Children learn how photographs were shot and developed before the advent of digital photography at 40th Sharjah International Book Fair
Sharjah, November 11, 2021: Mobile phones and digital cameras have made taking photographs so easy that it is difficult to imagine the painstaking process involved in developing a photo in a dark room. In an era where filters are used routinely to pretty up a picture for Instagram, the younger generations may not have an idea about the great strides that have been made in the field of printing and publishing.
SIBF 2021 hosted a workshop titled, ‘Edutainment History of Typography’, to bridge this knowledge gap and to inform children aged 5 and above on the origins of book printing, how the first books were printed and how technology evolved to include printing of photographs in books.
The team from Comme il Faut gave the participants a demonstration of taking a picture with a camera on a tripod and developing the film in a dark box which let in only red light. The children were able to observe first-hand the entire process involved in producing a photograph in the pre-digital era.
Trainer Darin spoke about the history of photography, newspapers, and journals and how the entire process has changed dramatically with digital photography. The audience got an insight into how newspapers were printed 100-200 years ago. Darin said: “Our camera is 120 years old and has been used to photograph presidents and record-breaking news. Not everybody had the opportunity to be photographed.”
The children were also surprised to discover the time it took to take a picture and the process that it involved. They listened in rapt attention as Darin also elaborated the labour involved: “To print a photograph, a developer is used which is a bleach that contains acid and makes the whole picture super white. An illuminator then processes the dark areas of the photo, following which it is washed in water. Finally, it is dipped in a fixer to firm up the print.”
The session captivated the children, who found the entire process fascinating. The informative and entertaining workshops being organised for children at SIBF 2021 have been drawing full houses. SIBF runs at Expo Centre Sharjah till November 13.