Arts Students Showcase Digital Photographs at Exhibition
The Digital Arts Discipline in the School of Arts has opened a photographic exhibition titled Faces and Places at the Jack Heath Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg, marking the reintroduction of the photography to the Digital Arts programme for the first time since 2014.
An initiative of UKZN lecturer Dr Yane Bakreski, the exhibition showcases more than 80 photographs produced under his guidance by his first-year class.
In the first few weeks of the semester, a photography course was introduced to students, covering the fundamentals of digital photography including how to use a professional camera, exposure, lighting, and composition.
Faces and Places covers the genres of portrait, lifestyle, and street photography.
‘The vibrant and creative response from students is evident in the photographic display and is testimony to the immense potential we have in our student body,’ said Bakreski. ‘We are delighted to have it in the programme again, as the importance of digital photography to the creative arts and the creative industry is ever-present in this era.’
Student Ms Laura de Oliveira’s work deals extensively with portraiture as she enjoys working with individuals. ‘Their capabilities as individuals work well for me with the kind of stories I aim to capture. Everyone is unique and that specific aspect is what drives me as I believe there is so much beauty to uniqueness,’ said de Oliveira.
She said she had gained photographic knowledge and skills. ‘It has become more than just producing a pretty picture in a frame. Photographs can tell beautiful stories – it’s all within the vision of the photographer and their relationship with the camera lens.’
Fellow student, Ms Sandisa Mdletshe considers the exhibition an exciting experience. ‘When taking the pictures my aim was to try and capture priceless moments be it a smile, a laugh or an expression,’ said Mdletshe. ‘I would like to think my photos are about freezing moments in time for that reason. I think photography is important because it encourages one to actually go out into the physical world and really look at your surrounding environment. You begin to see and appreciate things outside your usual comfort zone.’
Mdletshe’s message to other students is: ‘Don’t be caught up in trying to capture a perfect image, rather focus on capturing the perfect moments that are always taken for granted.’
Words: Melissa Mungroo
Photograph: Claire Dongo