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Adriaan Van Heerden photos Adriaan Van Heerden Blog Know How Adriaan Van Heerden shop

Dear Adriaan

Today is my 44th birthday and it has turned out to be a rather special one!

In this issue of my (slightly overdue) newsletter I have some very exciting new projects to share with you, all of which involve a slight departure from my usual activities.

Of course I also have some great photography offers for you, including a free walkaround at RHS Wisley next week, so make sure you check them out.

Dark Soul Safari

I'm very excited to announce the launch of my new electronic music project called "Dark Soul Safari". In this project I will be giving sonic form to some of the ideas and themes that have made their way into my photography, philosophical studies and creative writing over the years: the idea of life being an unpredictable journey, exploring the tragic and comic elements of existence, etc.

My first single — called "Dance of the Demented Spiders of Saturn" — is pre-released TODAY on iTunes and Google Play and will be available to purchase from the 1st of August.

I will be adding further singles over time so if you'd like to know more then you can follow the project on the Dark Soul Safari website, on Facebook and on Twitter.


Thursday 25th June was a momentous day as it saw the premiere in London of a short (12 minute) film I made with a couple of friends a few years ago. It's amazing how long it takes for even such a short film to see the light of day, what with all the sound design, editing, grading etc. Fortunately all the hard work and waiting seemed to have paid off as the audience was very appreciative and laughed in all the right places, which was a great relief!

The film is called "Closure" and I usually describe it as a short relationship drama with a twist. We've submitted it to various film festivals and hopefully it will be accepted at one or more of them. We're also hoping to have a few more screenings in the London and Manchester areas, so if you'd be interested to see it on a biggish screen then please let me know and I'll add you to the guest list.

Dark Mercy

The third exciting project I've just completed is putting some of my pictures to one of the wonderful songs by my good friends of Red Earth and Rust, a fantastic blues band based in Cape Town. You can watch the video on my YouTube channel or by clicking the link below.

Commenting on LinkedIn, Dr Mahlet Zimeta said that she found the video "Mesmerising — I particularly liked the eerie skyscapes, and the mixture of urban and wildlife scenes."

Dark Mercy: Photographs by Adriaan van Heerden, music by Red Earth & Rust

Charles Dodgson Award

I'm very pleased to say that I made it to the finals of the Black and White Charles Dodgson Award 2015 with my picture "Snow at Sunrise, Lindow Common" (featured in the "Dark Mercy" video above).

Is there some cosmic significance in this fact, seeing as it's the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland, written of course by our friend Charles Dodgson (a.k.a. Lewis Carroll), who was also a very keen photographer? Perhaps, dear reader, perhaps ...

Photography Experiences

I'm now very much looking forward to revisiting and photographing Northumberland next month, and then we also have the Lake District coming up in September and the Jurassic Coast in January. Spaces are still available on my two photography days at the British Wildlife Centre in September and December.

Booking is now open for all these experiences.

The highlight of the Lake District trip will be photographing the best supermoon of the year over Buttermere (weather permitting, of course), so that's one not to be missed!

You can view the current schedule of all the experiences on my website. Places are always limited so please do book early if you'd like to join one or more of these adventures.

African Safaris in 2016

With the expected arrival of our second child in October I'm having to temper my expectations for my safari programme next year a bit, however the two safaris most likely to proceed are:

  1. August: 14 days South Africa. Cape Town, West Coast wildflowers, whales & some of the best big cat photography available anywhere. Total cost including international flights from the UK estimated to be in the region of £4,950.
  2. September: 15 days Kenya. Amboseli, Samburu, Mount Kenya region, Great Lakes, and three full days in the Maasai Mara to photograph the Great Migration. Total cost including international flights from the UK estimated to be in the region of £7,500.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you'd like to join me for one of these fantastic trips. Once I have an idea of numbers I will then finalise the details (including costs) with my operators and travel consultant partners. I am not taking deposits at the moment, just expressions of interest, and you can be assured that I will keep you informed throughout the process.

Photography Experience Days at Denbies Wine Estate

Since my last newsletter I've run two photography experience days at Denbies Wine Estate and both were very well received. One participant wrote as follows about the experience afterwards:

"Adriaan was very easy to get along with, and was very good at tailoring the discussion. We covered numerous techniques and scenarios during the day. I now appreciate the benefit of coming off Auto, and experimenting with the camera in numerous ways. I also feel much more comfortable in creating good compositions, and will look at scenes through different eyes. This was all topped off by a meal in 'The Gallery' so all in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable day and great value for money."

You can read all the reviews on the booking page.

Booking is still open for the remaining two experience days on Sunday 6 September and Sunday 18 October.

Below is one of my pictures from the first experience day in May (which also features on the cover of my "Dance of the Demented Spiders" single); you can see more pictures on my blog.

Free Photography Walkaround at RHS Wisley

Next Sunday the 26th of July I will be doing a free photography walkaround at RHS Wisley from 4 pm. It will be a very relaxed, fun experience suitable for the whole family. There will be an optional photo challenge for those who feel like it. No special equipment is necessary so you can bring anything from your mobile phone (as long as it has a camera) to a DSLR with a macro or telephoto lens.

All you will need to pay are the regular Wisley entrance fees; the walkaround itself is free.

If you'd like to come along then please email me so that I can get an idea of numbers. I will send out joining instructions next week.

Limited Edition Prints Cards and Calendars Photobooks Workshops & Holidays

Special Offer: 15% Off Limited Edition Prints

I'm offering 15% off all limited edition prints in my online shop until the end of August. Prices start at only £75 so you can grab yourself a bargain!

Quote code "DARKSOUL15" at checkout to apply the discount.

Final Word

The final word this time goes to Gill Sepe who voted for me in the Exposure competition: "Adriaan manages to capture the detail 'in the moment' which brings to life the emotion, uniqueness and even comedy of the subject. You can feel the passion in his work."

Thank you very much, Gill — you hit the nail exactly on the head in terms of what I aim to achieve!

Until next time ...

Copyright © 2014 Adriaan van Heerden. All rights reserved.