Wednesday, June 18, 2014

NEW WEBSITE! ….and finally a blog post.


My new website is up. And with posting this, so also finally a new blog post. Wow, it has been a slow posting season. You can always catch me on Instagram  Twitter or Facebook, where shorter, more regular updates  do take place! Normally with pictures.



Anyways, it is not so much the new design of the website that is getting me excited. I use a system called Photobiz, so changing a template requires the press of a button and my site looks new, design-wise. And HTML5, nogal (and Afrikaans word that means “quite, actually, if you can believe it, and a strange mix of these, so not translatable much and completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand) .  So that (changing the template - in case your head is spinning from all the digressing taking place) hardly induces excitement.

The exciting part is the new content. It took almost two weeks of sifting through hard-drives of the last 5 years and choosing images that I would like to include. And about a year of psyching myself up to get started. I ended up with more than 1000 images, which is not really practical, so I had to whittle it down, and it is still in the couple of hundreds, and ad agency art directors and art buyers are probably now choking on their  skinny lattes.


As I’ve mentioned in previous posts I am a generalist to a large extent. With other words I’m an specialist in photography, not necessarily an expert in photographing coins that date back to Roman times on black cloth. But if you need me to, I’m pretty certain of my abilities producing the required outcome through my 15 years experience in commercial photography. And a degree in photography, but that doesn’t mean much, in my honest opinion. Although because of my degree I can talk at length about the Gestaltian visual principles in play while photographing said coins. I digress, anyways, but that’s to be expected, being so generalist and all. Oh, and before you judge me, industry heavies such as Joe McNally labels himself a generalist. Being a staffer for National Geographic kinda requires that too. Let me also be clear, if you do specialise in one field, then that is awesome. I just don’t really.



The point is that it is difficult to  get my portfolio down to that magical number of 30 images like most article writers on this particular topic like to point out. In my experience these writers often have to supplement their photography income by writing articles, which is not the best endorsement of their own portfolios, if you ask me.



Apart from the odd ad agency art buyer, most people I encounter, especially the corporate client who has a range of needs, from events to short videos to product photography to images of Roman coins on black backgrounds, wants to look at one portfolio, and see  that they can get everything there. In fact, I have had corporates look at my wedding images, and decide if I can make a bride feel at ease, I’m the man to make their 30 stone CEO feel less body conscious. Also, most people love looking at pictures, and would rather sit and page through your portfolio and call it work than compile the latest marketing budget spend report.


What I’m also rather excited about is the “About Me” section. Normally that is the place where I fall around between self-loathing, self-justifying (much like the tone of this blog post), insecurity, indignant entitlement, modesty and ultimately a biography I can feel uncomfortable with for the next couple of months.

A brilliant quote by Alfred Eisenstaedt just totally turned me on to the idea of rather having “behind the scenes” photos from years past to tell you something about me and my clients and how I approach my work. The quote is along the lines of “You can not click the shutter if you have not clicked with people”.  I believe it sums up my view on my work to a large extent. I really do appreciate every person who  does business with me.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Too busy to blog

Blogging... Wow. I remeber doing it regularly. I want to hereby commit to once a week updates again. It's been wild. Since last time I've sold my studio, moved into a shared space and have been up to some great fun.

Just to make this feel like a legitimate post, which is hard as I'm posting from my phone, I'll add a  of pic from today.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Danie Nel VIDEO: Crashtackle–Hammerfall

I have mentioned before that I’m a musician in my free time, making and recording music, and distributing it for free/pay-what-you-want digitally. Just for kicks. Anyways, so my musical portfolio has grown to also encompass another entity, or side-project as musicians call it, called “Crashtackle”. This is basically my heavier, more experimental music. You can connect with my Crashtackle music at or the links below, or read about my musical adventures in general, at .

So, finally I got another Crashtackle tune out. Actually, just my second. This time it’s “Hammerfall”, and the first time I’m singing as well in Crashtackle. I tried all sorts of styles, but I realised, alas, I’m not a screamer, growler or even high-angst belter, I am what I am, so I decided to just go with that. Also, I realised that it might be a good idea to get a video out for Crashtackle.  I have done two music videos before for my Danie Nel music. Below is the last one… varying degrees of success… and before that a monster project of note with illustrating the video in Photoshop, on a touch-pad mouse! Again, none of these were really planned with any form of output in mind, but sort-of slapped together, off-the-cuff…. I suppose not too different from the one I just did for Crashtackle.

Danie Nel–Hosea Said
Danie Nel–Kinders vang die Son

Recording the video was very funny, doing everything myself, playing, directing, shooting, etc. You do, or at least I, felt a bit like a mental case, running around, running two cameras, checking focus on a mic-stand the was my stand-in,  switching on the guide-track music, running to the spot and then “performing” my heart out on unplugged instruments.

The concept of the clips of Scriptures come from the passages that inspired some of the lyrics. These I shot after all the performance bits the next day. The other add-ins, non-performance clips, if you will, was literally just stock clips I had shot previously, time-lapses and the like and just threw it in. No thought behind those! It just supported the atmosphere I was going for, so I thought what the heck. Non-narrative videos work for Anton Corbijn, so why can’t I?

Anyways, if I had budget, help and whatnot, imagine what one can come up with for another music video…

You can stream this tune, and the first release, “Jeremiah’s Complaint”, download or share it here:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Wedding T+L Dec 2013


A noon-day wedding in high summer in Cape Town is always a challenge, but luckily for me, this time around there was a poplar forest at the venue and I could pull this couple into the forest, away from harsh light, and heat, and get some beautiful pics. Herewith some of the highlights.