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Posts Tagged ‘Darren Jew

VISITING ARTISTS: Foto Frenzy ‘Exploring Photography’ Workshop @ Mt Barney Lodge

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Mt Barney soon after dawn

Mt Barney soon after dawn

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Last weekend we participated in a Foto Frenzy workshop at Mt Barney Lodge in South-East Queensland’s World Heritage listed Scenic Rim.

This bushland retreat is nestled in a valley only a few kilometres from the rugged Mt Barney peak alongside the upper reaches of the Logan River. The location for the workshop is ideally suited for photographers as there are views of both pastoral and rugged natural landscapes in abundance.

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Late afternoon clouds over the Mt Barney peak

Late afternoon clouds over the Mt Barney peak

Mt Barney - ©Cooper+Spowart

An early morning encounter

Mt Barney - ©Cooper+Spowart

A nearby peak

Mt Barney - ©Cooper+Spowart

Reflections on the upper Logan River

Mt Barney - ©Cooper+Spowart

Workshop participants relaxing in their accommodation @ Moringararah Homestead, Mt Barney Lodge

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Workshop lecturer Darren Jew links opportunities for photography with a hands-on computer set-up with a fine art printing facility. Participants start with an inspirational introductory session followed by colour management induction and calibration of their monitors to ensure quality output.

The keen photographers assembled pre-dawn on Saturday to witness and photograph the setting full moon behind the Mt Barney summit and a cloud-streaked sunrise.

Mt Barney - ©Cooper+Spowart

The setting moon over Mt Barney

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Darren, assisted by Vicky and I, worked with the photographers to ensure that they made full use of the photographic opportunities provided. Breakfast followed and the work of editing and optimising files was carried out with tutorials presented by Darren.

Mt Barney - ©Cooper+Spowart

Darren working with participants @ dawn

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As part of our visiting artists program we worked with the participants offering suggestions and ideas for image enhancement. Other projects undertaken with the group included the setting-up of a camera obscura in Boolamoola Homestead and a ‘projection and light painting’ on Saturday evening.

For many years we have created images of place by combining projected images with electronic flash light painting on outdoor subjects and buildings. These Projections or light sculptures are constructed from individual exposures to make a composite photograph. The final image or series of images presents the viewer with a visual story that is drawn from our exploration of, and empathy with, each place.

On Saturday night we included the participants to witness and make their own photos of the projection work around and on the Moringararah Homestead. The capture of separate elements for the final image was presented by Doug as a performance of how we work in these situations. First we projected a dawn image of Mt Barney over the front of the house for an initial exposure. Next, the internal house lights were switched on to create an exposure for the windows. Finally, additional flash work illuminated aspects of the garden surrounding the house–on this occasion the time exposure for the light painting enabled the ambient moonlight to create a glow in the sky.

Moringararah Homestead projection and light paint

Moringararah Homestead projection and light paint

Mt Barney - ©Cooper+Spowart

Moringararah Homestead in daylight

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After this there was another ‘painting with light’ performance and photography opportunity for the participants in a sheoak grove by the small stream at the entrance to the Lodge. Each of the photographers present was given an opportunity to photograph the performance of the projection and light sculpting work.

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Sheaoak grove light paint

Sheoak grove light paint

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On Sunday 28th April students were assisted in taking photographs for World Pinhole Photography Day using pinhole devices made at the workshop and fitted to their DSLR cameras. The Boolamoola camera obscura was also available to the students a subject to document or just experience..

(SEE earlier post)

The workshop concluded with a frenzy of fine art printing of student work overseen by Darren.

