Melbourne’s Disposable Camera Project

Image by Shari Trimble

Image by Shari Trimble

This weekend I’m very excited to be taking part in Melbourne’s third annual Disposable Camera Project. Run by Colour Box Studio, this project inspires everyday people to look at the world surrounding them in a different light and capture the things they consider beautiful.

On Saturday the project kicks off as all 120 participants collect their disposable cameras and have just 24 hours to use the entire film before returning it to the organisers on the steps of Flinders Street Station. Once the pictures have been developed they will be on display for all to see in early October at Ruffian Gallery, Footscray.

I’m particularly excited to get involved as every entrant goes in on an even playing field. Whether you’re a well-known photographer or just like flashing lights then you have the same chance of taking a winning image. Also as I’m such a fan of using disposable cameras (see here), I’m stoked that this project proves that in a digital room there is still space for film.

In preparation for the event I spoke to Kristina Arnott of Colour Box Studio to find out what she hopes to achieve by throwing over a hundred disposable cameras into the hands of strangers. I also wanted to hear her tips on capturing a standout image:

What made you decide to execute this project?

I devised and ran the Disposable Camera Project for the first time in October last year with the aim of getting people to participate in Colour Box Studio’s creative programming. I wanted to do something that was accessible and engaging, and that, coupled with my own interest in film photography, made disposable cameras an easy choice.

What do you hope to achieve through the Disposable Camera Project?

I hope participants have fun on shoot weekend and appreciate how great it is to dedicate some time to being creative. I also want to celebrate the photos that are taken by Disposable Camera Project participants, hence the exhibition at Ruffian Gallery. There have been some surprising and beautiful photos taken in the past two editions (I’m currently curating the CBSDCP: 2013 Photobook to showcase some of our favourites) and I’m sure there’ll be many, many more great shots taken in this Third Edition. Colour Box Studio and our Project Partner, Ruffian Gallery will be specially selecting photos for a feature wall of large prints, and we’ve got some fantastic photography professionals lined up to judge competitions and award prizes to lucky participants on the Exhibition Opening Night. I hope every participant comes along to see their photos and show their friends!

How do you feel this project encourages creativity?

We’ve tried to make it as fun and effortless as possible for people to take part – it’s easy to feel like you’re too busy to indulge in making something purely for your own enjoyment. Disposable cameras are perfect because they’re easy to use, and participants can shoot whatever they like. It doesn’t matter whether they’re professional photographers or have scarcely taken a photo on an iPhone before, all participants are on a level playing field – they all get the same equipment and shooting time, they all get exhibited, and they all get the chance to be awarded super cool prizes by professional judges!

What do you think makes an image stand out?

Having installed hundreds of photographs on walls with other Colour Box Studio volunteers for the past two editions of the Disposable Camera Project, I’ve become really aware of how one person can see something completely different in a photograph (or in a painting, or a sculpture, or a billboard) to another person – which just goes to show that you can appreciate any image if you look at it in the right way. As for my own taste, at the moment I like photos that present something aesthetically interesting about subject matter that’s got nothing to do with what that subject matter actually is – shapes and textures appeal to me more than context or even story.

Image by Amie Batalibasi

Image by Amie Batalibasi

About the Disposable Camera Project: The Disposable Camera Project is a Melbourne-wide participatory photography project where Colour Box Studio gives you a disposable camera, you fill it with photos in 24hrs, and we exhibit them! Presented by Colour Box Studio in partnership with Ruffian Gallery and with the help of our Major Supporter, Prism Imaging, The Disposable Camera Project: Third Edition Exhibition will feature the work of up to 120 participants in the project – that’s potentially 2,880 photos! Come marvel at walls full of beautiful and surprising pictures and watch as photographers see their work for the first time.

Exhibition Opening:

6pm-9pm, Thursday 2nd October

Ruffian Gallery, 361 Barkly St Footscray

Ruffian Gallery opening hours:

Exhibition open Friday 3rd October – Sunday 12th October

Thurs-Fri 3pm-7pm

Sat-Sun 12pm-4pm

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