‘He’s back’ but first the interview

From an interview with Jeré Möller of ‘Visit Overberg

Herman van Bon – An artist unleashed

Sitting down to chat with fine art photographer Herman van Bon is a bit like jumping on a magic carpet. A few seconds in and you are time traveling to visit the ancestors. Minutes later you are standing with him at the very edge of space, pondering heaven, hell and the wild beauty of it all. Herman is a well of stories, a maze of great questions and a master of his craft.

You have been described as quirky, complex, playful and very creative. So here is my first question. In your own words, who is Herman van Bon?

Well, I think I am an adult who kept my childhood imagination alive. I have a very wide field of interests and I do love to have fun with photography. I was born between the dykes of Holland and worked as a photojournalist on the technical side of things for many years. It took me through the whole wide world. About 17 years ago my wife Yvonne and I moved to South Africa to find space and breathe fresh air. We settled in the Overberg and love living here.

Someone said you are the Hieronymous Bosch of the digital era. How would you describe your work and style?

I like to photograph landscapes especially during early mornings, in the golden hour. But taking a picture is just the beginning as I enjoy playing with it. I explore and just let it flow to see where it might go. It can take weeks to come together and the end result can be landscapes, haikus, photographic mixed media and imaginary photography next to abstract and portrait photography.

Something that is regularly reflected in my work is my interest in the universal archetypes imbedded in our ancient human heritage. I find it interesting how they are awakened through the associations we sometimes make when looking at images. I also find the interaction between light and dark, good and evil fascinating. Especially subject matter that touches beyond religion and the best way I can explain this is through a quote from Albert Einstein,

“The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms – this knowledge, this feeling, is at the centre of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men.”

Herman so if we get down to it, what really inspire you?
Simply put, beauty. You know beauty can be in the small details of an even ugly looking subject. And the fact that some rules are there to be broken.

You mentioned settling in the Overberg about 17 years ago. Do you have any favourite places that you enjoy shooting at?

Yes definitely, the rolling hills and changing skies of the Overberg is a joy to any landscape photographer. I have many spots that I enjoy shooting, but let me highlight three for you:

– Napier and the town’s surroundings are stunning during Springtime and Autumn, just after the harvest. The Schietpad is especially amazing, you can get lost in there!
– Near Barrydale, the Warmwaterberg is beautiful. Stunning mountain views. Definitely a favourite.
– Elgin Valley is a magical place. I recommend taking a good hike up and the best time is during August.

Last question Herman. Where do you and Yvonne go to unwind here in your home town Napier?

Have to say we are still relatively new in Napier. It’s been just about a year and I can tell you, this is a town with a lot to discover. It’s difficult to mention just one place. We enjoy visiting Napier Farmstall, The Fox Pub for lunch, Pascal’s for dinner and for the best pizza in the Overberg, The Suntouched Inn.

Visit, view and buy some of his work here: Private Gallery Napier 

Below: ‘He’s back’. Since last Monday 258 likes on Instagram @hermanvanbon

Last weekend …. (many pictures)

… was the weekend I pictured an MTB-race, a half marathon and a Trial Run over two days. Hard work and a lot of fun to do. Here some photo’s of the 223 I finalized. ‘Old School’ photography is going on the road with a film of 12 and if less of 10 out of 12 are not acceptable you’re not good enough. I’m partly old school (the new school is digital) and I made in total 267 pictures… I’m still learning (it never ends).

All pictures shared copyright: (c)2017 Herman van Bon Photography, Napier / Southernmost Foundation, Bredasdorp.

Hermanus FynArts

Every year there is this art festival in Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa. Plenty of sculptures along the Cliff Path but not this year. It’s a meager outdoor exhibition but the few sculptures I saw are interesting. The event, including some concerts, workshops, etc. started last Thursday and ends this Sunday 18 June.

More worthwhile is to visit the different art galleries. Their level has gone up significantly in the past few years and some of them can match themselves with the best in South Africa and abroad. There are 11 of them (if I’m not mistaken) and all within walking distance. Four artists from my village have work on display in Van Rossouw Frans Mulder), Originals (Ulrich Riek), Hermanus Gallery (Yvonne de Wit) and Walker Bay Gallery (me).

Here a few images of the outdoor event.

 

Off the beaten track

I’m living in a small town through which the main road between Cape Town and the Southernmost tip of the African Continent runs. ‘Runs’, indeed for most tourists are racing in high speed mode from one ‘attraction’ to the other. It’s a pity to see people not experiencing the real beauty of a wonderful countryside. Sometimes I think; why not turn left or right into a gravel road and get lost … in a wonderful landscape with ever changing skies throughout the seasons. Yes; one can pick up some of that on the main road but it’s incomparable with the real thing. Our Swiss friends are visiting South Africa virtually every year and although they drive rural pace in the countryside they never got the idea to go into the deep … So I took them out one early morning. Yes, we also did the Southernmost Tip, for that was still on their list, but after the off the beaten track tour they had seen it there within a few minutes; the shipwreck nearby was far more interesting as was the illegal dumpsite of Cape Nature Conservation in a protected nature reservation (sad story), etc. etc. Oh … and we also went to Elim and in Arniston we had lunch in a place virtually all tourists/tour operators have yet to discover….

Well this is my contribution to this weeks photo challenge. Pictures all taken 23 March 2017 between 5:30 AM and approx. 2:00 PM and they clearly show the ever changing skies and the effect it has on the photos