This month, the beautiful black and white prints of Carnival made by the Over 50s Photography Group are on display at St Paul’s Learning Centre Café and even on the outside walls!
Here’s their story, which we covered in our latest issue of Vocalise…
A group of Over 50s, mainly from St Paul’s and St Werburgh’s got together over June and July for a series of Photography Taster Sessions, followed by a 4-week Photography Course based at the Community Darkrooms at St Paul’s Learning Centre, all provided free of charge thanks to support from Bristol City Council.
The group went from strength to strength, and with help from Judith Davis (Liverty Housing and Bristol Ageing Better) attracted 12 participants and 2 volunteers, led by Ruth Jacobs and Justin Quinnell from the Real Photography Company. In the taster sessions, participants had fun making photograms and taking photos using pinhole cameras made from beer cans!
We talked to the group about what they wanted to photograph and they loved the idea of taking photos at Carnival in July so we gave everyone easy to use disposable cameras loaded with black and white film. We looked at images of Carnival in previous years, including the very first Carnival, to get inspiration, then we talked through some ideas of what people might want to photograph during the day – procession, musicians, stalls, street art, family and friends enjoying the day, and so on.
In the sessions following Carnival we developed films, which came out brilliantly – it was an exciting part of the course for participants to load film into special tanks in complete darkness! Then we made contact sheets and black and white prints in the darkrooms using the enlargers and chemistry which participants found very rewarding.
Written by Ruth Jacobs.
Find more details about the exhibition here.