Recent motorcycle editorials

Some spreads I photographed for the current issue of Superbike SA. The one is an America V-Twin from Victory called a Magnum – a true hard bagger and a factory custom machine – and the other is a Korean Hyosung X5R, a nice and surprisingly fun little 250cc.

Thanks to Gareth and the team at Superbike for the excellent layout, you made the images look great!


Gwarra Gwarra Munisipaliteit – Promo pic

Always nice to see your work in magazines 
This is in the current Huisgenoodt advertising the Munisipaliteit van Gwarra Gwarra, an Afrikaans series I’ve been shooting stills on. Check it out, it’s really good and very funny.
Have you seen the show yet? Tell me your thoughts!
And if you’re interests in tech specs, this was shot on a ‪#‎Leica‬ M4-2, ‪#‎Leitz‬ 50mm f3.5 on ‪#‎Kodak‬ Portra 400

Tastebud Delights at Tintswano

The Tintswano restaurant at the Waterfall Equestrian Estate is a treat. Though aimed squarely at the very wealthy with horses in tow, don’t let that put you off going. Also, the name of the place where you eat is called The Feed Room. Twee. Don’t let that put you of either.

The food prepared by the quiet and talented chef Eric Hlatshwayo is delicately balanced and superbly flavorful.

Photographing the dishes was wonderful and tasting them a real joy. See more of the images from the shoot in the latest issue of Joburg Style (out early 2014) and on their website right now with recipes.

Medeo @ Monte Casio

Shooting at Medeo, the huge, lavish restaurant at the Palazzo at Monte Casino Hotel in Fourways, Johannesburg was quite lovely.

The setting was lush and opulent. The chef, Arnold Stuurman, was inviting and interesting, and the food was bloody brilliant – exceptionally presented and wonderfully nuanced. 

Enjoy some of the photos here and see them in the current (Nov 2013) issue of Joburg Style magazine.


A few months back I shot the Carnivore restaurant for Joburg Style magazine with the slightly open brief of “Just try not to make it look gross”. I half joke and paraphrase but Carnivore is a big restaurant that brings out huge skewers of meats of all kinds at a bewildering pace – photographing this was not going to be easy, especially for a style magazine.

The manager at Carnivore unwittingly had a lovely solution: sit down and eat and shoot as and when it pleases me. An idea I had no trouble in jumping on.

Sitting and enjoying the food as a guest would proved the perfect way to pace the shoot and prepare the plates. No food stylists in THIS kitchen! Just massive open fires hot enough to melt your shirt off if you walk too close. Luckily I happened to have an amazing food stylist on hand: Tallula aka my girlfriend. The waiters/slashers would come past with massive skewers of meats and slice onto our plates till we shouted STOP and then we got to tasting and arranging and plating and drizzling sauce over the crispy, still sizzling meat and venison.

I’m quite sure the other patrons thought we were barking mad, some Food-Instagramers taking it a little too far. I no one old lady was particularly intrigued as to why I painstakingly filled a plate with food only to go outside and put it on the floor and star waling around it taking photographs. The reason? There was some lovely slate stone outside I wanted as a background surface for that plate. Same reason I put the next one on the wooden floor near the window – nice wooden floor and great light equals winning. Yip, she and others thought I was completely bonkers. Which only made it more fun.

I also needed to get some shots of the space and the chef, both of which pleased me immensely as I love portraiture and decor as much as shooting food.

And lest I forget to mention some of the meats we ate: springbok, warthog, beef, pork, chicken, gemsbok and….. CROCODILE! (That’s the pic below. Which, you guessed it, tasted like chicken…)

Finally, me and my girlfriend – both terribly full and happy – plonked ourselves back into the Sundowner seat on my Harley Davidson and we headed off home with exhausted taste buds and full memory cards.

If you are a carnivore, this place is lots of delicious. Just make sure you go hungry




Recent Editorial Photographs

I’ve been doing a lot more magazine work recently which is amazing – I’ve always loved shooting with magazines: you get to shoot amazing people in great locations and with a lot of creative freedom. And then you get to see your photographs in print. Awesome.

here is a selection of images made for Real magazine. a South African publication that is part of the Media24 group. Working closely with the Art Director of Real, Sihle Madlala, has been great, we see eye-to-eye on a lot of ideas and he’s even been comfortable letting me drag the team out into bizarre locations like a hotel that has been turned into an old age home.

