“With commissions I find I am always looking for something specific, so to contrast with that, I do these trips. This means I can just go and make images of whatever I find unusual or out of place,” says Cape Town-based photographer Kent Andreasen. “Some of the photos will become memories or postcards that I can look back to as a reminder of the experience. It returns me to the simplicity of why I like photography, rather than just focusing on the outcome of the images.”
Over the course of five days, Kent travelled 3200km along the east coast of South Africa, and then back down through the desert region of the Karoo. He says the trip was an interesting one for him because half of it was spent nostalgically travelling through places he has spent most of his life exploring. But, leaving this familiarity behind, he then passed the boundaries “where I think my family felt it was too far to go for holidays or even a long weekend away.” Venturing into the Transkei, a previously unrecognised state that in 1994 was reintegrated and became part of the Eastern Cape province, Kent explains that it was an area he knew he had to investigate alone, so he could take photos with total freedom. “It’s been itching me for a while and I had a gap in my schedule, so I decided to go out and see what I could find.”
Equipped with two 120mm film cameras, Kent set out to take advantage of the early Autumn light. Through trips like this, and as he develops his practice, he says he becomes less apprehensive about shooting through the day and into the night. “Subjects can be as exciting midday as they are in golden light if you work with the tools you have available to you. Personally, the most important thing is being able to recognise a subject that could potentially work and suit the light and to adjust accordingly,” he tells It’s Nice That. “If I don’t do that then I just end up driving and waiting for those short windows of golden hour and it can often restrict the images you end up making.”
In the resulting series, Where My Time Went, there is clear embracement of light’s transient nature. Switching from the brightness of midday to peak golden hour to dusk’s last glow before the arrival of night, Kent’s photos perfectly exemplify his adaptable approach. As such, colours and shadows in each image contrast with one another, capturing all the natural and artificial beauty of his surroundings. Landscapes, portraits, and close-ups combine to create a cohesive visual that gives intimacy to the huge, often rugged expanse that is rural South Africa.
About the Author
Daniel joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in February 2019 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. He graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Journalism in 2015. He is also co-founder and editor of SWIM, an annual art and photography publication.