I met Frikkie Kapp two years ago at a Portraits Workshop and was fascinated by this very friendly photographer with a passion for life and people!! Since that time we had numerous discussions next to the rugby pitch and I came to appreciate his natural talent for absolutely brilliant photography. I decided to find out more about Frikkie and it is a pleasure to share his answers to Phototalk’s questions.
How long have you been in the photography industry?
Since I got my 1st camera Ricoh KR5 and a 50mm lens 16 years. But 2years of that was serious trial and error with film (lots) 😉 with a lot of different photography disciplines and subjects. I focused on weddings soon because of the income involved. Got 4th place in a wedding photo competition and the hobby slowly started changing.
Is there a specific moment you can recall when you decided “this is what I would like to do professionally?”
I dislike the word professional. It kinda gives you an attitude of I am better or above the next dude next to me with a camera. I prefer the term making a living from photography as a profession/passion. I never really had such an aaha moment no. Things just gradually started switching for me as buyer in the food industry to full time “tog”
Can you describe/ provide your favorite photo?
There is too little space in this article for them. 😉 I believe that you should like your own work. Not be arrogant just have a good balance between knowing when a pic work and when not. Even then there will be people who will like or dislike your work and it is ok. I have a goal to no matter what I take photos of or their purpose or intent to get a pic from a session that a really like. Where light and composition and story and feeling meet. Not always possible but worth trying. I try not to leave anything to chance. I am an observer and try and make sure that whatever is in the image has a purpose and is included with that in mind. The images I included here is such images that I like. Though these photographs are from different photographic genres, they all have light, story, composition and feeling as their main ingredient.
Is there a specific photo you feel “I wish I had taken that one?”
No not really. That is opening you up to the other side of comparing yourself with others and always feeling inadequate or not good enough. That is the flip side of being arrogant and over confident about what you do. I think people make way too much of themselves in the industry, that we as togs are special. Being good at photography make you only good at one thing: observing and interpreting light in a given situation. Kinda like a specialist heart surgeon that pretty much know all about the heart and not much about other things. Photography to me is a life style, a way of seeing. I take images with or without an imaging device. My whole world and environment is constantly divided into squares of light, story, composition and feeling. Even to the extent that I irritate myself with it, but I don’t want it different either
If in an emergency you are able to save only one piece of equipment, what would that be?
Ummm my camera bag all I want or need is in there. I would quickly pop my external hard drives into the top pocket on the run out too 😉 Does that count?
Which photo theme do you prefer capturing? Sport / portfolio/ wedding/ nature etc
Worst question for me to answer. If it’s there and light fall on it and its interesting I’ll shoot it or give it a go. No oh please no, not just one subject matter. I get bored easily and need different things constantly to photograph.
What would your best piece of advice be to young aspiring photographers?
No amount of theory make you a tog, though you need as much as you can lay your eyes and mind on through all the amazing forms people now days can learn photography through courses, books, DVD’s, forums and Google. It takes at least 2 years of daily shooting to develop your eye (2×365 days) By then you’d be used to seeing and capturing what you see as you see it. It helps to put the theoretical into the practical of shooting 😉 What sets photographers apart from each other is the way they look differently at the world. In that lies the beauty of sharing knowledge through classes. I learn as much from my students as they from me.
Do you have a blog/ website where people can view images captured by you?
Jip. http://frikkiekapp.wordpress.com/ or just Google my name. You will find something out there. Join me on Facebook or flickr too.
What do you regards as the best magazines to read to sharpen your skills in photography?
Well to begin this I’d say that Pix and Photo Comment are great magazines for anyone interested in relevant info about the photography industry in South Africa. It is great to have that where in the days I got started all you could get was very expensive mags from across the water and the frustration of not getting gadgets that they advertise there in SA. They are still there these mags. but the above two are at least keeping all of us informed about toys, tricks and inspiration in good ole RSA.
What do you regards as the best websites to browse to sharpen your skills in photography?
Ummm www.Phototalk.co.za 😉 I am a firm believer that looking at other photos helps you more than you will ever know. There are so many forums on the net where people discuss and talk photography that you learn from it good or bad. One of my favorite sites to do viewing is www.500px.com
Some amazing inspirational stuff there that keep one humble. www.dpreview.com is also a good general site about photography. Recently I’ve been visiting www.strobist.com a lot. Also www.outdoorphoto.co.za
Anything from Joe McNally is also serious consideration 😉
If money is no issue – and you can go any place in the world to take as many photos as you wish to – what place would that be?
Without a doubt the East. What is it with you guys and only one place and one thing? That’s complicating matters 😉
What is your favorite software for retouching?
Adobe Lightroom. It is all you need as photographer if you are not into doing all sorts of funny stuff and combining images and layering. That is why there is Photoshop that everyone always wants to fix stuff in, instead of trying to get the exposures right from the 1st click of the shutter
What times during the day do you think are best to take photos
Any time really. If the light speaks to you, you make it work for you. And you thought I’d say golden hours have you 😉 Even in the early morning or late afternoon you will get times when the light don’t wow you and sometimes it does in the middle of the day. So there is no real time preference for me much. However I do like it when the sun is lower to the horizon.
If you could buy any camera and lens, which would it be?
There you go again: one camera and lens only! Eish! I am not too much of a camera specific person. No matter if it is a Canikosonyolypanaleicatexjiblad.
It only is a tool and should be an extension to your eye, and assist you to achieve what you want. All cameras have things that help and frustrate. What is important, is that you know what is in your hand well. That outweighs the brand name by far. I shoot Nikon as my personal brand favorite because of the way it assist me to get what I want in the time that is needed to do it, but have worked with all other brands because I need to know them because I teach photography. To answer the question it would probably be a Leica M9 with a 35mm f1.4 lens and follow in the footsteps of Henri Cartier-Bresson. The latest offering from Fuji X-Pro1 looks also very tempting with all 3 its lenses 😉