image by Mirna Vidamour.A combination of light leaking into her camera, originally a matchbox, and expired film, resulted in this image by Mirna Vidamour.

Photography students explore the slowness of vintage techniques

Taking a photo wasn’t always a matter of instant gratification, Julie Sando tells her students.

“Growing up in the digital age, they aren’t used to the idea of waiting to see how an image will turn out,” she says.

Sando, an instructor in the School of Creative Arts, assigned her first-year “Studio Practice and Image” class to experiment with hand-made photography. They made pinhole cameras out of coffee cups and matchboxes, and used colour print film well past its expiry date to create photos.

“I imagined this slow process would allow for a dialogue about why it has become so popular to use digital filters on cell phone pictures to give them a vintage look,” Sando says. “What I didn’t imagine was how challenging and interesting the students found the process of working blind. They seemed to be in hyper-creative state.”

Student Mirna Vidamour says the process forced her to reconsider the nature of photography.

“The projects have been very interesting,” Vidamour says. “Definitely nothing I would ever have done on my own.”

The class has mounted an exhibition of the results in the LeBel Building’s SoVA Project Gallery. A free public reception will give viewers a chance to meet the artists, 8 to 10 p.m. Thursday, November 13.