Mike Kaplan has been in the advertising and design industry for over 30 years and began his design career in 1976 when he left South Africa to
study Industrial Design at the Ealing College of Higher Education in London. During this time he developed an interest in Graphic Design and
Photography and studied both courses simultaneously. He left after two and a half years, having been offered a position as an assistant Art
Director with J. Walter Thompson (JWT) back in Cape Town.
He remained with them for over five years, working in all aspects of the print media, conceptualising and directing television commercials,
creating packaging design and below-the-line material.
Mike resigned in 1983 after being offered a position at Berry Bush de Villiers di Bella & Bellamy (BBDDB) as an Art Director and was made a
Director of the company in 1985. During 1989 BBDDB established a specialised company - Kite Consultancy - to handle all aspects of below-the-
line design. He ran the company for four years as Managing Director and Design Head.
In April 1994 he resigned from BBDDB and continued doing design work on a freelance basis. In May 1995, Mike moved to Knysna where he
established himself as a successful designer, specialising in Corporate Identities, Packaging Design and Logo Development.
During 1994, Mike discovered artistic woodturning and soon became one of South Africa’s leading turners, regularly demonstrating and giving
talks on design at national Woodturning Seminars, as well as being invited to demonstrate at the Utah Woodturning Symposium in 2004. Along
with 3 friends, he ran a successful Woodturning Gallery at the Knysna Waterfront and Woodmill Lane.
Mike developed an interest in photography during the 70's and has pursued that passion over the years, particularly landscape photography, as a
hobby. Since mid 2012, he developed an interest in capturing the flow of water in time - this led to his current exploration of long exposure
seascapes and trying to impart a sense of mood and movement to his images.
As a graphic design student
in London, I saw some of William
Turner's land and seascapes
and was intrigued by his
interpretation of light and the
movement of water.
Now, after having spent over
30 years as a designer, I have
started photographing long
exposure seascapes, mainly at
sunrise and sunset - trying to
capture the flowing quality of
water and time.
Usually, photography is a
medium that “freezes” a moment
in time – but I believe my work
extends that moment so that the
flow of time can be seen.
My technique imparts a
painterly quality to my work, but
none of my images have been
processed through any “paint
effects” software of filters. I
prefer printing my work on canvas
which complements the effect.