The colors that made our student showcase

By Brianna Corley

Despite being only its second year running, Northwestern State University’s Student Media Showcase has proven itself as a show of expression and talent for the university’s Communication department. 

Work lined the walls that many guests likened to professionals, awards were given and as the showcase came to a close excitement for how the next year’s show would compete came in its place. All pieces offered its own unique outlook on photography, but as a collective unit there is one object which all photographers in the showcase share in the decision of crafting their piece – the choice of color. 

“Photography is something that is often thought of as clear and focused,” stated Kathleen Hilliard. “I wanted something a little different, a little messy.” 

Hillard, the artist behind “Batter Up” a tight shot of half-mixed, bright batter in a bowl, regarded the shot as being a balance of both intention and luck. The photo had been one of a series surrounding the making of a cake. She had purposely set up the bowl to take a photo, but had not expected the mix to come out in such a vibrant orange. 

“I feel like if you’d have put it in black and white it would have really taken away from the in your face vibe,” Hilliard noted, expanding on the notion that without its stark color, “Batter Up” would have stood to lose its entire identity. 

In contrast, another stunning addition to the show depicting a town in its breathtaking entirety deemed “Rocky Mountain Foothills” was without color in its entirety. 

“I edited that photo for about an hour to try and get it right,” began Chase Slater, the photographer. “Something just didn’t feel right about it, then I put in black and white and the second I did it was like wow.” 

Slater attested to the amount of depth black and white added in a way that color could not. That it offered a classic feeling which was almost timeless. 

“It brought out so much of the character of the place I was shooting than in color could have,” Slater said. 

The People’s Choice Award winning photo, “Broken Reality” and accompanying picture “No Name” by Dhaijah Smith stood more artistic in nature as the portraits showcased subjects with lampshades covering their head. “Broken Reality” sat to the side, color of clothes and background muted, while “No Name” sat center dressed in prominent red and black. 

“I feel like that although they are almost the same picture, they are very contrasted and the colors force to look at them differently,” stated Smith. “I wanted that, I wanted to people to look at each one and think.” 

Whether emphasizing one vibrant color, exemplifying how contrasting hues can act in telling a story or choosing to have no color in entirety, NSU’s Student Showcase exhibits just the amount such choices play into creating thought-provoking photography. 

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