Franz Rabe / Natural Photography

I currently reside in Pretoria, South Africa, with my wife and our nearly 2-year old son (we’re talking forty-something first-time father here..!). And our two little Yorkshire Terriers. The original kids.

Natural Photography saw the light as follows…

The fascination with photography started around the age of seven, on viewing photos of my Golden Spaniel puppy, after the very first semi-official photo shoot. Shot on black & white film (t ‘was the ’70’s, baby) on a Kodak Instamatic 56x, one out of a total of two useful shots, especially mesmerised me – fortunate beautiful timing just fused on this photograph: pin sharp running action, floppy ears and lolling tongue frozen in mid-flight – amazing for a camera from that era and specification. And the photographic skills involved.

A Polaroid camera then made its appearance, followed by my first SLR, a Ricoh XR-s. I purely shot wildlife then, as the Kruger National Park is for me the best place on earth.

After varsity the photography light petered out slightly, as my working career commenced with Geographic Information Systems. Map layouts were part of GIS procedures and slowly piqued the creative juices again. However, being forced to adhere to strict cartographic rules, a definite shift towards the creative over the scientific took place.

I moved on to web design and programming in an effort to fill the creative hole. Didn’t fully do the trick, so a new Canon camera was acquired.

Over the next few years, I would create & grab any photographic opportunities presenting itself, amidst the normal job responsibilities. Was quite a fertile learning ground, as I got to photograph Miss South Africa, Joanne Strauss (standing next to a Mirage fighter plane!). A book on the South African flag was also published, into which I slipped a few of my photos.     I then made that slightly frightening, yet life-affirming leap by quitting my job and starting Natural Photography in 2003. The idea was to do solely wildlife photography, but fortunately I was again forced (I begged over the phone in the middle of a supermarket aisle!) to photograph another  Miss South Africa, Claudia Henkel.

I discovered I quite like photographing people – even (especially) children! What keeps it exhilarating, is the chase for that split-second special look/moment. And to keep coming up with fresh new ones – be it with new lighting or photographic techniques.

Franz Rabe - Natural Photography
Franz Rabe – Natural Photography

At the end of 2013, I’ve been made an Olympus Ambassador Photographer – I’m really looking forward to creating some Oly image magic!

So yes, today it is literally photography from Art to Architecture – Weddings to Wildlife. (and the other good stuff in between).

Franz Rabe

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