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Grants & Funding: discovering light

Published: 24 September 2019

We were awarded funding to offer science workshops to local inner-city primary schools in the St Pauls area of Bristol – an area of high unemployment and deprivation. During half-day workshops entitled Discovering Light, students made ‘actual reality’ camera obscuras and pinhole cameras. Each school received several resources including a ‘room size’ camera obscura kit and the book Discovering Light which I wrote to assist teachers with teaching light in the classroom.

Each student took home a pinhole camera and the knowledge they needed to take a time-lapse image of the sun crossing the sky. These unique pictures were then displayed at a celebration exhibition where guests could also take part in some fun hands-on activities from The Real Photography Company, the Institute of Physics and Bristol University.

We set up The Real Photography Community Interest Company to revive and refresh optical science and the wonders of light through photographic related experimentation. We aim to embrace science, chemistry, optics, astronomy, history, recycling, ICT and photography with the skills and resources provided to be of long-term use.

Children are growing up in an era of digital image and perception, living in the virtual rather than the real. Educators and children are bombarded with commercially driven ‘answers’ to provide wonder, however there are many affordable experiments mixing old and new technologies which can open up the wonder of light to people who may otherwise believe perception can only be viewed with digital screens and downloaded apps.

We aim to give insight and knowledge to individuals and a sense of history within their city where in 1803 Humphrey Davy and Thomas Wedgewood met up and invented the first photographic process.

Justin Quinnell
Director, The Real Photography Company
February 2019

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