DEAD TOWN Exhibition & Fanzine Launch

Super excited to introduce the DEAD TOWN fanzine; a full-blown publication with an amazing collection of film photographs.

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Digital mock-up of DEAD TOWN fanzine. Cover image by Matt Kay.

Please join us at the launch and exhibition:
Thursday 25 January – Saturday 3 February, 2018
Wreck Room at Kalashnikovv Gallery, 153 Smit Str, Braamfontein, Johannesburg
(free entrance – and please use the service road)
https://www.facebook.com/events/1544918178928683/

The zine and group show will feature various work by South African photographers using analogue film. Copies of the zine and select prints will be on sale. The launch will also include live music from The Bad Ass Execs and The Moths.

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If you would like to pre-order your copy then please get in touch via email (deadtownphotoclub@gmail.com) to arrange EFT and postage. We are going to be shipping worldwide, and will also be looking at getting copies into your favourite photography and zine stores.

Zine specs
Size A5, 92 pages, 150gsm silk, 300gsm matt laminated cover, thread sewn
Black & white and colour images, with 39 South African photographers
Two featured series by Matt Kay and Gabriella Achadinha
Limited edition, stamped and hand-numbered

Katya Abedian | Gabriella Achadinha | Mike Bell | Christiaan Beyers
Frans Borman | Paris Brummer | Pieter Coetzee | Yetunde Dada
Luke Daniel | Meghan Daniels | Lee-David de Haas | Gideon de Kock
Saaiqa Ebrahim | Michael Ellis | Tao Farren-Hefer | Daniel Futerman
Andrew Gregory | Eduan Groenewald | Kleinjan Groenewald | David Peter Harris
Stan Kaplan | Matt Kay | Gray Kotze | Duran Levinson | Angus MacKinnon
Jack Daniel Mason | Kevin Murning | Shalom Mushwana | Jabu Nadia Newman
Albert Retief | Thomas Revington | Cameron Richards | Cat Rudolph
Willy Sheepskin | Anton Scholtz | Cecilia M. Scholtz | Aidan Tobias
Willem van den Heever | Cale Waddacor

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Sample spreads with work from Gabriella Achadinha, Shalom Mushwana, Angus MacKinnon, Matt Kay, Jack Daniel Mason and Christiaan Beyers.

Press and media may download the full Press Pack: please follow this link.

About DEAD TOWN:
Founded by Cale Waddacor in January 2017, the DEAD TOWN platform has published over 50 South African photographers in one calendar year, with in-depth interviews posted online, as well as a feature video with Andile Buka.
The showcase focuses on the South African film niche in order to expand the medium as a means of classic documentation, while also highlighting the excellent stream of local photographers who continue to explore the format.
In the future, Waddacor hopes to continue his passion for documenting the arts by releasing more self-published fanzines and annuals, and later photo books and monographs.

The exhibition causes for celebration.
#FilmIsAlive

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Michael Ellis

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Michael Ellis (b. 1990, Springbok, Northern Cape)
Cape Town

What kinds of things do you most enjoy photographing?

I shoot a wide array of subjects. On film I enjoy shooting portraits, landscape and scenes I come across. On digital I enjoy shooting motorcycles and cars.

Describe your photographic style.

Attention to detail with a splash of absent mindedness.

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)?

Photography has played a major role in my life. It has put me on an exciting journey and taken me to crazy places. I’ve met some of my closest friends because we all share the same passion. I’m always amazed how much one can discuss this topic.

A big thing it has taught me is to be more observant of what’s happening around me and be patient. This has helped in photography and in my business life as well.

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?

Sometimes I have a particular image in mind and I’ll go out and create it. Other times you keep wandering around until you spot something.

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

Photography and creating videos is my full time profession.

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

Camera wise I have five main bodies I alternate between. For 35mm, a Nikon F3, Pentax K1000 and Contax G1. For medium format I use a Mamiya 645M Super and a Mamiya 7.

Film wise, I shoot a lot of Agfa Vista 200 35mm and Fuji PRO400H 120mm and Kodak Portra 160 120mm.

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

To be honest, I’m still figuring this one out.

