PSC's final year Advanced Diploma student Alex Rogers has an upcoming exhibition with work entirely shot using his pinhole camera. He loves the aesthetic, process and unpredictability of shooting on film with the handmade device.
He talks about his series exploring humankind's search for truth, taking photography to the next level by plucking up the courage to enrol part time., and exhibiting next week with his Art Major cohort at their graduate exhibition Fresh 19 (at the Yarra Sculpture Gallery in Abbotsford).
Tell us about your work at Fresh 19?
My work at Fresh 19 was inspired by humankind’s never ending search for truth but is more broadly about journeying with hope and uncertainty in a quest for something vague and indefinable. The work itself is large black and white prints shot on film using a pinhole camera.
Why did you decide to build a pinhole camera?
I built a pinhole camera partly for the challenge of building it from scratch, and also because I wanted to explore a type of photography I hadn’t experienced before.
What was it like working with a pinhole camera?
It was a lot of trial and error but rewarding as a result. Pinhole images have a soft, indistinct feel to them that I really like. Being long exposures you get a sense of time passing too and their unpredictability means anything could happen.
Why do you like using film?
I began photography as a hobby and learnt it with film. I kept using it for many years before moving to digital about four or five years ago. Ironically it took that move to make me appreciate film for what it could be rather than just as a recording medium. It’s aesthetic, particularly in black and white has a timeless quality that has always appealed and no doubt explains why it has never disappeared from photographic practice. It also fits well I think with the sentiment of my Fresh19 work
What do you enjoy shooting?
My main photographic interests are in landscape, nature, architecture, macro and more recently pinhole. I’m always surprised by the often unlikely connections you find between them, sometimes in very abstract ways that always provide interesting comparisons and inspiration.
Tell us about your experience doing Photography Studies College's Advanced Diploma part time?
The experience of doing the Advanced Diploma has been both rewarding and challenging. While learning new skills is a major benefit, the most important thing for me was coming to appreciate much more, what photography could be as a creative art form, and where it might be able to take me both creatively and philosophically. I really enjoyed being introduced to old and new work that I never knew about, and being in the company of likeminded people who’ve made the journey all the more worthwhile.
Why did you decide to study photography?
When I finally plucked up the courage to go back to study, photography was the logical choice. I had been an enthusiast for a number of years but felt that I was no longer going anywhere with it. I knew it held much more promise but felt that to achieve that potential, I would need to take it more seriously, and hence the decision to do formal study.
What did you like about studying with us?
What stood out for me was the fact that Photography Studies College is a dedicated photography college. That specific focus along with dedicated staff and likeminded class mates are the best reasons for spending four amazing years you’ll never forget.
What can we expect to see at Fresh 19?
At Fresh 19, I think you’ll be treated to a very diverse range of subject matter, aesthetics and some amazing visual presentations. For such a small group you’ll find a very wide range of topics that look at everything from genetics and family history to impermanence, consciousness, relationships, gender and many others. Everyone has worked hard, supported and inspired each other, and you are in for quite a show!
The show will run until 8 December.
Discover more about studying part time at PSC by coming to one of our upcoming information sessions. The next one has been scheduled for Friday 22 November from 1-2.30pm, at our Southbank campus.