CONTACT: Young Photographers Group

Caroline Douglas and Morwenna Kearsley
Based at: 

Friday 2nd October - Friday 17th November 2015

CONTACT is Stills’ Young Photographers Club which runs once a week for 15 - 19 year olds.

Our Young Photographers have all completed taster sessions with Stills and have demonstrated a keen interest in developing their skills. The eight week CONTACT course allows them to explore a number of different photographic techniques from learning to use a digital SLR camera to processing colour film. Each week the participants are introduced to the work of different artists and are encouraged to explore new ways of expressing themselves through photography.
CONTACT is led by two photographic artists, Caroline Douglas and Morwenna Kearsley.

Our Young Photographers are:

The course culminates in a group exhibition which will be on show in Stills from Saturday 28th November - Sunday 13th December 2015. Join us for the Private View, Friday 27th November, 4pm - 5.30pm.

Each week Alex will write up about what the group have been up to. Keep up to date with the group here.

Week one
I’m glad to be back at the Stills Gallery! Caroline and Mo wasted no time by giving me my first assignment - to shoot a whole roll of film within 10 minutes. It felt a bit like the Olympics, rushing around from street to street searching for that elusive shot.

When I got back, we dived in by learning how to control our cameras in manual mode, we all got the hang of it pretty well! Then we went through a powerpoint presentation on self-portraiture – known today as the “Selfie” We learnt that the first Selfie was taken in the mid 19th century, and it took them minutes to take one – I think that’s why they all look pretty sad and grumpy.

After the presentation, we went out out and took some photos with digital SLR cameras - with the theme of “self portraiture” in mind. A few questions came to mind: How do I even take a selfie? and I need a haircut! I ended up asking this very nice Australian woman if she would like to help me with this assignment, I asked “ Can I take a photo while you’re taking a selfie, but I have to be in the selfie also” She said yes!

When we got back, we uploaded our images to the computers, and started rating them in Adobe Bridge. Once we’d decided which was our best, we then edited the image in Photoshop. We converted our images into black and white and inverted the colours, we then printed our digital images in the darkroom on photographic paper. Very cool!

Next week we’re going to be processing our colour film, which requires us to be in total darkness. Can’t wait to hear the scary stories that are going to be unleashed within the Stills Gallery!

Today was a selfilicous day!

Week Two
In this week’s session, everyone felt very chilled and relaxed – Maybe because half term just started! This week, we were processing our colour film in the darkroom. Which was a first for us (And me) As it was a first, we first had a practice – Because you know what they say, “Practice Makes Perfect” I found this to be untrue and a bit like my exams – I may have practiced, but sadly it didn’t make “perfect” But both me, and my film survived! The others got an A, I got a B which sailed down to a C Get it? No club this week, but looking forward to next!

Week Three
On the last few days of getting decent light, before the clocks chimed back! At Stills we were working hard to create moody, ghostly scenes for next weeks “Halloween Special” This week we had even more people coming to witness the excitement ,and to create the masterpiece that will be unleashed underground in the darkest of rooms at the Stills Gallery. Be scared, be very scared. If I were you, I’d stay tuned to our weekly news.

Week Four
I can finally say that this year, i had a pretty good Halloween! Professional make-up artist Hannah Stewart kindly came in to transform our lovely faces into scary exhausted zombies, which arose from the grave - In order to be photographed by fresh blood.

I was a skeleton - Showing off my gritty bones that haven’t aged since I drank that magic potion, that the devil got for me. My ears were ringing after the shutters slammed and the film wound on, slowly becoming a thing of the past.

We used a combination between old and new technology to fuse the past and present. A GORIOUS time was had by all, welcoming those who came to the ball! All the participants of this particular night, had frighteningly good ideas.

That’s all I got time for, My Dears!

Week Five
Today at Stills time flew by, and you know what they say “Time flies when you’re having fun”. In this session we where having fun turning our negatives in to positives.

When we first arrived, we were presently surprised that someone had already processed our film for us! So without further to do, we dived straight in, making our first set of contact sheets! A contact sheet is a series of thumbnail sized images - Used to determine our best shot!

After our Contact sheets had been through all the necessary chemicals we mulled over our best shots, whilst eating our hula hoops. I was convinced by the others that I should print myself, and I said “ One of me is enough”. I printed my portrait anyway, I just pretended that I was looking into a mirror, for a very long time, and it’s surprising what you see, when you look deeper inside ones self!

See you next week!

Week 6
Today at Stills was both quiet and productive. With very little time left, we started choosing and narrowing down our work for the exhibition, of which we have a abundance! Jordan and I were also designing the flyer for it - this was a lot of fun deciding what font / typefaces to use. COMIC SANS OR TIMES NEW ROMAN, I wonder which is the most professional?

After using up all our strength pulling together our fabulous flyer, we were printing our scary portraits in the darkroom. I think I’ve had enough time looking at myself !!

Week 7
On the second to last week at Stills, we were preparing for the final exhibition which takes place from Friday 27th. Half the group spent their time in the darkroom finalising their prints, and panicking a bit. Others were scanning colour negatives and printing in the digital lab. It was a hive of activity. I wasn’t feeling too good and couldn’t focus much, I’m sure others thought I was off with the fairies! But with a bit of luck, and lots of Night Nurse I should be fine by Friday.

Let’s spread the word, and get as many people as possible to come and see the wonderful work that’s going to be on display.

CONTACT is generously supported by Cashback for Communities Arts Fund.