Jen Eidelman (nee Barron) was born and grew up in Oudtshoorn, a small town in the Little Karoo in the South Western Cape region of South Africa, a semi-desert area with stunning scenery and surrounded by exquisite mountains. A country girl at heart, she marvelled at nature and enjoyed the outdoors from as far back as she can remember, attributing her appreciation to the influence of her parents who noticed and enjoyed the beauty of their surroundings in their small town.
For her, the essence of photography is not only about capturing nature and the beauty in the world around us, but also about recording moments in time that will never be repeated.
She believes that photography is about seeing how light falls on subjects and how it is reflected from them. It's about looking at scenes and places to capture the essence and nuance of a thing. It's like painting a picture in the digital age. Different moods and feelings of places and people, unusual and exquisite architecture of buildings, objects, nature, events and special moments can be captured only once, but only if one takes the time to notice and to see. Having an eye for this kind of detail is not all that is required - one needs to also be creative, to find the right angle and to see something in a new light. And above all, one has to be there to take the shot.
Amongst her many and varied interests, Jen recalls that the love of books and being an avid reader started from a very young age. This appreciation for the written word and learning continues to this day. Taking part in some kind of sport was part of her life from early childhood. Today she is a gym enthusiast as well as a regular participant in Pilates classes. She feels that our bodies are our temples to respect and nurture as best we can with the ability that we have been granted in this life.
After her school career in Oudtshoorn, the University of Cape Town was the institution of choice to further her learning. She received her Bachelor's degree at UCT and in later years furthered her postgraduate studies there, culminating in an Information Science degree in Library Science. She has worked at UCT for 17 years.
There she uses her skill as a photographer, being involved in capturing events for UCT Libraries, including images for brochures, postcards, posters, competitions, exhibitions and marketing and has recently become involved in the video recordings for students' learning and orientation. Projects from the initial phase to their completion have been recorded digitally for the historical archives.
Jen and Irvine met at the University of Cape Town, where they fell in love and were later married in Cape Town. They have lived in various cities during their married life: Cape Town initially, Johannesburg where their two lovely daughters were born, Kfar Saba in Israel, finally returning to their beloved mother city, Cape Town, some years ago.
Jen and Irv have travelled extensively in South Africa and abroad and make regular trips to the Kalahari, where the wide-open spaces allow her free rein to indulge her passion for nature and photography. Jen recalls that Irvine always had a camera in his hand on these trips and her interest in and fascination with photography is attributed to Irvine who has patiently taught her much of what she now knows about the art. Her grateful thanks go to her Guru for the initial pique of interest and the skills that she has learned!
Above all, the multi-talented Jen is a perfectionist, putting her heart and soul into everything she undertakes.
Edited by Moira Schneider.