© 2019 Desmond Louw & Antonia Heil
dna photographers / Cape Town, South Africa / Berlin, Germany
All rights reserved.

TopGear shoots for issue February 2014

{automotive} I’m so proud of the February TopGear(South Africa) issue! (Or how the guys at TopGear call it ‘the Desmond Louw issue’ 🙂 I shot the cover and 28 pages on the inside, including my Detroit to NYC, USA trip I did in August last year! On the technical side, we bought a D800. I had so much fun shooting with this machine. Editing 36 million pixels comes in handy…love it!! Cheers, dna – Desmond

Desmond Louw car automotive photography feature in TopGear magazine South Africa dna photographers 12

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Cars of 2013

{automotive} What a year we had! Toni and I had so much fun shooting cars and people all over the world!  Here are some of our favourite car photos taken in 2013, enjoy. Thanks to everyone for all the opportunities and support! Happy new year! May it be more than awesome.

dna – Desmond

P.S. Our favorite wedding and people moments of the past season are over here.

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TopCar shoots for issue December 2013

{featured} The December TopCar issue is out and once again it’s packed with our photos! It’s always so cool working with the guys and girls of TopCar, every time a different mission. This month we took the new GWM for a city run and the new Land Rover Discovery was tested in the mountains behind Hout Bay. I already started shooting for the January issue, can’t wait to share this with you!! dna – Desmond

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TopCar Land Rover XC Desmond Louw 21

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Road trip: Detroit, Pennsylvania, Boston, New York City, USA

Hello!! So the final days in America were MIND-BLOWING! We left Detroit and drove into Pennsylvania to spend a night there. This state never heard of the fuel crisis in the world, that’s for sure. Once again we encountered lovely people and amazing landscapes. While we were driving, Justus said that it’s a pity we can’t really test the car’s ability on these roads. The rules are strict and we don’t want to test the cops again. I asked the GPS to look for race tracks and it pointed out a track 20 miles from us. We thought we must go have a look, maybe we are lucky and the gate is open or something. We arrived and there were two guys who own this oval track. We spoke to them and they said we can do on the track what we want, but they want to feel the car, too! After signing some paperwork the track was ours!!! We had so much fun, and to top it all, they gave us a ride in their NASCAR! Now THAT’S power. Here is a short clip I took while in the car. The next day we drove off to Boston to do some sightseeing. What a lovely city – Harvard was interesting. Its was enrollment day and the town was full of young nervous first years and their parents, haha. After that it was time for the Big Apple again, New York City! I don’t even know where to begin, I walked the city flat (I still have a blister on my right foot the size of a R5 coin!). Interesting, weird, well groomed – random people; David Blaine walked past carrying a small alligator (promise). I was just like ‘nothing surprises me anymore, that’s so normal right now’. Like all my trips this one was way too short. NYC, I will be back, promise. You are astonishing!
dna – Desmond

USA post 1: Skating through New York City
USA post 2: Driving a Dodge Charger in Detroit 
USA post 3: Road trip: Detroit, Pennsylvania, Boston, New York City

New York City etc USA Desmond Louw road trip by dna photographers 01

The entrance of Harvard university.

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Cute girl at a coffee/book shop.

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Magical lake in Pennsylvania.

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 The cool guys at the oval track.

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Justus, my partner in crime.

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This lady works in the New York National Library. I asked if I can take a portrait of her and she asked me why I want to do that, I replied “cause I think you look lovely”. She said “Well, then go ahead!”.

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#selfie

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Driving a Dodge Charger in Detroit, USA

