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About Me - Basie van Zyl
I always had passion for Nature with her raw beauty and fine tuned order in it.
My drive and duty is only nature's story, carefully and artistically crafted, telling it to those who choose to listen.
I've been creative since a young age but just never realized it or had the opportunity to explore & experiment with it.
Once I acquired the best photographic equipment and software available my journey started.
I studied photography and Digital Art intensely to gain these skills as I already had the part you cannot buy.
I compete against myself and know Nature's codes and patterns within it. Prediction and proper planning play a big part in my quest to capture special moments, sometimes seldom or never to be seen again.
Our natural world and in particular South-African nature and birds always fascinates me since my very first visit to my grandfather's farm in the Bonnievale district during the late sixties and seventies. The arrival of summer birds from Europe and the Northern parts of Africa was then eagerly discussed at supper time. The banks of the Breederiver were our playground, the African Paradise Flycatcher the elusive one.
Visits to the Greater Kruger every two years were a family tradition since the days of bon fires in the middle of each camp surrounded by braaiing visitors and their stories of the day. I kept this family tradition alive with my wife, Sandra and my fifteen year old son Jaco.Other favorite nature spots we visit during the year include well-known mountain passes built by Thomas Bain such as the Swartberg- Baviaans - & Tradoux Passes.
My companion and friend Chutney- "the L-Protector"- an Airedale Terrier, accompanies me on most of my shoots and gives me the freedom to focus on the task at hand and express myself without disturbances in my photography. I trained him since he was a puppy with hand signals and the ethics we follow in nature.
My photography and art is my love & passion .... my free time I give to Mother Nature to reveal....the journey has just begun.
My gallery is dedicated to my father and late grandfather for cultivating this love of nature, my mother and late grandmother for the art in me, and my wife and son for their support of my photography and passion.
What's in my bag?
Camera: Canon 1D MkIII (10.1 mega pixels) (10 frames per sec.)
Bird Lens: Canon 300mm f2.8 IS USM with 1.4x or 2.0x Tele Converter.
Landscape & Seascape Lens: 16-35mm f2.8 IS USM Wide Angle.
Extras: Cable release, 580 EX II Flash. Manfrotto 190 XProB Tripod, 501Video Head, 804RC2 Head.
Development Software: Adobe Camera RAW, Adobe Bridge, Photoshop CS3, Breeze Browser Pro, Extreme IV CF Cards, 100Gig Vosonic Portable Hard drive, 24" HP LCD Monitors, 1Terra Hard drives.
All birds and animals were photographed in the wild and in their natural habitat. No feeding techniques were used. Stalking and setting up techniques used included camouflage netting, an Explorer float and tent hides.
All landscapes and seascapes were photographed with permission on private land or without harming and disturbing the natural environment.
Giclée Canvas prints:
Limited Edition Giclée Digital Art prints on canvas.
All my printing is done by master printers.
I use the Giclée printing method with long lasting archival inks on high quality Epson water resistant Matte canvas media to ensure a quality product that will look great and last for more than 75 years.
All canvas prints have a clear lacquer coating applied to them as a UV barrier and to protect the canvas prints from scuffing.
60mm (2.5'') Canvas Edge Options:
Canvas Edge - Plain edge, canvas-coloured
Gallery Wrap Edge - Image is mirrored to create a seamless edge once stretched.
Colored Edge - Colored edge using a complementary color from the image.
Unstretched canvases are shipped worldwide and rolled in a sturdy cardboard tube, ready for your own choice of stretcher or frame.
Watermarked, high resolution files of any art work are available for viewing as fine detail are very difficult to evaluate and appreciate on the small sample image attached hereto.
1st Prize - Die Burger, Nature & Wildlife Photographic Competition. (10 000 entrants)
Top 10 - Getaway / Fuji Film Wildlife Competition, Landscapes.
Top 10 - Getaway / Fuji Wildlife Competition, Birds.
1st Prize - Stanford/ Glendower Birding Photographic Competition.
1st Prize - Aquila Private Game Reserve Photographic Competition. Birds and Landscape Category
3rd Prize - Pretoria Botanical Garden Photographic Competition, Bird Category
Top 10 - Die Burger, Fairest Cape Photographic Competition.
Semi-Finalist - Veolia Environment International Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
1st Prize - Sunflower Bandana Photographic Competition
I also had numerous images published in local media and magazines.
My first solo exhibition "Look to See" of fine art canvas prints was held at the Strand Library Gallery during December 2008.
Photographic Tours to remote places in Africa and sharing my knowledge of nature with it's young people will be a dream for the future.
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