Bruce Geils - Flyinghorse Photography

What kind of gear do you use? 
I shoot with a Canon 7D and I have a 40D in the bag for back up. I’m also digging my little Sony Xperia’s camera at the moment.

Which is your favourite lens? Why?
My favourite lens is a Sigma 30mm F1.4 Prime Lens. I like primes because they are sharp. I like to move around while I’m shooting. If you want to get close you have to get into the action. The 30mm aspect ratio has sort of become my signature too.

What would you say is more important Good Knowledge/Good Equipment?
Good knowledge, without a doubt. Good equipment is nice to have, but at the end of the day it’s what’s in your head that matters.

What kind of tools do you use for post processing?
Explain your work flow.I import RAW files, tweak a bit in Camera RAW, open in PS and edit with Totally Rad’s – Radlab Plugin. Sometimes I batch stuff in Lightroom, but you have more control, I feel, with Photoshop.

You go by the name Flyinghorse. How did this come about?
I escaped from the city in 2004, I quit my job in advertising, gave up my flat, sold my stuff, gave my cat to my mom and moved to Swellendam looking for a better life, something more, a life closer to nature. My girlfriend joined me there a few months later. I took up a job at a horse trails and learned to ride horses and then eventually ran the horse trails for 4 and a half years. Working in silence with these majestic animals completely changed me. A little down the line my girlfriend and I found out we were going to have a baby and I realised running the horse trails wasn’t going to support our family, so I had to move on. I needed to take something with me and honour the animals that taught me so much. So yeah. Flyinghorse. A kind of daily reminder to myself really.

Was there a specific time or moment in your life when you decided photography is something that interested you?
Yeah, I think when I was travelling, I wanted to keep the beauty and strangeness with me. That’s never really gone away. I’m still trying to steal beauty.

Are you self-taught or did you study photography?
Self-taught. Googles School for Stubborn Artists.

What makes a good photographer in your opinion?
I think a photographer should have a quiet, open mind, be respectful and passionate. And be a bit of a loner, you’re always on the outside as a photographer, a bit detached, watching, waiting.

What motivates you to do what you do and what do you hope to achieve with your photography going forward?
I take photos because I love to, I take photos because it’s one way of how I express myself, creatively. I take photos because I can’t not take photos. I’d like to do more stop motion projects in the future. I just want to keep making art. That’s all.

Which photographer/s influenced you the most in your thinking and photographing?
Edward S. Curtis, Annie Liebowitz, Obie Oberholzer, Clayton Austin – for Weddings, Sally Mann for Family and Ansel Adams for Landscape Genius.

Looking through your work we noticed you have a great variety of work. What do you enjoy most photographing?
Yup, I like to try anything…. but Nature. Her. Always.

Do you have a special style in your photographs that can single you out like strokes in a painting?
Other than a few specific projects, my style, I would say is natural or real. My images are just really how I see the world.

Do you have a favourite photograph?

Would you say photography is a hard line of work to get into these days?
Well yes and no. It’s very easy to get into but it’s hard to make a living at it because everybody is doing it. Just take a look at Instagram, there are some amazing photographers out there. You have to work really hard if you want to make it.

Is photography your main source of income or a supplement?
If the latter, what other skill do you possess to keep yourself sustained?I have a graphic design and photography business and a little gallery of my own work. I do what I can.

Why is Photography important to you?
I don’t know why. I guess creativity is important to me. I feel it’s something we have to do, all of us. We have to create. Otherwise what are we doing? What’s the point if we aren’t creating? Making something, something that comes from inside you, out into the world. That’s the point of everything, well I think that anyway.

Do you believe that film photography will in the end be totally replaced by digital photography?
Film is like vinyl it will never die. There will always be artists looking for a real experience. Digital is convenient and convenience can be the death of creativity. It’s something sacred. But perhaps in the future it’ll be gone. Who knows.

Any planned exhibitions? If so, what gallery would you select if you had the choice, and what substrate would you print on?
I want to do an exhibition of my instagram landscapes on small canvases. When I get a chance. No idea where I’d do this though. Anybody?

How can people get hold of you? 
Flyinghorse Photography, I’m on the web. Google me. I have a gallery in Swellendam too and I make good coffee, so yeah….come visit. 



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