What makes me go "ooh...", "aah..." and "yum!"?
Well, I thoroughly enjoy hiking, kloofing, boulder hopping, rock climbing, tree climbing, tree planting, tree hugging, hugging people, marvelling at wild flowers, marvelling at wild animals, and at human nature, unzipping my tent at dawn in a remote spot, writing (or doodling) with a fine pen on smooth paper, swimming, surfing, travelling with nothing but my pack and instincts, making plans then spontaneously changing them, snowboarding on fresh powder, photographing nature with a wide angle lens, photographing nature with a macro lens, photographing people to show them their true authentic beauty, walking barefoot, talking nonsense, reading inspiring literature, napping in a hammock, hearing snippets of conversation by passersby, watching just about everything (occasionally even some television), learning about anything, eating, drinking (rooibos, rooiwyn, and the fresh rooi Cape tanin-tinted mountain water), enjoying friends, enjoying solitude, running around madly, sitting quietly doing nothing, laughing (especially at myself), experiencing life...
The less important stuff that people tend to be curious about:
I didn’t set out to be a professional photographer, but things always work out (even when we don't realise it!); after leaving high school I found myself in a small graphic design studio. From there I went on to freelance at many London and Sydney design studios, in between bouts of hitch-hiking around various parts of the world, attending the University of Life as my grandfather put it! Although I had various “muk-en-druk” cameras as a kid, during my travels I acquired a lightweight Pentax SLR camera, and then another (one for slides, one for black and white or infrared film), and from there my passion for photography grew, and, over twenty years on, the result is what you see on these pages...
I am "self-learned" from many sources: other photographers (famous and otherwise), experimentation and pure luck! I make photographs, rather than take them. My image creation process begins long before I click the shutter, and continues well afterwards, in much the same way as ideas, sketches and under-paintings are just the beginning of a painting. Whether a concept has been lying dormant in my imagination for years, waiting for the conditions to be right to take the photo that will be the “under-painting” of my image, or whether it has happened in a flash, my images are pre-visualised and I know where I'd like to go with them. (True, some don’t work out quite as I’d like, but then others surprise me with where they take me, so it all works out!)
Coming from a traditional background, it was only when digital cameras were capable of what I wanted them to do did I finally make the switch from film—and simultaneously added the magical realm of what I call "light-sculpting" to my photography, i.e. digital processing in Lightroom, a natural merging for me of darkroom knowledge with my graphic design and digital imaging skills.
My best work is created when I am fully in flow with mySelf. Sometimes a great image will be created in the spur of a moment, others only come after long and hard work, both in the field and in my ‘lightroom”. I'm inspired by such varied sources, mainly in the natural world, but I’m always looking to create something new, something that either conveys the emotion of the time and place, or evokes a unique emotion in the viewer, something that hasn’t been done in quite the same way before. I love beauty, mostly in nature, and in quirky and interesting places.
The more important stuff that people tend to forget:
There is often so much focus in the art world on making a statement, whether it’s social, political or anything else. I guess my statement is simply that there is a lot of beauty around us and taking tiny moments here and there to notice it can help shift our focus towards what we want rather than on what's getting us down.
May you enjoy a sense of light breathspace while you browse, and please feel free to share your thoughts (and/or felt sense) with me!