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Student group   Photo: Darren Jew

Student group Photo: Darren Jew

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The natural location of Mt Barney Lodge, the facilities and catering provided by the owners Innes and Tracy Larkin helped to make the workshop a great success. The Lodge provides access to this remote and rugged part of South East Queensland. For accommodation and camping information see their website HERE

This region, alongwith most of Queensland and other Australian places of natural beauty and agricultural importance, is under threat of Coal Seam Gas extraction and open cut mining – Being in this place makes you realise the need for care and consideration of the natural places in this energy hungry, development crazy world. For details of CSG and mining in the Scenic Rim click HERE

Mt Barney - ©Cooper+Spowart

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OTHER IMAGES FROM THE WORKSHOP FOLLOW

Mt Barney - ©Cooper+Spowart Mt Barney - ©Cooper+Spowart Mt Barney - ©Cooper+Spowart Mt Barney - ©Cooper+Spowart

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All  photographs and texts © of the authors 2013.

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CAMERA OBSCURA + Pinhole Event @ Foto Frenzy: A Report

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Unidentified Flying Hubcap - Barkly Tablelands

Since the year 2000 we have been making large-scale room camera obscuras. These have been made as part of visual research for our Place Projects. Usually we document the process and the images form a narrative for inclusion in photobooks and exhibitions. In 2009 we launched WINDOW/s, a limited edition photobook of 9 copies, along with an exhibition of the 9 camera obscura images @ the Queensland Centre for Photography.  

SEE the book as an Adobe Flash Pageflip HERE

In our Place Project work we have found that the camera obscura connects us directly with the place or site that we are working in. We have found that anyone witnessing the place-specific camera obscura responds enthusiastically this natural phenomenon. Time spent inside the camera obscura evokes a sharing of different perceptions: of the visual, of memory and of experiences in the lives of each visitor. So we decided that we should create a camera obscura as part of our Foto Frenzy artist in residence.

As a result of a conversation with a past QCA student of Doug’s from the 1980s, photographer John Pryke, through some great research on the internet, found that not far down the road was the site of an historical camera obscura on Whites Hill.

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The Whites Hill Camera Obscura c1924 from the 'Lost Brisbane' Project site

The Whites Hill Camera Obscura c1924 from the ‘Lost Brisbane’ Project site

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The view from the front entry of Foto Frenzy was selected as its outlook is of the defining feature of this place – the major intersection of Bennetts and Old Cleveland Roads Coorparoo. A plan was created, the room blacked out with thick black agricultural plastic, a light admitting hole of around 12 mm was made and fitted in the door of the building, and screens arranged inside onto which the image could be projected.

FF-Camera Obscura-Plan-new

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Saturday the 20th of April was a bright sunny day with occasional clouds and the 40 or so visitors witnessed the wonders of this simple device. Many brought cameras with them to make images, some brought family members including children – all, as we hoped, were taken by the visual experience of being ‘IN’ a camera, one which did not even require a lens.

As artists in residence working with the  Foto Frenzy / Brisbane Camera Hire Team, we were around some amazing technology and people with special knowledge. Director Darren Jew produced his Canon EOS 1D and a high speed 12mm lens for the cover image of this post. If you’ve not been in a ‘lensless’ camera obscura you will not be aware of how dark the images is – usually it takes several minutes for your eyes to adjust to see what is going on, it is that dark. There are perhaps only a few movies of camera obscura images that have ever been made as it requires specialized cameras and equipment. Darren Jew offered to wind up the ISO of his latest camera and at 40,000 ISO we were able to create a movie of the impromptu performance of our antics outside the building as – ‘Vicky and Doug do a Selfie’.

SEE the movie here ….

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What fascinated us was the excitement and enthusiasm for the project, much of which was posted on Facebook soon after the event. With the permission of the respondents we have posted some of their images and words in the screen grabs that follow …

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Megan Rizzo and family visit and photograph the camera obscura

Megan Rizzo and family visit and photograph the camera obscura

Sara Pearcy comments on her experience with Nicholas in the camera obscura

Sara Pearcy comments on her experience with son Nicholas in the camera obscura

Steven Underhayes' terriffic camera obscura image

Steven Underhayes’ terrific camera obscura image

John Pryke does a 'Selfie' in the camera obscura

John Pryke does a ‘Selfie’ in the camera obscura

SEE more of John’s photographs on his blog: <http://johnprykephoto.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/camera-obscura.html>..

