Saturday, 1 November 2008

I'm going back!

In April I will be going back to Romania with a charity called Muzika with two friends of mine (one of whom is Romanian, so I won't have the translation problems I suffered last time). I will be working at a residential setting for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems. We have planned to do the pinhole thing again! but hopefully this time we'll have more development in subject matter of the images. We're thinking about perhaps involving drama, creating some large costumes out of paper and drawing on each other with black pens (with a theme).........

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

The Kids photos (finally!)

a test shot of the whole crew the day before starting the workshops
the first photo they took

th director of the school with some of the kids

they decided to take a picture of me!

Sunday, 17 August 2008


So i'm back in the UK and the project is Maru is finished!
Here are some pictures of our darkroom setup:

It ended up being in the corridoor of a school between a classroom and a library type place, though it wasn't being used as a school at the time so we weren't blocking anybodies path!

A close-up of the chemical trays.

This area was used to make copies of prints using the negative created by the pinhole placed upside down on another piece of fresh photo paper and then switching a lamp on for a few seconds to create a positive image.

The kids seemed to really enjoy taking images with these 'magical' boxes and were facinated when the images appeared in the darkroom (they watched while I got my hands dirty/chemically!), being right next to the darkroom and able to see the negative images pretty soon after they'd taken the shots really helped keep their interest.

In the original information given to me about the workshops I was told that i'd have teachers and a translator onside to help me run these workshops, for whatever reason this didn't happen so it ended up being me having to explain complex art ideas to the kids in a language they didn't understand, they did really well and were very patient with me! But this meant that the photos taken were quite limited, we stayed in school grounds/around the school and therefore personal portraits of homelife etc could not take place, but we did take plenty of portraits together! Next time I set off on a project like this I will make sure I get to talk to at least a translator to make sure that I will have somebody around to help me deliver the project!
The photos taken by the kids will follow shortly in another blog.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

last minute preparations!

well it's all been a bit hectic this week as I started my new job on monday, but as I leave on Saturday Morning I have to use the evenings to prepare, hence me not updating much (sorry!).
Thanks for all the kind donations i've had, it's really nice of people to support this project!
I'm almost ready to go, I went to London last weekend to give a friend Cass 9 of the shoe boxes as she is flying out with two other volunteers on friday but I can't leave until saturday! I couldn't carry all this stuff on my own!
I'm a little worried about luggage limits and if my hand luggage bag will be accepted as hand luggage dimensions but i'm hoping for the best (it's about 1cm out at the wheels bit!).
I've so much to take it's rediculous, next time I am going to fly out with somebody and share the stuff out equally between us as a joint project, I have plans to eventually do a similar project in Belarus (hopefully).
Tonight I am working on some flash cards for the kids to try and let them understand the process a bit, we will have a translator but I know I learn better from images than somebody describing one for me, They will be very basic explanations as I sometimes wonder at the magic of light sensitve paper myself and I dont have a clue how to explain that one!
They will be something along the lines of these diagrams:

I guess I may be able to update whilst in Romania but possibly not often!

Friday, 11 July 2008

back, black and more black! (paint that is!)

Today I have been mostly painting the inside of shoe boxes black! (for the pinhole cameras!):

untill I thought it was going to rain so I packed everything away only to find the sun came out again!!!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

The cameras are in progress

The pinholes ready to test:

The pile of boxes to prepare (I'm taking 12 over):

The tin can pinhole on a camera:

The inside of the camera:

I'm going to be flattening these boxes once they are created and tested so that we can take them over in our luggage!
I didn't realise how little paint is in a spray can!! I bought one matt black can and managed to spray just three cameras! I think i'm going to change to good old paint in a can for the rest!!

After I posted a thread on the flickr Brighton group I have had a few genourous donations for the project in the form of black insulation tape (we need loads of this!) and some money, thankyou sooo much to anyone who is taking an interest in this project.

I have spoken to somebody at Ilford/Harman in regards to some sponsorship for the project in the form of photographic paper, she seemed pretty positive and is going to put my case forward, fingers crossed!!!

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Whats all this about?

So i'm off in one month, to where? Romania!

I was asked a while back by a friend if I could go across to Romania with the charity E4CN (education for children in need): to run some photography workshops during their run of two weeks of creative workshops.....
I thought about it a bit, and decided why not? things haven't been to great so far in 2008 and this will be something to put an end to that, a fresh start, something to get excited and motivated about....

I decided that pinhole photography would be the most do-able with a small budget and without access to photo labs or computers. So set about tring to make some cameras!

I've come up with a shoebox design (thanks clarks) with handmade pinholes and big enough to fit 10x8 rc paper inside so that we could make big images! (we couldn't use film as it wouldn't be instant enough and printing would be hard without an enlarger).
Images of the camera to come soon!

I feel it's a good idea to chart this projects progress and write about each stage as it happens, lots to catch up on so will write more soon.

Above and below are images from the camera.