I have been lucky enough to have photographed all the stores for Nandos Zimbabwe in the past, so when they opened a new branch in Gweru, Zimbabwe I was asked to pack my bags and head out to do my thing. The brief was to capture all the different design elements in the brand new store at night as well as during the day. The images had to showcase the every angle of the store, without any people in the images so I had to work around the stores trading hours. This meant late nights and early mornings, but as I am sure you will agree the effort certainly yielded the results!
Axia Corporation is one of Zimbabwe’s largest corporates with interests in the home furnishings and appliances, automative and distribution markets, so when they asked me to help them create some unique images for their 2018 annual report I was delighted!
The brief was to capture engaging images of each brands’ retail premises, staff and products that encapsulates their commitment to a quality product and service. I spent a day shooting at each brand, starting with the automative giant Transerv which you can see below.
The next day I joined the Axia marketing team at their home furnishing and appliance division TV Sales and Home where we visited a variety of their retail stores to capture the staff, retail spaces and available products.
To cap it all off we spent the day at one of the countries largest fast moving consumer goods distribution companies, Distribution Group Africa. Their distribution centre must be one of the biggest commercial spaces I have ever photographed, with the opportunity to create vast wide angle shots being around every corner! Check out some of the shots in the gallery below.
I would like to thank the marketing and admin folk from Axia as well as all the SBU’s that we visited while shooting for the annual report for their hard work and patience during this frenetic exercise!
Zuva Petroleum is one of Zimbabwe’s biggest fuel companies, with over 100 station’s around the country, so when they asked me to photograph all their stations I filled up and hit the road! The trip required a lot planning and consideration to ensure that the light was right for each station, the sheer numbers of stations there where to photography however meant that not all of them where photographed in the golden hour light. Despite this though I, and more importantly Zuva, where very happy with the results which you can see below!
I am a great lover of Chilli sauce, and Dr Trouble is about as good as it gets! I have photographed Dr Trouble in the studio before and so was more than excited when I was asked to photograph their new bottles which had been re-labeled. The brief was to get a variety of shots of the front and back of each bottle, as well as a variety of creative shots of individual and groups of bottles. I am very happy with the results, let me what your favourite shot is in the comments below!
I am very luck to be able to travel all over southern Africa with my job, but this often means I have to take quite a lot of equipment along so I can get my various jobs done. I have often found that when I have a lot of equipment on me, the temptation is always to try and make the most of all of it. This inevitably leads to a lot of fussing over gear at the expense of capturing your scene well.
So on a recent editorial assignment to Santa Carolina Island, better known as Paradise Island in Mozambiques’ Bazaruto Archipelago, I decided to keep things simple and only use one lens. And wow what a difference that made to my modus operande! Not having any other gear with me forced me to really concentrate on the scene in front of me, how to approach it, compose it and capture it in a way that will do it justice.
Paradise Island is a true “rock Island" and is enveloped by some of the most pristine blue ocean one could wish for and this sense of timeless beauty is only further accentuated when you sail up to Paradise in a locally made dhow. It is almost too picture card perfect! Visiting Paradise Island by dhow is a very popular with the areas tourists so naturally I had to focus on this, check out some of the results below.
A visit to the Island wouldn’t be complete without a walk around the crumbling colonial-era hotel on the East flank of the Island. Once the pinnacle of colonial style luxury the hotel was abandoned in 1973 and has since been slowly reclaimed by the islands’ vegetation. Needless to say it is a visual paradise which vividly juxtaposes mans’ historic presence on the island.
So, onto the technical stuff; I was using a Venus Laowa 12mm f2.8 lens which is fully manual on a Nikon d750, and it was a match made in camera-dork heaven! The lens is small but well built but most importantly sharp as anything at all apertures and with very minimal distortion, not a barrel curve in sight! Despite having manual focus and a manual aperture ring the lens is very easy to use, which allowed me to keep the focus on creating great images.
So if you are like me and have lots of equipment, albeit to do lots of different jobs, do yourself a favour and every so often pick one of them and tackle a subject with just one lens, you will be surprised what you can achieve with minimal equipment and maximum focus!
