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Recent zines by Adriaan Louw, Albert Retief and co.

Cape Town photographers and film fundis, Adriaan Louw and Albert Retief, have recently brought out a variety of photo zines focusing on their travels abroad, mostly to Asia.

The two collaborated with multiple creatives including designer Hanno van Zyl. Check out their publications below:

Gaja — 가자 by Adriaan Louw & Albert Retief (2017)

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In September 2016, Albert Retief and Adriaan Louw travelled from Seoul to Hong Kong via Beijing. Gaja means “Let’s Go” in Korean.

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> Watch the accompanying film below –

GAJA | 2016 from Adriaan Louw on Vimeo.

MISSING by Adriaan Louw, Albert Retief and Pieter Retief (2018)

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A skateboarding trip to Bangkok, Thailand featuring Yann Horowitz, Josh Chisholm, Dlamini Dlamini and Pieter Retief. Made possible with the support from adidas South Africa and adidas Skateboarding.

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> Watch the accompanying film below (shot on 16mm film) –

“Missing” | Bangkok | 2017 from Where To From Here on Vimeo.

 

Company by Albert Retief and Franke Frances Theunissen (2018)

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A journey from Seoul, South Korea to Yerevan, Armenia.

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Tomas Wells

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Tomas Wells (b. 1995, Johannesburg)
Cape Town.

What kinds of things do you most enjoy photographing?

I enjoy shooting a little bit of everything, from landscapes to unconventional portraits and arbitrary objects or scenes. I’d definitely say that what I enjoy shooting is constantly evolving.

Describe your photographic style.

If I had to take a step back and try to summarise it, I’d likely say it’s a cross pollination of man-made objects or subjects in natural environments. It’s hard to really pin down because it’s often scenes I stumble across.

Photography is a lot about the journey. How has it influenced your personal life
and the way in which you view the world (around you)?

I am much more considerate of my environment and take notice of everyday things around me that people take for granted. It has also created a love for venturing to places I’d probably never have gone to in South Africa.

Photography is also about capturing a moment in time. What is your approach to a
shot and your approach to a body of work?

It varies; it’s either just something I find interesting while I’m out and about or it’s something I see over and over again (usually on a daily basis) and it bugs me so much that I have to go take a photo of it. Currently there’s a damaged concrete fence on Philip Kgosana Drive that has been bugging me for weeks, I’ll probably go shoot it sometime.

Is photography your professional career? Or do you work in another field?

No, it’s just a hobby. On a full time basis I work as a video editor at AVA.

What gear do you shoot with? Specifically camera arsenal and film stock.

My girlfriend recently got me a Nikon F100 from Hong Kong, otherwise I’ve been using a Nikon N65 with a Nikon 50mm f1.8. I also occasionally shoot with a small Pentax Espio just for fun. I find myself moving between various film stocks depending on where I am when I need a roll. Personal favourite is Portra 400.

Growth is important for any artistic craft. How do you stay motivated and
enthusiastic about your work?

This is something I struggle with immensely, but I think my motivation comes in waves. Once I feel that I have no more “oomph” to create something it really forces me to stop, push and think of something that will revitalise that motivation.

In the age where digital photography is prevalent, what draws you to film and what makes it special to you?

I think most people would say the aesthetic of film stocks, but I think for me personally it’s introduced me to such a rad community that revolves around film. There are so many locals creating great work that I possibly would not have been introduced to if it was not for film. Also receiving scans back is like receiving a small treat.

What are your influences? Please list other photographers you look up to or
things that generally inspire your image-making process.

I think your influences come from your current space in life, the people you’re surrounded by and places you see. In terms of photographers, I’d have to say people like Tom Westbury, Mo Wahl, Cody Cobb, and all the locals; Kent Andreasen, Gabrielle Guy, Christiaan Beyers and the list goes on.

What else do you enjoy? (Hobbies, etc – Any other creative exploits or interests?)

Going for an occasional early morning hike or ocean swim is always the best way to start any day. Other than that I spend most of my time, if I’m not at work, exploring and shooting.

Any tips for aspiring film photographers?

Don’t take things too seriously, shoot whatever catches your eye and most importantly just shoot for yourself. I recently found myself shooting images with sharing it in mind and I found myself really unsatisfied shooting that way. So yeah, just shoot for yourself.

What lies on the horizon? (any plans for series, exhibitions, travels, etc.) And what do you hope to achieve in the future?

I’ve been in the process of planning a sneaky trip to some islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, but we’ll see where that takes me. I like the idea of doing more unconventional trips that are generally overlooked as typical holiday destinations. For me these places usually yield intriguing and interesting spaces that need to be captured.

Instagram: @tomas_wells

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All photos by Tomas Wells

DEAD TOWN™ | Film-only Photographic Showcase ©2017-2018.