.Additionally the event included a presentation of some of our pinhole cameras, pinhole making techniques, and discussions about how to make pinhole images with SLR and DSLR cameras. Most importantly we encouraged participants to make and enter photos made on April 28 in the 2013 World Pinhole Photography Day event.

WPD-logo

Thank you to the participants, the Foto Frenzy / Brisbane Camera Hire team, in particular Darren Jew and Jacob Schneider, for helping to make this a successful event

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All  photographs and texts © of the authors 2013.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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NICOLA POOLE’s ‘Lost Girls’ @ Gallery Frenzy, Brisbane

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Image from Nicola Poole's 'Lost Girls' exhibition

Lost Girls by Nicola Poole @ Gallery Frenzy, Brisbane.

Image from Nicola Poole's 'Lost Girls' exhibition

Image from Nicola Poole’s Lost Girls exhibition

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Excerpts from my opening address:

Doug Spowart opens Nicola Poole's 'Lost Girls' exhibition

Doug Spowart opens Nicola Poole’s ‘Lost Girls’ exhibition

This morning on checking my Facebook news feed, there was a message from Darren Jew, of Brisbane’s Foto Frenzy Photography Centre, in which he described the ‘Oh My God’ moment at the age of 12, that inspired his life in photography. That moment was watching a black and white print develop in a tray in a darkroom. I was reminded of my same experience. From other posts there seemed to be quite a few others who were also seduced by the darkroom’s red safelight and its mysterious stinky chemicals.

I posted back to Darren posing the question: ‘how many 12 year olds are out there making digi images today and missing out on that OMG darkroom moment?’ Later, during a conversation with my partner Victoria, we made the interesting observation that in the old darkroom days we ‘MADE’ photographs in every sense of the word. Film was handled in darkness and loaded into tanks–chemicals added, agitation, water washes, hanging up to dry–negatives placed in the enlarger carrier, paper touched and slid into the easel, exposed to light, paper slipped into chemicals, trays rocked… etc. Photography was something that extended well after the shutter was fired. It took time and trouble for an image or two to emerge–made–from the process.

We thought that today with digital photography we just TAKE images–with rapidity and ease. Just click, add a filter effect or two and share. And we may take many, many images. In contemporary image taking the picture has a very transient and superficial value. Quickly taken and distributed they are even consumed faster on social media and quickly lost from view–particularly if you have lots of friends who post with the rapidity of a machine-gun. What is missing today is the time spent with an image realising it as a physical object. Digital imaging is like visual ‘fast food’. We, as consumers, end up fat, lazy and with pixelated indigestion.

What excites me about Nicola Poole’s Lost Girls exhibition is that Nicola has assembled a collection of cohesive thematic image work and formed it into a physical and tangible MADE thing. Over the last week at Foto Frenzy I have witnessed her making this show. Photographs handled, selected and compared, prints emerging line by line from the printer, matted/mounted/framed, placed in the gallery space shuffled–moved, re-ordered and hung. I know that selecting, preparing and presenting work in an exhibition is complex and demanding. The artist embeds their energy and time in it and we the viewers are rewarded in proportion to the care and effort expended in its making.

I congratulate Nicola Poole and applaud her energy, enthusiasm and vision. As a younger girl herself, it is appropriate that she should make photographs the comment on her own experiences and on her generation. As we engage with these photographs questions might emerge: are the subjects looking into memories of the past, or are they facing an uncertain future? These images evoke a sense of, or a time of, waiting–a kind of anxiety or anticipation for something or someone. As viewers we may ponder and be drawn into the narrative.

As to the Lost Girls–What I do know is that in the making of this exhibition, somehow they have all been ‘FOUND’.

And, as Nicola’s first solo exhibition, it is indeed my please to formally announce it open …

Dr Doug Spowart

Nicola Poole and Me

Nicola Poole and Me

Image from Nicola Poole's 'Lost Girls' exhibition

Image from Nicola Poole’s Lost Girls exhibition

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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