We arrived in Detroit! At first I was shocked of the state of this city and all the suburbs. So many beautiful houses stand empty and are falling into pieces, it’s crazy. The city is turning into one giant ghost city, but it’s very charming I must say. The people here are super friendly, I can feel there is still a good vibe here. I got up early to take a shot of the Dodge Charger (Dodge Charger SRT8, 6.4 liter engine, a remake of an old muscle car in the 60’s and 70’s) in front of an old house. I was setting my lights to take a shot of the car and this dude walked up to me, his name is Glory Hoggz (check him out on youtube!) and he is a rapper from Detroit. I asked if I can take a few shots of him and said “Sure thing man, let’s do this shit!”.
We worked a bit in a coffee shop, then we had a long shoot with the Dodge Charger in an old Packard factory. This place was massive!!! So after we found a place to enter the building with the car we drove around in the building from one room to another to find cool shooting locations, it was soooo rad! I must still work on the pictures (and I want to save them for the publication) but I have one pic of the rear that I quickly edited :). After this we went to a jazz festival in downtown Detroit with loads of happy people, I took some pics and Justus interviewed people. After this we went to a local brewery and had the most awesome beer. We were looking for a spot to cross the river next to Detroit so that we can stand on the other side of the water and take a picture of the car with the city skyline. We drove over this bridge and on the other side there was a huge Canadian flag. We were like ‘WTF’! So we arrived at the Canada border control and told them we didn’t realize we are actually entering Canada by crossing this bridge, they thought we are the biggest idiots alive and after some paperwork we could leave again for Detroit. So the Canadian border control thinks all South Africans are stupid, sorry about that! We had to go to this little island to get a shot with the same feeling, I love this photo! Detroit was cool, I will be back! Today we must travel 700km, so we better hit the road!
dna – Desmond

USA post 1: Skating through New York City
USA post 2: Driving a Dodge Charger in Detroit
USA post 3: Road trip: Detroit, Pennsylvania, Boston, New York City

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Photographer of the year {SAGMJ}

The SAGMJ (South African Guild of Motoring Journalists) Motoring Journalist and Photographer of the Year competition 2013 took place in June and this was the first year I (Desmond) entered and I’m stoked to say that I came second!! I could only enter twelve photos, nine of the twelve photos must have been published in a magazine/newspaper in 2012 and for the other three I could enter any photo of my choice. Below you can see the pictures I entered. Seagram Pearce came first, congratulations! Also, Angus Thompson, editor of TopCar, won SAGMJ Editor of the Year award and Aaron Borrill, also from TopCar, was highly commended in the motoring magazine division. Congrats guys!

Extended cab side doors Isuzu

TopGear Cover M135i Desmond Louw 36

TopCar New and old Beetle copy

December 2011 GQ

Extended cab karoo pano Isuzu

Double cab wayer splash Isuzu

Focus ST03 InRat

Volvo V40 InRat Norway

Volvo V40 bridge Norway InRat

BMW GrandCoupe TopCar

AMG Black TopGear

Porsche GQ March 2012


TopGear shoot: Mercedes G-class AMG vs the Suzuki Jimny

I (Desmond) had loads of fun with the guys of TopGear to shoot these two cars, the Mercedes G-class AMG and the Suzuki Jimny. We went mad with them! The whole idea behind the shoot was to compare the cheapest and the most expensive 4×4 vehicles available in South Africa. Buy the latest TopGear mag (August 2013) to check out the whole story!
dna – Desmond

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ISUZU KB 2013 campaign – Western Cape, South Africa

Since December 2012, here and there we’ve posted a couple of on-shoot pictures via instagram and Facebook, now we can finally show you the end-product. For several weeks we shot (& edited) on location and in studio the new ISUZU KB’s for magazine ads, brochures, website, billboards etc.. An awesome experience, traveling in the Western Cape while shooting great cars. Go to your local ISUZU dealer to get a brochure, a product we’re very proud of. Thank you Manni and Gerald for all your help!

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Below you can see a 3 D interior tour of one of the cars.


TopGear shoot BMW M135i

I (Desmond) went out with the TopGear guys to Calvinia, apparently the place where you can buy the best meat in South Africa. They compared the car, a BMW M135i, with a piece of meat. We bought a few steaks and had a braai next to the road. What a cool day! Oh yes, I have the cover photo!!! I love working with awesome people, thanks Calvin Fisher and Braam Peens! Get your issue (December 2012) now!

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Cool people, guns and the open road! – Route 66, USA

Monument valley was something to see!! The home of the road runner.. meep meep!

Because of the new highway next to route 66, some of the towns are ghost towns. Crazy to see all these lovely vintage houses just standing there with nothing in it…

Just love how the clouds form wings around this sign.

The biggest staffie I have ever seen in my life!!

Yes, I’m a super being, I don’t need a helmet DUHH!

Really? Do we need to fill up again??

Only in America ..

JUSTUS, SLOW DOWN, THE COPS! No just kidding, we are actually driving like gents, the speed limit is enforced by planes flying super high and checking out the cars, if a car speeds the ground police stops you… crazy.

Its spring here, I just love it!

This dude makes a mean coffee!

Route 66!!


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