I was thrilled to have been contracted this year to photograph one of Zimbabwe’s largest mining groups, Zimplats for their 2018 Annual Report. The assignment entailed 3 full days of photography at their main Ngezi mining operation, in their surrounding community and at their ore smelter. The scope of the Zimplats operation is massive and despite running around like a headless chicken for the duration of the assignment I felt that I only really scratched the surface in terms of the potential images on offer.
One of the requirements in the brief was to capture new, alluring images of their mining infrastructure, so I was up and about capturing images in the soft early morning light as well as the wonderfully complimentary evening blue light. I was also asked to capture as many intriguing pictures of the Zimplats employees at work, with an emphasis on capturing as many different woman in their varied roles at the mine. Check out some of the resulting images below, and be sure to see their annual report here.
After shooting the mining operations I turned my lens to the Selous Metallurgical Complex (SMC) where the mined ore is smelted down for transport to and further refining in South Africa. Again the emphasis was to be on the scope of the infrastructure as well as people at work in their various roles at the SMC.
The shear size of the infrastructure at Zimplats is nothing less than overwhelming, and there is no better way to show this this then with a drone, I flew my aerial buddy a lot during my shoot and managed to capture some wonderful images that give the perspective of size and scope well.
Zimplats is no stranger to their local, regional and countrywide community and they have consistently implemented and supported projects aimed at uplifting both the infrastructure and people within those communities. No corporate shoot would be complete without a focus on these community development efforts.
Overall I had a manic but enjoyable time shooting for Zimplats, and I am sure you can agree that I managed to capture the essence of their operations, people and community efforts well. I am very happy with the results and thoroughly enjoyed my time working with the team at Zimplats! I would like to extend my thanks to the Zimplats team for all their hard work involved in making this shoot a success.
I have been lucky enough to work with some of Zimbabwe's biggest agro-businesses and for the last three years have been having a lot of fun shooting a wide variety of images for Prime SeedCo. Initially Prime Seeds and now part of the SeedCo group Prime SeedCo provides high quality vegetable seed for sale in the Zimbabwean and African markets. I was engaged several years ago to help build up Prime Seeds' image database for use across all of their marketing databases and have photographed their products in the field and studio and from the air. You can see a selection of the images I have created for them in some of Prime SeedCo's marketing materials below.
Being a sales based company its essential to have a good selection of well shot product images and we have photographed all of Prime SeedCo's brands in our studio over the years, some of which you can see in the above posters.
Prime SeedCo also operates a substantial demo plot that farmers who are interested in their products can visit to see the veggies in the field as well as ask any of the knowledgeable staff any technical questions. Due to the seasonality of the different veggies I spend a few days in the field throughout the seasons in order to capture all the varieties on offer.
Prime SeedCo also hosts farmer field days throughout the year where both large scale and small scale farmers from around the country are invited to the demo plot to learn all about the varieties of veggies on offer and to learn best farming practices and the development in current agricultural trends. These field days are a great way of educating the local farming industry as well as showcase all the seasonal veggies at the demo plot.
Prime SeedCo also have a variety of commercial outlets around Zimbabwe and before the rebrand from Prime Seeds to SeedCo was completed I photographed one of their larger stores in Harare.
I thoroughly enjoy all the shoots I have done for Prime SeedCo over the years and look forward to the assignments I will be commissioned to carry out in 2018!
Anyone in and around Harare on the 7th of August was treated to an unusual, and spectacular sunset. It was unusual because at this time of year we don't often get many dramatically cloudy skies and generally speaking dramatic clouds make or break a good sunset! The sunset seemed to go on forever, changing in hue and intensity until it finally left us, dazzled and enamoured, well into the evening.
By pure luck and chance I happened to be showing some visiting friends around our spectacular Domboshawa National Monument, illustrating nicely how photography can often be about being in the right place at the right time. I was taking advantage of the trip to "Dombos" to get some aerial images for a long term project using my trusty drone and thankfully I had some battery power left to capture this amazing sunset!
However for me the real highlight of the trip was seeing and photographing the sculptured surface of Domboshawa itself. The granite has been carved by aeons of flowing water into what can only be described as a martian landscape. Now this is what I love about aerial photography, I have been to Domboshawa many many times and have never been able to fully appreciate its quirky geological surface as I have never seen it from above, and this new angle tells a powerful story of time, geology and weathering.
So let me not rabbit on for too long and allow you feast your eyes on the magic that is Domboshawa from above...