Spring surf session in the Cape

The Ripple Effect
Words and Photo’s by Claire Butler

September and October have been strange months in terms of surf. There hasn’t been too much around, probably signifying the changing of the seasons again. But this past week the beautiful South East wind started to rear its head – a strong signal that Summer is literally around the corner. This post is called “the ripple effect” because of the wave size recently. But who says you can’t make a beautiful photograph in small conditions?

landudno surf

surf mag
best wave in cape town

surfing cape townwaves kommetjie

surfing kommetjie

Claire Butler Photography

http://clairebutlerphoto.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/whatshesaw

Dene Botha Interview

dene botha

Welcome to the world of Dene Botha – surfer, entrepreneur, actor, model, MC, event commentator, TV presenter, sports coach, Guinness World Record holder, party-animal and tireless thrill seeker.

Whether its surfing the perfect points of Morocco or snowboarding in Aspen, paragliding in Spain or dangling from the world’s highest bungee jump here in SA, surf coaching in Norway or attending a trance-parties in Zambia and Portugal, Dene is always up  for an adventure.

Give him the microphone and he’s interviewing the country’s best entertainers, or MC’ing events such as ‘Peroni Cafe’, ’Springtide Beach Festival’, ’Sports Illustrated Lingerie launch party’ and even heading up the MC’ing at ‘Rocking the Daisies 2011′ .

The son of an international surfing promoter and an award-winning actress, he was surfing at five and acting in professional productions, including Shakespeare, at seven. Bailing school at 15, Dene worked as a waiter and model while running hugely popular parties. Soon earning more than his teachers, he enjoyed several stints in England, Europe and the USA before he turned 20.

 

Dene seeing Cape Town from a different perspective to most.

 

Date of birth: 16 Feb 82

Home Town: Kommetjie in the Dirty South (Cape Town)
Top Places to Ride: Anywhere along the SA coastline (Surfboard), Sea Point promenade (Sector 9), in and around CT CBD (Bicycle), my bed (?)

Your Dirty Habits: Surfing, Sector 9’ing, SUP’ing, hiking, running, cycling (as a mode of transport though – I’m NOT one of those leotard wearing speed-bumps) Speaking my mind.

DH: You are part of the new board culture evolving, people with an open minds who ride any board that suits the conditions of the day or your mood. Has your life changed since you added skateboards & SUP’s to your quiver?

DB: Absolutely, it open up new options for exploring your inner fun-maker / child. It’s all about the fun and the energy, with more equipment you have more choices… It’s about mixing it up. The problem is when you travel or go or a road trip, haha, you need a truck to take all your toys. Actually wait, that’s it! I’m getting a truck.

DH: You get up to some interesting things in a day, surfing, skating, parties, etc. give us a rundown of your average day?

DB: Insomnia usually takes it’s toll rather early, coffee and emails while planning the day ahead and waiting for the sun. Run, box, surf, SUP, swim (depending on conditions), scoff down some breakie, plug-in my Skullcandy‘s, jump on the bike and head into town. From there it’s a series of phone calls, emails, meetings, admin, castings, shit loads of coffee, dodging cars and taxis, and missioning around… Usually plan the day around the swell so will try get in the ocean at some stage, otherwise an evening Sector / SUP session, OR, you’ll find me at a Rafikis… Celebrating SOMETHING.

surf

Photo Copyright: Shaun Timoney

DH: You’ve been spending a lot of time behind the mic these days, how does that fit into your lifestyle?

DB: Give me the mic baby! Hehe… I love it. Clearly. “Mommy-dearest” threw me onto the stage when I was just a pup, it’s all been down-hill since then, acting and performing, and now MC’ing and commentating various event. It’s mad fun! Started with surfing events for Billabong, then other brands, then music festivals, then hosting fund-raisers, to events such as the Sports Illustrated Swimwear party, Cosmo Lingerie (Eat your heart out lads) and now on to rather large gigs like ClubvibeSA at the CTICC, The Wailers at Trinity, @ Door Cinema Club with 5Gum Experience etc. Don’t get me wrong, it can be pretty daunting (I used to lecture “Stiffs” on the basics of trade foreign exchange in London – RATHER intimidating), BUT there is no greater reward than standing in front of 10 / 12 / 15 000 people like at Rocking the Daisies and controlling the crowd – Getting that energy flowing… Oh man, it gives me shivers just thinking about it. Can’t WAIT for this year’s event! 4-7 October – Make plans around it. Simple

Earth Wave, The Record attempt at having the most surfers on 1 wave. Muizenberg. Photo: Alan Van Gysen

DH: Your dad, Paul Botha has had a huge involvement in SA surfing from the start. When did he get you on a surfboard for the 1st time and how much influence has surfing had on your life.

