We recently visited the Luxury Africa Gallery to have a look around, and chat with one of their contributing wildlife photographers, Marius Coetzee.
As you know we choose a specific client each month to feature as our Orms Print Room & Framing Case Study. This month, we are looking at Luxury Africa. Luxury Africa is a high end tour operator based right here in Cape Town. Due to client demand they opened a gallery space where visitors can come and find unique African luxury goods, jewellery and works of art. We recently visited the gallery to have a look at what’s on offer, and chat with one of the contributing wildlife photographers about a few of his images.
Photographs above: Wildlife Photographer Marius Coetzee
Photograph above: Heinrich Röntgen
Photograph above: Wildlife Photographer Graham Springer
Photographer Marius Coetzee has been in the industry for over 14 years and has become a highly sought-after photographic guide. His award-winning wildlife images have made the covers of numerous premier publications. We caught up with Marius to ask him about the story behind two incredible images in particular…
About the Karo Warrior above: “The Omo Valley is without a doubt one of my favourite photographic locations in Africa. Located in far southern Ethiopia, this region is raw, a little bit edgy and is full of incredible photographic opportunities. This was my 1st visit to the Karo, an ethnic tribe living on the east bank of the Omo River who practise flood retreat cultivation, their main crops being maize, sorghum and beans. Unlike the majority of the other Omo valley tribes in the region, they keep only a small number of cattle due to the prevalence of disease-carrying Tsetse flies.
A commonality they share with many of the other Omo valley tribes however, is the custom of painting their bodies and faces with white chalk to prepare for ceremonies, while other decorative features of the Karo include face masks, and clay hair buns adorned with feathers.
On this visit to Omo valley, I was determined to capture an intimate portrait of the meanest looking ‘warrior’ in the tribe. After several minutes of negotiation (all through a translator) I got my wish. I slowly walked up to the ‘warrior’ and took several portraits, continuously moving closer until I captured a full frame image of his black and white painted face.”
About the Himba Family above: “On a recent visit to Serra Cafema on the border of Angola and Namibia I was excited to photograph the small Himba family resident in the area for the third time. As always I arrived early in the afternoon, walk around and chat to the Himba without capturing any images. I ask about life, rain and they’re fascinating nomadic lifestyle. We share a bond, a bond of trust and living life, surviving against the odds.
The oldest lady in the tribe is known as ‘Krokodil’ named after the reptile, crocodile’ that attacked her several years prior to my visit. The Crocodile ripped her breast off while she was washing clothes in the Kunene River. Luckily for ‘Krokodil’ the nearby camp assisted her and flew her to a hospital several hundred kilometres away to get medical attention. “Krokodil” survived and has to date given birth and raised no less than 10 children in one of the harshest environments on earth.
As the light started to fade I photographed the family for some time before I heard an incredible sound coming about a hundred meters from me. Without any prior notice the small group of Himba joyfully started to dance, spinning around and egging each other on. It was surreal and a moment I will never forget. I slowly walked over to the dancing ladies and just stood there, mesmerised by their voices and rhythm. I dialled my exposure up +2 stops to ensure I completely over expose my background, dialled my shutter speed to an 1/8th of a second to capture the movement and slowly started creating image after image. “Krokodil’s “young boy then got tired of the singing and dancing and went to sit nearby, creating the perfect composition for my image as he starred into the distance. Behind the singing and dancing ladies “Krokodil” stood as erect and proud as ever as she smoked her pipe and carefully watched her people enjoying life in this barren wasteland.”
All of these, and more, framed and printed by Orms Print Room & Framing and available at the Luxury Africa Gallery. If you would like pop in, you can find them at: Unit 210, The Foundry Courtyard, Prestwich Street, Green Point, Cape Town, South Africa. You can also find them online at Luxury Africa.