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Life Through the Lens: Free Art Deco Event


Mon 24 Feb 2020, 10:30am–11:30am

Where: The CAN, 16 Byron St, Napier, Hawke's Bay / Gisborne

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: Lisa Feyen

Date: Feb 24 – Feb 24

Space: Mezzanine

During the 2019 Art Deco Festival local camera collector Jake Brookie took photographs of the fashion, fun and the flying machines with vintage cameras. Join Jake for a presentation about the stories behind the photographs and see the cameras used to take them. Have a go at handling an old camera and see photography through a different lens! If you have brought a vintage camera to the festival Jake can give you some information about it, including how it would have been used.

‘Every Art Deco Festival thousands of people take Napier back in time in a celebration of the style of Art Deco. As a photographer I love to capture images with vintage cameras which could have been taken in the 1930s. But using an old camera does have it’s quirks.

Despite all of the features of today’s digital cameras, photography today has the same basic principles used centuries ago. A lens to focus with, a shutter to capture movement and a ‘aperture’ (the ‘hole’ that light goes through) to help control exposure and decide how much is in focus. The only difference is that with an old camera you have to control all of this yourself- no delegating to a computer!

You’ll notice that all of the photographs I have taken are square- this format was popular in the 1930s because it meant you could squeeze more photos on a roll of film. It is my favourite format as you frame it completely differently to rectangular photographs so it makes you think a lot more about what you are capturing (although, with only twelve pictures on a roll you have to be careful anyway!)

But the biggest challenge had nothing to do with the camera at all! I wasn’t the only one taking photos but most people were using their smartphones. This does tend to ruin the effect a bit (or else looks like 1930s Napier has been besieged with time travellers) so I had to keep an eye out when framing my photos. Enjoy!’

Jake Brookie

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