Friday, April 30, 2010

Max & Pia


Through my good friends at KapEvent, I’ve been fortunate to do another wedding at the Kommetjie Lighthouse. It is officially now the place where I have photographed the most weddings in Cape Town. And the climb to the top floor stays tough! 30m into the air and hundreds of steps with our gear!

Max and Pia  that Cape Town is the place to do it, with the relative proximity, safari, winelands etc of the Kruger (3 hours by plane to Nelspruit), and many other beautific places.

Initially the couple only wanted to book us for an hour, as their ceremony would be short (and we signed as witnesses, being the guests as well as the photographer and assistant), but eventually we had so much fun at the lighthouse and Long Beach, that we ended up with an extra half-an-hour.

Well, without boring you with too much details, herewith some of the memories.


Nuptials being done 30 m into the air, with the most amazing view in the world…and wind battling against the lighthouse!




Then to the “romantic” ceremony at the beach (the lighthouse being the site for the official and legal procedure, for as a government building it qualifies as a venue for official business. 201004100114ii On the pics it might look very desolate and secluded, but the reality is if the waves are happening, you’ll have some guests, invited or not!


 201004100195i      Hehe – I saw the wave coming, but I couldn’t tell them! That would be wasting an oppurtunity.


DSC_1039 (2) A pic Max took of myself and Philip shooting Pia. Note the spectators! I must say, the Kommetjie crowd is really cool. Except for the odd congratulations as they pass, most people just ignore the couple and leave them be to their private moment. You gotta love that. This was a Saturday morning remember. On weekdays, as we often shoot these tourist weddings, the beaches are truly empty. It eerie, but beautiful.

Last thought: couples, take your cue from these guys. They were relaxed, truly enjoying the experience, easy to direct, spontaneous, agreeable, fun totally gracious. It was great receiving a email from them while they were still on honeymoon to let me know their thoughts and delight at the pics. You have no idea how much that means for an artist!

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Great lecture by Taryn Simon

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If you have 17mins to spare, some bandwidth, and you’re into visual communication, documentary photography and the like – do take the time to watch this. If you’re a photography student, interested in context, intent, purpose and the like, even more so. If it’s a bit geeky, I’m sorry, but I cut my intellectual teeth on this stuff.

You can also go to her website at:

Friday, April 16, 2010

Nissan GT-R

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So this is the Nissan GT-R we shot for Wiel. This time I’ll let the video do the talking!


The DPS opener pic, as seen in the video.



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However, the video might give the impression that all just goes well. Well, sometimes, your mind leaves you for a moment and you instruct the driver to move the car while your Canon 430EX is still under the wheel of the car. Notice the beautiful light coming from under the car? Well, that’s the last time it did any good! Poor Wilhelm, no stranger to this type of thing, felt horrible, but in his defense, it really wasn’t his fault.

As I’ve blogged before…. THINGS BREAK. That’s the way it goes. That flash served me well, and was the brush light for the whole Rooibos Cookbook. I think it paid it’s dues. It least it died glamorously… under the wheel of the coolest sports car of 2009 – the Nissan GT-R.





Also, you’ll notice in our videos new little logo:

logo blackstudio

This is what we’ve decided to name our video productions. At this stage, BSP has only one client – Danie Nel Photography! We’re aiming to keep it that way for a while, as we’re more interested in using it as our vehicle for viral marketing for now, but if you want to do some simple video productions, interview style, for instance, contact me.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gerhard & Maryke Wedding

So a couple of weeks some more of my friends got married. In fact, in the last 3 months something ridiculous like 7 couples I know got married, but anyways… luckily I could be a guest at some. In this particular case I was a guest from the reception onwards with Philip covering that, and the official photographer up until that time. There is not a heck of a lot I want to say today, except that I had a lot of fun shooting this. As you’ll see. Enjoy.

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And so it goes on…, but if I post more, Blogger will ban me! Congrats again to awesome friends.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


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Unfortunately I can’t post everything relating to this shoot, as the campaign has not gone live yet, and will only go live next summer, but I thought I’d quickly just drop a couple of images here that won’t give a way the product nor the campaign.

