Sho(r)t Stories #3 : Danie Knoester

Let's discover this week the Sho(r)t story of this picture taken by Danie Knoester in a South African township.
Dirty Hands – Leica M9 with 50mm Summilux
What is the Sho(r)t Story?
I have been using a Leica M9 for about 18 months now and it is one of the greatest tools I have yet to use photographing! How-ever, in September I was held-up at gun-point and the three robbers took my WHOLE Leica kid! Camera and 2 Summilux lenses! May-be it was a good thing, cause up to then I was almost obsessing in making every image imaginable with this kid. You can see at my blog, I did from speed-sports such as car, bike-racing, surfing, running, rugby, landscapes, street, etc, etc with it! Now, I was insured and have replaced most of it, but I am calmer at making images now and feel I don’t need to “prove” this camera can work in every situation.
Why is this one of your favorite pictures ?

I shot this picture this year when I was photographing a project my wife and I have in uplifting the under-privileged in South Africa. I was at this project in one of the townships, where a very poor youngster himself, are feeding, teaching and being a father-figure to children at a Junior School. I stood at the water tap and waited as they came running to wash their hands before lunch. You can see the two boys fighting to get to the water fist, some on their way and then the star of the image in my opinion, the kid on the left, in no hurry, totally oblivious to all the rush for the water, looking at his hand as if to say,” Do I really need to wash my hands? They look clean to me”. The framing is not perfect but I also like that it helps to show it is one of those moments where you see into the world of the children and it is not staged, a moment and then it is gone.

The project we have gives great support, both financial and support of the projects to the youngsters running them.

All about it can be red on my blog under “Young Community Shapers”.


Which equipment did you use, and any technical considerations?

I used a M9 + 50mm Summilux for this image and it was also published in the Coffee table book that was printed of all the projects. About a 100 of my images was published in the book. The sponsors of our project had about 500 of the book distributed to clients and dignitaries and various attendants at the gala event of the projects witch was also televised nationally here in South Africa.

Tell us about you and your photography?

I am currently working as a photographer, mostly on commercial/advertising projects and love to travel and explore with the Leica around my neck. Like a friend of mine said, where can I find you? – Behind the red dot!

Discover more about Danie's work at: 
If you would like to participate to this series, send me an email at with the following information :
– your name and location
– one of your favorite picture  (max width of 1280 pixels, you obviously retain all the pictures copyright)
– answers to the above questions.
– any links to your work (website, Flickr, Facebook, …)

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