The backstories are nice but the images are what matters. So here we go:

First up we have Mbali Ntuli. Mbali is the leader of the DA Youth League. The DA is a South African political party. Shooting Mbali was a lot of fun. She is a really interesting lady with tons of attitude and charisma. She comes from a family that owns taxis and so the decision was taken to photograph her in a taxi rank, which was an interesting experience.

Next up is Gugu Malanda-Msomi. Gugu is a strong woman who stepped up to let the magazine feature her for an article on overcoming depression. In the first photograph I wanted to retain a sense of calm that she radiates. The second image is a small set myself and the art director Sihle decided to construct. It is made of a big wooden floor and two huge blackboards and lit with a big-ass softbox with flags for spill. Fun.

The next lady is a businesswoman named Thando Baloyi who owns a security company. A security company in South Africa is no small undertaking and chatting to her was very interesting. Calm and in control  this is how I wanted to get her presence across in the photograph.

Last for this post is Mampho Brescia, the beautiful South African actress. Mampho is a real professional and working with her was fantastic. We were in an empty hotel room, one of my absolute favorite places to work, and the mood was totally serene. After discussing with Mampho the mood and images I was after she went straight to work bringing those subtle and gentle emotions to life. It was a great collaboration.

That’s all for today. Thanks for reading.
Next up I’ll be talking about a wedding I shot recently, almost entirely on film. Check out my website at and my flickr at
© Dan Rosenthal 2013, All Rights Reserved.

Recent Work – Nubian Bride

I did a shoot recently for Nubian Bride Magazine at the lovely Kluk/CGDT Wedding and Fashion office in Parkhurst, Johannesburg. 
The place is Mecca for many a bride and Malcolm Kluk and Christiaan Gabriel du Toit are famous for their exceptional work. It was a lovely shoot. I was trying to get a look that mixed cinematic with intimate. I photographed using the Olympus OM-D EM5 and predominantly the 17mm F2.8. 
Here’s a few of the final photographs:

Here’s how it turned out in the magazine:

And here’s a little Video BTS I did for the publishers to use on their social media platforms:
Model: Lihle from Star
Hair & MUA: Natasha Kruger

Two Very Different Food Shoots

Meat selection.
Pretty pink cake.

I did 2 shoots recently for different magazines  Both involved shooting food. But they were very different indeed…

Potato and Leek Soup.
Tower of meringue and strawberry.
The Carnivore interior.
Traditional is always in fashion.
One was for Inspired Bride magazine and was shooting wedding cakes. This was a relaxed shoot with the art director on hand for consultation and the cake’s makers hanging around and we slowly and carefully made the images. There are bright and airy.
The second was for Joburg Style and was a shoot at the legendary Carnivore Restaurant out side of Johannesburg in Muldersdrift. This shoot was more of a “go and bring back a lot of great images and don’t make the food look too gross cause, you know, it’s all meat on a skewer” type of thing. These images came out dark and contrasty and rich.
Interestingly, the cake shoot was also done in Muldersdrift at a venue called Oakfield Farm, the makers of the magazine. The two shoots were months apart but then happened a stones throw away from each other.
I shot the cakes with a Canon 5Dmk2 and mostly the 50mm F1.4 lens and the Carnivore shoot was done on an Olympus OM-D EM5 with the 17mm F2.8 and the 45mm F1.8.
Here’s how the respective layout’s looked:

You can see all the images in tearsheets over on my website. Some more of the images:

That’s crocodile on the left. Tasted like chicken. Really.
Miro inspired.
Dawa, the signature drink of the Carnivore.

Gemsbok. Very delicious indeed.

Decor Shoot – Suzaan Heyns

Canon 5Dmk2, Canon 14mm 2.8L

I recently shot an editorial for Joburg Style magazine. The shoot was of a local fashion designer’s home for their decor section. Here are the spreads. More photographs and info below.

