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Photography in a time of pandemic

06 May 2020

Photography in a time of pandemic Image

Photography has a role to play in our experience of lockdown and isolation.

Southbank’s Photography Studies College (PSC) is capturing and documenting stories of Melbourne’s lockdown with a virtual gallery.

PSC students, alumni and teachers as well as the broader photography community are invited to share stories, projects and photographs in the virtual gallery, with a real-life print gallery show to be held post-pandemic.

Jamie Morey, a student at PSC, said to begin with lockdown had been a struggle for many students.

“Lockdown for me was pretty hard to start with just because a lot of us were wanting to do a lot of these grand big ideas for our portfolios that were almost due, and the kind of activities they required were banned,” he said.

“It was hard as well not having a teacher with you while taking photos. It was a struggle for a lot of us.”

“But last week I found out that we were allowed out for education purposes and we could take photos for our portfolios. I arranged a photoshoot and while I was at the Brighton Beach boxes waiting for the model to arrive I thought I’d just take some photos – which is how I ended up with my photos in the virtual gallery.”

“It was busy there actually and there were groups of dozens swimming together. The photo shows a different view of those beach boxes with the city and industrial landscape in the background, and it also shows social distancing as well as the people who weren’t taking it as seriously.”

Vicki Bell, a teacher at PSC, said she saw possibilities for the role photography could play from the start of the lockdown.

“I’ve been a photographer for 30 years. I embraced the challenge because I’ve always been used to change. We went from analogue to digital and I embraced that, dark room to Photoshop and I embraced that,” she said.

“It kind of excites me.”

Vicki has two photos in the virtual gallery – a self-portrait and a photo of her neighbours from over the fence.

“As part of my teaching I create examples of what a self-portrait might look like, literally and metaphorically,” she said.

“My two passions are photography and karate, so in my self-portrait I’m in a karate stance holding a kind of weapon we use in training.”

“My other photo I decided to do just as a little gesture and gift back to my neighbourhood, to capture some neighbours in isolation.”

“It was purely as a gift from me to them and to put a smile on their faces.” •

Check out the virtual gallery:

psc.edu.au/covid-photo-gallery.html

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