Interview: Documenting Places and Spaces in Kenya

Trust. Believe in your team. I work with the best in the field and whenever something is amiss, we are ready to correct one another. It takes time to build such chemistry but criticism and collaboration also go a long way.

NAIROBI, Kenya, November 21, 2020/-- Telling a story of a building through its construction process, a story of a space through its occupants and an elephant's story in the Maasai Mara takes on new meaning in MarkDenver Karubiu's work.

The multi-talented photographer, cinematographer and time-lapser with an intimate understanding of which stories need telling; cleans his lens and focuses on photographic documentation, chemistry among colleagues, working in a pandemic and a list of his favorite travel destinations in this edition of Kikao.

Let Kikao begin...

[Question 1] Karubiu welcome to Kikao. Introduce yourself?

Asante. I am a process documentation photographer who uses timelapse as a primary tool for storytelling. I am part of a team of dedicated photographers and cinematographers who are championing storytelling through the lens via Paragon Timelapse. I also tell stories of people and wildlife in Africa through my photography.

[Question 2] Your work portfolio is seamless and tells coherent and flowing stories. Why are you in this business of capturing spaces and experiences?

I have always been surrounded by the built environment from as early as I can remember. I remember helping pour the foundation at home countless times in my youth whenever a build was coming up at home. I wish I had captured more of those memories. That drove me subliminally into process documentation. There is a sense of satisfaction in seeing something through and understanding what it takes to get it done. That also plays in whilst documenting people and places.

The transition of One Africa Place, shot from a fixed point over the span of 4 years.

[Question 3] Architectural photography is a growing industry in Kenya and you have a ground footing. What is your perspective of its future?

I appreciate the fact that the new generation is innovative and open to new technologies. There is a growing demand for documentation of the processes behind these emerging trends and I encourage creatives to be at the forefront. The built industry has a lot of untold stories. The cake is big and can accommodate more photographers that we think.

[Question 4] You are only as good as your crew. How do you build and ensure good chemistry within colleagues at work?

Trust. Believe in your team. I work with the best in the field and whenever something is amiss, we are ready to correct one another. It takes time to build such chemistry but criticism and collaboration also go a long way.

[Question 5] Capturing spaces devoid of people, having safety measures and dealing with travel restrictions; how has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the extent of your work?

I guess I am used to observing site safety regulations so much that the only caveat was the lockdown. It slowed growth for the first couple of months but I am glad that things have started to look up. During the slow months, I applied for a grant by Baraza Media Labs that enabled me to pursue a passion project on how micro enterprises were coping with the pandemic.

[Question 6] Gives us your recommendations for Hidden Gems to visit in Kenya.

My team has been producing a travel series for Turnup.Travel for the past three years. This has led me on a journey of uncovering some gems I never knew existed. Here’s a list of my favorites thus far: Eliye Springs at the shores of Lake Turkana, Mt. Elgon National Park, Chalbi Desert and Lake Baringo. My list keeps on growing so check back with me in a couple of months.

An elephant grazes during sunset in Maasai Mara, a composite image shot in Chalbi Desert and Nairobi during daybreak.

[Question 7] Apart from photos and videos, what other things keep you active?

Travel has always been something I enjoyed doing and now that it is part of my occupation, I am still working on finding something else. Reading books is gradually becoming a new past time activity. However, check back with me in a few months. A lot can change but e sure I will be there to document its transition.

The written interview was compiled by Phineahs Munene – Co-founder of Wazo Moja for MarkDenver Karubiu – of Paragon TimeLapse

Distributed by Wazo Moja on behalf of Paragon TimeLapse


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