An early introduction to our invited artist for November, Steve Woodhall
Our invited photographer for November 2011 will be Steve Woodhall. A short blurb on Steve follows but, having known Steve for some 20 years would like to add my 10c. I met Steve on the Makhatini Flats in 1991, we were looking for a very rare butterfly that had only once been seen in SA when Steve Woodhall pitched up and introduced himself.
Over the years I have been on a number of butterfly trips with Steve and learned a lot from him and can say that he is a very enthusiastic butterfly person and very generous with his knowledge as well as his very obvious skills with the camera and photoshop.
Since joining the Lepidopterists Society of South Africa he has travelled the Southern African region extensivly, has become aquanted with most of its butterflies and has photographed a great many of them. A result of his travels and interest in butterflies has resulted in his publishing three books on butterflies and he is now Chairman of the Society. His book “Field Guide to the Butterflies of South Africa“, published by Struik, is a must for the bookshelf of anyone interested in South African fauna and flora.
And now, in Steves words…..
“My name is Steve Woodhall and I specialise in photographing butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) and their biology.
I was born in 1957 in northern England. At primary school I was lucky to have a teacher who was a keen lepidopterist take me ‘under his wing’. My closest childhood friend went off with his family to live in Tanzania and started sending letters home, and butterflies. I became hooked on the whole idea of Africa and could not wait to get out there.
I had to wait until 1980 when I was transferred to SA by my firm. Having had some photographic training in my job, although qualified as a chemist I was keen on art. So in my evenings I studied under Bill Ainslie at the Johannesburg Art Foundation. My childhood interest in butterfly collecting returned and in 1986 I joined the Lepidopterists’ Society of Africa.
My photographic exploits eventually led to writing ‘Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa’ for Struik. Whilst doing this I learned digital photography and desktop publishing.
My aim is to take photographs that capture the natural behaviour of Lepidoptera. Simple, eye-catching images are my aim, with a well-lit yet out of focus background that complements the main subject.”