Penumbra Foundation and New York Public Library Workshop with Sam Dole and the Diana F+

Over at Penumbra Foundation they have a longterm goal to make analogue photography accessible for all, as well as maintain the art of film in a digital world. This past summer they held their High School Darkroom Workshop and even more recently collaborated with the New York Public Library for a Diana F+ Workshop.

The recent workshop was taught by Samuel Dole and was open to people of all ages. We got to sit down with Samuel to hear the full scoop of his experience teaching the course.

Photos provided by Penumbra Foundation

Hi Sam, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your work?

I am a photographer, printer, lighting technician, teacher. I wear many hats but they are all photography hats! My primary emphasis is in the realm of analogue and historic photographic processes, though I've known to touch a digital camera from time to time.

Could you tell us about the recent workshop that Penumbra Foundation did in collaboration with the New York Public Library?

Our workshop with NYPL was a fantastic expression of what I feel is a key mission of Penumbra Foundation, which is to enable the practice of historic photographic processes. In my teaching I am very emphatic about removing barriers of entry, so I am always thrilled by the opportunity to engage the public with a very low pressure, fun, and free workshop.

Photos provided by Penumbra Foundation

What made you decide to feature the Diana F+ camera at the workshop?

Again, I think removing barriers of entry and the intimidation factor that can come with adding a new tool to your photography repertoire is extremely important. The Diana F+ is just a wonderfully simple yet effective teaching tool on the very basics of photography. It makes visual demonstration of a camera's functions very straightforward and is frankly a very capable tool when students can grasp its fundamentals so quickly.

What was your favorite part of the event?

My favorite part of the event was the wide range of ages and experience levels it attracted: young people who've never touched a film camera, elderly folks rediscovering film all over again, and everyone in-between, all finding a common ground in film photography. I find it especially rewarding when people who thought they couldn't even purchase film anymore learn that it is in fact alive and well, and couldn't wait to rush out and buy a film camera again. Definitely made some newly minted Diana fans!

Photos provided by Penumbra Foundation

Why teach analogue photography?

Photography is such an incredibly rich, diverse medium with so many possibilities for visual expression, and I believe a well equipped photographer of any stripe should have every tool at their disposal that the nearly two century old history of our craft has to offer. Teaching the analogue methods of that history is indispensable not only for artistic expression, but I think in a world in which more and more of our days are spent engaging in a digital realm, it is important to have tactile, physical experiences to remind us that we are a part of the world.

Do you feel like you learned anything new while teaching the workshop?

I definitely learned that despite the resurgence of interest in film photography, there are still people who are shocked to discover they can still buy film. Frankly that surprise was...surprising to me, but the joy it brought to inform participants that yes, film is indeed alive and well made it a pleasant one!

Photos provided by Penumbra Foundation

Will there be any similar collaborations in the future?

I most certainly hope to collaborate more with Lomography in the future! They're an important force in keeping film accessible to the masses through embracing traditions of cameras like the Diana and innovating new ground with cameras, accessories and film stocks the likes of which history hasn't shown us before!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Public access to information is a critical building block to a truly free society, and libraries are super important to maintaining that access. As it has famously been said before, knowledge is power, and I want to thank both Lomography and the New York Public Library for helping us at Penumbra Foundation to put knowledge in people's hands through this program.

If you're interested in participating in a workshop or supporting Penumbra Foundation make sure to check out their website, Facebook, and Instagram. To keep up with Samuel Dole and his work, check out his Instagram.

written by eloffreno on 2022-12-03 #gear #culture #people #workshops #diana #new-york-public-library #free-workshops #penumbra-foundation

Mentioned Product

Lomography Diana F+

Lomography Diana F+

Take timeless and dramatic photos on 120 film with the Diana F+. Create stunning soft-focused images and customize it with sweet lenses or even an instant back for additional effects and flexibility.

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