Introduction to Cameras

Introduction to Cameras

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    6 Comments
    • Heather Carey

      March 23, 2021, 8:17 pm

      I agree with the PV approach which is to use point and shoot cameras. And same regarding the reasons why – more discreet, enough functionality without being too overwhelming, easy to carry. And, as a photographer and completely appreciating and understanding the value of having a camera, I would definitely plan on leaving the camera with the participant. How exciting if one or more of the participants fell in love with photography and it became a fundamental part of their life!

    • Lauren Alessi

      March 23, 2021, 8:58 pm

      Since I do not have a particular project in mind, it is hard to answer this question. There are a few different groups I work with and would be potentially interested in doing participatory photography with: youth in the juvenile justice system, families receiving social services, and youth or adults engaged with community gardens. Because each of these groups would have unique considerations and even restrictions based on where they might be living, the terms of their criminal justice supervision, or age, I would lean toward using smartphones or point and shoot digital cameras. I really appreciated how the video talked about ensuring that participants all started a project from an even playing field and would keep that in mind when choosing a camera. It seems likely that some groups I might work with might not have access to a smartphone and for that reason, the point and shoot would be preferred. When possible, I would like to allow participants to keep the cameras. It resonated with me when the video talked about taking the tools away once they are introduced as potentially extractive so, from an ethical perspective, I would prioritize making sure the participants could keep the cameras. With people who are incarcerated or under some form of correctional control, this might be difficult as the facilities they are in may have restrictions on this.

    • Kate Melody Burmon

      March 24, 2021, 12:46 am

      Given that I do not have a specific project in mind at the moment, I cannot really answer these questions specifically. I would say that most of the projects I can think of, I would use digital point and shoot cameras. However, given how much I love my own DSLR, I would really enjoy a project designed around that kind of camera, particularly in recording cultural heritage. Of course, then I also think about the projects currently trying to remotely document cultural heritage in conflict regions and I think smartphones could be valuable. One type of camera not mentioned here are the new polaroid cameras that are coming back in style. They could combine some of the advantages of analog (limiting number of photos taken) with immediate development. I can’t think of a particular project I’d want to use that with from my end, but it could prove interesting. As to whether to have participants keep the camera, I would generally say “yes”. However, if I were to incorporate PhotoVoice into one of my classes, I would likely not allow students to keep the cameras. First of all, if my students choose to continue photography, they all have phones and likely the funds to purchase their choice of camera. Additionally, I would not be able to continue using PhotoVoice in my classes if I gave away the cameras, as I would not have sustainable funding for such. However, I could see possibly partnering with our Digital Photography class for students to get experience with DSLRs or incorporating some kind of annual fundraising effort that might be able to allow students to keep digital point and shoot cameras.

    • Sofie Mortensen

      March 24, 2021, 8:37 am

      For my project with young Burmese migrants in Thailand, I would follow PhotoVoice’s suggestion and use the point and shoot camera. I find that most suitable since we can look at the photos immediately and I most of all would use the photographs to prompt discussions. I guess I could also use smartphones which I think most people will have, but like Lauren I like the idea of having an even starting point. However, using smartphones would make my decision on whether to leave the cameras or not easier. I definitely see the importance of leaving the cameras, but I am also worried it will cause conflict between those that have the opportunity to participate in my project and those that do not. Also, I am not sure I will have funding enough to give the cameras to all participants, and I might need to reuse them in different locations. What I am thinking is that it would be great to donate the cameras to the different CSOs I will work with or local community groups. The participants will then have access to the cameras through that.

    • Quan Nguyen

      March 24, 2021, 10:30 am

      The given video is handy for making decisions among several camera models with its advantages and disadvantages. It gave me a thought of usage depend on situations – practice and research. For practice, I intend to use PP to work with a class of economically vulnerable girls and women to support them in improving learning progress (teamworking, planning, and effective communicating). For this one, I would utilize their camera phones as it is accessible for a limited time and suitable in-class setting. However, when it comes to an official project, I would use a point-and-shoot camera to engage participants. At the end of the official photovoice workshop, I would leave the assigned cameras for participants to extend practicing opportunities taking photos by them. At the minimum, they would have some fun for recreation.

    • Anjali Gupta

      March 24, 2021, 3:46 pm

      I do not have a project in mind so it would depend on the project. I would most likely use the point and shoot digital camera, because it is easy to use and to explain how to use. It is lightweight and not intimidating compared to the SLR, but is as instant and can be uploaded and viewed quickly.
      But I do think analog point and shoot cameras are a good for group projects, an advantage of it may be that using film makes participants think about what they are taking and to be more specific and chose the shot as there are limited amount of shots in one roll. However, like you stated film can be expensive and not as instant, but I do like the quality. What ever camera I’d make sure they knew how to use and were comfortable with it. I would like to leave the cameras with the participants but I don’t know much about how it would works, but it would be nice for them to continue to use the camera and get to know more about it other than in the sessions.

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