"The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness."

Hi, my name is Gita Claassen

I was born in the Spring of 1987 in Beaufort West, South Africa, to nature-loving parents who dragged myself and my brothers to all sorts of outdoorsy places. By the time I was human enough to realise that this is a privilege afforded to few, I had extensively traveled most of Southern Africa’s natural areas.

My interest in art and photography started on these trips, with a desire to capture and replicate what I saw. My interest in light and colour, both as creative and as scientific topics, followed suit.

By 2008, I immersed myself in the world of photography. In 2014, I completed the Travel Photojournalism course offered by Matador U, a program endorsed at the time by, among others, National Geographic.

Since, I had worked successfully as a commercial and editorial photographer in especially, but not limited to, the tourism and environmental sector, with clients from and work published across the globe.

During that time, my fine art photography had not taken a backseat, and I had continued to create, participate in exhibitions, competitions, and constantly honing my skills.

The focus of my fine art photography is on highlighting environmental and social issues in a way which is true to life but also endears the subject to the viewer. If I have stirred compassion in the heart of an onlooker for the situation in the photo, I have achieved my goal.

Over the years I had facilitated several photography workshops, judged at photography competitions, been involved in the running of PiX Magazine’s online forum, and given talks about photography at a couple of events, including two PSSA congresses.

I am co-admin of the online community, SA Women Photographers, a unique movement founded by editorial fashion photographer Grethe Rosseaux, empowering and giving voice to womxn in the South African photography industry.

A brief stint as a curator in Art in the Yard gallery in Franschhoek gave me even more insight into the world of art. It was during this time that wife, Shanelle, an accomplished wedding and portrait photographer herself, and I, decided to join forces under Silver Chameleon, a media powerhouse which serves as umbrella for our ventures Plain Blue, Indigo Studio, Baobabs & Beaches, Silver Chameleon, Aventurine Photo Exhibitions & Coaching, serving a diverse market.

During the arduous months of lockdown in South Africa, we decided to plunge into life as “nomads”, during which we traveled and worked as environmental consultants, while continuing work as photographers. We eventually settled on having two bases: one in Cape Town and one in the Karoo, so that we can move freely between them, and so our travel bugs never go hungry.

The current direction of my work is in highlighting the psychological impact environmental change in its various manifestations bring about. This theme is a constant in my work and will continue to be explored in future projects.

Pronouns: they/them; she/her

Artist Statement

In a world of artistic indulgence, austerity is a form of protest.

This is especially true for me when talking about photography. I tend to veer towards natural photographic processes, with minimal processing that keeps the image true to its nature. I believe there is room for photographic art which is stripped of pretentious simplicity and which is free from digital embellishments.

The focus of my fine art photography is on highlighting environmental and social issues in a way which is true to life but also endears the subject to the viewer. If I have stirred compassion in the heart of an onlooker for the situation in the photo, I have achieved my goal. My method is intended to be subtle, to use kindness and beauty to bring attention to waning landscapes and disappearing cultures. In the struggles of daily life are lessons to be learned; and in the changing landscapes a cry for the conservation of our planet and its most precious resources.

Through my photos, I hope to bring the viewer along on the journey, and educate them about these places and people in such a way that they can empathise with their situations, and their plights.

We’re all in this together, after all.


My medium is natural digital photography, which I print professionally on cotton photo rag using archival inks.

In my arsenal of equipment, I use full-frame Nikon camera bodies, with professional lenses which include:

  • Tokina 17-35
  • Tamron 24-70
  • Nikon 70-200
  • Nikon 85
  • Nikon 50
  • Sigma 150-500

With these I also use a selection of lightweight carbon tripods of various sizes, graduated and solid neutral density filters, polarising filters, and remote trigger releases.

I also use a DJI Mavic Air 2 for arial images.

For post-processing, I’m partial to Lightroom and subscribed to the Photography Package on Adobe Creative Cloud. I use a Macbook Pro and Western Digital external hard drives in this part of the process of image creation.


  • Prince Albert Pop-Up Group Exhibition, Kirkcudbright, Scotland, UK June/July 2022
  • Prince Albert Open Studios January 2019 – ‘Entitled’
  • Prince Albert Open Studios July 2018 – ‘Opuntia’ and ‘Krie’
  • Prince Albert Gallery (ongoing) – a selection of works from the exhibitions ‘Entitled’ and ‘Karoo’
  • Touch of Genius Art Gallery, Randburg Gauteng – ‘Portrait of Souls’, 2018
  • She.Clix Exhibition at the Photo & Film Expo 2017, Johannesburg
  • Trierenberg Super Circuit, Austria, 2015
  • Cameraland Cape Town 2015 – Featured winner ‘Pofadder’


  • Smithsonian Magazine
  • National Geographic Magazine
  • Weg! Travel Magazine
  • PIX South African Photo Journal
  • PSSA Congress 2018
  • high life – BA Inflight Magazine
  • Farmer’s Weekly
  • SA Art Times
  • Penguin Random House
  • Woman & Home
  • Stellenbosch University
  • The Talloires Network & partners
  • Caxton Magazines
  • Highbury Media
  • Media24
  • And more…