Pacing the street of Sudan armed with its Nikon DSLR camera and his Huawei smart phone, this self-taught artist pictures everyday life in his homeland with the eyes of a tourist.
Who is Musaab?
Musaab Abdel Azim better known as "Mendez" in the photography community, is a Sudanese dude who works in the medical field. I have studied Medical laboratory science and later done a Medical Microbiology Masters in Sudan. I always feel the call to be more creative and I don’t want to be limited by rules.
#TheGuardInCerealsStoresInGadarif | © Musaab Abdel Azim
Can you tell us about your story as a photographer, the beginnings?
I may say it all started when I got my first smart phone in 2004. It was a Nokia 6600 with a 2-megapixel camera. I started taking a lot of photos of myself, my family and friends. Shortly, I got to be known as the man who documents everything. It was a little bit awkward for people. Then, I started to feel the surrounding environment; the streets, the buildings, the beauty of the sunset. All the photos I took were taken randomly, I didn't know any photography rules.
My real start was when I Joined Sudanese Mobile Photography group on Facebook. I found a lot of people sharing my passion. There I came to learn about the rules and photography categories.
What kind of photographer are you?
I think I am 95% street photographer and 5% nature landscapes.
#SailingToTheMoon | © Musaab Abdel Azim
Going through your work, one can easily see that you are an everyday life photographer. Why that choice?
Everyday life can be usual and ordinary for most people but there is a hidden story in every scene we see in the street. When I walk out there, I look at people, buildings with a tourist eye and I pretend to see the usual things like I am seeing them for the first time. That new perspective gives me the ability to come out with a good shot.
Has your job as a lab technician influenced your choice of inspiration?
It is funny but my job makes me look for the finest details in anything like when I am looking at a sample under a microscope. I am not a paranoid but I always analyze the scenes I have in front of me, I see lights, shadows, horizon line, colors harmony.
Any milestone, recognition? If yes, which ones? What was your feeling when you were selected?
I won a Facebook photography group competition for mobile photos. I was very happy and that made me excited to do more and improve my skills.
#Shwaal | © Musaab Abdel Azim
Do you have any idol or mentor in the domain? What is so special about them?
My idol is an international photography legend, Steve McCurry. I want to be the African Steve McCurry, he is the godfather of street photography,
Your Nikon D3200, a love affair or just a coincidence?
Actually, it is my first DSLR it is not very satisfying but for now it is good beside my Mobile phone that I used more often because it is always in my pocket.
What is your recent news?
For now, I am just enjoying photography and taking more photos. But I am also trying to design an album of certain subjects like childhood in Sudan showing both struggles and happy moments.