Vintage Camera and Photography Exhibition

Free Art Deco Event

Date: Feb 1 – Feb 28Space: Mezzanine

Relax and enjoy an exhibition of photographs taken during the 2019 Napier Art Deco Festival by local photographer and camera collector Jake Brookie. This is an exhibition with a difference, as each picture was taken with a vintage film camera!

‘Every Art Deco Festival thousands of people take Napier back in time in a celebration of the style of Art Deco. As a photographer I love to capture images with vintage cameras which could have been taken in the 1930s. But using an old camera does have it’s quirks.

Despite all of the features of today’s digital cameras photography today has the same basic principles used centuries ago. A lens to focus with, a shutter to capture movement and a ‘aperture’ (the ‘hole’ that light goes through) to help control exposure and decide how much is in focus. The only difference is that with an old camera you have to control all of this yourself- no delegating to a computer!

You’ll notice that all of the photographs I have taken are square- this format was popular in the 1930s because it meant you could squeeze more photos on a roll of film. It is my favourite format as you frame it completely differently to rectangular photographs so it makes you think a lot more about what you are capturing (although, with only twelve pictures on a roll you have to be careful anyway!)

But the biggest challenge had nothing to do with the camera at all! I wasn’t the only one taking photos but most people were using their smartphones. This does tend to ruin the effect a bit (or else looks like 1930s Napier has been besieged with time travellers) so I had to keep an eye out when framing my photos. Enjoy!’ Jake Brookie

Also on display are a collection of pictures taken by Napier locals using family ‘box cameras’ made over 60 years ago. The cameras themselves are also on show.


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