INTERVIEWED BY Lindi Brownell Meiring IMAGES courtesy of Gareth Pon
South African photographer, filmmaker and creative director Gareth Pon, who is currently based in the US, captures mesmerising images of architecture, cities and landscapes across the globe. VISI chats to him to find out more about his favourite places to photograph, his dream of travelling to space and why you can spot tiny rockets in all his images.
When did you first get into photography?
I started doing photography while I was studying Film & Television at The Open Window in Centurion in 2012. I actually started doing photography purely as a means to craft my composition for Cinematography – I had no interest in actually taking photos, but rather I was being intentional around bettering my craft. Slowly the mediums of film matched with photography and it became a passion of mine. I saw the power of telling stories in stills and moving image.
What do you love most about capturing architecture through photography?
My dad is an architect, so when I visit new spaces or cities it’s really the first thing I notice – not necessarily the landmarks in the city but rather how the city forms itself into a skyline and the hidden shapes that balance symmetry and asymmetry. I love leading lines and perspective, pattern and repetition, and I find a lot of that in photographing architecture. I always challenge myself to try capture an image that you can’t google. I also take a lot of images just for the satisfaction of composing an image, most of which I don’t actually publish.
Do you have a favourite building that you’ve shot? If so, what was it about the building that stood out for you?
Not a specific building, but rather a structure. The image was captured in Nigeria under the Third Mainland Bridge and it showcases an infinite perspective created by the pillars of the bridge.
Your Insta bio states: Dream: space travel. How does this tie in with your fun idea of inserting tiny rockets into your images for people to spot?
I’ve dreamt of space travel before space travel was mainstream – it’s just always been an impossible dream that I know will come true one day. It’s driven me to be more curious, craft my career and find fun ways to integrate space and sci-fi into my work. The rocket is actually my logo, so hiding it also doubles up as a really fun, non-intrusive way to watermark my images while still adding a reason for people to pause and look at finer details of my images while they search for the rocket. Also, space is the ultimate inspiration for creativity, so that drives me to do what I do until I experience the overview effect one day.
Your work features amazing spaces and scenes from across the globe. Is there a city you most enjoy shooting in? If so, why?
I absolutely love Tokyo for urban photography and Jordan for nature. These two cities have by far been my favourites that I’ve visited. Tokyo is the ultimate showcase of variety – it gives you beautiful city views, while the culture is naturally intertwined in the space. Jordan is like nothing else I’ve seen – its rolling mountains and earthy red hues make it incredibly beautiful.
Any exciting projects coming up in 2020 that you can share with us?
I’m currently going through a rebrand by exploring where I’ve been and where I want to go. I also currently work full time at Annex Bookstore in Atlanta where I lead the team that does all the creative work for @cocacola. So that has been my priority and the most exciting work I’ve done recently. We have done a plethora of work, collaborations with artists and exciting projects that have really allowed me the opportunity to bring one of the most iconic brands to life on social.
Follow Gareth on Instagram to view more of his mesmerising work.