Kureng Dapel: The Art of Photomanipulation

AfroXel discovers a rising talent from Nigeria and his incredible works. Away from normal photography, he dives us into photo manipulation and drives us into an offbeat but yet refreshing world. 

Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?

I'm Kureng Dapel aka C.E.O. I am from Mangu L.G.A of Plateau state, Nigeria. My zodiac sign is Aquarius.

Tell us about your story as an artist. How it all started.
My life as a photographer started with my father, Mr. Ronald Dapel. Unfortunately, he passed on before I found my feet in the industry. He was a photographer, so it’s natural to say he passed on those DNA traits to his son.
It was really tough in the beginning. I didn’t think I had any talents or unique qualities that I could develop. I did all sorts of jobs including welding, being a mechanic and even driving a bulldozer
I discovered this beautiful gift in 2008 when I noticed an uncontrollable attraction to a device called a ‘camera.’ Luckily, my very first gear was handed over to me by Pastor Esther Ibanga as I volunteered in her multimedia organization. I was excited, eager and swung into action immediately. I began by exploring my immediate surroundings including my family members. I’d hounded them constantly and gladly they accepted to be my canvas. They wanted it printed or done with some graphics. I shoot anything and everything I could find.
Then, I limited the power of what was in my hands, eight megapixels Canon until I met Lawrence Olalekon. He was the window of opportunity I had. Where others had to pay a fortune to learn, he tutored me and laid that perfect foundation I’ve now built upon.

Photo Manipulation ~ Credit: Kureng Dapel

"Photo Manipulation" ~ Credit: Kureng Dapel

What category of an artist should we place you in? Photographer or Digital Artist?
Well, not so sure of this, because I can be all branded “jack of all” but think it should be Digital Artist.

Tell us about your source of inspiration. What inspires you?
From God and nature. I learn balance from nature, especially with composition. The elements which make my compositions believable lie in that co-relationship between man and nature.

About your recent works in Digital painting. Why the shift from photographer to photo manipulation?
Photo manipulation gives me an edge over normal photography: because I have the liberty to express myself even more.

Tell us about a few of your best works? 

"Beautiful" ~ Credit: Kureng Dapel

In many parts of Africa, the definition of beauty seems to have altered. Most African's find themselves struggling to validate themselves as beautiful. African beauty is largely diverse, but this diversity has been watered down over the years by standards that often reflect a lighter skin tone. Thus bringing about the widespread problem of skin bleaching Being African isn't just as simple as the tone of skin or the choice of hair, being African is about raising enough Emphasis that will lead to a deeper and truer self-reflection of how we define what is beautiful to us. We are Africans, we come in different shades of BLACK and we are BEAUTIFUL.

"Underwater man" ~ Credit: Kureng Dapel

This picture was taken at the Wikki Warm Spring, a beautiful destination for tourists located in Yankari Games Reserve in the conflict torn region of North-East Nigeria. The conflict in North-East Nigeria was provoked by the Boko Haram insurgents and has resulted in widespread displacement, a higher rate of poverty, increased environmental degradation which has adversely affected the lives of the locals. In the midst of all the chaos caused by the insurgency is a little ray of hope found in the Wikki warm spring. It depicts perfectly the saying, "Nothing man-made comes close to what has been painted by the hands of nature". The picture depicts serenity underwater showing that one day, North-East Nigeria will RISE above the ruins caused by the insurgency.

"Queen of Zazzau" ~ Credit: Kureng Dapel

In traditional African societies, culture has a negative influence on how women are treated. Discrimination against women tends to seek justification in cultural moves, beliefs, and practices This picture was inspired by the story of Queen Amina of Zazzau. Queen Amina is hailed as a brilliant military strategist and warrior who performed incredible feats leading her troops into battle, conquering new territory and fortifying the kingdom of Zaria. Her exploits earned her the moniker "Amina, daughter of Nikatau, a woman as capable as a man".Today, her memory represents the strength of womanhood and she inspires African women to RISE above the inequality and discrimination around them.

What place does wedding photography occupy in your portfolio of activities?
Well…still learning can’t say much.

Any milestone yet? If yes, which ones? Tell us about your first recognition? What was your feeling when you were selected?
I won the WHOISWHO Awards 2017, as the best photographer and the AFRICAN RISING Award this same year. This is the very 1st time I am wining an award in my life, so it means the world to me.

Boat Boy ~ Credit: Kureng Dapel [NIG]

"Boat Boy" ~ Credit: Kureng Dapel [NIG]

Do you have any idol or mentor in the domain? What is so special about them?
Yeah,  Keda z. and Von Wong, always pushing their limits to do more.

What is your recent news?
Will be traveling to Tanzania for African Rising award and some photo projects

Bonus Question:

What do you have to say when people say: "Men become photographers because of the girls"?.
Well.. magic happens


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