Return to a State of Innocence and Belief in Myself

It’s taken me a while, but I’ve been a little lost over the last years, just getting on with being a single mother in an acrimonious divorce, struggling with the basics as it were. Only, recently, I had an epiphany that I needed to return to a state – time in my life, where my passions and idealism were strong, and my path clear if I am to regain a sense of personal meaning, drive and contribution: That place is somewhere between graduating high-school and my time at Concordia! Where innocence was still intact, where I still believed in myself…….so here I am.  I believed that art and education could change the world!



Cave paintings and Pictographs

Check out these images of pictograms I reblogged from Tessmuzz…..thanks Tessmuzz.

Cave Paintings


Our ancestors noticed the way light outlined the shape of our hands – think hand shadow puppets – by casting shadow representations on walls in caves or rock faces on dark nights.   The light made the image possible, but the image was made of shadow.  Next, colours in nature, first charcoal and red earth pigments were used to paint, out line our hands on cave walls – an imprint or outline, an image was left behind.  These were done with coloured sticks or chunks of coal, or blowing paint dust through reeds.   We had captured our fleeting form, we saw ourselves represented in front of us.

Photographic Pictographs or Pictograms


Children and adults today still enjoy making hand prints and drawing simple stick figures and representational images….in fact the icons of the internet age are all pictographs.   Another way we can do this is to use the capturing qualities of photo paper: objects, your hand, plants and so on are used to block a light source in a dark room to create the kind of images seen in the blog above.  The imprint of light and shade is one of the fascinating gifts that photography and photographic process gives us.

Percussive surface in a resonant cavity. A cav...

Percussive surface in a resonant cavity. A cave painting of human hands surrounded by red markings — early percussion instrument (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


For this part of our photography exploration we were given the chance to use the enlarger in the dark room. We each collected a few items to try out and placed them on the photographic paper in safe light conditions. To create the best results, the enlarger light was set to come on for  5 seconds.

For the bulb image, I crumpled up some cling film and wrapped it around the glass area. I really like the way this image has turned out. The effect is quite different from a photograph, it looks like a smoke is coming out of the bulb. I particularly like the way different effects can be achieved using this technique.

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Course notes – Access to Dark Room

Ahah, after perusing the course website of another pro photographer, home schooling mum who used to provide similar courses to the one I’m envisioning, I realize that I’d need access to a darkroom, or better yet wet room for developing pin hole camera prints or pictograms….if not enlarging prints from negatives and developing negatives.

How easy is it to set this up at my or another participant’s home?  I’ve done it before…but for just myself, space requirements for three to eight students….hhhmmmm?   How much to rent one?  And os on….then, this cost would be factored into course cost.

A home-made pinhole camera (on the left), wrap...

A home-made pinhole camera (on the left), wrapped in black plastic to prevent light leaks, and related developing supplies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Dark Room

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Camera obscura, a dark room, here in this place we can see the light.  A long time ago we caught a glimpse of ourselves reflected, first in pools, and rain drops, perhaps we understood that light was important in this act of reflection.  The still pool rippled, the sun set, the clouds covered the moon – light and it’s reflection fleeting.  Did we dream of capturing it?  Then fire allowed us so much, around the hearth we roasted and told stories while flames flickered casting both illuminated forms and shadowy images behind us.  Light travels, and with it in our hands we ventured into dark caves, and noticed that high on cavernous walls stories emerged, reflections without, of our imaginings within – and so we began to paint, to record, to recognize ourselves in the light.

I told the world..!

I am in the process of designing a class, work shop for kids, probably aged 8 to
12 or so, on light, optics, pin hole cameras and some of the fundamentals of
depth of field, composition, focus, contrast, shutter speed etc.

I envision this as being a super fun, hands-on, DIY, course, including not only
the art, but also the science and history of how photographic process was
discovered and developed.

Constructing a few versions of Pin hole cameras and different forms of light
boxes is great way to encounter and master some of these principles, as well as
ignite more passion in the art of photography which many of our kids,in this
digital age, take for granted……

Do any of you have children / youth who would be interested in doing something
like this? Even helping to fasci.itate or design the class?

Has anyone here provided such a work shop or registered their kids in one
before? I’d love to hear about how it worked?

I have a life-long love of all things photographic, started with my first
Polaroid when I was eight, attended a high school that had an awesome
photography department- where I made my first pin hole camera, studied
communications and film at Universiy, worked as a film editor in the Pre-digital
era, and have done extensive studies, through personal passion into why humans
love light and shadow and have used it to self represent, make art, communicate
messages and understand their place in the universe.

I am presently hoping to design some awesome classes for home schoolers, and
thought I should start with my first love: PHOTOGRAPHY.

Anyone interested, please contact me, with your input, I could have a 3 to 6
half days class organized by late spring or early summer.