I was employed by Fresh once again, though this time George Rippon was running an analogue photography workshop and I was to his teaching assistant. The workshop was targeted to students currently studying on the foundation year of the School Art & Design of Coventry University. The purpose of the workshop was to introduce analogue photography to the students and also show them a part of what we do in the Photography course. George had prepared a schedule for the day starting with a lecture on the principles of photography and manual exposure -ISO, aperture, shutter speed- and induction to Pentax K1000 35mm camera, probably the most famous “student” camera since 1976.
I have been using older model for the past two years, Asahi Pentax KM, so it was very familiar to work with and be able to explain how is to be used.
This pdf is the brief given to me by George a few days before the workshop.
After George delivered the lecture we introduced the cameras and film to the students. I explained the basic functions on the body and lens as well as health and safety tips as the workshop happened in a photo studio. After this I assisted the students to load the black & white film on the back of the cameras. Some struggled more than others, but we eventually loaded about 15 canisters.
In order to let students go out and use the 24exp. film we started working indoors, in the studio, were light 100% controlled, in comparison with outdoors conditions. We put the students into small groups and set the lights on the modelling lamps in order to practice. The exercise involved a person posing in front of the light and a person taking the photograph. After a few frames they switched. The goal on this was understand manual exposure and use the built in light metre of the K1000.
Half way the films we let the students to go outdoors and this time except of light, think of composition as more elements would have been involved in their frame.
After the break the students brought in their films and I explained them how to unload it. I loaded the films on the Ilford FP40 processor and file them in labeled sleeves as they were developed.
I filled the darkroom trays with chemicals.
The darkroom session started and first thing we went through with George was all the health and safety related information. It is very simple to work within a darkroom, but it could be dangerous for ones health or the equipment’s if one doesn’t know the related information.
We started with contact printing which is fairly simple and would allow the students to have an image of a printed negative. I explained to the students the benefit of doing test strips before you print big. We let them develop their prints and showed them how to use the dryers. Next step was to choose one frame and print on 5×7 RC paper.
For many it was a challenging experience but I really enjoyed giving my knowledge on this matter. I am very sure I could do it again specially with people eager to learn. One more thing I would certainly like to is work at a printing lab. I was given a few emails from London labs, by photographer Laura Hynd, though I haven’t pursued this yet.