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

Article for digital-photography-school.com

{featured} ‘7 Tips for Taking Better Photographs of Cars’  is the second article I (Desmond) wrote for digital-photography-school.com. Digital Photography School is a great online source to improve your photography and editing skills. In 2011 I wrote a post about street photography, have a look over here. Thanks for this opportunity. Have a rad week, dna – Desmond

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Tobie & Lynne, Cape Town, South Africa for Mercedes-Benz #EXTRAORDINAIRE

{automotive} Tobie and Lynne are Mercedes-Benz lovers. They were the perfect couple for the pilot shoot & interview we did for Mercedes-Benz! Have a look at the Mercedes-Benz Extraordinaire site over here for the interview. You can even read it in French. Lynne and Tobie, thank you so much; we had loads of fun! dna – Desmond ‘n Antonia

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Tobias
 (43) and his wife Lynne (34) love their Iceberg white Mercedes-Benz W114 from 1975 and they drive it in and around Cape Town, South Africa, a city filled with vintage Mercedes-Benz cars. Tobias is obsessed with cycling; he is a BMX legend and he is a real entrepreneur: employing more than 40 people, he owns Fittees, a clothing factory focusing on t-shirts and raw selvedge denim, a screen-printing workshop, a BMX workshop, as well as four clothing stores called Hello Again. This dude is on a mission to conquer and more. Lynne is a vegan hippie mom looking after their children Reuben (3) and Leo (1) and she is working on becoming a childbirth educator. In addition, she is a trend forecaster and is also in charge of Hello Again’s women’s wear production, interior design and window displays. The Groenewald family lives in Vredehoek, above Cape Town city’s bowl on the slopes of Table Mountain with nice city, harbor and sea views. His one year old Mercedes-Benz W114 is Tobie’s first Mercedes-Benz. He calls it his ‘Merc’.

Tell me about your Mercedes-Benz.
Tobias: It’s a Sunday car, we drive it once a week. It’s for leisure and pleasure. We drive it to special events. During the week I drive my bakkie (pick up truck) while building and opening shops and on the weekends I’m on my bicycle and in my Merc.
Lynne: Yeah, it’s not a car for rushing around. It’s a cruiser. You gotta relax, take it easy and cruise down to town.

Where do you like to go with your Mercedes-Benz, what are your favourite spots in Cape Town?
Tobias: On Sunday mornings we drive around Table Mountain and go to Clifton beach with the whole family and the dog.
Lynne: Our son Reuben always sits in the front seat like an old man, very proud, he loves the Merc. Another spot is The Plantation, an urban park close to our house, where Tobias is busy building BMX jumps. From there you have an awesome view.

What was important for you when you bought your Mercedes-Benz?
Tobias: I wanted a vintage Merc. I saw this kind of Merc driving around in Cape Town, without head rests, that look is pretty distinctive. I looked for two years until I found this one. It’s still pretty original. My dad had a Merc like this when I was three years old. He was a car dealer, he had many Mercedes-Benz cars and he was the one who found it for me. It was hidden in a car dealership in Bloemfontein. My dad had never shared any emotions when buying cars. But when he told me about this car, he was really excited. I bought it without seeing it. I went to Kimberley, 1000 kilometers away from Cape Town, to fetch it. The first time I saw it, I immediately wanted to get back on the road – it was exactly how my dad described it.

Your Mercedes-Benz sounds like a car for good times…
Lynne: Driving along the coast at 80 km/h, windows open, a cool breeze from the ocean and listening to Rodriguez, that’s the best.

P.S. Lynne dreams of a cherry red Mercedes-Benz SL 450. “That’s what I want. It’s the most feminine and elegant car.”

Photography by Desmond Louw and Antonia Heil
  Text by Antonia Heil

 


428i BMW shoot for BMW South Africa

{automotive} We had the opportunity to shoot the new 428i BMW for BMW South Africa. It was a big challenge to shoot this dark shiny car – everything just reflects off it!! Another challenge was the fact that we only had two shooting days. I (Des) love this car, maybe something for us one day 🙂

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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

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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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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

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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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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!

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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

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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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ISUZU KB 2013 dna photographers Cape Town Desmond Louw car photographer 15
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ISUZU KB 2013 dna photographers Cape TownISUZU KB 2013 dna photographers Cape Town Desmond Louw car photographer 05

ISUZU KB 2013 dna photographers Cape Town Desmond Louw car photographer 12

ISUZU KB 2013 dna photographers Cape Town Desmond Louw car photographer 03

ISUZU KB 2013 dna photographers Cape Town Desmond Louw car photographer 11

ISUZU KB 2013 dna photographers Cape Town Desmond Louw car photographer 04

ISUZU KB 2013 dna photographers Cape Town Desmond Louw car photographer 02

ISUZU KB 2013 dna photographers Cape Town Desmond Louw car photographer 01
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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