Peter Haarhoff

Peter Haarhoff’s career as a pro photographer spanned over 20 years, and for the last 10 years, his focus (pan intended) has been on the tourism industry. When Peter is not out photographing, he works as a registered tour guide, offering scenic as well as photo tours to locals and international visitors. His photographic workshops are presented to only a handful of photographers to ensure personal attention. Peter is very passionate about South Africa, and loves to explore and discover new places of interest.

10 Questions with Peter

Q: How or when did you “develop” an interest in photography?

A: I always had an interest in photography, even at school I was part of the photographic club, although I have to admit- it was mainly to get out of PT.

Q: How long have you been taking photographs?

A: All my life, started out with a Kodak 110 camera, but got serious about it with my first job- in a photographic retail store. There I was trained as a studio and wedding photographer.  

Q: Did you study photography?

A: Nope, unfortunately not. Wanted to, but due to limited finances growing up, I couldn’t. I learned everything I know “on the job” 

Q: What photographic equipment do you currently use?

A: Canon EOS 5D Mk3 with a 16-35mm f2.8, 24-105mm f4, 70-200mm f2.8, Canon 1.4x extender and 580EX Speedlights. 

Q: What is the one piece of gear you can’t go without?

A: My iPhone. It’s with me where ever I go, and you know what they say about the best camera- it’s the one you have with you. All the photographs on my Instagram page is taken with my iPhone. It also have handy Apps to check  where the sun or moon will set or rise, finding the South Celestial Pole and calculating long time exposures.

Q: What type of photography do you enjoy?

A: I’m a people’s photographer and very good at it. I love people. I can get them (especially children) to relax very quickly and that helps to get natural looking photographs. I don’t mind shooting in the studio, with off camera flash or natural light. But if you had to ask me where my passion lies, I would say Black and White seascapes taken with a slow shutter speed to record motion in the waves. I love it, it’s almost like a meditation for me. They say a camera doesn’t lie, but when you take fast moving water with a slow shutter speed, you create something you can’t see with your own eyes. I am a big fan of B&W photography- digital or 35mm. Oh, and star trail and Milky Way photographs. It’s not so much the photographs you get, but more about the places it takes you and sitting somewhere in the middle of nowhere looking at the star clustered heavens are just magical. It’s like God is putting on a show just for you. I suppose to put it in a nutshell, I enjoy all types of photography!

Q: What do you love about being a photographic tour guide in Cape Town?

A: I meet fantastic people, I get to share what I’ve learned over the years, and I get to brag about our beautiful country very day! I can honestly say with me the old cliché is true- If you do what you love- you won’t work a day in your life. All I’m doing is taking friends (some new, some not so new) out to go and take fantastic photographs!

Q: What is the best photograph you have ever taken?

A: The one I will take tomorrow…

Q: Where is your favourite place to photograph?

A: Oooh- so many places to choose from. Kalk Bay where I live and work. Definitely. I enjoy photographing people in the townships, street photography in Woodstock and trying to get that perfect shot of Table Mountain. But I will have to say Namibia (and Ethosa) is still top on my list of places to photograph. 

Q: What advice would you give someone starting out in photography?

A: Stop looking at other people’s photographs and start taking more of your own.