I’m Danie Bester, a fine art photographer, photography educator, and founder of DPC | Digital Photography Courses, based in Pretoria, South Africa.

My Journey

During my thirties, I was a Correctional Officer, and even had to sell our second car to buy my first SLR camera! After five adventurous years, I traded my secure but monotonous career for a thrilling journey into photography. I dipped my toes into various genres, from portraiture to commercially-driven photography.

My foray into fine art began with my first solo exhibition in 2010. Subsequently, I co-founded an art gallery with six other artists, majority of them being painters. The exposure to diverse art forms and artists, coupled with studying master photographers, completely transformed my understanding of photography as an art. Today, I perceive myself as a visual artist, using the camera as my creative instrument. Even though I actively engage in commercial photography and teach various photography subjects, my heart beats strongest for Fine Art Photography.


Art Through Photography

A misconception exists that having a camera and knowing its basic functions makes one an artist. Unfortunately, many photographers don’t nurture a unique visual language or personal style – weaknesses I initially shared.

Only after reading Camera Work by Alfred Stieglitz featuring works by artists from the Pictorial Movement did I realise that photography can be art. I have been an admirer of imaginative forms of photography ever since.

Education and Inspirations

My journey lacked formal training but was rich in self-learning. Documentaries, educational videos, books, and relentless study of old masters and contemporary photographers fuelled my growth. I find inspiration in the works of photographers like Andre Kertesz, Robert Demachy, Josef Sudek, LĂ©onard Misonne, Ernst Haas, Saul Leiter, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Paolo Roversi, Sarah Moon, Keith Carter, Josef Hoflehner, Todd Hido, Michael Kenna, Chris Friel, and many others.

The captivating paintings of William Turner and other Romantic and Impressionist artists have also had a profound influence. I greatly admire their ability for capturing mood and atmosphere.

Style, Themes, and Technique

I’m a keen proponent of abstraction and impressionism, continually exploring themes of mood, silence, and energy. Subtleties and nuances triumph over sharp detail in my work. The fleeting moment intrigues me, such as recalling only light, shadows, tones, and mood when driving past a scene. My photographs can be joyful, silent, serene, sometimes melancholic. For me, it’s crucial that the viewer’s imagination run its own course.

Landscapes, seascapes, architecture, urban scenery, and street photography are my preferred subjects. However, I’m not bound to any specific theme. I’m on a quest for beauty that can emerge from the most unexpected places, ready to be captured by my camera.

I make use of several creative techniques, such as multiple and long exposures, lens and motion blur, using tilt-and-shift lenses primarily. I am exploring long exposures by using a tripod as well as deliberate camera movement. The slow shutter speeds add mood and depth. The film or sensor absorbs the light over an extended period and as time passes, some of the details are blurred, while the overall forms, shapes and beauty of the light remain. Thus, my pictures become mere moments and the images become almost transcendental, as if from an imaginary world.

Recent Accolades

  • Grand Master Award, Admired in Africa 2018
  • PhotoWorld Magazine
  • Collector’s Guide to Art and Artists in South Africa

Current Projects

My photographs and I are constantly evolving. For an insight into my current projects, feel free to visit my Collections for the latest additions.

Current or past projects that have my “divided” attention:

  • Silent Concrete
  • Urban Skeleton
  • Figments
  • Abstract Landscapes

Other Ventures

Danie Bester is the founder and programme director of DPC, South Africa’s leading private photography school. As the head of a team comprising award-winning photographers who are experts in their respective fields, he and his team deliver a wide array of photography courses and mentorship programmes. More information about DPC can be found at (South Africa) and (International and Online Programmes).

Danie also owns Studio 012, a vibrant photography studio and collaborative hub of talented photographers and creatives. He utilizes the space for his own commercial and fine art projects, as well as for classes and mentorship programmes. The creative space of Studio 012 can be explored at

Additionally, Danie is the owner of Konzept, a venture that specializes in commercial photography. Konzept focuses on high-end executive portraits, corporate, architecture, interior, and food photography. Examples of their work can be viewed at