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Using My Handmade Pinhole Camera To Explore Life's Big Questions

Posted by Social Media on 15 November 2019 4:30:00 PM

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!

Join Alex at Fresh 19, PSC's Advanced Diploma Art Major Graduate Exhibition Opening, on Friday 22 November from 6-8pm at Yarra Sculpture Gallery in Abbotsford. Register here

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.





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