So, you go and study photography. Trying to make sense of it all on a photographic level and a career level as a young student, you suddenly get trapped in that scene again! That scene that makes you remember why you got a camera and signed up for this in the first place. That scene that I will never, ever forget. The print on the wall was so big it nearly covered the entire wall of the classroom!
And there he was, standing in his shorts and black t-shirt with rolled up sleeves. We had a guest speaker today. The class was quiet. He was skinny, very skinny. I could see his Cruiser parked outside the class and it was inevitable that this man has got stories to tell! Stories that we were all anxious to hear! “Hi, my name is Koos van der Lende...”
What a privilege it was as a young photography student to see some of the images that Koos has captured. It was clear, even then, why he didn’t continue with his commercial career. Although very successful in this field, Koos needed to live life to the fullest. Not for money. Not for people. For God.
Koos wrote a letter to God through which he found inner peace and made a commitment to honour God’s will in everything he does. He has such a strong passion to photograph landscapes, to capture the glorious grace that he experience when out in nature. Photography is his way to thank God for the talent he has been blessed with, like an offering to God.
His desire to produce a unique coffee table book was fed through the images that he captured and his experience out in nature. That’s exactly what he has been working on for the past 11 years. This book is no ordinary coffee table book. Instead, it’s a collection of some of Koos’s finest moments of his photography career. A limited edition fine-art book with a collection of all his “Moments of Grace”.
Today, Koos is not just one of those names in a magazine anymore. He is still a photographer who Joe and myself deeply admire and respect but more than that, he became a true friend. Besides the photographic inspiration, passion, persistence and dedication that is evident from Koos, he is quite a funny character too. We often listen to his travel tales around our dinner table while sipping some red wine, laughing about scary encounters, coming face to face with a leopard or trying to wee in his empty water bottle with a roaring lion next to his tent....
I have yet to meet another person with so much loyalty, honesty and trust in God. Koos is so devoted that, after sealing a deal with a big corporate company to buy 100 of his books, they cancelled their order only because he was not willing to compromise on his dedication toward the Author of his life.
Koos has captured some of the most pristine landscape scenes ever photographed! He still shoot on film and have taken less images in his whole life then many of us do during one shoot. What an honour to have him as a friend!
View his fine-art prints here: www.delende.com
Preview his fine-art coffee table book here: Book preview
Follow him on facebook: Koos van der Lende Photography
Watch “Moments of Grace” here: Vimeo