DB: My father is “Mr Surfing SA”… He’s the man! Best friend, business partner, father and hero… He’s done it all. You might say I’m following in my parents footsteps, one ‘stage’, and one ‘surfing’. My Pops was pushing me into waves at Fish Hoek (DIRTY South) when I was five, I got bitten by the surfing bug then and have never looked back. It’s a way on life, thinking, feeling and doing… We’re different people us ‘Board riders’, and I’m proud to be a part of the clan. Did the competition side of things for a while, until a serious of injuries dictated that I wouldn’t ‘Turn pro’… To be honest, I was more interested in organising the events then competing in them anyway (Yeah, well that’s what I tell people anyway 😉 )

Dene and Dad (Paul Botha – Mr surfing SA)

 

DH: You are involved in a lot of fundraisers and charity events, tell us a bit about some of the projects you are involved in?

DB: Rhinos, Global Warming and Feeding the Hungry I suppose are the things closest to the heart and with which I have been working. We have the most beautiful country here, and we need to look after it. Charity events coming up are the BOS Earthwave Beach Festival 29 & 30 September – Muizenberg (Guinness World Record Attempt for the “Most Surfers on a Wave”, creating awareness for Global Warming), Skydive for Rhinos 21 – 23 September in Robertson (Trying to raise money for our ‘Horny’ friends), jumping NAKED to try raise my R10 000 – Don’t event ask, think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew on that one!? A few bits and bobs in between for CANSA, Feeding the Hungry, Sisters Incorporated etc, the list goes on. I feel we all need to do our part… Nuff said.

Dene at it again. Photo: Nikki Leadbetter – nikkileadbetter.com

DH: Is there anyone in particular that has been a big influence in your life or surfing?

DB: Plenty, too many to mention… When I was growing up, it was the likes of Daniel Beatty and Michael Grendon (Komskom boys who were / are very inspirational), and now just seeing all the little ‘whipper-snappers’ like Michael February, the Brand brothers, and the Kommetjie guys that are starting to kill it on the international front – Go boys!

DH: You’ve managed to dodge the desk job pretty well until now, what advice would you give a kid coming out of school now.

DB: Stick it out, get that education (it will come in handy), THEN, find your dream and don’t stop tapping away at it until you’ve achieved it! You don’t need to give in to main-stream society (unless that’s your ‘thing) and do what makes you happy… If you are any good at it you’ll find a way to make money from it… Promise you. AND GO TRAVELING! It truly is the BEST education…. You learn about YOU, can’t go wrong with that.

Dene looking smooth with his hip Afro. Photo: Alan Van Gysen

DH: Whats the craziest thing you’ve done lately.

DB: Um, about to jump out of a bloody plane NAKED!? Yeah, hope I remain intact if you catch my drift…? (I said drift, not draft) Other than that, cycling into town everyday is pretty damn crazy – Those DAMN taxi drivers – YUSSY! ‘Life’ in general has been crazy, it’s a wild ride man… Enjoy it.

DH: Why is Cape town the best place to live?

DB: Really?! I could go on and on but it’s like one big play-ground, with a whole lot of interesting people and places. Gorgeous women, crazy parties, mountains, oceans, beaches, missions, nature, work, opportunities… LOVE THIS CITY! (And it’s pretty easy to jump in the car and head up the coast-line, either one)

Dene. Photo – Unkown

 

DH: Anything cool projects in the mix?

DB:YES! I’ve been working on a DREAM for nearly 8 years now (As mentioned above – DO NOT GIVE UP… EVER!), it’s a TV show about traveling around Southern Africa… The name is set to be confirmed this week, but something like Get Lost or Global Nomads. The concept is simple, think “Going Nowhere Slowly”, on acid! Hahaha. ‘Adventure travel’ at it’s best! Crazy places and people, hidden venues and locations, wrapped up nicely with some quirky presenters and top notch production. NOT Top Billing, so NO 5 star hotels, cruise-liners, Dom Peringon, or stiff presenters – We’re gonna have a laugh, and probably take-the-piss a little too – Hehehe. Will be airing next year – Stay tuned for more. HELL YEAH!

Getting ink done.

 

DH: Anyone you’d like to thank or mention.

DB: YOU guys at Dirty Habits. Was honoured when this interview arrived in my inbox, love your work and will be supporting you guys all the way – KEEPING IT REAL, and leading the pack… Good on ya!

The Hoek – Photo Alan Van Gysen

 

Follow Dene and his latest projects and trips. And if you need a MC for an event, He’s the man.

www.denebotha.com

www.kahunasurf.co.za

https://www.facebook.com/Dene.Botha

https://twitter.com/DeneBothaSA

 

Photo’s, unless otherwise stated, copyright Alan Van Gysen –  www.avgphoto.co.za

 

 

 

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;