The 2 pics of the models were put in my the magazine – no idea who shot them…
Suzaan Heyns is a hot new local talent on the South African fashion landscape. Joburg Style asked me to shoot her home in Westdene, Johannesburg for their latest issue – The Arts Issue.
If you live in South Africa, the magazine is on sale now at CNA and Exclusive Books.
I love to shoot decor and architecture but I dislike the current trend for hyper-sharpened, over saturated imagery. The style of turn of the century high-end decor and architectural photography, and even some earlier stuff, really interests me. So I went about the shoot with a dual-mentality: shoot the super crisp stuff on digital and process according to taste and indulge myself with the same set-ups with film.
I had ample time to work through the house. The editor, the article’s writer, an intern and me all discussed and walked through the house before the shoot. to make sure we were all on the same page and for me to understand the angle the writer and editor wanted on the images. I got started and after a while I was left with the writer to work my way through the house. Having arrived earlier than the ladies form the magazine, I already had a good sense of how I wanted to shoot the house. I was painstaking with set-up and details. I didn’t need a stylist on this shoot and so I had carte blanche with the set-ups, which I thoroughly enjoy.
I loaded my Canon EOS1nRS with Fuji Superia 200. This is ‘consumer’ film but I really like it in certain situations. I also had some Portra 160 and Pro 400H in the bag as well, but I really do like the way Superia 200 renders. Each set-up was shot with my 5Dmk2 and then with my EOS1nRS. Tripods and cable releases are mandatory. The light was even and diffuse so I was working at slow shutter speeds a lot of the time.
Although Superia 200 can handle some mild overexposure, I metered at box speed. I was thinking about the huge difference in exposure between he interior and the exterior. Shooting full-res RAW on the 5D would give me the latitude in post for this and I wanted to give the film latitude both ways, into the shadows and the highlights. 
The brief for this shoot was to display Suzaan Heyns’ personality and signature style and how she has brought this to her home. There are large spaces of off-white walls and the mood is austere yet serene with lots of quirky elements scattered throughout the place. I have never been a fan of how digital renders scenes with harshness. What really surprised me is how different the images came out on film and on digital. The digital just could not keep up with the huge exposure range of the scenes, even though I was very careful and worked the images in post. Here is a couple examples of the same scene and how differently they look on the different media.
Film left, Digital right. The warmth of the scene is accurately reflected by the film. Also, look at the fire – the one on the left looks like something out of a 1980s National Geographic. Yes!
Canon EOS1nRS, Fuji Superia 200, Canon 35mm 1.4L / Canon 5Dmk2, Canon 35mm 1.4L
Film left. Digital right. Same thing here with the warmth of the scene – soft off-white instead of harsh blueish white. Look at the highlights on the right – even recovered as much as possible, the digital one just looks hard and clinical whereas the film has gentle roll-offs and soft pastels.
Canon EOS1nRS, Fuji Superia 200, Canon 35mm 1.4L / Canon 5Dmk2, Canon 35mm 1.4L
Of course some scenes did need the massive resolution advantage of digital. I didn’t even shoot those on film. Similarly, some scenes only ended up on film. Knowing your tools helps you understand what will work and what won’t and when to use what. 
Show me the DETAIL man!
Canon 5Dmk2, Canon 50mm 1.4
You may be wondering about using 200 speed print film for magazine print. And on 35mm? Am I MAD?!? Well, no. With your own scanner, you can pull tremendous detail and latitude out of film and the grain is jut lovely. I love grain. There, I said it. The digital age’s obsession with noise is quite distinct from lovely grain. Especially in print, it gives images texture and character. I actually feel the same way about image noise – doesn’t bother me in the slightest till we get to the extremes. Also, sticking with one system with the same lenses really helped me keep the momentum of the shoot moving. I could use the same, gorgeous glass on both and I kept the tripod and framing exactly the same.
Skulls and Trophies.
Glorious outside bokeh.
Canon EOS1nRS, Fuji Superia 200, Canon 50mm 1.4

Chez and Anatomy.
Absolutely wonderful textures…
Canon EOS1nRS, Fuji Superia 200, Canon 35mm 1.4L

Retro Baby.
How wide can you go?
Canon EOS1nRS, Fuji Superia 200, Canon 14mm 2.8L

Thou Shalt make Beautiful Bokeh
Canon EOS1nRS, Fuji Superia 200, Canon 100mm F2
A good 80% of the final delivered images were ones that began their life on film. Digital sure did save my butt on a few of the shots. But that is the joy of photography today – so much choice and freedom. Enjoy it. Exploit it. Have fun.