Design through the lens

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UAE: The latest artist to hit our radar is the young emerging photographer, Daniel Grebe. A Cape Town native, Grebe’s talent was born out of his love for endless oceanic waves.

Having originally focused on photographing his hometown’s surfing and beach community, Grebe’s visit to the UAE introduced him to an entirely new world of architecture and design, which ultimately manifested in the artist’s switch toward capturing interior design.

“When I arrived in Dubai, my mind was blown away by the the architecture and interiors,” Grebe started off. He continued: “I was itching to photograph it. Soon everywhere I went, I started looking for symmetry, angles and patterns in anything I could find.”

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Growing up in Kommetjie, a small surfing village in South Africa, Grebe was introduced at an early age to the many natural beauties the world has to offer. “Now I probably spend 20% of my time on surf photography alone, and the rest on every other aspect. This was where photography became less of just a hobby, and more of a passion and gradually, a line of work,” he noted.

Recently, with his family’s move to the UAE, it seems that the budding photographer has turned his keen eye toward the artistic man-made accomplishments the Gulf region is known for.

Grebe remarked: “Dubai is packed full of photographic opportunities just waiting to be captured, from the extremely adventurous and futuristic architecture, which will put you in awe, to the traditional and historic buildings, as well as to the landscapes and the endless dunes of the Arabian desert.”

Grebe’s images can be found across the world hung in private residences and professional workspaces, with each bearing his signature vision and eye for dynamic detail and large volumes. His architectural and design-related images capture the strength of symmetry as well as the power of sharp angles.

Grebe commented: “When photographing interiors I look for leading lines, symmetry and any kind of interesting pattern. Interesting lighting is also another factor to [consider]…The things I appreciate about design are the thoughts put into it—all the angles and symmetry [that appeal] to the eye and the way the [designer] visualised everything and then made that into something real.”

Commenting on the region’s famous architecture such as Burj Khalifa and even Ibn Battuta Mall, Grebe maintains an appreciation for the futuristic landscape, as well as the culturally sensitive interiors. Viewing his images portray Dubai through a new-comer’s eyes, which have mostly had the ocean’s waves that crash into South Africa’s shores in their line of vision.

Though still a young adult, Grebe’s photographic talent has been published in a number of international publications, and we sincerely look forward to seeing where the young talent goes from here.

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