Trying to keep up with my decision to conduct more interviews and to help out the incredible photographers in the SA Rocks Flickr group, I present to you andreinafrica, AKA Andre van Rooyen:
My start in digital photography came in a roundabout way. I was Googling wallpaper images, and came across an amazing image of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, covered in a layer of cloud, with just the very tops of the towers showing. The photographer was John Curley, of the San Francisco Chronicle, and of Flickr. Following the rabbit-hole led me into the online world of photo-sharing, and suddenly, the digital camera which had *not* been at the top of my to-buy list, was calling my name.
What followed was a mad 3-month dash. Purchase camera (Polaroid i532 PNS), sign-up (Flickr Pro), shoot and post anything that would stand still long enough, discover camera limits, purchase new camera (Fuji S5600 super-zoom), shoot and post anything that would stand still (and some stuff that wouldn’t!), discover more, different camera limits, all the while being inspired by the amazing photographers on Flickr, John Curley, Joe Cantoni, Kristin Hayes, Paul Bruins, Lisa MacDonagh, Deborah Lattimore, and many, many more…
Then, only 2 and half months in, I took a huge deep breath, and purchased yet another new, better, camera (Nikon D40 DSLR)… And suddenly, I was home…
You’ll often hear advice about buying a camera, that goes like this:
Pick it up, handle it, shoot a few, you’ll know what fits right.
Wise words. Handling the D40 felt like a hand, severed at birth, had been re-attached. Overnight I went from searching through my card for images that pleased me, to regularly shooting images that I could sit and stare at for ages… A very happy puppy, I was
That was a little over 17000 D40-images, and 12 months ago. It has been, without a shadow of doubt, the most rewarding, artistic, me-thing, that I’ve ever done. Actually, it’s pretty much the only artistic thing I’ve ever done, and that alone has been a revelation for me.
So, what do I like shooting and why? When I signed up on Flickr, I choose the name ‘andreinafrica’. Flickr has grown exponentially in the last year, by numbers and by countries, but back then the overwhelming majority of Flickr shooters were Americans (or at least it felt that way…). I wanted to show some of *my* Africa. That it is, as good, and as beautiful, as anywhere in the world, and perhaps even better, and more beautiful, if you know where to look
What a ride 2007 has been. The gorgeous places I’ve been, the amazing things I’ve seen, the wonderful people I’ve met. I went pretty much everywhere I could in pursuit of the photo’s I knew would showcase South Africa. The Golden Gate Highlands in January, the Kruger Park in February, the Little Karoo, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Cape Peninsula in April/May, the Waterberg in July, the Bluff in Durban in August, the Pretoria Photomarathon in September, the Expressions of Cape Town exhibition in the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town (Yay!),the Cape Peninsula and the Cape Wes-kus in glorious summer, in October. 850-odd Flickr posts. Wow!
Now that it’s a little calmer and I have a workflow, and likes and dislikes sorted and identified, I can say that my first love is seascapes and landscapes, preferably at sunset or sunrise. Wildlife is next on the list, followed by lunar-photography (or lunacy, as the set is named I’m notoriously resistant to people photography, with failures (retirements-in-disgrace, actually) in pretty much any form of people portraiture… Ah well, in another life perhaps
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