Hayley Brooks posted these photos about a year ago and the look and feel of them really caught my attention. These dream-like photographs were taken during her stay in Europe. What interests me is that she didn't just use a normal digital camera to document her trip, but used her beloved toy camera: the Diana.
Hayley, who is finishing her last year at Guelph, studies International Development and is hoping to enter Law school in the UK to specialize in Human Rights Law. Even though she has no background studies in Visual Art, she still has an impressive eye for photography and manages to take breathtaking shots.
During her exchange program in Norway, she started bringing her Diana around while traveling in countries such as Germany and Hungary. When asked about the reason why she chooses Diana over digital, she states: "it challenges me to actively engage with the moment, the place and the person that I'm documenting. I find that with a simple digital camera, it is very easy to point and shoot without thinking of the different factors affecting the frame. I also like the 'trial and error' aspect whereby opening up a newly developed roll of film is exciting because you don't know which ones didn't quite turn out and which one may surprise you."
Toy Cameras have always intrigued me. I love the fact that these simple plastic boxes are able to create such artistic and creative photos, which would be difficult to do with a digital camera without the help of photoshop. The low-quality lens, the light leaks and the blurring are for some considered as defects, but I see it as a gift. It gives the opportunity for chance to play an important role in photography. Not a single photo is going to look the same for anyone. I have recently bought a Holga camera for myself and I am very excited to explore the many possibilities that it gives.
This Sunday (the 23rd) I am taking part of a workshop in Ottawa entitled: Your Toy Camera 101. A graduate student from SPAO will be teaching students about the joy of toy cameras. It only costs 10$ and a vegetarian pot-luck will be happening at the end of class. If interested in participating, check out the event on facebook by clicking here. or email email@example.com to RSVP for details.