to people as slow and gentle:
My philosophy is that you are quickest on foot. This may sound contradictory. When you walk you move slowly through spaces and by so doing you see more. I have been doing this for 40 years. I move very slowly and gently, I try not to invade other people´s spaces, while at the same time trying to take images. It is a sort of dance, a negotiation, meandering -- a very sensitive way of moving through all kinds of spaces.
That's my kind of street photography. The covert stealing of images and the macho posturing of so much classic street photography feels awfully old-fashioned in 2013.
You can read the rest of Akinbiyi's interview, here.
Akinbiyi's photos will be exhibited at the Goethe-Institut gallery, in Johannesburg, South Africa, from the end of November until early 2014.
Many thanks to Sean Jacobs for sending me a link to the Goethe-Institut's website.