School of Arts

Arts students showcase Digital Photographs at Exhibition

The Digital Arts discipline in the School of Arts recently opened their photographic exhibition called ‘Faces and Places’ at the Jack Heath Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg. This is an important milestone as it marks the reintroduction of digital photography to the Digital Arts programme for the first time since 2014.

An initiative of UKZN lecturer Dr Yane Bakreski, the exhibition highlights more than 80 photographs produced by his first year class under his expert guidance. In the first few weeks of the semester, a photography course was introduced to students, covering the fundamentals of digital photography.

The students engaged in learning how to use a professional camera, while at the same time topics like exposure, lighting, composition, etc. were discussed.

‘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. 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 the digital era,’ he said.

Student Ms Laura De Oliveira’s work deals a lot with portraiture as she enjoys working with individuals. ‘To me their capabilities as individuals’ works well for me with the kind of stories I aim to capture in my work. Everyone is unique and that specific aspect is what drives me, as I believe there is so much beauty to uniqueness,’ she says.

De Oliveira has gained more knowledge and skills in terms of photography. ‘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 hence composition,’ she said.

Another 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, laugh or expression. 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,’ she says.

Her 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.’

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