Jesse Navarre Vos

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Jesse Navarre Vos (b. 1991)
Cape Town

What kinds of things do you most enjoy photographing?

I mostly enjoy photographing people. I like the sense of connection it fosters.

Describe your photographic style.

I’m not really sure if I have a style as such. I do, however, really enjoy close-up and intimate portraiture. I like seeing people’s faces and the details on their skin.

Photography is a lot about the journey. How has it influenced your personal life
and the way in which you view the world (around you)?

I think I was always more influenced by film as a medium, rather than photography. I just found photography more accessible. It certainly influences the way you see things around you, and at times you start seeing the world in terms of composition and framing. It has more influenced my idea of connection with the people I tend to photograph.

I’m generally quite introverted and a little shy and it has had to make me become a bit more forthcoming in my interaction, especially with strangers. I still get nervous asking people to photograph them because I think you have to be conscious of your intentions. You have to be willing to listen to people’s stories and to give them the time of day. For me, it has influenced the way in which I interact with people, which I guess is more behind the scenes rather than the photograph as a final product.

Photography is also about capturing a moment in time. What is your approach to a
shot and your approach to a body of work?

When I first started I was obsessed with capturing singular moments of beauty or subjects that intrigued me. The more I have been shooting, I’ve realised that this isn’t enough anymore. A lot of people take beautiful portraits and I think in todays world where everything is being produced and uploaded so quickly I have become more drawn to more narrative based work that happens over a period of time, that is immersive, rather than produced in an instant.

Is photography your professional career? Or do you work in another field?

I work in the photographic industry, but I am by no means a professional photographer, whatever that may mean. I don’t want to become dependent upon my personal work for financial security. When you depend upon your personal work for money that can really kill one’s passion and creativity. If it ever gets to the point where I’m able to generate an income for my style and personal work that would be great, but I’m not depending on that.

What gear do you shoot with? Specifically camera arsenal and film stock.

I shoot with a Mamiya RB67 and generally use Kodak Portra 400. I’ve shot a lot of different film stocks over the last two years, but it’s the one I come back to.

Growth is important for any artistic craft. How do you stay motivated and
enthusiastic about your work?

I try to find projects that intrigue me and that I know will stimulate and keep my interest — that’s why I am working on some more longer narrative based projects at the moment. I also don’t draw inspiration from photography that much, apart from compositional purposes mostly. I get most of my inspiration from my environment, from conversations I have with friends, films, music, etc. I studied Anthropology, History and Music, so I don’t come from a photographic background, and I think those mediums have played quite a big role in the work I’m doing at the moment.

In the age where digital photography is prevalent, what draws you to film and what makes it special to you?

I like the idea of process. I like that it takes time to set up a photograph, that it makes me have to interact with my subject, and forces me to slow down. I also don’t like having to edit down thousands of pictures which is what one does when one shoots digital. I’m not against digital by any means, but for my practice i just doesn’t fit. I am wanting to get into hand printing, and I think the process of creating a photograph beyond just taking a picture is what appeals to me the most. The idea of making a physical representation of the photograph. I don’t think my reasons for shooting film are for nostalgic reasons; I prefer to think that it’s about the process and outcome. It’s the tangible aspect that appeals to me.

What are your influences? Please list other photographers you look up to or
things that generally inspire your image-making process.

I have no idea how to answer this accurately, because I know for sure that I’m inspired by more than just photographers. Influences are the result of a lifetime of passions and experiences, so to keep it simple I’m just going to say everyday experiences, people, movies, music, books, etc.

What else do you enjoy? (Hobbies, etc – Any other creative exploits or interests?)

I really enjoy writing and I’m hoping to shoot some more short form based films in the near future.

Any tips for aspiring film photographers?

Patience and perseverance. I think finding one’s style and voice takes a lot of time and experimentation to develop and grow, and it’s forever changing and defining itself. I think it always helps to be critical about one’s work and to always be willing to grow and learn. Film offers so many options, but I think because it can work out to be quite an expensive hobby/experience that it’s best to try and ask oneself why you want to shoot film. Everyone needs to answer this question for themselves.

What lies on the horizon? (any plans for series, exhibitions, travels, etc.) And what do you hope to achieve in the future?

I am currently working on a few narrative based projects which I’ll be engaging with over the next few months. I’ve also started moving into directing, which I find a great compliment to shooting photographs. I love film and I have always wanted to be a director, so I will be pursuing that as well over the next few months. I don’t have any plans for exhibitions or anything of that nature at the moment. I’m just taking things slow and let whatever happens happen.

Instagram: @jessenavarrevos

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All photos by Jesse Navarre Vos

DEAD TOWN™ | Film-only Photographic Showcase ©2017-2018.

Our Showcase at Studio ElevenEleven

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The dudes at Cape Town photographic studio and exhibition space, Studio ElevenEleven, invited us to be part of their launch. Check out what went down and swing by to purchase a zine if you haven’t got one yet – not many left.

