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Artist of the Week – Paul Bruins

April 6, 2009 by · 3 comments

Mariana Velichkova’s interview with the photographer Paul Bruins

When and how did you decide to make photography a part of your life?

Although I have been interested in photography since early childhood, unfortunately the cost of developing and printing my film-based photographs was prohibitively expensive. Photography became a part of my life soon after I bought my first digital camera.

What is the biggest challenge for you as a photographer?

To capture the light exactly as my eyes and emotions have experienced it.

If you have to take only one more picture, what would it be?

For the past couple of years, I’ve kept a mental bucket-list of my top ten landscape destinations… locations that I’d still like to visit and photograph before I die. At the very top of this list are the dead trees, sand dunes and dry lake-bed of the “Dead Pan” near Sossusvlei in Namibia. In my opinion, the ideal time to visit this location and take my last photograph would be during a total eclipse of the sun.

Your definition of beauty is…?

Anything (place or moment) that makes me feel good to be alive!

Do you feel enriched by photography?

Yes, photography has helped me to better appreciate the natural beauty and history of my home-town and country.

What would your dream picture look like?

My “dream picture” would be a landscape photograph which incorporates all the elements of an aesthetically pleasing composition… the rule of thirds, the golden ratio, a strong foreground interest, leading lines, a vanishing point, water reflections, perfect light, etc, etc.

What are the “invisible” dimensions of photography?

In my opinion, the “invisible” dimensions of photography are the emotions that are conveyed by the photographer, to the viewer through his (or her) artistic interpretation of the subject.

The most astonishing thing in photography for you is…?

The rapid pace of development of digital cameras, lenses and other photographic accessories is completely unprecedented and astonishing to me.


I am a 46 year old Cape Town based photographer, whose interest in photography was sparked off at an early age while completing a school project to build a pin-hole camera and to develop and print the results in a home-made darkroom.

Although I studied and qualified as a civil engineer in the early 1980s, I never went far without a camera of some sort. From cheap disposables, to 35mm SLRs and then to medium format, I have experimented with a large range of equipment and styles.

Although I do have some studio experience shooting portraits, still-life and close-up macro images, my love of nature and the outdoors saw me moving towards architectural and fine-art landscape photography.

The biggest problem with trying to photograph a beautiful landscape is selecting which part of it to capture. How do you squeeze all that beauty into one frame? Why can’t the camera capture all that my eyes can see? This was both disappointing and inspirational to me, and I was determined to find a way to solve this problem. Sticking 35mm prints together with tape was certainly less than ideal.

Then along came digital cameras and panoramic image-stitching computer software. Now you could simply take as many photographs as you needed to capture the entire landscape, and the software would stitch it all together seamlessly, into one large image. That was when my photographic hobby turned into a passion, now I could finally capture all that my eyes could see… and more!

More photos can be seen on Paul Bruin’s website.

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