Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Seeing things ~ Photography Exhibition ~ Karl Schoemaker

Photo By Karl Schoemaker

22 August 2013 
Athenaeum, Port Elizabeth 6pm
(*Photographer Bio below)

Arriving in Central at the newly renovated Athenaeum, my friend Christell and I went up stairs to where I would attend my first photography exhibition hosted by Karl Schoemaker - a Port Elizabeth based Photographer. We were greeted with a beverage of either juice or wine and many warm, friendly and excited smiles. Since this was my first to a Photography exhibition, I was not quite sure what to expect - I certainly did not expect the entrance to be free. Eager to see what it was all about and appreciate some beautiful pieces of art, we began to browse along the passage and around the room. The pieces ranged in theme and in size, from A3 to 2m wide. I could definitely see that Karl enjoys capturing photos of people, not the posed type of pictures but the moments when they were lost in thought, absorbed in their tasks or just looking in the right direction. 

About 20 minutes after we arrived and had browsed half of the exhibition displays, Karl's son Devon took the microphone and gave a touching speech introducing his father. The part that struck me as very poignant was when he said 'My father is not a photographer, he is an artist. An artist leaves a piece of himself in every photo'. After some encouragement Karl took the microphone and thanked everyone for being there, and for their support.

Karl is a down to earth, friendly and fun person. Being the man of the evening he was constantly laughing and joking as he spoke with everyone who could get his attention for a few moments. When I asked to have a photo taken with him, he asked where I wanted to pose for it, so I suggested in front of one of his photo displays. After making our way to my favourite piece of the evening, Karl recommended we sit on the floor beneath the canvas, in front of everyone just for fun and so we could get most of the picture in as well. After a few laughs, we left him to continue socializing with his guests.

Karl and Myself agreeing on cameras

The beauty of photography is that you can highlight and really focus attention on simple things for example, if you were standing across the street from the shop in the photo, you probably wouldn't notice all the detail. Art is for everyone, it speaks to people in different ways and across all cultural groups and languages. The room held a variety of interesting people from different sectors of society: the businessmen, young college students, a geologist who travels to West Africa 9 months of the year as well as a lady from Portugal who could not speak a word of English who was here on holiday visiting her daughter, just to name a few. 

What a wonderful experience. I look forward to attending more exhibitions and meeting many more great artists. 


Post Studio visit:
Photo By Karl Schoemaker
On the 24/08 Christell and I thought we would take up the invite to visit Karl's studio at 54 Pickering Street. We were greeted with a delicious cup of coffee and all chatted for a while, getting to know one another before we got a sneak peak at his studio. It is a photographer's dream! With an amazing art mural on the wall by his friend, Warren Petersen, a Foosball table, and an amazing area to create beautiful photos! 

~ Photography is the art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them ~
Elliot Erwitt
Photo by Dirk Moggee

Photographer Bio:

Karl was born in Dublin, Ireland and lived in Hong Kong for a few years before moving to South Africa. He completed a successful first year of a BComm at Rhodes University before he changed over to a Bachelor of Fine Arts, in which he majored in Photography (under the tutelage of renowned South African photographer Obie Oberholzer). 

After Varsity he did his National Service in the Air Force at Waterkloof airbase in Pretoria, where he was also part of the photography unit. 

For a few years after his service, he worked as a photography assistant before moving on to being the in-house photographer for Gold Fields of South Africa, where he learnt all about underground mining. 

Leaving the photography world for 12 years, Karl worked in the corporate environment, but in 2008, he decided to move back to Port Elizabeth, searching for a better quality of life, and to return to his passion for photography. 

5 years down the line, he runs a commercial studio, Work at Play, specialising in commercial and industrial photography, while travelling globally on assignments for the mining industry. 

'I am just a normal guy, with two kids, who loves what he sees around him. I want to share the beauty of our planet, and how I see it, with you.' ~ Karl Schoemaker


  1. wow, this sounds fun and from what I can see of his work, I like it, off to look his works up! Thanks for sharing this Chene.

    1. It was so much fun :) I cannot wait to attend more functions like this! I love photography and art just as much as I love reading *tee hee* :)


~ Hearing from you makes me Happy ~
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I appreciate all comments & read every one of them. I also make sure to visit your site as well if you have one.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.