After a hugely successful CBSDCP Third Edition Opening with over 200 people in attendance, exhibiting 2800 photos from over 100 project participants, there’s just a few days left to come in and see it for yourself! The exhibition is open at Ruffian Gallery: 361 Barkly St, Footscray on Thurs 9 October & Friday 10 October from 3-7pm AND Saturday 11 October & Sunday 12 October 12-4pm (more info here).
But this blog post is dedicated to the winner of the CBSDCP: Third Edition 2014 Colour Box Studio Award: participant Chloe Caday. Her series of photos grabbed our attention during the installation process and we thought that her images were captivating, dream-like and evocative. In her photos, Melbourne (somehow) looks like a far away place – the images are reminiscent of a 70s summer holiday (!). It was clear that she wasn’t afraid to experiment with the disposable camera and she even shot directly into the sun with some awesome results! We were really interested to find out how she achieved an overall ‘hazy’ look throughout her roll of film… to find out how she did this and more, read below. She’s one talented and creative 17 year old.
1. How did you find out about the CBSDCP and why did you decide to participate?
I actually found out about the CBSDCP through a blogpost on the Frankie Magazine website, and it just struck my eye immediately! I’ve always been into shooting with film, every time I’d go on holidays or spend a day at the beach or at the city with my family and friends, I’ll always carry one along with me. It just captures this beautiful, frozen moment in a way that I can never achieve digitally. So as soon as I heard about the project, I knew instinctively that I had to be a part of it!
2. What did you take photos of and why did you decide this?
I took photographs of my garden, my adorable little puppy, Benzi, the sky, flowers, of the beach, the ocean, and the small little trips in between. I’ve always been so interested in the diverse textures of our beautiful environment, and I hoped to capture this sense of allure in my photographs. Fortunately for all the participants, the project took place over a beautiful, sunny day in Melbourne, so the light was beautifully captured in the photographs.
3. How did you achieve the ‘hazy’ look in your images?
Prior the project, I had researched various ways to manipulate a disposable camera. There were so many techniques and tricks, all in which were quite risky (dipping the camera in chemicals for example!). When I came across to this particular technique that creates a foggy mist inside the lens, I figured it’d be perfect! You literally chuck the disposable camera inside the freezer for hours so it creates condensation inside the camera. I then scratched the outer border of the lens with a pin to further enhance the ‘hazy’ look. I love this particular technique, because it creates this surrealistic and dream-like nature in the photographs.
4. Did the images turn out how you expected? Were there any surprises?
Overall, not at all! I was so worried that chucking the camera into the freezer would have totally ruined my film, so I was very anxious to see the final result! There were a few shots that I had completely forgot that I had taken, and a few that I absolutely loved. I did attempt to get some double exposures out of them, where I literally had to whack the camera onto my hand, hard enough to let the shutter go off again. So I think the biggest surprise was for my film to have actually survived after I had completely trashed the camera with scratches, bumps and freezing temperatures!
5. We know you’re still in high school (so big ups for winning this prize!). What are your creative aspirations (what do you wanna be when you grow up!)?
Thank you! I actually aspire to be an artist when I’m older. I plan to take on a Fine Arts course in university next year, where I’ll be majoring in painting and/or drawing! I love to paint and draw as well as with photography, especially with elements of nature and the environment. I think as time flies, society’s connection with our beautiful, natural world will slowly decay with the development of technology and changes in social values. So I aspire to create a difference in the world, through my art, even if it was to only be a minor or (hopefully) a major difference!
6. What are your handy tips for using a disposable camera and getting good shots?
I think the beauty of disposable cameras is that they have the ability to capture a frozen motion of time in the purest form. When I use a disposable camera, I like to be quite spontaneous with my shots, but at the same time take into the composition and the narrative you are trying to portray. We’d like to look back at our shots, and have some sort of symbolic meaning as to why we had taken them – whether it’d being significantly emotional; for remembrance of a person, event, scene or object; or to just capture one of those ‘you had to be there’ moments. Film has this ability to capture this pure perception of reality that we can never achieve through our phones or digital cameras, so I think taking into consideration the narrative especially is important. It allows the viewers an insight of the world through your eyes both visually and mentally, and playing around with the angles, composition, lighting and even movement can create that unique aspect into your photographs.
7. Would you like to participate in the project again and if so, do you have any plans for what you would shoot?
Oh definitely! It was such a great experience for me, and I would assume for others too. It was so exciting to get creative with this beautiful concept because it taught me that having the latest technology in cameras and software is totally unnecessary in order to create beautiful photographs. There is so much intelligent and insightful photographs at the exhibition although they were all only taken with a simple disposable camera. It’s so accessible for anyone and it’s so great to encourage people to bring film back. Every artistic activity I do always tends to include the environment in some way, so my next set would have this aspect buried somewhere in the photographs. A last minute idea I had thought of actually, after I had taken the photographs, was to take a whole set of portraits of people of different ages, ethnicity and genders. It’d be interesting to capture a whole individual’s character through a simple photograph, so it’d be an interesting concept that I’d consider to do next time!
CBSDCP Third Edition 2014 – Awards Winners
• People’s Choice: Best Set of Photos Award – Amelia Peterson • Ruffian Gallery Award for Outstanding Photo – Kel Devoil
• Best Photo Award – Julia Weaver Judged by Daniel Boetker-Smith, Founder/Director of the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive. • Best Set of Photos Award – Catherine Mulhall
Judged by Torika Bolatagici, artist & Deakin University Photography Lecturer. • Colour Box Studio Award – Chloe Caday