Spotlight On… Tyrone Ping

You may have met this content creator in his travels all over South Africa…and if you haven’t seen met him in his real life adventures, you’ve probably joined him on some digital ones through his Instagram account (@robotfaced).

You may have met this content creator in his travels all over South Africa…and if you haven’t seen met him in his real life adventures, you’ve probably joined him on some digital ones through his Instagram account (@robotfaced).

Tyrone doesn’t have one story to tell, but many – with a love for reptiles of all shapes and danger levels, to a fascination with making road kill art, to his  Vans sponsorship off the back of his yearlong series #365feet.

So we’re not going to waste any more time in letting him tell his own story.

Tyrone Ping Photography skateboard
Image by @Robotfaced on Instagram


1. You travel all over South Africa taking pictures – which is your favourite city at the moment, and why?

I thought about this for a while (probably longer than I should have) – right now I can’t decide so I’m going to have two! The Transkei and Johannesburg. Although both couldn’t possibly be any more dissimilar, each has their own uniqueness and raw energy, if you look hard enough.


Transkei goats Tyrone Ping
Image by @robotfaced on Instagram

2. What do you shoot your Instagram pictures with?

The question people always ask and strangely enough everyone replies with “Oh you know just my phone”, but most of the time we all know there’s a little more DSLR than iPhone. I would say 95% is taken on my iPhone, only a few reptile and animal shots I’ll upload from my DSRL (Canon 7D) but those are generally reserved for my Flickr Account.


3. Talk us through your workflow?

Generally when I’m travelling I’ll scout out specific areas and sometimes I’ll find myself returning back when the light’s just right or the mist has settled in. It’s amazing what good light can do for an image. I’ll process the image in Snapseed for selective adjustments then run the image through VSCOcam- and depending if I’m trying get a specific tone or mood on the image, I’ll often bring the image back in Snapseed to fine tune any small brightness/colour issues.

When it comes to editing I’m fond of the subtle edits over processed HDR images.



4. Explain the fascination with road kill pictures?

Ha ha, this gets asked a lot! There are often weird reactions around the road kill pictures, both negative and positive. It all really started out as basic method to record all the animals I find whilst out on the road. Then I started becoming a little more creative with the shots to try distract from the basic gory nature of the images. It’s fascinating to see what is out there when you take time and appreciate the journey.


5. Go forward 10 years – what do you think the digital space looks like?

At the way things are going with everything becoming so integrated with social media, it would be great to see more brands and organisations embracing the digital space. Hopefully taking their content, brands or product to the next level and becoming more accessible, locally.


365 feet Tyrone Ping
#365feet series highlight by @robotfaced on Instagram

6. Tell us about #365feet?

The whole #365feet really developed out of nowhere. I remember taking a ‘feet-photo’ or “feetsie” (as someone commented on my Instagram) on the 30th December 2013 and together with a mild case of OCD decided I would take a photo of my feet wherever I happened to be. What was a thought on a single day, lasted a full 356 days. It was the perfect reason to increase my shoe collection too! I was fortunate enough to get some footwear from Vans South Africa along the way which helped the cause. Some days were easier than others, one of the strangest photos was probably taken in the Transkei when I had my shoes covered in mud and around 100 mangrove crabs crawling all over my legs!

During the duration of the #365feet project I visited seven out of the nine provinces. I stalked penguins in the Western Cape, traipsed the rolling hills of the Transkei and mielie fields of the Free State. I’ve gazed at the tallest building in Africa, wrangled Cobras in Zululand and walked the dusty streets of Limpopo.


Image by @robotfaced on Instagram

7. Do you have another Instagram project up your sleeve? If so, explain it to us?

I’ve been thinking about doing another #365 which I will only start again in January. Doing something ‘unique’ isn’t really an idea because these days there’s always someone, somewhere that’s had the same idea. But in the next few months I’ll probably get a few 30 day projects underway.


8. What is your favourite social media platform at the moment and why?

I would have to say Instagram- followed ever so closely by Twitter (@itsrobotface). It’s one of the few platforms that enables you to connect with like-minded people across the country and the world solely through photographs. There’s a really cool sense of community with the people I’ve met through Instagram around the country.



Cape Cobra In The Karoo Tyrone Ping
Image by @robotfaced on Instagram

9. Sum up your Instagram profile in 3 words?

Obsessive Compulsive Determined.


10. Combine your favourite subjects and make up your ultimate job description:

Travelling + taking photographs + reptiles.
So making a life out of travelling around Africa, taking photographs of living reptiles in their natural habit – maybe a few unfortunate road kills, too!





Thanks Tyrone!

Want to read about more people doing cool things in the digital space? Catch the rest of our #DigitLabSpotlight series. Know someone you’d like to see featured? Email us about them.

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