2018-05-11 - Bonsai - Watching a Master at Work

♦︎ 盆栽 ♦︎ ぼんさい ♦︎ bonsai 

On Monday we had another fun photoshoot with Antony Smith - a well known name among bonsai aficionados in South Africa.  Antony runs the Willow Bonsai Shop in Pretoria and is also in charge of the Bonsai Addicts club.


Antony also recently won the SABA Photographic Competition Indigenous section with a photo we took of his Ficus burtt-davyi nana (veld fig tree) of 14cm tall and a 3cm thick trunk (The same tree shown here).

Antony has been training this 12-year-old tree for the last 6 years.


Behind the scenes, we enjoyed coffee, conversation, laughter and an impromptu lesson on trimming and training bonsai.

2018-04-25 - From the Durban rush to a little gem in Ballito

Sunday we were on our way to Durban in KwaZulu-Natal.  With all the extra equipment to lug around, we decided to drive down rather than flying.  We also didn't wan't to stay in Durban, but to have a bit of a look at the Dolphin Coast while we had the chance.

We found an absolute gem of a guest house in Ballito.  Jakita's at 12 Salisbury Road is a lovely place to stay, with stunning views, comfortable, spacious rooms and friendly staff.  Demetri and his staff even got up ridiculously early to make us breakfast so we could be at our first photoshoot before sunrise. You can book your stay online through like we did and get a nice discount as well.

While in Ballito I also tried the scrumptious baby chicken at Mozambik - to die for.

Monday we were shooting all day at sites in and around Durban where our clients from Stefanutti are involved with projects to build bridges, waterfront walkways and pipeline supports.  

A long trip and a busy day, but the views are gorgeous and make it all worthwhile.  Sunrise over the ocean and the quiet construction site was an amazing experience.

2018-04-17 - DDP March/April Newsletter

March Hares and April Fools
Who said you have to conform to succeed?

New Clients that feel like Old Friends

One of the highlights for the month of March was a mammoth photoshoot to update the image library of Consulta, an interesting group of people who have had quite an impact in marketing research since their founding in 1998.  

A research company, originally launched by a university - bound to be a bunch of stuffy academics, right?  Wrong.  

Friendly, fun, adaptable, creative - these people were a joy to work with.

Playing in the Dirt

Like big kids we spent a lot of time playing in the dirt with our friends from One Way Up Productions and Gerbera Brand Management.  

Shooting for earthmoving, mining, civil and construction involve a lot of rolling on the ground, throwing dust in the air, climbing things and crawling under and over stuff - most moms would never have believed you if you told them it was work.  

Luckily our fabulous clients like Stefanutti and Bidvest pay us to play in the dirt, as long as the photos are amazing.

We get Wired

Another large chunk of time involved long-time client Active Brand.

We photographed quite a people, not to mention several factories and machines, as well as shooting product photos for the catalogues of some of the Subsidiaries of the Barnes Group of Companies.

Of course, wire is not the only thing produced at Barnes, but we just couldn't resist using that line!

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2018-04-10 Instagram or Pinterest?

What's your favourite platform for sharing your photos and pictures?  

I enjoy using Instagram for my behind the scenes glimpses and some of my favourite photographs.  

It is fast, easy, allows a decent number of tags / cross-posting and lets me keep the photos and videos for a shoot in the same post.  It also gets me some decent feedback. 

The only downside to Instagram is the aspect ratio limitations - having to give banners and panoramas a border just to enable you to upload can be a bit of a chore.

Pinterest Boards are great for themed collections and allow all sorts of aspect ratios, but the social interaction is much more limited.  

On the plus side, pins on Pinterest can point directly at the original photos on your other platforms, making it great for pointing interested parties in the direction of your other work.

So which do you prefer?


2018-03-19 - Just can't help it ...

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I was just going to take some simple cellphone snaps of my bonsai trees - honest.

Seems that one of the things they don't tell you is that after 20 years as a photographer, you just can't help yourself.  

Half an hour later the first subject is dusted and polished and the shot is set up - Profoto lights and all.

I'll bet this is the only iPhone ever mounted on a +R20000 tripod setup.