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The showcase also featured work by Cape Town creatives; Black River StudiosCape Film SupplyChris Slabber, Dirk Steenkamp and Kleinjan Groenewald.

Website: https://www.1111creativespace.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElevenElevenCreativeSpace/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/studio_eleveneleven/

#DeadTownZine

Dead Town Showcase at Studio ElevenEleven

IMG_2868.jpegFriends, photographers, and film enthusiasts. The dudes at ElevenEleven (11:11) Studio & Creative Space have invited us to form part of their opening launch in Cape Town. Check out the new space in Gardens on 3 May.

Founded by Kleinjan Groenewald and Dirk Steenkamp, the space will be used as a photographic studio, as well as play host to exhibitions and other events. Thanks for showcasing our zine and enjoying the platform.

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Website: https://www.1111creativespace.com/
Instagram: @studio_eleveneleven
Address: 15 Wandel Street, Gardens, Cape Town, WC, 8001, South Africa

 

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Gray Kotze

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Gray Kotze (b. 1992)
Cape Town

What kinds of things do you most enjoy photographing?

People and their interactions with their environments. I like to try and capture expressions or places in a way that is representative of the reality of that moment and tells a story. I also enjoy capturing beauty, landscapes or otherwise.

Describe your photographic style.

Coming from a background of film and cinematography I like to try and photograph in a visually pleasing manner, focusing on light and composition in order to best tell the story of the place I’m photographing. I like working with natural light, finding beautiful spaces and interesting characters.

Photography is also a means for me to test cinematic looks and techniques. I like trying out different equipment which inevitably influences the style in some way.

Photography is a lot about the journey. How has it influenced your personal life
and the way in which you view the world (around you)?

When I walk around with a camera I’m far more aware of my surroundings. It forces you to wake up, concentrate and appreciate the environment rather than walking around with your head down. I started taking photos whilst traveling and found I was always more in tune and engaged with new places when I had a camera and was walking around trying to capture the feeling of the place.

Photography is also about capturing a moment in time. What is your approach to a
shot, and your approach to a new body of work?

Photography is more an interest than my primary creative pursuit so I’m not too serious about putting together a specific project. But when I do have an idea for a series it usually comes out of a desire to take photos that are visually linked, therefore I usually end up limiting myself to using the exact same equipment (same lens, stock, etc.) for the whole series to maintain the visual aesthetic.

Is photography your professional career? Or do you work in another field?

I work in the film industry. Photography isn’t my career but it supplements it.

What gear do you shoot with? Specifically camera arsenal and film stock.

Nikon F3 with a set of Nikkor AIS primes.

I like to experiment with different 35mm stocks. Ideally I’d love to primarily shoot Cinestill 50D (which is rebranded Kodak Vision3 stock) — but it’s not financially viable. I usually shoot Agfa Vista for colour and Agfa APX for black and white — it’s cheap with nice contrast. When I have money I shoot Portra.

Growth is important for any artistic craft. How do you stay motivated and
enthusiastic about your work?

By looking at great work by other artists — cinematographers, photographers, etc.

What are your influences? Please list other photographers you look up to or
things that generally inspire your image-making process.

I’m inspired by both the South African cinematographers that I’m lucky to work with and the work of international cinematographers such as Christopher Doyle, Sean Bobbitt, Emmanuel Lubezki, Bradford Young, Reed Morano, and many others. As well as film-makers/photographers like Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Jonas Lindstroem and Sean Metelerkamp.

I love the work of classic, slightly surreal photojournalists like Gordon Parks, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa. Stanley Kubrick also has some incredibly cinematic photo journalistic photography.

What else do you enjoy? (Hobbies, etc – Any other creative exploits or interests?)

Reading, writing, traveling, hiking, going to the cinema.

Any tips for aspiring film photographers?

For any creative field, study the work of others that you love and copy it until your work begins to change from imitation into something original.

What lies on the horizon (any plans for series, exhibitions, travels etc)? And what do you hope to achieve in the future?

We (myself and director Greg Bakker) went to Durban International Film Festival in 2017 with our debut feature film, Relics. Now we’re moving on and trying to produce our second feature. We’re also re-writing a bunch of South African scripts, which we hope will get funded one day.

Website: http://www.graykotze.com/
Instagram: @graykotze

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All photos by Gray Kotze

DEAD TOWN™ | Film-only Photographic Showcase ©2017-2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alet Pretorius

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Alet Pretorius (b. 1980)
Pretoria

What kinds of things do you most enjoy photographing?

