Photowise commercial and wedding photography Pretoria, Gauteng

Doing what we love most….

Sarel and I, presented a Macro Workshop for Nikon at Nikon House recently, and as always loved every minute of it! Macro photography has always been a firm favourite with photographers, novices and pro’s alike. Illustrating that it can be really easy and affordable on top of that, gives us such joy. I believe that it is for this reason that the McRofuzer  lies so close to our hearts.

I have pondered my own fascination with photographing little things and goggo’s and the “usually unseen” on many occasions? What is it in human nature (and my own) that makes Macro Photography so irresistible?

I suspect that in my case it is the sense of discovering something wonderful when you realize that there are hairs on bees or ants. Or perhaps the marvel that creation is spectacular and that we mostly do not stop for a few extra seconds to look or to actually really see. What adds to the experience for me is the actual “stopping”. I run too much, I am way too busy and even my photography has become about “how many shoots in a day” or “how quickly can we do this shoot?”. Macro in a sense affords me the luxury to just stop! To spend time on pondering exposure, how to sneak up on my subjects and how to light them. It challenges me to apply my skills and knowledge and to actually think about it. Ever noticed how aware you become of your breathing?

I love quoting Freeman Patterson: “Photography – both the craft and the art – helps me to be. It allows and enables me to live creatively, which is to honour Creation and my own existence.”

That is Macro Photography for me!








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Time To Slow Down? (November 2013)

#126 on my bucket list: “Photograph the rat race that necessitate the existence of a photographic bucket list in the first place”.


“One step at a time
There’s no need to rush
It’s like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It’s gonna happen when it’s
Supposed to happen that we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time”

Lyrics: Jordan Sparks

How to:   Slower Shutter speeds (relative to the movement happening in the scene).

These were all 1sec exposures.Feet by Maryna Cotton - Photowise

Maryna Cotton - Feet (Photographer from Photowise)

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Reverse Lens Macro (August 2013)

The resent re-discovery of a camera bag containing some old lenses in the dark depths of my parents’ store room set this lazy Sunday afternoon project in motion.

As it is, I am hooked on macro photography, and despite having a dedicated macro lens I have always wanted to try this.  Needing only an old 50mm lens with a manual aperture ring and two adaptor rings, this is a fairly inexpensive means to try out macro.

The principle of this make-shift macro it to attach the two lenses to each other, using the filter threads on each lens – effectively reversing the front lens.

This is how to do it:

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Holiday Ghosts (Some time ago)

During the school holidays I had a unique set of challenges:

~ Get as much as possible camera time – it is so good for my soul
~ Amuse the kids (parking them in front of the TV is not an option) – quality time
~ Get some funky images for my portfolio
~ Write a blog

If I have learned something about children over the years, it is that they have imaginations second to none.  Alternate universes do exist and in these far away awesome places anything goes and everything is possible and real. With this ability to believe almost anything, comes a good dose of curiosity. It was exactly these characteristics I intended to use (read: misuse) to entrap my poor innocent victims to a few hours of photography bliss.  A quick explanation and demo had them convinced that my camera could see through them and that they were in fact mere ghosts (friendly ghosts, specifically).

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The Love Story Continues (October 2013)

I have been complaining to those close to me recently, that I would have to make a definite effort to photograph in ways which are outside of my comfort zone. I would have to go and do the landscapes and the wildlife stuff and not always do macro and creative photography. The challenge is my life style (and I am not making excuses) – I am just too busy!  Macro is just so convenient! 30 minutes with my camera and window light from the dining room window and voila! I have images. My garden is so beautiful this time of year and the straight forward record type shots are just not doing it justice….. macro remains the firm favourite, but all the creative techniques are just so much fun and images are generally “show stoppers”.

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Wedding Season (July 2014)

We just love weddings and our South African summers make for stunning wedding pictures.  We are spoilt for choice from awesome venues, beautiful lush gardens, thunderstorm skies, and last but not least lovely brides.

A few Wedding tips for brides

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Working With Light Outdoors (Clarens July 2014)

Yes, it was cold!  Bitterly cold!  Yes, it was fantastic!  Yes, we will do it all again if we got the chance.

The week-end was all about light.  We painted with light, hunted some bugs with our Macro lenses, made star trails and astro-lanscapes over the Eastern Freestate Landscapes and framed beautiful landscapes.

Reflecting on the weekend, I have to admit that it is in fact out students who make these trips a huge success.  Despite the cold, fun was had by all.

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True Colours (April 2013)

“But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow”

Lyrics: True colors – Cindy Lauper

Those of you who have been reading my recent blogs or have listened to me going on and on about visual design, the analysis of the design elements and also the potential symbolism of the elements would not be surprised by what follows:

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N4 Gateway Industrial Park East
Willow Park Manor, 0184
Cnr Solomon Mahlangu and
R104 Bronkhorstspruit Rd

Location Inside the Park:
49 Sneeuberg Street
Unit 3

S 25°45'16.358"
E 28°21'51.222"

Contact Us

For General Enquiries:
012 803 1370

Sarel van Staden:
082 4150 474

Maryna Cotton:
082 8570 479