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

My list of photographers is forever changing. Right now it would be the following:

Janne Savon – his images are so simple and clean yet it makes you think about so many things at once.
Tyrone Bradley – for starters his images from the Blunt Magazine days were all over my room growing up. He get’s to shoot some crazy projects and his style/aesthetic remains consistent regardless of what he’s shooting.
Rupert Walker – his mountain biking films are incredible. A big inspiration to keep producing better content.
Frederic Schlosser – the guy shoots cars, and he does a phenomenal job at it.
Daniel McCabe – an incredibly hard working guy who goes places and shoots things most people are too afraid to.

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

I don’t have any other creative exploits besides making films. Whenever I’m not shooting I’m either riding my dirt bike or running.

Any tips for aspiring film photographers?

Always keep shooting and 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?

Cape Film Supply, a business I started with a good friend has been going for a year now and things look good. We have big dream and goals and most of our free time gets put into that.

I’m hoping to launch two zines soon. Hopefully I’ll get my arse into gear and start with my list of photo projects I would like to finish before I die too. I really wish our days were 48 hours long, 24 just isn’t enough time to get stuff done.

Website: http://www.michaelellis.co.za/
Instagram: @michaelmichaelellis

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All photos by Michael Ellis

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

Tatenda Chidora

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Tatenda Chidora (b. 1988, Gweru)
Pretoria

What kinds of things do you most enjoy photographing?

I enjoy photographing people, architecture, landscapes — and documenting everyday stories.

Describe your photographic style.

I really love black and white photography. I try keeping my images simple and less complex. I would confidently refer my work to be mostly approached from a documentary point of view. Embracing the beauty around me through everyday stories is what inspires me.

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)?

That’s absolutely right, it is a journey and photography has influenced my life rapidly because photography is everywhere. Beauty surrounds us everyday and there is a frame somewhere — you might not see it but there is something that you can capture. Photography has engraved my mind to be able to look at light, see textures, see shadows and create from the surrounding subjects everyday.

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 look for a subject and have an idea in mind. At times (when shooting on film) you have to think a lot because you don’t have many frames to shoot and can’t just ‘select the best one’ like with digital. There is always a need to think about the frame and conceptualise.

When I approach a new body of work, I think of what I would want to photograph and how. If its portraiture, I think light, background and my subject. From there I create a line that will bring a story out.

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

It is my professional career.

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

I shoot with a Minolta X300 and a 45mm lens. Ilford HP5, and I have also been using expired Kodak Film and Ilford Delta 100. When I am treating myself, I shoot on a Hasselblad 500C.

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

One thing that keeps me going in my personal life is the realisation that I have the ability to create. Every time I lift up my camera, I have the ability to create something different. It’s not easy to keep going, but if you have a love for something (even when you hit the ceiling) you keep pursuing the heartbeat. I am constantly working with people that are really creative. I am always rubbing off people that are always working. This drive inspires me to keep going.

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

Everyday portraits drive the general inspiration for my image making process. By “Everyday Portraits”, I refer to the things that surround us everyday and how light just falls on different subjects. The juxtaposing of the world we live in is my daily heartbeat of inspiration. I adore work by photographers such as Sebastio Selgado, Kristen-Lee Moolman, Trayvs Owen, Ross Garrett and Andile Buka (just to mention a few).

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

What else do I enjoy? I love coffee. I still believe that one day I will own a coffee plantation. I am a roadrunner, I enjoy running — that’s my zone out district; I push myself to ultra marathon. So if I’m not behind a camera, I’m on my feet on some road, somewhere.

Any tips for aspiring film photographers?

Film is beautiful. It will teach you patience and a critical way of thinking. Embrace it because you only see the image in the viewfinder and there is no playback until the film is developed.

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

I was thinking the other day that I have slowly forgotten what was my first love. I have decided to go back to the drawing board and maybe do a series of subjects I love. I have a few group exhibitions coming up and have recently been challenged to do a few collaborations with some artists.

Instagram: @tatendachidora

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All photos by Tatenda Chidora

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

Pieter Coetzee

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Pieter Coetzee (b. 1987, Johannesburg)
Jozi-based — after selling my soul to the devil and falling in love with the beast.

What kinds of things do you most enjoy photographing?

People. Portraits.

I enjoy showing someone a portrait of themselves and them liking what they see. Especially the timid, insecure, or self-loathing: Society isn’t a very compassionate space for the individual and we’re generally too hard on ourselves.

Everyone has something beautiful about them. Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone is hurt and lonely and fucked in their own unique way. I just want to capture some of that uniqueness.

