Fine art photographer, teacher, and founder of DPC, a leading photography training institution. Married to my high-school sweetheart, Jenna, we have two adult children and live in Pretoria, South Africa.
In my thirties, I worked as a Correctional Officer and had to sell our second car to buy my first SLR camera. Five years later I traded a safe but colourless career for that of photographer. Initially, I experimented with different photography genres, starting with portraiture, and eventually focusing on more commercially-orientated work like architecture photography.
My first solo exhibition in 2010 marked my initiation into fine art. Thereafter I co-founded an art gallery with six other artists, four of whom were painters. My involvement in different art forms and artists and studying the master photographers changed my perception of photography as art completely. I now regard myself as a visual artist using the camera as a creative tool. Although I teach various photography subjects my primary focus is Fine Art Photography.
Photography as Art
Few people regard photography as an art. Having a camera and mastering its basic technique does not make a photographer an artist. Sadly, few photographers develop a proper visual vocabulary and personal style. Initially, I lacked these qualities as well.
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 Influences
Having had no formal training as a photographer I learnt by watching documentaries and educational videos, reading books and persistently studying the old masters and contemporary photographers. I am inspired by photographers like Alfred Stieglitz, Robert Demachy, Josef Sudek, Léonard Misonne, Ernst Haas, Saul Leiter, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Paolo Roversi, Sarah Moon, Keith Carter, Josef Hoflehner, Todd Hido, Michael Kenna and Chris Friel.
The paintings of William Turner and other Romantic and Impressionist artists whose moody and thought-provoking works are more than mere pictures have influenced me as well. I admire their ability to capture feeling and atmosphere.
Style, Themes, and Technique
I strongly favour elements of abstraction, minimalism and impressionism and constantly explore the themes of mood, silence and energy. Subtleties and nuances prevail over razor-sharp detail. The fleeting moment fascinates me, as when driving past a scene and remembering only the light and the shadows, the tones and the mood. My photographs can be cheerful, sometimes silent, and serene; at other times sad or even melancholic. For me, the viewer’s imagination must run its own course.
Although my favourite subjects are landscapes, seascapes, architecture, urban scenery, and street photography, I am not bound to any particular topic. Being in search of beauty that can be found anywhere, even in the most unexpected places, I have to capture it with my lens.
I make use of several creative techniques, such as multiple and long exposures, lens and motion blur. Currently, I am exploring slow handheld exposures with manual focus tilt-and-shift lenses and deliberate camera movement. Slow shutter speeds add mood and depth. The film or sensor absorbs the light over an extended period. As time passes, the fine surface 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.
- Grand Master Award, Admired in Africa 2018
- PhotoWorld Magazine
- Collector’s Guide to Art and Artists in South Africa
The places I photograph and I are constantly evolving. If you’re interested in any of my current projects, do visit my Collections for new additions.
New or older projects that have my “divided” attention:
- Silent Concrete
- Urban Skeleton