Basically, the company wanted to use the NSRI/Life Saving Corps here in Cape Town to promote some of their new products with POS material etc.

I can’t post the main campaign image, but here are some of the fillers (without product):


As luck would have it, on the only day in December 2009 (also my last day at work for 2009), it would be overcast. And cold! So the poor souls had to get themselves wet and lathered and run up and down in a freezing breeze, but hey, that’s the Cape for you.


Pumbah – the only guy who didn’t need to flex, but had a permanent bulk of serious muscle.




So, they’re not as big and powerful as Pumbah, but they swim like motorboats apparently.

There was also an unfortunate incident of one of the female lifesavers face-planting, but in order to place that photo, I would give away the main concept shot, so regrettably, you’ll just need to take my word for it that being a model/lifesaver can be life-endangering and ego-bruising!

It happened also to be the first day of Philip’s holiday, so I had to lug all my gear up and down Clifton 4th beach’s steps – and my stuff’s heavy! Ask anyone what a Pro 7B pack, with a 10m extension, and 2 heads way….and all the stands, reflectors, camera-bag and odds and ends.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

New Logo and Corporate ID

Danie Nel Photography LogoSo for a while I've been looking for a new corporate ID, logo, etc. Philip has come up with some ideas, and one of his ideas led me to this one. The moment it was on the screen I felt it was right. I'd like to tell you all the deeper meanings behind it, but it's simple:

I like a simple text logo. It seems stable. It sits easy on my eye. It can be made into a PS brush. It's easy enough to print. It's recognizable. You'll notice from now on my letterheads, email signature and web logos are all changing. It might still take a day or two to get to all the twitters, and facebook changes, my blog, but hopefully end of this week, all the print and online media will be updated.


my website is brand spanking new

, with about 100 new images going live tomorrow. The design of the site is already updated. Check it out here: As always, I've kept an html option, especially now that iPhones and iPads cannot read flash, and I don't want to lose out on those swanky visitors. I know people don't always like landing pages, but it helps google find me (it's html), and it gives people the option between flash/html.

There is only one last piece of marketing material that'll be taking a while to be converted: my business cards. I'm stuck with about 500, but as soon as they are gone, the new look will find it's way there.

But not only is Danie Nel Photography getting a new look, so is the business's stock image division,

The website has been updated, and also, hundreds of new images were added in the last couple of weeks, with about another 250 sitting in the upload queue for later this week. Remember, images are sold RF for a mere R100 ex VAT each, hi-res, A4 size.

What's with the photosniper thing? Ag, I just wanted to have some fun, and is where I can do it! I don't want to be similar to DNP's identity either, because in terms of product, it aims at different markets, in my mind. Anyways, I'm actually just trying all sorts of things.'s ID is less crucial though, as it makes up a small part of my business profile.

Lastly, I also got upgraded. I got a hair-cut.


I'm listing my business here now as well.
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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Libya - Last Day

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Ok, so I've been a tad busy, and haven't gotten around to posting new stories, but I'm back, and today, we're finishing the Libya trip. It's also about time, since I've been blogging about the trip on and off for the last 4 months!

Ever since we got to Tripoli, Jenny Morris have been trying to see the local food. An earlier excursion to the fish-market, close to our hotel, was met with disappointment, as most of the mongers had left by then. However, we all commented on a public fishmarket that has marble work surfaces! Well, I suppose old habit die hard for people who were invaded by marble and granite crazy Romans.

So, as a first stop, before we were to hit Sabratha, another immaculate UNESCO World-Heritage Site, we stopped at the port quickly, to go and see early morning activities in the fish-market. And I must say, wow! The array and quality of catch was quite amazing, even for someone like myself who's not keen on seafood. But I did grow up in a fishing village, so I know what decent fish looks like!


20091106Libya1076 The harbour was reminiscent of my childhood days in Lambert's Bay harbour.

