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Photography: Tips, Tricks & Tools With William .K. Olwit aka ‘Pictures That William Takes'

William .K. Olwit popularly known as Pictures that William takes is a multidisciplinary creative working with a variety of formats to create expressive and powerful stories.

‘’I work with a variety of mediums but I am mostly known for photography and digital art. I have been shooting and creating more regularly for perhaps the past 10 -15 years. ‘’

He admits to having been an introvert for most of his life; struggling with vocal expression of his thoughts and engaging in conversation, leading him on a search for a different means of expression. Photography would then become that outlet.

‘’I enjoy and do try out different types of photography but if I had to pick I'd be happy sticking to portraiture and wildlife/nature photography.’’

For William, capturing someone's portrait is like finding a way to show them what you think of who they are, and what you see that they can't.

’’Taking a photo of someone is akin for me to having a conversation, a way to say to them what I can't with words and see in their portrait a narrative. ‘’

For travel and wildlife photography, there's often nothing more surreal than freezing in time that perfect moment with nature, be it deep in the impenetrable forests of Bwindi or on the plains of Karamoja. The experience is like no other.

What equipment is a must-have for you no matter where you are going for work?

As a teenager, my father bought me an old canon rebel film camera and it's what I started off with. I've used a few other bodies between then and now but currently my gear is :

-A Sony A7RIV, with 100mm f 2.8, 85mm f 1.4, 17-28mm f 2.8, 100-400mm 3.5-5.6

-A fuji x100F

Must haves;

If I had to pick one for an informal session, that I’d be able to use in any situation, the x100f, but for a professional session then I’d opt for the A7RIV paired with the 85mm.

What professional photographers have influenced your work, and how do you incorporate their techniques into your photographs?

My inspiration to shoot is varied, in part its meeting people with so much wealth of life and stories.

The work of Don Mccullin, Sebastião Salgado, Ricardo Rangel, Steve Mccurry, Seydou Keita, JR, Ernest Withers, Gillian Wearing, Malik Sadibe, and James Barnor are some of the photographers whose works I draw inspiration from; each with their own unique style of narrating the human condition.

Shooting from Kampala and around Africa I'm inspired by the beauty and diversity of the people around me, their perseverance, determination, joy, heritage, culture and being lucky enough to have the opportunity to capture and share these narratives is why I pick up my camera.

Do you have formal training as a photographer?

No, I don’t. Most of what I know I’ve learnt from the internet and books.

How are you able to balance your professional work as a doctor and photography?

In one word; Discipline. It’s mostly about finding a balance and prioritizing my time as I see fit. The majority of my time lately is allocated to medical work and the free time I get is balanced out between , breaks , photography/art, family and friends.

What type of editing software do you like to use for your completed photographs, and what do you like about it?

I mostly use Adobe Light room and Photoshop for most of my work. They flow quite nicely with each other and the catalog management uses of Light room mean all my photos are easily organized.

On mobile I mostly use VSCO. I like its non-destructive style of image rendering and its well curated excellent editing tools.

What details do you believe make the best photographs? How do you go about focusing on them in your work?

The light is key. I know it sounds clichéd but lighting is perhaps the one most important aspect of any image for me. It sets the mood, the tone and intention of the image you’re trying to convey. In my work I try to use light, especially for portraiture as a guide to emphasize my subject.

Composition is another aspect that often gets overlooked but is powerful. I try as often as possible to ensure my images are crafted with an attention to subject framing, texture, color and other key composition techniques to make them appealing.

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