Street photography in Melville
Over the last few weeks the streets of Melville have been abuzz with photographers. Forty two photographers in total! They’re all part of the Alternative Print Workshop community and this month their directive was Melville.
‘Take pics in Melville, black and white only, of anything you want on the Melville streets, and develop them in a darkroom, by hand.’
The results are astonishing and if you go to Studio Gesso in Melville you can see the Black and White Street Photography Group Exhibition. There are 62 photographs in total, taken by 42 photographers, each one capturing the very essence of the suburb of Melville and the people who hang out there.
One of my favourites photographs is of two guys people playing a game of chess outside Bread and Roses, a lovely outdoor cafe. Another is of a ballet dancer posing at 3 am, outside Ant Cafe. There is a photograph of the newspaper seller who has been outside De La Creme for the last twenty years, selling the Sunday Times, and another of a regular dog walker wearing a onesie. The dogs are all wearing coats too!
About the Alternative Print Workshop
You don’t have to be a professional photographer to join the Alternative Print Workshop. All that is needed is a love for ‘real’ cameras and an interest in ‘the old way of photography’. The workshops are the brainwave of Dennis da Silva, Friederike von Stackelberg and Janus Boshoff who have created a space for photographers to go back in time, teaching them the art of producing photographs through old and antiquated printing processes.
Their darkrooms are amazing and it’s worth visiting their studio in Parktown North to check out not just the darkrooms and equipment but also to see their fabulous collection of black and white pics. Call before you go, just to make sure they’re open. Tel: 082 4508489 / 072 434 4958.
The Alternative Print Workshop offer educational workshops, film processing and printing services and regular community meetings for photographers or aspiring photographers. They meet once a month or so and topics discussed include upcoming projects, images, technicalities and equipment. The community is a diverse group from diverse backgrounds, including artists, architects, lecturers, professional and novice photographers.
Where is Gesso Gallery?
Visit the Gesso Gallery which is on the corner of 7th Street and 4th Avenue. The exhibition is on until 01 July. The pics are for sale at R 2500 each and are all unique, original and creative. Afterwards, wander the streets of Melville with your camera. There are always amazing photographic opportunities on vibrant 7th Street, even if you take the pics with your mobile phone!