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With the third round of the De Hoop Photography Contest well underway, we’ve been seeing some amazing entries, and in the process uncovered a young up-and-coming Photographer, Menrad Holm. At only 16, Menrad has a keen passion for observing nature through his lens. We chatted to him more about his passion: .

What inspires your photography, Menrad?

My photography is inspired by various things. Whenever I see any interesting and/or funny shapes, I love trying to take a picture of them in way that gives them meaning and allows them to tell a story. I try to make my photos meaningful, a minor thing but makes an enormous difference in the end result. The photo must show something special not just your everyday picture you find on Instagram. Another thing that is special, specifically to wildlife, is that no one sees the same things the same way. Each day out in the wild is unique. Therefore, I would say that the two aspects of photography that inspire my photography the most is firstly that one must think before capturing the picture – what angle would be suitable for creating an effect, where do I want my subject to be? In the harsh light or shattered light? How will this affect my image? Secondly is the fact that I know that there will always be something different waiting for me when I return. It might be a new opportunity or a new challenge. I know that I will be able to learn something new and enjoy it and never get bored.

Young Southern Right Whale Captured by Menrad Holm at De Hoop.

“Cape Vulture gliding by.
After a nice hike up the Potberg Mountain cracks we got a view from across the gorge onto the vulture nest. An estimate of around 300 Vultures live in this gorge.” – Menrad

What advice do I have for anyone wanting to start their photographic journey?

A few important things to remember throughout your photography journey are:

Don’t let your gear stop you from capturing beautiful pictures.
Whether you have a little point and shoot camera or just a smart phone you can capture brilliant pictures.

Practice makes perfect.
Go outside and go take pictures of quite literally anything and try different angles and settings. See what effect it has on the image and then try using what you learnt there on a real-life situation.


Do you have any wildlife or photography role models?

I do indeed have a photography role model, Greg Liss is a professional photographer that inspired me to go ahead full force with my photography journey. He was my photography teacher at Cape Town School of Photography (CTSP). He taught me the basics of photography and whenever I had more questions afterwards, I could message him, and he would give brilliant advice. Without him I would not have been where I am today in my photography journey.


How did you first discover De Hoop?

My family has been going to De Hoop since before I was born. Therefore I was born into it. It has been a family favourite for a holiday destination for decades.


Which is your favourite De Hoop photo so far?

My absolute favourite picture of De Hoop is this Eland walking on the beach. It has a lot of meaning to me.

My family and I were on our way to go whale watching when we reached the top of the dune and looked down searching for whales my father pointed out the Eland slowly making its way across the dunes. It shows that sometimes great things often come unexpected. This was completely unexpected and turned out to be one of my favourite photos yet.

What do you think is one of De Hoop’s best kept secrets?

The best-kept secret is the one I haven’t discovered yet, that is why I keep coming back.


Thank you for chatting to us, Menrad!
Be sure to follow along with Menrad’s photographic journey on Instagram here.

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