Travel Pt.1 (Switzerland)

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” 
― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

I like that quote. And yes, I just googled "travel quotes", because I don't know any. That was actually my first result and I think it rings very true. Prior to being 28 years old, I had never traveled abroad. The furthest I had ever gone was across one of our borders to Mozambique with a girlfriend at the time and her family.

Then 2013 came and this happened. Followed the link and you're caught up? Okay, great.

In 2014 I interned with American Editorial and Commercial Photographer Zack Arias for a few months and if you want to read about that you can check out the archival blog, Only in America. That was my first time traveling abroad and that just opened the floodgates.

My next trip was in 2015 to China with the Steinway artist Charl du Plessis, which was a very impromptu and spontaneous thing.

In 2016 I didn't have the good fortune to do any traveling. And that brings us to this year, where I basically invited myself to go on tour with the Charl du Plessis trio to Ernen, Switzerland for the Musikdorf Festival and also slap a trip to Italy on top of that and go see my friends Sara Lando and Alessandro Locatelli.

Why the f*ck am I writing about this? Well, because traveling opens you up. To new people, new experiences, possibilities. It breaks down self-imposed barriers. It's scary and wonderful traveling on your own and even with someone to foreign and strange lands where you don't speak the language and you communicate with your hands, eyes, making gestures. It's almost like charades in a strange way.

Anyway, here are some images from that trip.

Sit back, relax, maybe get some wine, because this will be a long one with many images, and then go buy a plane ticket and travel the world. It's one of the easiest things to do, which is both great and shit.

On the train from Zürich to the small town of Ernen. The reason for there being no images of Werner is that he forgot his glasses at the airport and had to double back to get them. Which I a happy to report, he did.

Some images from around the town as well as the trio rehearsing.

The trio rehearsing with Opera singer Rachel Harnisch.

On this morning I went hiking into the forests of Ernen and it was a really beautiful site. During the entire 90 minute to 2-hour walk I only encountered people twice. The thing that kinda took my breath away on this morning was the fact that I drank water from a glacier that was running down the mountain as you can see on the left in the second image. I just had to stop and take in how ridiculous this was, that two days prior I had been in South Africa and now I was in the mountains of Switzerland.

This was followed by the trio rehearsing with Rachel in the church where most of the performances take place during the festival. I also had the great fortune of photographing world-famous ballet choreographer Heinz Spoerli from the Zürich ballet company (he retired in 2012) along with Charl. This was a little bit of an impromptu shoot and as you can see I had to get creative with my lighting :)

The morning and the evening of the main performance of the trio with Rachel in the church.

The morning before the trio's final performance, as they were rehearsing I photographed the husband and wife (the first two images) who are, I believe the main sponsors of the event, as well as Francesco Walter who spearheads the festival and the last images, are of Heinz Spoerli as well as a sneaky BTS image showing how I had a nice lady hold up a piece of tinfoil that doubled as a reflector. I had to be resourceful for a second time on this trip in how I photographed one of my subjects.

This is the town hall and the place that the trio first performed in 7 years earlier. It was also a fitting end to Hugo (the drummers') tenure, bringing it full circle by playing where it all began. Hugo now lives in Beijing with his wife.

And that was pretty much it for this first part of the journey. We ate well, drank well (some of us a little too well, I would wager) and hung out with strangers and friends. It was and is probably one of my favorite trips thus far and if all goes well I will return in 2018 to document a very cool collaboration and performance. Here's to hoping.

Part two will be up soon, where I speak a little about Italy and my time there with friends as well as on my own.

Thanks for reading

Perspective Pt.2

As promised, here is part 2 of a two or three part retrospective of the year 2017 of our Lord God. You can check out part one here.

Where did we leave things? Ah yes, the short film Siklus. Up next was my shoot with Coca-Cola.

This was a really great shoot with some very talented individuals, from MUA's to stylists, to the agency and assistant. This is a shoutout to everyone who helped pull this together.

Agency: Cerebra
Hair & MUA: Jules Ruby
Wardrobe/Stylist: Sheena Bagshawe
Casting: Anna-Belle Durrant
Assistant: Ett Venter

Next up was this shoot with my friend Adriaan Esterhuizen, whom by the way is a damn great cinematographer and you should take a moment to go and view his work here. Go do that first and then come back here and read further.

We photographed these images in my apartment with some very sad music playing and a lot of silence and observation. It was tough at times. Toward the end of the shoot, looking through my viewfinder and telling him to look straight into my camera felt heavy. I don't know how else to describe it, but that was the feeling in the room. It was good though. Afterwards when we were done we had some tea I think and spoke about things that didn't weigh so much on our psyche.

Thanks again for this day dude. Stoked to see you soon.

Damn! May was jam packed with a few cool shoots. Next up was my sitting with Charles Niehaus.

This was a pretty cool one I thought and I still really like these images. I met Charles a little over a year ago at Trent Gallery a.k.a. Cameo Framers in Waterkloof, where I have most of my artworks framed. At that time he had broken his collarbone and I was planning on making a portrait of Stuart who owns and runs the place and he suggested that I photograph Charles which finally happened basically a year later.

I then photographed my friends at UNKOWN Design Johannesburg, which was also a very long time coming. Kelda (middle) has since left and started her own thing -named Closer- which is both sad, but also really exciting and I am so stoked or her.

Probably one of my favourite sittings/subjects this year was the elusive artist Hougaard Winterbach. Check out some of his work here. I photographed him in his house on a Sunday morning. He looks quite intimidating, however he is one of the kindest people I know.

Another small agency Henn+Honeyball run by my friends Christian and Ryan. I've known Christian for a couple years now and he always sends work my way when their clients need something done and I am eternally grateful for that. I played around with harder light for these images and I was really pleased with the end results.

They ended up using the latter two images for their website and online media profiles.

I think that will have to be it for part two. I definitely photographed a couple of cool gigs. Next up I will write a little about my trip to Italy and Switzerland that happened in the middle part of 2017 and how that all came about and then onwards to part 3.

Thanks for reading.