I am a compulsive photographer. I photograph everything with my camera and often my phone. I find that the medium sometimes dictates what and how I photograph. If I use my phone I am more relaxed and not really thinking about the outcome. Photographing objects, people, light… indiscriminately. When I use my DSLR, I go into work mode. I become very conscious of the outcome — where the photograph is going, what the story is. When I shoot film it feels more personal. I tend to shoot more intimate subjects like friends and family, but mostly I prefer shooting people. I love portrait photography. I enjoy working with people and telling their stories.

Describe your photographic style.

I prefer using natural light. I try to use the technical language of photography to tell the story. I have a journalistic style but I like to experiment. Film gives me freedom to experiment. I try to incorporate what I learn from film photography into my digital photography, for example I have been experimenting with double exposures on my digital camera lately. I try to think more about the light and how it will affect the outcome. With digital you get lazy because you can see the outcome immediately and correct accordingly. With film you have to actively think about light and how it will affect your picture. I would love to translate the intimacy of my film photography into my professional work.

Photography is a lot about the journey. How has it influenced your personal life
and the way in which you view the world (around you)?

I think your view of the world, your personality and your photography have a reciprocal relationship. They influence each other. Photography has definitely influenced my personality and world view. I have learned patience and to be more methodical. It’s a cliché but you do learn to look at the world differently. You try to see the story behind everything, the symbolic meaning of every object. You learn to look for detail and how that fits into the bigger picture. My personality has also influenced my photography. I am an observer, I like to be in the background — this is why I prefer documentary photography. The empathy I have with people translates into my photography.

Photography is also about capturing a moment in time. What is your approach to a
shot, and your approach to a new body of work?

I always look for the light first. I like to research a lot but know that you have to be flexible. I like to just start a project and see where it goes. The act of photographing is like a kind of investigation for me. Ideas evolve while I take pictures. Sometimes you have to pin down an idea otherwise the project just gets to big.

Is photography your professional career? Or do you work in another field?

I am a professional photographer. I worked for a daily newspaper for 13 years, but recently started freelancing and get to work on more diverse projects now. I still love photojournalism, but also work on more commercial projects.

What gear do you shoot with? Specifically camera arsenal and film stock.

I currently shoot with a Pentax ME Super which I bought for myself just before going to university. I have a Nikon F80 which I actually used when I started working for newspapers. I was part of the generation of photographers who switched from film to digital. Looking back, it is hard to imagine that we shot news on film. We shot a lot less pictures but still got good news images. I like the immediacy of digital photography for journalism work.

I shoot with my Nikon D750, transfer the images with the built in Wi-Fi to my phone, email or tweet and the images can be distributed to people within minutes. But I miss the process of film photography – you have to think about what and how you photograph. The time between taking the picture and having the picture ready for publication leaves a lot of space for contemplating.

I recently bought a medium format camera, a Zenza Bronica. I’m still trying to come to grips with it but want to shoot a portrait project soon. I mostly use any expired film that I find wherever I can. I love various kinds of films and the different feel each give your photographs.

Growth is important for any artistic craft. How do you stay motivated and
enthusiastic about your work?

I lecture at the Market Photo Workshop from time to time. Interacting with young photographers is exciting and I think I learn a lot from that exchange. It is inspiring to be in an environment where so many of the great photographers in South Africa studied.

I take part in some projects by Pretoria Street Photography. It’s great to meet up with different photographers and work on one goal. Everybody brings something else to the table and we inspire each other.

What are your influences? Please list other photographers you look up to or
things that generally inspire your image-making process.

There are so many in SA and internationally. I can mention a few:

Locally; Samantha Reinders, James Oatway, Retha Ferguson, Ernest Cole, Santu Mofokeng, and Omar Badshu.

International; Nan Goldin, Sebastião Salgado, Mario Testino, Andrea Bruce, Ami Vitale, and VII Photo.

I love reading, watching movies and looking at art. Other artistic mediums influence my photography a lot.

What else do you enjoy? (Hobbies, etc – Any other creative exploits or interests?)

Most of my interests are photography based. I love photography books. My boyfriend is a painter and we have a project where he paints on my photographs. We have had two exhibitions and are planning another one soon. I have also collaborated with artist Banele Khoza for a Found Collective exhibition at No End gallery in Johannesburg.

Any tips for aspiring film photographers?

Look for mentors. Shoot, shoot, shoot. Find someone that can help you edit. Work on projects that mean something to you. Shoot more. Walk more. Be curious. Look for the light. Be brutal when you edit.

What lies on the horizon (any plans for series, exhibitions, travels etc)? And what do you hope to achieve in the future?

I am working on a couple of portraiture series at the moment that will hopefully be finished by next year. I want to start a big documentary project too. I also want to shoot an intimate personal project on DSLR and a big commercial project on film.

Website: https://www.havecamerawill.wordpress.com/
Instagram: @aletpretfilm
Behance: https://www.behance.net/aletpretor7cf0

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All photos by Alet Pretorius

DEAD TOWN™ | Film-only Photographic Showcase ©2017-2018.