Introducing STEAM Learning to students? Try Alternative Photography Workshops!

Alternative photography is an exciting and innovative art form that can be a great learning opportunity for students in schools. With the guidance of knowledgeable facilitators, students can discover the creative and scientific aspects of this unique art form. From understanding the chemical reactions involved in the development of images to experimenting with engineering and mathematical precision, students will develop a deeper understanding of both art and science.

At Co:Creation Workshop, we encourage students to think outside the box and embrace their own creative expression. Whether you’re a student, an educator, or simply someone who loves photography, alternative photography is a thrilling journey of discovery that is sure to inspire and captivate you.

Students take photographs with their self-built pinhole cameras.

Integrating art into science education has become increasingly popular in recent years as educators recognize the benefits of STEAM learning. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math, and it is a method of teaching that combines the rigor of STEM subjects with the creativity of the arts. Here are some reasons why learning science through art workshops can be beneficial to young learners:

  1. Increases Engagement: Facing the dilemma of leaving out students who are not interested in art when conducting art workshops? Here is a solution: integrating science into art education can increase student engagement and motivation. At the same time art workshops provide a hands-on and creative learning experience, which can help students better understand and remember scientific concepts.
  2. Enhances Creativity: Art can help students develop creativity and critical thinking skills, which are important for problem-solving in science. By integrating art into science education, students can explore scientific concepts in a new and creative way.
  3. Provides a Holistic Approach: Science education often focuses on facts and figures, but STEAM learning provides a more holistic approach. By incorporating art, students can explore the emotional and aesthetic aspects of science, which can help them better understand and appreciate the subject.
  4. Promotes Collaboration: Collaboration is a key part of adopting skills for the future, and art workshops that incorporate STEAM projects are the perfect platform for students to develop their social skills. By working together in a creative environment, students can learn to communicate effectively, listen to different perspectives, and share their ideas with each other. It’s not just about learning to work in a team, but also about discovering new ways of thinking and problem-solving.
  5. Supports Multiple Learning Styles: STEAM learning supports multiple learning styles, including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. By incorporating art, students who may struggle with traditional science education can better engage with the subject matter.

The Origins of Alternative Photography

Portrait of William Henry Fox Talbot, 1864. Carbon print, printed 1948 by Harold White. George Eastman Museum, gift of Mrs. Alden Scott Boyer

Alternative photography is a collection of experimental and creative photographic techniques that are considered outside of traditional methods. The history of alternative photography dates back to the early days of photography with pioneers experimenting with the earliest photographic processes. In the 20th century, alternative photography had a resurgence as photographers began experimenting with new techniques and materials. Today, photographers can use modern technology and a wide range of materials to experiment with alternative techniques, creating unique and innovative images that challenge our expectations of traditional photography.

Expose your students to something new! Here are alternative photography workshops that will unleash creativity in curious minds:

Cyanotype: Printmaking with the Sun

Student’s cyanotype artwork combining the use of drawing and photo-negatives.

Cyanotype printing, also known as “Sun Printing”, is one of the earliest methods of creating an image with light. This alternative photographic process uses a combination of light-sensitive chemicals and UV light to produce striking blue and white images.

In this hands-on workshop with Co:Creation, students will be introduced to the fascinating world of cyanotype printing. Facilitators will share their knowledge on the theories behind the process and guide students in creating their own cyanotype prints. From composing their images using found objects to exposing and developing their prints, participants will have a truly immersive and engaging experience.

The great thing about cyanotype printing is that the outcomes are highly customisable. Schools can choose to have their prints on paper, fabric, drawstring bags, tote bags, or even have their photos customised into photo negatives to be printed. This allows students to showcase their creativity and explore different avenues for expression.

By participating in this workshop, students will not only learn about the science behind cyanotype printing but also develop important skills such as composition, problem-solving, and creativity. This workshop is a great way for students to get hands-on with art and science, while having fun under the sun. So grab your hats and sunscreen, and get ready to create some stunning cyanotype prints!

Pinhole Camera Making & Darkroom Printing

Pinhole photograph created by a student. The pinhole image comes out as inverted as on the left.

See the world in a different light through a pinhole camera. In an era of technology and social media, images are created and distributed often for instant gratification, the process of photography is taken for granted. What does it feel like to travel back in time where every recorded image is crafted with keen discipline and intention? Students will enjoy the process of making their own camera and step into a traditional “darkroom” to develop an image themselves.

In this workshop, our facilitators will impart key concepts in photography. Learn about exposure, basic darkroom skills and the anatomy of a camera. Knowledge from Physics and Chemistry will be harnessed in this workshop. Students can expect the unexpected, activating their full-on spirit of experimentation!

Bichromate Printing

Painting meets photography in this unique techinque of Bicrhomate Printing

Bichromate printing is a unique and fascinating photographic printing process that was first developed in the 19th century. This alternative process involves using a combination of pigments and the light sensitivity of gelatin to produce multi-layered prints that exhibit sublime painterly qualities. By manipulating the exposure time, temperature, and pigment concentration, students can create stunning, one-of-a-kind images that are full of texture and depth.

To make the bichromate printing process safe and accessible for students of all ages, we have replaced the use of gum arabic with food-safe gelatine. This makes it a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to traditional methods of bichromate printing.

What makes bichromate printing such a great learning opportunity for students is that it combines elements of both photography and painting. The photographic images that students use as a basis for their prints can be an access point for them to connect creative outcomes with their everyday lives. Meanwhile, the painting processes involved in the technique give students a unique space for expression and creativity.

By participating in this workshop, students will develop important skills in personal voice, risk-taking, and artistic expression. They will learn how to manipulate light and pigment to create stunning images that showcase their own unique perspectives and ideas. Bichromate printing is a challenging yet rewarding process that encourages experimentation and creativity, and it’s an excellent opportunity for students to explore the intersection of art and science.

Coffee Photo Processing through Darkroom Printing

A photogram is created by laying objects on a photo-sensitive surface. This photogram has been developed with the caffenol process.

The caffenol process is an alternative method for developing black-and-white film that uses a combination of coffee, washing soda, and vitamin C as the developing agents. This process is not only safe and environmentally friendly, but it also produces unique and beautiful results that can’t be replicated with traditional chemical developers.

In this workshop, students will have the opportunity to learn about the scientific principles behind the caffenol process and experiment with different techniques to produce their own stunning images. By working with natural materials like coffee, students will gain a deeper appreciation for the environmental impact of traditional photochemicals and the importance of sustainable alternatives.

Through this workshop, students will also learn about the historical significance of traditional darkroom processes and how they have contributed to the evolution of photography as an art form. They will develop a deeper understanding of the intersection between art and science, as they explore the chemical reactions that occur during the film developing process.

By delving into the caffenol process, students will gain valuable skills in both art and science, while also developing a unique appreciation for the beauty of this alternative method of film development. This workshop is an excellent opportunity for students to explore their creativity, learn about the fascinating history of photography, and gain a new perspective on the impact of art on the world around us.

Book an Alternative Photography Workshop with Co:Creation Workshop

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to give your students an unforgettable learning experience. Book Co:Creation Workshop’s alternative photography workshop today!