On Friday, November 18, 2011, I conducted a workshop for St. Ignatius Gymnasium. It consisted of an entire afternoon dedicated to the exhibition ‘Snapshot’ at the Van Gogh Museum.
‘Snapshot’ focuses on photographs taken by seven artists, including Breitner, who purchased the first amateur camera available on the market in 1888. Photography was no longer restricted to professional photographers; now, anyone could take photos. These artists naturally used the camera for study (which was also evident in their paintings through framing and composition) and for intimate snapshots of their daily lives.
In a nutshell, this was the plan: we visited the exhibition and explored it with the help of a guide I created. The guide pointed out important aspects for the next task, which was taking photos of our own snapshots! However, there was a twist; we did it in the historical setting of Breitner, namely our own city Amsterdam. After that, we headed to the Academy of Visual Arts and settled in the computer room.
We aged our own photos using professional image editing software like Photoshop. We turned them into black and white, added sepia tones, and even simulated a film grain effect. As an additional treat, I provided the option of framing the pictures with an old film negative border.
Furthermore, the students had the opportunity to participate in a Van Gogh Museum contest by submitting their own snapshots.
http://youtu.be/lcm-4C1Oz_g Watch this video for a 1-minute impression.