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I am Nikonians

Aart Louw (AartPapaya) Interview

Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2)


Keywords: wildlife, flowers, photography, nikonians, aartpapaya

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Many of our members will be familiar with Aart Louw's exotic wildlife shots from South Africa and Kruger National Park. He captures our attention with other forms of photography as well, while he hones his skills by shooting, sharing and requesting critique. Aart is spreading his enthusiasm and discipline to make, and to share at least one photo a day.

“There are few places in the world where some photo opportunities do not exist. Where you live, work and most importantly your interests determine your type of photography. Being on the doorstep of one of the great nature reserves in the world, where spectacular game abounds, has played an important part in my interest in wildlife. At the same time the rugged landscape also played a role but often, when in the mountains, I tend to take more pictures of flowers and insects than of landscape.”

01

Gloriosa Superba
Nikon D500, 20 shots stack, 105mm f/2.8G @ f/8, 1/10s, ISO 125
Click for an enlargement

 

In speaking of the preferences he has in photography, he first considers the question, then adds his own character: “My preference is natural science but I cannot call it a photographic preference. I like any photography that is not too ‘technical’, I shy away from gadgets. Ah! Got it; my photographic preference is photography without gadgets.”

02

Fluffy Seed and Capsule
Nikon 810, 9 shots stack, 105mm f/2.8G @ f/8.0, 1.6 sec ISO100
Click for an enlargement

 

In speaking of Nikonians, Aart expressed the following:“At first I was so in awe at the amazing pictures featured on the different forums of the community that I did not dare to post any myself. There was a forum called “Art, Technique and Critique “, or something similar. This gave me the opening to submit my first amateurish shots, because I really wanted critique and I got it… I can safely say that 90% of the little I know of photography I learned through Nikonians. It is great to be a member of such a great family.

Aart has expressed his intention to pursue capturing images of good quality of birds in flight (BIF).

As one can imagine Aart has had many terrific experiences and adventures:

03

White Rhino
D810, 150-500mm Sigma @ 230mm, f/10, 1/400s, ISO 2500
Click for an enlargement

 

“Taking pictures of the wildlife has it risks, one of my closest encounters while shooting was with a rhino. Early morning I saw a magnificent bull with a very long sharp pointed horn. As usual, I immediately snapped a picture and then worried about camera settings. As I zoomed in to take a shot at the head, the rhino screamed like a pig in pain. I have never heard a rhino make a sound before, except for snorts, the same as a horse.  I did not notice another rhino behind the bushes.  

04

Dust Dance
Nikon D200, 300mm f/2.8 @ f/5.6, 1/800s, ISO 200
Click for an enlargement

 

The rhino, still screaming, disappeared behind the bushes. I drove a yard or two forward to an opening in the bushes. The rhino had his back towards me. I switched my car off to wait for the action. Suddenly the rhino twisted around with an agility a wild cat would admire, lowered his horn and charged me. I could do nothing at all. I was just wondering how I was going to avoid the horn penetrating the door of the car. The rhino braked with a cloud of dust literally millimetres from the door. He snorted, turned around, and returned to what he had been doing. Obviously, there are things one should not do.

05

Small Herd of Elephants
D810, Sigma 150-500mm f/6.3 @ 230mm, f/8, 1/320s, ISO 500. Hand held.
Click for an enlargement

 

One of my most precious moments was on one of our farms bordering the park. From quite a distance, I saw a herd of elephants near the fence. I wanted to take a picture within the area of our papaya planting with elephant in the background. I stopped the car walked into the orchard. A very big bull was standing close to the fence and he showed some annoyance at me. I talked to him in an even voice and told him not to be ridiculous.  

06

Young impala at first light
Nikon D810, 150-500mm Sigma @ 155mm, f/6.3, 1/320s, ISO 640
Click for an enlargement

 

Suddenly I realized that the poor animal must have been longing for the greenery on the other side of the fence; therefore, I picked a few mature fruits and rolled them through the electrified fence.

It was an awesome experience to befriend a wild elephant bull and in addition, to be able to capture some pictures with a 24-70mm lens.”

07

Jungle Rally - Mud and Noise
Nikon D300S, 18-140mm f/3.5 Nikkor @ 100mm, f/5.6, 1/320s, ISO 200
Click for an enlargement

 

Way to end an interview with an adrenalin rush!  Thank you Aart for your input, stunning photographs, and postings on various forums. Thanks also for reinforcing the advantages of being open to advice, pointers and constructive criticism.  It is also an acquired skill to offer input but by doing so there can be more discussion and both parties can learn more. Asking for ideas and for information helps to improve skills quickly.  The purpose of the forums, after all, is to discuss and exchange ideas in addition to sharing images, techniques, and to offer approval.  You brought some good thoughts forward, Aart. Thank you.

