A unique focus

2010-06-26 00:00

A LOCAL photographer has combined art and journalism to create photos that are different and challenging and that make the viewer think.

Nikki Brand (23) of Hilton is displaying eight of her photographs at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival alongside the work of her Rhodes University photojournalism IV class.

Brand said that although she is a journalism student, her photographs are creatively inspired.

“Even though I’m usually required to take photos in a journalistic context, I am always looking for that creative or really different shot.

“I think that there are way too many photojournalists out there all taking pictures of the same subject, from the same angle and in the same straightforward manner,” she said.

The human subject is a favourite of Brand’s.

“I prefer taking photos of people, especially the human face, as there is evidence to support that it is the most fascinating sight to the eye.

“Generally, these tend to be far more engaging than other shots,” she said.

Brand has employed the use of the high dynamic range (HDR) photo-graphic technique in two of her pieces on display, resulting in works that she describes as surreal and detailed.

This creative technique involves taking about four to six shots of the same subject with each shot at a different exposure.

The shots are combined digitally to create a photograph that includes a range of light across the whole picture.

“I have spent a lot of my time playing with this technique as it always tends to produce beautiful and unique photos,” she said.

Through her artfully charged works Brand is hoping to achieve a positive response from her audience.

“If people are able to recognise something in my photography that they like or that they can relate to, that would be great because that’s what photography and art is about really,” she said.

Three of Brand’s photographs were taken in KwaZulu-Natal. She said that the province influences her work, but so do other striking scenes in the country.

“Photography for me is all about looking for something to photograph instead of something presenting itself to you, because if I had to rely on the latter my photography would be very limited, generic and uninspired”.

Brand has a soft spot for her hometown. “I have lived in Hilton all my life, so being very comfortable with the area, I am always looking for something to photograph. It does help that it is one of the most beautiful areas in the world,” she said.

Brand’s eight photographs, which vary in subject from an HDR shot of Grahamstown buildings to shots of an Underberg pupil’s first day at school, will be displayed in the Rhodes Journalism Africa Media Matrix during the Grahamstown­ Festival and the Highway Africa Conference.




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