Corn/Maize; the life of an important produce: Photographic excursion

Corn, some people call it maize, is an important farm produce that is not only used for food but also a source for a variety of other very important items. These items include processed foods such as cereals, popcorn, oil for frying, and starch. In some countries, it is part of the energy that drives the nation in fuel (ethanol) additive to gasoline. It also finds its way into animal feeds, liquor such as whiskey, high fructose corn syrup used in processed foods, soft drinks and medicines, and in bioplastic, glue etc. Corn is also present in cosmetics, soap, paper, chewing gum, crayon and other industrial products.

No wonder it is grown in large quantities all over the world.

This project is a photographic excursion into how corn or maize is produced from preparing the soil to the young plant and the immature corn that serves as food, the mature dry corn used for industrial purposes and what happens to the field after the harvest.

I have tried to showcase the various components of the plant from the young to the old, the stalk, leaves to the tassel, the corn ears, corn husk and silk to the kernel and the cob, and the post-harvest stumps and stalks. I have incorporated the living and storage spaces as well; without them growing corn in large quantity would be a futile effort.

Above all, I have tried to document the pleasantness I feel visiting, driving by and taking in the ambience of these farms. The cycle of life; starting from nothing to the green rolling fields, the brown fields and the final take down at the harvest with residual rubbish.

Watching sunset with the intense colors of the sky over the corn fields gives me a feeling like no other! There could be pleasure in mundane things?

So, enjoy. Let the images speak!

Ado Ekiti Butterflies

I have grown to like butterflies, such beautiful and delicate creatures. My initial exposure to butterflies was at the urging of my niece. I have since photographed butterflies at protected facilities. I have written two children’s books using some of those photos.

This collection represents my first attempt at photographing butterflies in the wild. The location was along Omisanjana road in Ado Ekiti Nigeria. It was a totally different experience. I understand most entomologists have to capture the butterflies to identify them. I am not an entomologist. All I want to do is to have fun photographing these beautiful creatures without harming them.

The butterflies I encountered on this shoot were totally different from the ones I had seen and photographed in North America! It was really hilarious running after these insects with the distinct barriers of the bush and vegetation between us! I have since learned that some of these are native to the tropics and West Africa specifically. The butterflies were more active in the mornings than any other times of the day. Chasing them was fun with their definitely unpredictable behavior in their natural habitat, flying around, resting on leaves and lawn, feeding on rotten mangoes, nectar  and pollen, or just enjoying the company of each other, hanging out! Some have damaged wings while most look beautiful with normal wings.

High definition photos and posters of these butterflies are available upon request.