20091106Libya1023 The interior of the market.

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20091106Libya1051 Jenny getting some info on the fish available. A very charming old man she dealt with indeed. It was also interesting to note how many of the mongers had Italian names, or even spoke Italian.

We were extracted from the market soon enough, because we still had to travel to Sabratha. I realised that this was my last chance to get piccies of the city and started taking pics through the windows, etcetera, just for memories.

20091106Libya1079 Advertising is not big in Libya, except for the political billboards, showing Libya's 40 year independence, and then, billboards of the African Union (Ghadaffi chairs the Union), billboards of Ghadaffi and then one billboard shoing that strange yellow cooldrink. We kept heading west.

20091106Libya1087 The entrance to Sabratha, 60km west of Tripoli. Like Leptis, there were few tourists around, and you were free to stroll wherever you wished.

20091106Libya1093 An overview of the ancient city of Sabratha. LIke Leptis, a staggering amount of marble, mosaic tiling and granite visible. Byzantine influence is a little more visible here, though.

20091106Libya1207 An old Byzantine baptistry, dating back to the very early years of Christianity. As a baptised Christian, I felt privileged to be able to see the place where brothers and sisters of mine were ushered into God's Kingdom, years and years ago. The baptistry is in the shape of a crucifix, about 5  feet deep, with steps leading down to the bottom. This would've made immersion fairly easy.

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We spent a good time wandering around the ruins, and I must admit, I got left behind many times, and missed out on most of the history, on account of taking pics, jumping of artifacts (why one has the urge to do that defies modern logic) and horsing around.

20091106Libya1221 As is Leptis Magna, Sabratha is adjacent to the Mediterranean, in fact, as is most intelligent life in Libya. Inland lies only Sahara, desert and a pipeline Ghadaffi is building to get water from the biggest underground aquifer in the world, the one underneath the Sahara. Some reckon the water there was on the surface as far back as 2000 years ago. Or something like that. But I digress.

We were then led to the most impressive ruin I've seen in my whole stay there, the Sabratha theatre.

20091106Libya1305-1307 panoramic This is a panoramic stitch of the theatre, so it belies the actual size of it. The area behind the stage is probably about 15 metres high, or higher, and most of it was beautifully restored and preserved.

20091106Libya1271 Me and some Libyan soldiers, Mohammed and Mohammed, probably. I'm sure.

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20091106Libya1330 The exterior.

Then we were once again treated to a hearty Libyan meal in the local restaurant, which is a tad more stylish than the one at Leptis, but still basic. The food however, perfect.

20091106Libya1337 20091106Libya1346 20091106Libya1356 The restaurant, the food, and the town of Sabratha.

20091106Libya1359 Me and our tour-guide. Good-byes were said and we took the 60km eastward to Tripoli to try and get to our plane on time.

20091106Libya1366 At the airport. Ready to board. I packed and unpacked my bags 6 times for security. Getting out of Libya is almost as difficult as getting in. Everyone was kind nervous, as security was a tad more ruthless on our exit.

20091106Libya1385 My last view of Tripoli.

20091106Libya1377 The trip got kinda rough on some of us!

Also, having flown there business class, coming back economy was a bit of a let-down, and thus I was not able to sleep as well for the 12 hours back. I simply can't do it! Back in JHB I had to spend 6 hours waiting for my flight back home.

As a first trip overseas, I must say, I'm really privileged to have been to one of the least visited places for Westerners in the world! Reading John Simpson's recount of his travels in Tripoli, in A mad world, my masters, it feels great to know, that I've been one of the lucky firsts of Westerners to visit this fabulous country. I want to go back. Soon.

A quick thanx to Aviareps (, Air Afriqiyah and Jenny Morris for getting me on this trip, it was most awesome! What an experience.

All the images I took you can view at . A selection of them are also available through, or directly from me.

Links to the previous posts on Libya:

Do read them, tweet them, share it and leave your comments. Anyone with a Google account can leave comments on my blog, so please engage.

Till next time, Salaam.