Take a moment to pause and acknowledge the other: “You’re beautiful and I see that. I see you.” And at the same time, I feel a connection with someone. I get to escape my own loneliness for a moment — even if it’s only for 1/125th of a second.

That’s how I see it. It’s what the romantic in me would like to believe. He’s infamously delirious.

Describe your photographic style.

Impulsive? Opportunistic? I don’t think if I’ve really developed a definitive style yet.

I rarely plan what I shoot: I carry my camera everywhere and take pictures of the things I see. Things I find beautiful.

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 would like to think it has made me more mindful.

The thing I love about film is how slow the process is. Life is too fast for my liking. Film photography helps me to slow down and appreciate the smaller things in life. Feed me a couple of beers and I’ll start ranting about the ‘underratedness’ of shapes and colours.

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?

Carry your camera everywhere you possibly can? Shoot for yourself? Not sure you can call it much of an approach: Either you have your camera on you and catch the moment, or you don’t and you miss it. And you can only shoot what you enjoy, what you find beautiful… you can’t force an eye, so don’t try to be something else in the pursuit of pleasing others’ validation.

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

Nope. It’s therapy. Part of what keeps me in balance.

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

Pentax Spotmatic SPII is where it started, and I’ve shot most frames on some version of that camera: SP1000, K1000, SP, F, etc.

The film I’ve used most is probably Kodak Gold 200: Cheap, unassuming, and I like the saturation. Go-to everyday shooter. My favourite to date is Ektar 100. For that special day out. The grain and saturation is unbeatable in my opinion. Also, did I mention I love colours?

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

God, there’s so much to learn. I haven’t shot much medium format, so that’s up next. As well as shooting some ideas regarding photo stories/essays. And learning more about different printing techniques.

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

I think the local scene is quite inspirational. So many exceptional photographers making the format their own. I’m glad we’re not just copying the big international names. We’re forging our own style/presence. I’m very optimistic about what the future is going to produce.

Guys worth mentioning are Mark Reitz and Michael Ellis. Two friends whose pictures were some of the first work that really made an impact on me and inspired me to shoot more film.

Also, Janus Boshoff and Dennis Da Silva at Alternative Print Workshop, for sharing their knowledge on film photography, printing, using old techniques, etc. They play an active role in keeping the local film scene alive.

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

I used to enjoy avo toast, but who can afford that AND film these days.

Just kidding, I have too many hobbies and interests to mention here: I won’t want to put everyone to sleep!

Any tips for aspiring film photographers?

Buy a solid cheap camera: there are so many to choose from. Buy the cheapest film you can find. Get off your ass and start shooting.

Learn the Sunny-16 rule. Mechanics > Electronics. Most importantly, do it for yourself.

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

Be sure to catch the Joburg B&W Group Exhibition at In Toto Gallery (opening Thursday 30 November 2017) which will be showcasing work by local shooters focusing on the love we share for this city.

Also, I’m looking for a fellow artist to share a studio/darkroom/creative space within the Joburg CBD area. Holla at me if you are interested.

Instagram: @pietskietfilm

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All photos by Pieter Coetzee a.k.a. Piet Skiet

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

 

Willem van den Heever

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Willem van den Heever (b. 1994, Pretoria)
Cape Town

What kinds of things do you most enjoy photographing?

For me the most interesting subject matter on this planet; humans and the human body, which is probably the subject I photograph the most. When taking photos I usually try to either tell a story in a single image or just try and convey a certain emotion/feeling deep inside me. There are a lot of things I feel, and emotions I experience, that I’ve always struggled to explain or found words for. Photography – specifically images created in film – and art in general has helped me express those emotions and created an outlet for me.

Most of the time these stories or emotions are my own, but some times they come from the person in front of the camera as well — I think these can be seen when focusing more on portraits. I’ve always had a deep love for the ocean, mountains and our natural surroundings, which sometimes come forth in my images as well.

Describe your photographic style.

This is a difficult one for me as I myself am not completely sure if I have a specific style, and if so what that style is. Maybe there’s a sense of nostalgia in my work; memories, feelings or moments once had and now buried by the subconscious. I do know light, form and colour are normally what my brain picks up on first, and are elements that I try to use in creating these images.

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)?

