Brackett Hardy is a senior with a passion for photography. It was ignited during an Art and the Environment course at Siempre Verde the summer after his freshman year. “Karey Walter, our instructor for the trip, focused on teaching my group photographic skills as we explored the cloud forests and street markets in Ecuador. On that trip, I fell in love with photography and I have been shooting ever since,” Brackett said.
Brackett began shooting nature landscapes, but soon expanded to other concepts like cityscapes. He is currently focusing on concert photography. “I have shot the Sun Seekers, The Weeks, The Districts, The Aces, and COIN. One of my images from the Districts has even been selected as a finalist for the Photographer’s Forum High School and College Photography Contest,” Brackett said.
The image he referred to is a black and white photo of the lead singer of The Districts singing “4th and Roebling,” one of Brackett’s favorites. The image really captures the emotion and passion in his singing. “The lights in the background point from different angles and the emotion on his face makes the image,” he said.
This is not the first time Brackett’s work has been selected as a finalist for the Photographer’s Forum High School Contest. “I have been a finalist for the past three years and I have been published in their annual photography book,” he said. In addition, his work was put on exhibit in the High Museum, Ponce City Market, and at the Georgia Photography Awards at Pace Academy.
Brackett’s favorite photo that he has taken is a long exposure of the Atlanta skyline from Jackson Street Bridge. “In the image, the car lights have formed streaks of light that veer to the left and to the right with the city nestled in the middle,” he said. But it was no easy photo to take. “The image was taken on a Holga toy camera in freezing weather, and anyone who has used one of these cameras knows how annoying and difficult the $30 film camera can be,” he said.
Despite Brackett’s many honors, he does not shoot specifically for competitions. “I find that the best images I have taken are those in which I am capturing something spontaneously,” he said. “While I will sometimes take a photograph with a specific concept in mind, I usually capture things that I find intriguing.”
Over his years of experience, Brackett has learned to shoot both digital and film photography. After years of using both, he does not have a favorite type of photography. “It is difficult to choose one over the other. They both have their pros and their cons,” he said.
Film photography can be difficult because of equipment restrictions. The cameras don’t have as many capabilities as a DSLR, and you only have a limited number of photos to take. However, the restrictions have a plus side. “These restrictions, which force me to be technically sound and to reduce the number of mistakes that I make, can actually yield more beautiful images that those taken on a digital camera,” Brackett said.
Digital photography has its advantages and disadvantages as well. “I get to see my images immediately and I am not limited to the number of shots you can take. However, having to process images in Photoshop can be quite time consuming and frustrating,” Brackett said.
Like most photographers, Brackett uses Photoshop to edit his photos after he shoots. “I change the lighting and clean the image of any imperfections, such as dust,” he said. Besides cleaning up the photo, Brackett doesn’t like editing his photos a lot. “I try not to heavily edit my images to preserve its authenticity.”
Despite his love for photography, Brackett does not plan on becoming a professional photographer. “I plan on attending medical school after I graduate from Davidson College with the hopes of one day becoming a surgeon,” he said.
Even as a surgeon, Brackett still plans on shooting when he is older. “Even though I am not going to become a professional photographer it will always be a passion of mine,” he said.