“I had no prominent artistic or photographic influence in my childhood or family. I was born in the Free State and moved to the Western Cape at the age of 6. If I could briefly sum up my childhood it would be a lot of falling off bicycles and long nights playing computer. My guess about where my eye and passion for photographing landscapes came from is as good as anybody’s. My dad is an agronomist and my mom is a musician, somehow those two influences culminated into a rare talent for capturing nature’s beauty. It all started when I got my first digital SLR at the age of 19 and I instantly became obsessed. Within two years I changed my career plans from becoming an engineer or architect to pursuing a career in landscape photography.
I am obsessed with the moments created when the elements of nature combine as if painted by a god, to create scenes so beautiful that one has to take the time to stand back in awe and just marvel at the beauty of the world we live in. I strive to capture these moments and I want my photos to have the impact on the viewer that it had on me. I want my photos to remove the person from their present location and to put them in the captured scene as if they can feel the wind and see the setting sun. For me, that is the purpose of a landscape photo, to see and feel the beauty of a place, without being there. The essence of that moment captured in an image.
I am now 21 and I’ve been shooting part time for a bit more than two years. The majority of my portfolio was shot within daily driving distance of my home town, Stellenbosch. From 2010 onwards I will be shooting full time and travelling to the most scenic locations in Southern Africa in search of these moments , so what you see so far is but a preview of what’s to come.” – Hougaard Malan