Eduan Groenewald (b. 1984, Oudtshoorn)
Grew up in Port Elizabeth, and currently living and working in Cape Town.
What kinds of things do you most enjoy photographing?
Anything interesting that catches my eye; may it be colour palettes, architecture, interesting people or situations. I’m always on the look-out for something or some place worth documenting. I celebrate the beauty in the ordinary and mundane.
Describe your photographic style.
This is a tricky one. I guess it depends on what I am shooting. I would say my style is honest.
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)?
Life is an irreversible journey, and every moment that passes is history which cannot be recreated. Catching hold of time at a specific moment therefore is magical and a treasure. With this in mind, photography has made me focus more on my surroundings, and see things I wouldn’t normally take note of. The camera helps me meet new people as it forces me to dig deeper into the environments and situations I photograph.
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?
It depends on the purpose of the photograph. I first decide if the composition works for me – if it needs more, I will frame up and wait for something to happen in the frame. With regards to a new body of work, I’ll try and gain as much knowledge of the subject as possible, and from there it’s pretty organic and natural to the way I normally shoot. On the more spontaneous approach, it all depends to what I come across.
Is photography your professional career? Or do you work in another field?
Yes, I am a full-time commercial photographer. I professionally shoot studio work, with a 4×5 view camera with a digital back. I work in teams with stylists and set builders and buyers. The commercial photography is extremely well planned out, that’s why I enjoy film photography in my personal time – it’s more unpredictable and palpable.
With film, I’m all about the whole creative process. It’s more real for me. Digital photography is objectively easier, quicker and more flexible.
What gear do you shoot with? Specifically camera arsenal and film stock.
My Olympus Stylus Epic (a.k.a. MJU ii) and Olympus OM2 SP, always loaded with colour film – mostly Fuji Proplus 200 or Fuji Superia400. I also carry a extra Olympus OM2 body with some b&w film loaded in it, preferably Kodak T Max 100.
Growth is important for any artistic craft. How do you stay motivated and enthusiastic about your work?
I am very fortunate to have people around me who are also very passionate about photography. We are constantly talking ideas and photography and we keep each other motivated.
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 my surroundings and the beautiful landscape I call home. I frequently visit Google Maps, looking for new and interesting places to visit and photograph.
Photographers who inspire me are; Martin Parr, William Eggleston, Philip-Lorca di Corcia, Alec Soth and the likes of Bruce Gilden, who is a very interesting character and inspiring to see his approach to the craft.
What else do you enjoy? (Hobbies, etc – Any other creative exploits or interests?)
I enjoy going on road trips, exploring new areas and places that are unknown to me. I DJ on the side, I enjoy cycling, gardening and having braais, spending time with the people close to me.
Any tips for aspiring film photographers?
Get yourself a fully manual camera and experiment with different kinds of film. Keep on looking through that viewfinder. Take more risks and enjoy the beauty of everyday life. Buy a good scanner to digitise your files – you will save more money for film that way.
What lies on the horizon (any plans for series, exhibitions, travels etc)? And what do you hope to achieve in the future?
This year I want to focus on more personal projects and collaborate with some of the photographers I’ve met through my journey with film. Next year, I want to travel to Europe again and go shoot there. Travelling abroad gives me better insight on what to shoot in South Africa.
Do you have a specific series or body of work that sums up your portfolio best?
I would say all my work together sums up my portfolio best. You can visit my website to see my film work. My film work and digital commercial work is worlds apart in style and aesthetics.
All photos by Eduan Groenewald
DEAD TOWN™ | Film-only Photographic Showcase ©2017.