Above: Hannes Lochner enjoying a night out while working.
This week we interviewed Hannes Lochner, a born and raised Capetonian turned wildlife photographer and found out a little bit more about his ever-increasing passion for wildlife photography. How he got started, his favourite location to shoot and his reason for becoming part of the safari photography scene.
1. When did you first start taking photographs?
I went full-time in 2007 after it took me at least fifteen years to be at the right place, on the right time to in my life. Wildlife photography is a very difficult market to get into, especially when it comes to the digital market.
Above: A ‘Meerkat’ on the lookout for danger, this one took it a bit further to cover his eyes from the sun.
2. What type of photography are you most interested in?
I’d have to say that wildlife and nature orientated photography really appeal to me, it’s the reason why I do what I do.
Above: A female leopard out and about in Transfrontier Park, South Africa.
3. Who or what is your greatest inspiration?
A lot of my inspiration comes from the people closest to me, like my friends, family and of course my girlfriend, Noa!
Above: A leopard scratching an itch in Transfrontier Park, South Africa.
4. Is there a particular photograph that you’ve taken that is of sentimental value to you?
Not as of yet, there are a few that are close to my heart, but I still need to take that photo that I feel would be uniquely associated with me, but at the same time I kind of hope it does not happen too soon, otherwise you lose a little magic searching for your dream shot… I don’t think I’ll ever have that unique shot only associated with me .
Above: A couple of lionesses licking the water of each other’s backs after a heavy downpour.
5. Have you ever had to put yourself in harm’s way to get that perfect shot?
I’d like to say yes, but to be honest, not really. That’s what long lenses are there for I guess; to keep your distance and stay safe. A person always searches for fresh ideas, and sometimes things can get too close for comfort, but mostly I keep a safe distance, I’d like to keep on doing what I do for a very long time.
Above: A leopard and yellow cobra unexpectedly crossing paths.
6. What would you say is your favourite location for wildlife photography?
That’s a difficult question to answer, but if I had to choose one it would probably be the Kalahari Desert, in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Above: A lion leaving a tree after a long night.
7. Complete the sentence: Photography is the reason…
Why I love life, there’s something magical about recording memories, freezing moments in life that will never be repeated, I love photography because it’s universal, it speaks a language and tells a story.
Above: A lion resting during a thunder storm.
8. Do you use any editing software? If yes, what do you use?
Yes, Adobe Lightroom is my program of choice when editing my work.
Above: A lion noticing that someone is indeed watching him.
9. What inspired you to host photographic safaris?
Well, I’d have to say my bank manager; my accounts are always empty and it’s a great way to earn an steady income.
Above: A crocodile enjoying an afternoon lunch in the rivers of the Transfrontier Park, South Africa.
10. What’s the strangest thing somebody has ever asked you?
Probably “What do you feed the hippos in Africa?” , that question really caught me off guard.
Above: The cover of ‘The Dark Side of the Kalahari’, Hannes Lochner’s third book, out in mid-2013.
If you enjoyed the images included in this interview, you’re welcome to go and view the website for The Dark Side of the Kalahari, the third (and latest) addition to Hannes Lochner’s book collection.