Hougaard Malan : Paysages du sud de l’Afrique

I am a professional landscape photographer from South Africa with a passion for capturing compelling images of nature. I have spent most of my time behind the camera in South Africa’s Western Cape and Namibia, but I’ve traveled plenty within Southern Africa. I will be relocating to Pretoria at the end of 2013 to focus more on the North-Western part of S.A, but also with the goal of building a portfolio of Gauteng’s Cityscapes. I have always lived 2000km from the Drakensberg, so moving to within half a day’s drive of South Africa’s grandest landscape holds a lot of exciting prospects for me.

Southern Africa has vast geographical diversity and photographic potential. From the towering red dunes of the Namib, seaside forests of the Wild Coast, to the Basalt peaks of the Drakensberg; there is no shortage of beautiful views.

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The Past

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 games. My dad is an agronomist and my mom was a musician, somehow those two influences culminated into a passion for capturing nature’s beauty. I bought my first digital SLR camera at the age of 19 and I instantly became obsessed. Within two years I changed my career plans of becoming an engineer or architect to pursuing a career in landscape photography.


I am inspired by moments 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 marvel at the beauty of the world we live in. I want my photos to remove the viewer from their present location and transport them to the scene so they can feel the wind and see the golden light of the setting sun on their skin. That is the purpose of a landscape photo, to experience the beauty of a place without being there.

I think people often try to over-interpret photographs and they miss the bigger picture. I’m a realist and through strong composition and complementary lighting I try to distill the essence of a location. I don’t pursue awards or recognition. It took me a while to realise that prizes don’t mean much in a subjective industry dictated more by hobbyists than professionals. The pursuit of such merits makes you forget your purpose. I love what I do and I’m thankful for the opportunity to earn a living from it.


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