by Terry Bearpark
An exhibition displaying the work of young photographers using vintage cameras and film opened in Hull city centre at the weekend.
Enthusing Young Minds is a project involving 12 photographers known as the Young Aspiring Artists (YAA), giving them the opportunity to experience photography in a way that they never have before, through the use of vintage cameras. The YAA, aged between five and 17, were each loaned vintage box cameras which they learned to load with film.
The project is the brainchild of Burstwick photographer Chris Smith who has taught the youngsters to express their artistic skills using old cameras and photo developing techniques to produce fascinating black and white photos.
The scheme has taught them how to develop their own negatives, providing them with a unique experience that they will likely remember for many years to come.
Chris said: “There are many skills and lessons that are being developed in the background of the project without the YAA really seeing what they are getting out of this participatory project.
“Firstly, they are learning photographic skills using analogue methods. These are a good foundation as these are skills that can be adapted to digital photography should they choose that path in the future. They learn more about their subjects and become more self-aware in the process.
“They also learn some aspects of history, visual literacy, chemistry and maths using photographic chemicals, how they work with each other and the process required for developing their negatives and the ratios of chemicals to water.”
Also on display are anthotypes, which are prints using a cheap and eco-friendly process that involves plant matter including spices such as paprika.
Chris has also taken his project into schools to bring a different twist on photo taking for pupils. The exhibition is being held at the premises of HARI (the Hull Artist Research Initiative), in an empty unit in 47 King Edward Street, opposite the former BHS store, daily between 10am and 4pm over the half-term holiday.
For more information, visit Chris’s website at cgsphotos.com.