Cardiff photo workshop

Cardiff-Bay-107-years-difference

The Wales Millennium Centre, opened in 2004 and the Pierhead building, completed in 1897, Cardiff Bay.

A very short-notice photography opportunity turned up for me out of the blue a couple of weekends ago – a sequence of phone calls on Saturday evening led me the next morning to Cardiff Bay to stand in for a workshop leader from Photography Made Simple who’d been taken ill.

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World of Small – Portishead

On a sweltering hot day in mid July, Local Journeys, with support from Avon Wildlife Trust, took 60 children plus teachers and helpers from Portishead Primary School on a visit of investigation and imagination to Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve. This was part of another World of Small project – a complete contrast to the first one in Pill during the November 2012 flooding! The bird hide made a pleasantly shady temporary sculpture studio, while pond-dipping and explorations around Continue reading

A return to the origins of photography

Cyanotypes and ‘plant diary’ on display at the Lamplighter’s Marsh Riverside Festival

Although I’ve been aware of the cyanotype process since college days I’d never actually made any work in this way until last month when, working as part of Local Journeys, we were asked to produce an intergenerational project in Shirehampton that related to the riverside nature reserve Lamplighter’s Marsh. The area is one of several that have been included in Bristol City Council’s Wild City project – encouraging local communities to Continue reading

School photo-surveys 1950s Bristol housing estate

Another Local Journeys project (see previous posts on World of Small and Kite making at Brean), this one was commissioned through the English Heritage Schools initiative to work with Year 3 and 4 children at Frome Vale Academy in March 2013 as part of their Community History project to investigate their Continue reading

Pop-up studio in Weston-super-Mare

Brue-Close-montageThere’s a small oval green space amongst some houses on an estate in Weston-super-Mare that needs some additional love and refurbishments so local residents can get the most out of it. Knightstone Housing Association along with other partners have commissioned an artist to devise some ideas for decorative railings that will add a sense of playfulness to the area, help to re-define its use and Continue reading

Curzon Cinema, Clevedon – photography workshop

The wonderful Curzon Community Cinema in Clevedon has won some funding from The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts to run a film-making project with some lucky primary schools in Clevedon as part of the Start Programme. It’s a big project that runs over several months working with the excellent Bristol-based production company Calling the Shots. However, not every child will be able to take part in the film-making process so the Curzon’s Education Officer, Cathy Poole, arrived at an ingenious solution to ensure everyone has a chance to participate. The solution was to create a team of project documentors who would track all aspects of the project with photographs. Continue reading

National Trust – ‘Tyntesfield through the Lens’, September 2010

Tyntesfield-schools-artwork-section

A section of the montaged artwork created from photographs taken by young people from Westhaven and Aschcome schools for the ‘Tyntesfield through the lens’ project.

I worked with the National Trust’s learning officer at Tyntesfield (in conjunction with the North Somerset Find Your Talent initiative) to devise and deliver a workshop over 3 sessions at the house and estate. The participants were Year 6 children from Ashcombe Primary school, and GCSE Photography students from Westhaven special needs Secondary school who were to mentor the younger pupils. The older students came on their own for a first visit to see the house and gardens, learn about some of the history and take photographs of their own, but with our support they also planned how they would guide the younger pupils round the house and estate on the following visit and help them to use cameras to create a ‘portrait’ of Tyntesfield. Continue reading

Bristol Floating Harbour 200 school photography project

harbour-visitIn 2009, Bristol Bristol’s Floating Harbour marked its 200th anniversary with a number events and activities. Local Journeys contributed to these celebrations by working with schools and artists and through them I devised and delivered a photographic project for students on the highly regarded AS Level photography course at St Mary Redcliffe 6th Form college, led by enthusiastic teacher Sharman Jupp. Continue reading

‘Growing Journeys’ project, April – July 2008.

‘Growing Journeys’ – a workshop project using photography, lettuce growing, fire and pancake making, and exploring.

photographingA commission from Ruth Jacobs at the Bristol Hospital for Sick Children to work with the Lumsden Walker Unit, a day psychiatric unit for children with complex mental health needs, to deliver a photographic project that would serve two purposes. First to help build confidence through engaging both children and their parents / carers in a focused activity over a 3 month period and second to provide a set of photographs by the participants for permanent display in the Unit which is located in an old school building (Fairfield) in east Bristol. Close collaboration with, and support from the excellent team of staff at the unit was an essential feature of the project. Continue reading

Thoughts on photography workshops

“The camera is an instrument that teaches people to see without a camera.” Dorothea Lange, photographer, USA 1895 – 1965.

It's tempting to caption this "boys in the wood - girls in the 'hood"...

It’s tempting to caption this “boys in the wood – girls in the ‘hood”…

While most of the workshops I deliver, particularly with young people, will include learning about the tool of the camera to acquire a new skill of photography in its own right, the emphasis is more often about developing the observational capacities of the participants, which can help open up a window onto their surroundings – whether it’s a familiar location or somewhere new. Continue reading