What John, The Mentor & Chief Lecturer for the Fine-Art Photography Course had to say:
Danie and I had been discussing the development of an Intermediate Photography Course for some time. We had discussed what it would include and how it should be presented, then out of the blue, one day, he said it should focus on and be centered around the concept of fine art photography. My initial reaction was one of panic and scepticism, I mean does anyone anywhere actually know what fine art really is? I went off and did masses of research to create the material, we had long debates, more research and reworked the material again and again. Eventually low and behold we had a definition and understanding of the concepts we were trying to communicate which I am really proud of. I believe we are now better able to communicate through our course the principles of fine art photography and creativity than most content on the subject available anywhere.
When we had the first class we asked the enrolled photographers if they had joined for the intermediate aspects of the course or the fine art content; nearly 90% said it was the “intermediate aspects” which appealed. I guess we should have expected that to be fair, it was my first reaction to the heading. No one knows what “fine art” means, we all have some vague sense, but it is so foreign that we can hardly get enthusiastic about something we don’t understand. I am very pleased to report that we had a 100% turnaround on the mindsets of the people involved with the course.
As a photographer, there is a lot of information available to you about the operation of your camera, exposure and composition. When you’ve absorbed all that, where to then? Danie’s decision to go the fine art route was spot on. This course is the best way to grow yourself as a photographer and to develop further. The term fine art is intimidating but the course really helps to change your thinking about what and how you shoot. If you want to progress past the basic aspects of photography the only reasonable path is to tackle the principles which deal with aesthetics on a theoretical level. Having completed the “how’s” of photography we have termed these the “why’s” of photography.
The course culminated with an exhibition of work created by the photographers who attended the course. I had concerns about having pumped all that info out and expecting it to be assimilated and applied in such a short time. The work exceeded my expectations even though everyone had such a short time to implement their new knowledge and thought processes. Here is what I love about the images; the individuality of each piece and how it matches the personalities of the photographer as well as being surprised by the personalities versus the work they produced, and of course the pride the photographers have about their work. They all worked really hard and held an amazing exhibition they can be proud of. We have all been changed by the experience and have all learnt from each other. I cannot wait for the next one!
Here’s what our visitors at the Fine-Art Exhibition had to say…
” Wow! What an Experience! Thanks, Danie ” by Allan
” Thanks for the excellent effort. All pictures are stunning. A wonderful encouragement for emerging photographers ” by Kathy Crichton
” Puik foto’s van al die nuwe leerlinge. Die uitstalling van hierdie foto’s is baie mooi uiteengesit. Mag hulle almal net vorentoe gaan met hulle Fine-Art foto’s ” by Jan du Toit
” Absoluut fantasties! Elke foto vertel ‘n ander storie ” by Karien Muller
” Baie dankie – Insiggewend! Fabulous! ” by Jeanette Lehmann
” Baie geluk met ‘n suksesvolle uitstalling! Baie mooi kunswerke en beskrywings is uitstekend daarby! ” by A. Botha
” Baie geluk met die uitstalling. Daar is iets elke smaak. Goed gedoen! ” by Annamarie van Vuuren
” Danie en span, dit is uitstekend! Ons outjies van die platteland is nie hieraan gewoond nie. Dis uitstekend! ” by Hendrik Venter
” Working with you guys is not only a pleasure but an honour. Congratulations on a stunning exhibition and the quality of the course is clear with the high quality of work presented! Stunning! ” by Glen Fouché
” Very impressive! The atmosphere, presentation… Everything! ” by Sannie Kenney, Terence Raymond
” Baie dankie vir alles. Dit was wonderlik gewees om alles te sien! Baie mooi foto’s. ” by Leon Myburgh
” Aan al die Fine-Artists, gorgeous souls, wow, wow, wow! Ek sien soveel soul-expression, dit laat my hart sing! Welgedaan, dis so ‘n voorreg om ‘n glimpse van jule siele te sien. ” by Anonymous
” Congratulations on putting such an incredible exhibition together, you can see there was a lot of work put in and it was worth every second, well done! ” by Neil Joubert
” Pragtige uitstalling ” by Anonymous
” Asemrowend goed gedoen! Kry nou self lus vir die kursus. ” by Hildegarde Crouse
” Stunning! Laat weet wanneer ons weer kan kom. ” by du Plooytjies
” Lieflike uitstalling! Baie talentvolle kunstenaars! Dankie Santie, vir die uitnodiging, jou werk is ongelooflik! ” by Erica Mouton
” Uitstekende uitstalling! Julle moet dit definitief weer doen! ” by Dreyer’s and v. der Merwe’s
” Baie mooi! Regtig uitmintend! ” by Eilen van Zyl
” Baie mooi, het dit regtig geniet! ” by Corne Barnard
” Welgedaan! Dit bly ‘n kuns/gawe om dit wat alledaags is uit ‘n ander hoek te interpreteer. ” by Pierre & Frederick
” Thank you for a wonderful experience. Every piece on show is beautiful and clearly well thought out. Well due to everybody for providing us with such a pleasant viewing experience! Good luck with your future works! ” by The Williamsons
” Amazing photos! What a great idea to showcase the results of the students’ work. Makes me fall in love with my photography all over again! Looking forward to the next exhibition already! ” by Warren Kemm
” Outstanding showcase! Pictures evoked emotions on a deeper study of the shots, a real appreciation of the art was felt. Thank you! ” by Dean Crichton ( Eagle Wing Productions )
” Nuwe perspektiewe vir ons beginners ” by Hannetjie + Phillip Liebenberg