The My Space/Our Place photography workshop at the Springsure State High School was terrific fun. The students were enthusiastic to talk about photography and to see images fromThe Photograph and Australia exhibition, but even more keen to get out into their community and make their own photographs. We took a walk across the school oval, spending time in a small creek that runs past the back of the school. From there we were treated to an uninterrupted view of the staggering cliff face that welcomes drivers from Emerald on approach to Springsure. This rock formation is truly an incredible landmark of this wonderful little town.
We kept walking around the north side of town, stumbling across Bill, a well know local and his array of old Chevy trucks and Land Rovers. Seeing about 20 kids wielding cameras and taking great interest in his cars, Bill opened up his shed to the students to get some pictures of more trucks that were behind a locked fence.
'You see this one here,' Bill said, pointing to the large truck with a crane on the back, 'This one I built myself with parts found from all over this place. So much junk around here. So much junk.'
As the students were pointing their cameras at truck grills, spare tyres and an old engine (that Bill swears still turns over), Bill reached for a rusty old tin sitting on the flat bed of his largest truck. Opening the tin, we looked in amazement as Bill pulled out rolls and rolls of 35mm film.
'I keep it out here because it's old silver nitrate film, and could go up in flames at any moment. It's okay if it catches alight out here though.' Bill showed us a few rolls as the students gathered around, all holding their brand new digital cameras. The irony of seeing such a generational and technological gap wasn't lost on a few of the adults watching. It turns out Bill used to run the old Springsure Cinema many years ago, and these were some of the cine film rolls that he had kept from that time.
As we made our way up main street back to school, another rather ironic moment presented itself when Angus made a portrait of Jason, the local butcher. Angus, get it....?
To see the full gallery of photographs from the Springsure State School workshop, click here.