At home with strangers

Ju­lian Clax­ton im­mersed him­self in vil­lage ac­tiv­i­ties to cap­ture the essence of ev­ery­day life in ru­ral Uganda

NPhoto - - Over To You… -

One of my ear­li­est photography mem­o­ries was a visit to a zoo. I was nine years old, and I can vividly re­mem­ber hold­ing a 35mm cam­era in my hands as I walked around, tak­ing pic­tures of the an­i­mals. A cou­ple of years later a pho­tog­ra­pher vis­ited my school and helped us to pro­duce a school news­pa­per – one front­page pic­ture later, I was hooked!

Those piv­otal mo­ments started my love af­fair with photography, and when I left col­lege I be­came a med­i­cal pho­tog­ra­pher. Eight years ago I moved on to pur­sue my dream of be­com­ing a free­lance, and things are go­ing well. It’s never easy, but it’s en­abled me to en­joy some amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, and I love what I do.

My travel photography is more of a pas­sion than a mon­ey­mak­ing ex­er­cise, although, that said, my images have ap­peared in sev­eral mag­a­zines and have been short­listed for awards, which has helped to fund my ad­ven­tures. I’ve trav­elled through much of East Africa, and one of the coun­tries that has made a last­ing im­pres­sion on me is Uganda; the scenery is sub­lime, and the peo­ple are wel­com­ing and fas­ci­nat­ing.

A look at life

Last year I re­turned to the south-west of the coun­try, with the aim of cre­at­ing a body of work that doc­u­mented ru­ral life. I didn’t want the images to de­pict poverty, but I did want to cap­ture the hu­man el­e­ment: the cul­ture of the peo­ple and, above all else, their dig­nity. I spent days walk­ing be­tween hill­top com­mu­ni­ties, eat­ing and drink­ing with the lo­cals

01 Ch il­dren of Eden Schoo l Nikon D700, Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 1/640 sec, f/4, ISO200

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