Claire Butler: What She Saw

 

Claire Butler: Cape Town Photographer

 

Claire Butler is a Cape Town based Sports photographer who has an incredible talent for shooting surf and ocean photography. Blessed with picturesque landscapes and clean waters, Claire takes to both land and sea in search of a great action photograph that speaks of movement, danger and excitement. Not only does she portray the surfers in a very unique sense, she captures a piece of time with the surfer, the wave and the location in one. Head over to her personal website to see her great portfolio!

 

DH: How long have you been taking pictures for? 
Claire: I started shooting with a happy snapper compact camera in 2007. Saved up and purchased my first SLR camera, a Canon 1000D, at the end of 2008. I started taking my photography more seriously from about the end of 2010. So all-in-all I’ve had a camera in my hand for the last 5 years, but more seriously so for about 2 years now.

DH: What equipment do you currently shoot with?

Claire: Canon 7D usually with a 70-200mm f2.8 lens-

DH: Tell us about your background and what got you into surf photography?

Claire: I’m a born-and-bred Capetonian – have lived in Cape Town all my life. I started surfing when I was 11, and with that came an addiction to all things surfing-related. My bedroom walls were always lined with amazing images of surfing so I think subconsciously my passion for surf photography had already started at a young age. After high school I went to UCT and studied film and media production but soon decided that I preferred still images to moving ones and took up photography as a hobby. At the same time I stopped surfing and took up wakeboarding, and when I was wasn’t riding at the cable park, I was taking pictures of the other riders. I unfortunately got injured in 2010 and had to stop wakeboarding, which meant weekends were spent back at the beach surfing or watching my boyfriend surf. So I started shooting surfers instead of wakeboarders and just fell in love with the genre.


 

DH: You shoot a range of material, not just surfing. Tell us about your work, and your style?

Claire: I’m still in the early days of building up my photography career so I’m keen to try my hand at all genres of photography. My current work reflects that – landscapes, action shots, portraits, wildlife, events etc.. I prefer a fly-on-the-wall / documentary approach to taking photographs. I’m not a huge fan of posed or staged photography. I like to capture the moment as I see it rather than try and construct it. –

DH: What or who inspires your work?

Claire: In terms of my surfing photography I’d have to say that firstly the surfers inspire me. It’s incredible watching them ride, especially on the bigger days. Capturing and sharing their stoke as they come out of a massive barrel or airdrop down the face of an insane wave…it’s an incredible and inspiring sport in itself. Other inspirations would definitely be local surf photographers such as Alan van Gysen & Greg Ewing. Internationally I’m totally inspired by the work of Chris Burkard, Sarah Lee and Clare Plueckhahn, to name a few. There are so many photographs that one just sees on a daily basis via facebook or twitter that are amazing and awe-inspiring.

 


 

Surfer: Jacob Mellish

DH: Where have been your favourite locations to shoot / travel / surf?

Claire: I haven’t yet had the opportunity to travel to any amazing surfing destinations, but a number of trips are on the cards for next year. Locally I love to shoot Jbay, Llandudno and a certain beach break, which I probably shouldn’t name but you’ll see it in a lot of my pics. Other than that I’d have to say my favourite “photographic” holiday to date would have to be Stockholm in Sweden. It’s an incredible city and I was able to capture some beautiful images there.

DH: Do you prefer shooting from land of from the water?

Claire: Tough one. Being in the water is more challenging and when you nail the shot it feels more rewarding. But I’m a sucker for pulled back line-up shots from the land. Both produce such different results, and you can be super creative with both, so I’m going to sit on the fence on this question and say both!

DH: Finally, for fans of your work, is it possible for people to purchase any of your photos from you or elsewhere…?

Claire: Yes, anyone who is interested in purchasing any of my photographs can contact me via my Facebook page or on email (my email address is available on my blog).

 

 

Kit Bag:

 7D

50mm f/1.8
10-20mm f/1.8
70-200mm f/2.8 L II

Connect with Claire Butler

Twitter: @clairelecila

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/whatshesaw

Website: http://clairebutlerphoto.blogspot.com

 

Tell us what you think about Claire’s photo’s in a comment below;

Robin Somogyvari Profile

Robin Somogyvari has joined the dirty habits team as our newly appointed head photographer, his images might look familiar as alot of them have feature in some of the leading mags in the world, including Magazine covers and double page spreads in Kiteworld, Stance mag, Leisure Boating, Gust and ofcourse Dirty Habits! He is a free-lance photographer based in Cape town, specializing in water photography and extreme sports.

Robinsomogyvari.com

Stance Mag feature of SA rider Warrick Meyer

If Robin isn’t behind the lense, he’s usually the guy flying over you in big bay, or throwing down huge megaloops at kitebeach, they say good riders make the best photographers, but have a look for yourself

Graham howes

Graham Howes on his backhand

 

Graham Howes

Graham Howes with a Nukegrab

 

James Busse

Warrick Meyer

 

graham howes

Graham Howes

Robin Is a Freelance Sports Photographer,
He specializes in catelog shoots, events and media coverage, and private photoshoots,

So get in touch with him for all your Extreme sports photo needs!

Robinsomogyvari.com