The Experimental Camera Club

Update: There’s a wiki page from Fizzpop for people to register an interest in the Experimental stuff and seekrit talks have begun on the beginners stuff. It’s all go!


So the TTV workshop with Fizzpop didn’t happen. One person signed up and we needed at least 10 to break even. I’ve thought long and hard about why it didn’t but it pretty much boils down to one simple truth. There wasn’t a need for it.

People can like an idea. People can think, hmm, I’d want to do that. But unless you’re tapping in to a visceral need you’re not going to get much beyond a notion. As much as hacking vintage cameras and cardboard is a cool thing there are probably more fruitful things to be spending your time and money on.

So let’s dial it back a bit. What do people need from a mashup of my approach to photography and Fizzpop’s approach to collaboration?

From asking around I’ve picked up on two things.

The first is a strong desire to loose the stabilisers and ride free. I’ve got a lot of friends who’ve bought a DLSR in the last couple of years but haven’t got the guts to switch it from Auto. They know their camera is capable of much much more but don’t know which step to take first.

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The second is less common but still quite strong and is, I think, a natural development from getting off auto. I’d call it “experimental photography” and TTV is just a small part of it. Homemade cameras, pinhole devices, expired film, repurposed vintage equipment, alternative chemical processes and things that sensible people look at and ask “why would you do that?”

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Both of these require an element of teaching and mentoring, but neither really require the formality of a workshop. So having chatted about this with Leroy at FizzPop I have a proposal to make.

Fizzpop have established a space for hackers and tinkerers which they are keen to expand. I would like for a small group of photographers to join Fizzpop with the intention of developing something distinct from the main Fizzpop activities but complementing the ideals and aims. At the very least it’ll be nice to hang out with fellow travellers once a month. And if things go well maybe we can use the Fizzpop infrastructure to run the kind of events and workshops that photographers need, whether they want to attach a camera to a kite or just get off the auto setting.

What do people think?