The Cataracts by Andrew McConnell
Here in The Cataracts, Irish photographer Andrew McConnell braves the rapids of the Congo River to document the amazing Wagenia fishermen going about their daily catch—a livelihood that goes back centuries. Andrew takes the viewer into the midst of this drama: he is literally in the churning water, and in some pictures captures the perspective of the fish being caught.
For some of the shots I used a waterproof housing so that I could get low in the water and get a different perspective. I didn’t use the housing when I was on the tolimos because it made shooting very difficult. And after a while I didn’t use it in the pirogues (wooden canoes) either because, even though we were navigating some heavy white water, I found that the fishermen were so skillful at steering through the rapids that I never felt worried about capsizing—in fact, I barely got wet. Much to my astonishment a fisherman would sometimes dive into a raging torrent and just as I’d be thinking, my God we’ll never see that guy again, he would pop up beside a pirogue 30 yards away.
Andrew has traveled extensively, and his work covers a range of subjects. His enigmatic portraits, called The Last Colony,” document Sahrawi refugees and won the World Press Photo award for Portraits in 2011. Surf’s Up in Gaza ran in Newsweek International and won the Society of Publication Designers award in the category for Feature: News/Reportage.
For Andrew’s full account of shooting “The Cataracts,” read an interview here. And visit our Tumblr’s page to watch a wonderful short film he made about this project.
This is so awesome. Tumblr exclusives, you guys! Do click that short film he made about the project. We love when photographers really take us inside the production process and tip their hand a tad.