Over the years, and by shooting more and more, I definitely started seeing the world in frames or pictures. Maybe I’ve always looked at the world a bit differently, always trying to escape reality and create my own worlds in a way— and now this has just become a part of me. Most of the time my first instinct would be to grab my camera and try and capture the moment/image I see in front of me, but a lot of times, especially when traveling or hiking, I try and force myself not to. To rather saver some of the best moments and just appreciate the moment/journey as it is— let it play off and just enjoy the journey for what it is, because in the end that is still the most important part; to experience something fully.

The camera – or the images – should always still come second, and rather the moment felt or experience first. I think that’s one of the reasons why I prefer shooting on film; you are forced to only go back to that moment days/weeks/months later, and not focus too much on it in the moment.

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?

That’s probably one of the aspects I struggle with the most, to just capture it in the moment, spontaneously. My personality just doesn’t work that way. I think I’m quite a perfectionist, especially when it comes to my work, so naturally I like to take my time, plan the images and set-up before hand — or at least have some sort of idea in mind of what I want to create before shooting.

This is also how I approach a new series; start planning days ahead and even create (very rough) storyboards. I guess in the end it’s about finding that balance: an equilibrium between knowing what you want to capture/convey and being able to see and just capture the moment, even when things don’t turn out the way planned.

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

Even though I spend a lot of time on photography, and even do some commercial work from time to time, I don’t see it as my professional career. My main occupation, and what I see as my professional career, is film-making (combined with a lot of other stuff on the side).

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

I’ve built up quite a collection of analogue cameras in the last year, but my go-to camera is always my Pentax 35mm SPii. I’ve recently started shooting medium format on a Mamiya 645 and have done some underwater stuff on a Canon AS1.

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

This is definitely something I think all photographers/artist struggle with, especially if it becomes your life and the only thing you do. That’s why I think I’m in the fortunate position of being able to keep myself busy with a number of other things, such as film-making and writing.

Nonetheless, it can still be a struggle when you want to shoot and just don’t feel it. I find my inspiration mostly in other forms of art — literature, films or music. I try and explore these channels as often and as deep as I can, always looking for something that strikes or sparks something inside me.

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

As mentioned above, films are probably my biggest passion and where I get most of my inspiration from. Literature, poems and music also play a big role. When it comes to other photographers; Ryan Muirhead had quite an impact on my life and work, Chelsey Sinclair, Niklas Porter, recently discovered Matt Kelly, local photographer Elsa Bleda and legendary film photographer Platon — to only name a few.

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

Except for my other artistic projects such as film-making and writing, I hate sitting in one place for too long, so traveling, exploring, hiking and mostly either being somewhere on a mountain or in the ocean.

Any tips for aspiring film photographers?

In a visually over saturated world flooded with images, the most important thing when taking a photo should be your intentions and motivation — why do want to take the picture? Just for the sake of another pretty image or are you conveying/trying to say something? Except for that, light is your best friend when making images. Learn to see and play with it (something I myself am still busy learning). But then again, who am I to tell someone who and what to photograph.

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

I’ve recently started working on a very big film project that I can’t say too much about at this stage, but that’s where most of my time is going into at the moment. In terms of photography, I’ve been in the process of a black and white series which I would like to finish. Depending on the outcome I might do another exhibition this year, or it might just end up on my website, we’ll see.

Website: http://www.willemfilms.com/
Instagram: @willemdafilm

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All photos by Willem van den Heever

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

Legend | Pierre Crocquet

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Pierre Crocquet (b. 1971) was a South African photographer who left behind a significant archive of black and white photographs. Born in Cape Town and raised in the small mining town of Klerksdorp, Crocquet only pursued a career of photography in his later years. After moving to London in 1996 to work as a qualified chartered accountant – work that he hated – he switched lanes and enrolled at the London College of printing in 1999. From there, he returned home to South Africa in 2001 and began documenting life in Africa. One year on he had released his first book, Us (Bell-Roberts, 2002), and was commissioned for more work and subsequent book releases by the likes of South African Airways and Standard Bank.

His second book, On Africa Time (Bell-Roberts, 2003), featured photographs from destinations around Africa, his third, Sound Check (Bell-Roberts, 2005), about South African and visiting international jazz musicians, and his fourth Enter/Exit (Hatje Cantz, 2008), about Karatara, a small, isolated settlement on the outskirts of the Knysna forests. With this book, Crocquet began to explore elements of human identity, part of a new obsession. He later dove deeper in regards to subject matter with his fifth and final book, Pinky Promise (Hatje Cantz & Fourthwall Books, 2011), shining light on childhood sexual abuse with stories from both victims and perpetrators.