08

Drops on a String
At night, little spiders do their thing at our experimental papaya nursery
Nikon D300S, 50mm Sigma /f2.8 @ f/16, 1/60s, ISO 400
Click for an enlargement

 

Originally written on February 19, 2019

Last updated on February 20, 2019

Marsha Edmunds Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2)

Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Fellow Ribbon awarded for her continuous encouragement and meaningful comments in the spirit of Nikonians. Donor Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017 Awarded for her in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas.

Lethbridge, Canada
Team, 7387 posts

More articles by Marsha Edmunds

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14 comments

Harish Subramanian (Harish1957) on March 16, 2019

For long, I have been noticing this article on the Nikonian Home Page but as the name Aart Louw did not ring a bell, I was not too attracted towards it. I accidentally double clicked on the article today and was pleasantly surpised to note that Aart Louw was actually Aart Papaya ! Being one of the many fans of Aart, the article made great reading. Thanks Marsha for the well written article. Aart - you have shared with us many images outside of your papaya farm - for a change if you could share some snaps of your papaya farm; that would be great !

Tom Jacob (sevendayimages) on February 28, 2019

Awarded for his continuous knowledge and images sharing with community members Awarded for his win at the Best of Nikonians 2016 Photo Contest Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas.

Thanks for sharing this Aart, and get a glimpse into your life. You truly are our Tarzan Nikonian and I always look forward to your shots. Excellent work. Marsha...it goes without saying...thank you :) Cheers!

Russell Whittemore (rosewood_ltd) on February 22, 2019

Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017 Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas.

Another great article, Marsha. A profile of Aart's excellent work is long overdue. I get to go on safari again, simply by going to Nikonians.

Norm Solomon (ctnorm7) on February 22, 2019

Ribbon awarded for his generous contribution to the 2019 Fundraising campaign

Thanks-great article! The photos are terrific and the information about how they were taken is great.

Rancy Hastings (MUletgr) on February 21, 2019

Marsha, Thanks for the writing the enjoyable article. I love to see Aart's photos, as I ma sure many other do. My first digital camera was purchased in route to South Africa on a business trip with two wildlife reserve side trips scheduled. In a panic, trying to learn to shoot with my first digital camera while on what might be a once in a lifetime trip, I discovered Nikonians. Help from people like Aart and Marsha, enabled me to come away with some nice images.

Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2) on February 21, 2019

Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Fellow Ribbon awarded for her continuous encouragement and meaningful comments in the spirit of Nikonians. Donor Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017 Awarded for her in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas.

Thanks so much every one for your generous comments. I did enjoy writing these articles getting to know people even more than on the forums. As I have said before- though it was a bit of work coordinating all the appreciation should go to those being interviewed. Aart it was such a pleasure working on this feature with you and I am a huge fan of your work. You always share the amazing!

Aart Louw (AartPapaya) on February 21, 2019

Marsha, I wish I was as good at photography as you are in writing articles. Thank you for your admirable input.

Pieter Venter (Piet_Venter) on February 21, 2019

Lovely photography Aart. Wide range of interest too. We also have the Flame Lily (Gloriosa Superba) in our garden. Having seen your great image of its flower, I will refrain from posting my attempts. ;-)

Nadarajah Thirugnanasothy (NadaThiru) on February 21, 2019

Thank you for sharing these amazing photos. How did you get black background for the flower and the seed photos? (I am still at beginner level)

Bonnie Christensen (BChrisRad) on February 21, 2019

Donor ribbon awarded for her most generous contribution to the 2017 campaign. Ribbon awarded for her most generous support to the 2018 fundraising  campaign

Thank you Marsha and Aart for this article. It was great to hear more of your stories Aart and learn more of how you approach photography. I agree Nikonians is a great place to ask questions and learn.

Hazim Aldujaili (Haz65) on February 20, 2019

Really enjoy it Marsha Thanks a lot .

Carman Pagano (the diewrecktor) on February 19, 2019

Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015

Aart always has an interesting story to go with his excellent images. Thanks for the writeup, Marsha, and thanks to Aart for sharing more of his adventures.

David Summers (dm1dave) on February 19, 2019

Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us Aart! I always enjoy seeing you photos.

Gavin Duffy (Gaduf) on February 19, 2019

Lovely interview with Marsha ,Aart . Superb pictures and very interesting background to each of them .and your approach to photography. Also enjoyed your comments on the interface with the Nikonians community and what this has meant to you. I personally have been enriched and motivated by your posts. Regards Gavin

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