Artist Spotlight : Ayse Adanali

Pat Brooks

Ayse Adanali became involved with photography four years ago, when she picked up her first digital camera and started taking pictures while traveling. While she doesn’t consider herself an “artist,” she certainly has credentials suggesting otherwise, including honors awards for her photography, and an exhibition in Spain, where she explored photographing “people and light” in a show called “Illuminations.”
The 22-year-old, who hails from Turkey, approaches her art in a unique way. “I don’t plan at all,” said the International Studies and Spanish double major. “I try to get to know people and gain their trust — when they are comfortable with me and my camera, I can take good pictures,” Adanali added.
Since her subjects are typically people, establishing trust and comfort with them is crucial. “If people are not comfortable, I won’t be able to take good pictures of them — they will be stiff and it won’t be a real picture of them,” she noted.
Adanali expressed her hopes that no single photographer informed her work, and was even reluctant to cite a specific artist of any discipline as an influence. “I try not to have any influences, except humans in general,” she said.
Given such an organic approach to photography, it isn’t surprising to learn that Adanali is somewhat averse to digital manipulation. “I have used Photoshop, and it’s fun to mess around with, but I prefer to use natural light and shade and just take pictures,” she said.
In addition to a strong inclination towards honesty and nature in her work, Adanali underscores the importance of a photo’s ability to capture the viewer’s attention. “Something has to be attractive about the picture to grab your eye. That can be many different things, including color, content or lighting,” she explained.
Adanali’s latest work will be on display at the end of the term. After spending the entire summer in Sierra Leone traveling and taking pictures, she plans to recount the people she met and the culture she experienced through a photo documentary.
In addition to the exhibition, Adanali is in the process of creating a website to communicate the stories and culture of the land she visited to a broader audience.