Crocquet received success for his works with worldwide exhibitions and photography awards, but sadly passed away in 2013 at the tender age of 42. After years of immersive projects, the work had begun to take a creative toll on the artist and his death can only be described as tragic. The work that he created had global themes, not just African, focusing on aesthetics of human life and psyche, with a sense of timelessness. He definitely left behind a legacy that one can be proud of.

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

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All photos by Pierre Crocquet de Rosemond, courtesy of Jeannine Du Venage

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

Meghan Daniels

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Meghan Daniels (b. 1993)
Cape Town

What kinds of things do you most enjoy photographing?

When people ask what I do, it’s difficult to say I’m a ‘photographer’ and that I ‘photograph’. I’ve always felt that my camera is an extension of myself in a sense — I don’t really see what I photograph as ‘subject matter’ but rather a collection of experiences that happen to take the form of a photograph. Basically, I guess I don’t care too much for photography but rather a sense of what I interpret to be honest.

I started off photographing as a sort of personal diary. I document those closest to me; friends, family, myself, and spaces that reflect a memory or what I am feeling in quite a candid yet intimate way. This all falls into themes of gender issues, sexuality, intimacy, relationships, love, hurt, mental health, recovery. I guess photography acts as a mirror of myself as well as the world around me.

Describe your photographic style.

Hmm, I’d say: uncompromisingly honest (or at least what I interpret honesty to be); candid yet intimate, gritty yet poetic, vulnerable yet unashamed, blurring the lines between voyeurism and ‘the personal’, snapshots that immortalise personal memories of people, places and certain times.

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 it’s my personal life that has influenced my photography as opposed to the other way around. Ah man, this medium has saved my ass throughout my life without me knowing it for the most part. It’s been a clutch, and a way to process a lot. I look back on some self-portraits, as well as my friends and I looking back at some portraits I’ve taken of them and we think, “shit, we’ve come a long way and we’re doing okay”, when at the time it may not have felt that way at all. I’ve also learnt a lot more about being still and humble through the medium.

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?

In my personal work, my approach is just capturing things as they unfold around me over time. For bodies of works – such as some documentaries I have worked on – the approach will be primarily based on research and participatory research methodologies with the people/person the work revolves around (although self reflexivity is always key, these bodies of work are not about the photographer’s agenda). And, in my commercial work, I always bring elements of honesty, grit, vulnerability and intimacy into my work.

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

Yeah, it is. I also work as a cinematographer.

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

I shoot mostly on my beautiful baby point-and-shoot Contax. I then jump to the opposite end of the spectrum with a medium format Mamiya.

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

I’m quite ‘to myself’ a lot of the time with one of those minds that is constantly looking/searching/staring, listening, processing and questioning. I am that friend who will stop you mid pertinent conversation to record a broken, flickering light. Basically, I think this means I find inspiration in a lot: staring out of windows, walking through the streets, driving (all over and everywhere), spending time with those closest to me, seeing the works of other South African creatives, South Africa and Africa in general, conversations, the internet, music and people who have contacted me saying that my work has made them feel less alone.

Other than that, it’s also more difficult events in my life that have motivated me to photograph — trauma, hurt, break ups (one in particular), etc, etc. You know how it goes.

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

Again, I’m always motivated by those mostly in my immediate circles. I road trip a lot around South Africa, sometimes with those I love to pieces and mostly by myself. This is a big motivator for me too.

In terms of photographers, I’ve been really inspired by Zanele Muholi, Nan Goldin, Eric Gyamfi, Mary Ellen Mark and LaToya Ruby Frazier. I’m also blown away by a lot of young, up and coming creatives in South Africa who I follow on Instagram. I feel like the medium is expanding and emerging in such interesting ways here.

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

Boxing & driving & writing & dogs.

Any tips for aspiring film photographers?

Some of the most beautiful moments will be those best not photographed. It’s important to put your camera down sometimes. And then, don’t objectify others or tell stories that you don’t have a right or place to tell. Stay close to your truth — it’s more interesting than you may think.

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

I’ll always continue documenting my life. Other than that, I’m working at pulling a focus on documentary cinematography work focusing on issues of gender, sexuality and intimacy. More importantly, I’m still figuring it all out and trying to keep my shit together when the occasional existential crisis visits.

Instagram: @meghan.daniels

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All photos by Meghan Daniels

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