His family, mom and dad (both professors), two sisters and a brother, are all involved in medical sciences. Hannes had a different calling and after serving in the armed forces, he signed up for something more creative and spent the next couple of years engulfed in the art of graphic design at the University of Stellenbosch.
Hannes decided to return to his roots as a naturist and became a full time river guide in Namibia, following successful completion of his studies. He decided to travel the globe after a couple of years and kayaked her rivers extensively, meanwhile meeting her people while travelling her continents.
He started a rafting company on his return to South Africa and acted as river and field guide on the Orange and Kunene Rivers.
Cape Town called and he returned once more as freelance photographer, graphic designer and river guide.
His love for the animals and birds of Africa triumphed in the end and in 2007 he became a full time wildlife photographer and the idea of ‘Colours of Southern Africa’ was born, no doubt next to the enchanting flames of a bushveld fire, a “rum and tab, with a dash of lemon” in hand and the enthusiastic ear of a best friend.
After the completion, launch and distribution of this project Hannes decided to concentrate on one of his favourite places in the world – The Kalahari. This was the subject for his next book ‘Colours of the Kalahari’. He spent over 800 days alone in the Kalahari capturing all of the photographic material he wanted in order to make it.
Business and Keeping in Contact
His business, ‘Lochner Photography & Publishing’ publishes wildlife photography books as well as selling photographic prints of his work.
He is now busy working on his next project back in his home, the Kalahari. He is now however keeping his ‘fans/followers’ updated daily by his new blog (hanneslochner.wordpress.com) which is getting increasingly more hits. It seems that people enjoy living vicariously through someone like Hannes. The website (www.lochnerphoto.com), facebook page & group (http://www.facebook.com/Lochnerphoto) and Twitter ) are all contributing to building the brand ‘Hannes Lochner’ and his business ‘Lochner Photography & Publishing’.
Questions and Answers
Q: Being a wildlife photographer is it your ideal living out in the wild, is that what you intend doing for the rest of your life?
A: Yes, it’s my perfect ideal living out in the wild and I do intent doing this for the rest of my life. I will however look into different media in the future, e.g. film.
Q: Do you use film, digital, or both?
A: Four years ago I went full time digital.
Q: Do you believe that film will make a comeback to overhaul digital?
A: No, film will never make a comeback. It will always stay a form of arty-photography but it is not very cost-effective.
Q: Do you have any advice for training photographers on how to be successful?
A: Wildlife photography is not a big money-spinner but if you have the passion and persistence it will be worth it at the end of the day.
Q: Your work is absolutely dynamic and decisive, who inspired your style of photography?
A: I studied art and always try to bring a combination of art and photography to a final image.
Q: How do you overcome disappointment when it has taken so long to get the perfect shot and it is not what you expected?
A: Like Gary Player said: ‘The more you play the luckier you get’. To overcome disappointment is to just try harder and spend as much time as you can in the field.
Q: Is there a perfect time to take your images?
A: From dusk until dawn is the perfect time for me because, where I am now, I mostly work with nocturnal animals. The golden-light in the afternoons and early mornings are great times too.
Q: Is where you live a contributable inspiration to your photography?
A: At the moment I live in the Kalahari so just being there 24/7 is inspiration for any photographer.
Q: Of all the images, you have taken, of which one are you most proud?
A: It’s a difficult question. I set myself very high expectations. There are a number of my photographs that are close to my heart but each individual one has its own story and emotions attached to it although the cover of my first book is very close to my heart.