Michael Glenister’s career has led him through diverse fields. From banking to saw mill management, and from import and distribution to retail store ownership.  In late 2004, Michael decided to follow his life-long passion for photography.  In 2005 he started his business in freelance photography. 


His clients have included well known international companies like BBC, Sony BMG, Universal Music, Total, Forbes Africa, Mercedes Benz, Audi and BMW. Many of the South African music and film celebrities have at some time appeared in front of his lens.  International stars such as Kelly Clarkson, Westlife, Alicia Keyes and Kylie Minogue have also been captured by Michael.  His work has been published both in South Africa and internationally in numerous magazines and dailies (newsprint). Some of the glossy titles that have featured his work are: People Magazine, The Property Magazine,  Pharmaexec, South African Property Review, Sandton Magazine, Your Wealth Magazine, Asset Magazine and Rolling Stone Magazine. In early 2015, Asset Magazine interviewed Michael as part of their Q&A sessions with industry leaders in the property and architectural space. The article, published in March 2015, reflected on his career as an architectural photographer and showcased some of his favourite images. 


In late 2015 Michael and his wife Danieta relocated to the UAE where he is on an extended sabbatical and has returned to shooting on his favourite medium – black and white film.  He spends his time between making black and white images with his camera, printing in his photographic darkroom at home and sharing his passion and experience for the art with other analogue photographers.


“What I love about shooting on film is the fact that it gives one control over the entire creative process.  It makes photography a real and tangible expression of one’s knowledge and interpretation.  With analogue photography, one selects and uses the various media according to one’s own vision and desired artistic outcome.  Digital photography relies heavily on technology and the manufacturer’s vision as to how the hardware and software should interpret colours, tones and form. Film provides a raw canvas as it were, with which you, as the photographer need to decide how to interpret the subject matter.  It is a far more rewarding journey to be able to convert my vision to a silver gelatine, cyanotype or other ‘real’ medium through a tangible progression from film stock to final print than to start off with a binary coded image, edit using binary code and print on paper using yet more binary code.”


During his time in the United Arab Emirates, Michael has been involved in the re-vamping and streamlining of community and educational darkrooms.  “It’s intensely rewarding being able to create beautiful working spaces for photographers and artists to explore the analogue medium.”


Exhibitions that Michael has been featured in include:


Textures of the Creek – collaborative exhibition Sikka 2018

Solitude – Part of collaborative exhibition “Perspectives” The Empty Quarter Gallery Aug 2018

Project 1908 – Part of collaborative exhibition “Made in Tashkeel 2019”

In Transit[ion] – First solo exhibition in Al Fahidi, Dubai, April 2020


In July 2019 Michael’s work was featured in the online art publication Edge of Humanity Magazine.


In February 2020, Michael was filmed by Abu Dhabi TV in Tashkeel’s darkroom at Nad Al Sheba for an insert on darkroom printing and in the same month CNN Arabic conducted an online interview with him on his work at the Beehive Tombs just outside Al Ain, United Arab Emirates


Textures of the Creek (Collaboration)

Dubai Art Week

Tashkeel House, Al Fahidi Historical District, Dubai

March 2018

Solitude (Part of Collaboration "Perspectives.")

The Empty Quarter Gallery



17 Aug 2018 to 15 Sep 2018

Project 1908 (Collaboration)

"Made in Tashkeel 2019"

Tashkeel House

Nad Al Sheba


19 JUn - 10 Sep 2019

© Michael Glenister 2018