This past Thursday was the first class in the "Compose Yourself" teen arts workshop series at Palo Alto Art Center. In this first class I taught students how to make and use a pinhole camera and how to make photograms in a darkroom. I set up a small makeshift darkroom in the basement of the art center. It was so great going back to my photography roots, the smell of the chemicals brought back all the fond memories of working in the darkroom for hours and making magic happen.
The best part was seeing the reactions of the students. They had never experienced that kind of photography or a darkroom before. They were completely engaged and excited. They got to experiment and practice with different light sources (we didn't have an enlarger) we used our cell phones, exit signs and other light sources to expose the photo paper for the photograms. They loved seeing the images emerge from the developer and learned all about the darkroom set up.
The great thing about this program is the students also get to learn about problem solving, best practices of art-making, personal branding and a variety of creative techniques.
There is still space left for students to sign up for the whole module or individual classes.You can learn more about them here. The next class is photo re-imaged where we alter, paint, cut and re-imagine our photos to give them new or expanded meaning.