You can’t take a photographer seriously if they dont use a big imposing DSLR, and a really big long zoom lens.

Aye right. If you believe that you’ll probably also believe I can sell you a really nice big bridge in San Francisco for $100.

I stumbled into kigaliwire, the blog of Graham Holliday recently. He’s Foreign Correspondent for Reuters in Rwanda. Graham admits he’s not a professional photographer, but there’s some rather fine images on display. No fancy camera either, just a simple little compact, with a fixed wide-angle lens.

And a very perceptive user. There’s an immediacy and intimacy to his images that I find very engaging. And its great to see pictures of activity that’s both educationally and ecologically sound coming out of Rwanda. It’s worth popping over to his flickr set for a look at more of his personal Rwandan work.

And Graham uses his compact to good effect as an adjunct to his journalistic explorations of Rwanda. See this very interesting story on use of prison poo biogas in Nsinda Prison.  (Full piece here on reuters.)

Nsinda Prison. Image © Graham Holliday/kigaliwire

Kigali Wire is a blog from Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.  While I sift local news and aggregate the more interesting tidbits on the blog, most of the site will consist of the photographs I take around Kigali. I’ll post the prettier pictures here and talk about where I took them and what’s going on (if anything). Having said that, this blog is also a social media experiment for me to test some ideas I have about publishing online related to my media training around the world. Without going into all the details… Kigaliwire.com is just one small aspect of a large “porous publishing” experiment. Much of the content is, or will be, distributed across 75+ other online services. 


But you’ll know if you’re a duckrabbit regular that we like teaching photography, and particularly so when it involves introducing children and young people to this noble art.  Graham’s been assisting the Through the Eyes of Children project, which works with some of the genocide orphans of Rwanda, with advice he’s put together for them on getting their work online and seen.   See his article on this project here.


Rwanda Project Photographic Exhibition, Kigali. © Graham Holliday "I talked to a number of the children and young adults about their photographs – many of which are excellent – including Jacqueline pictured above. She took the picture of her friend Gadi at the market with her first ever roll of film when she was just 8 years old."


“In 2002 I submitted several of the children’s photos to Camera Arts and View Camera Magazine’s Annual Photo Contest. The contest had several categories: Documentary, Advertising, Student, Portraiture, etc. I thought that the photos should be entered into the student category, but I did not have copies of the kids’ student ID’s, which were required in the submission guidelines. Therefore, I had to write a letter explaining the circumstances, and suggested that Jacqueline’s photo of Gadi could be entered into the Portraiture category. To our delight and surprise, Jacqueline won “First Prize — Portraiture,” and received a cash prize that will go to her education. What I didn’t tell the jury was that it was the first roll of film she ever shot! But if you look at her other photos you will see that it was no accident,” – David Jiranek – Rwanda Project Founder – 2002


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John MacPherson was born and lives in the Scottish Highlands. He trained as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards, before completing an apprenticeship as a carpenter, and then qualified as a Social Worker in Disability Services. Along the way he has cooked on canal barges, trained as an Alpine Ski Leader & worked as an Instructor for Skiers with disabilities, been a canoe instructor, and tutor of night classes in carpentry, stained glass design and manufacture, and archery. He has travelled extensively on various continents, undertaking solo trips by bicycle, or motorcycle. He has had narrow escapes from an ambush by terrorists, been hit by lightning, caught in an erupting volcano, trapped in a mobile home by a tornado, kidnapped by a dog's hairdresser, rammed by a basking shark and was once bitten by a wild otter. He has combined all this with professional photography, which he has practised for over 35 years. He teaches photography and acts as a photography guide & tutor in the UK and abroad. His biggest challenge is keeping his 27 year old Land Rover 110 on the road. He loves telling and hearing stories.

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