Vintage Camera Rally

An Art Deco vintage camera photography project

Date: Feb 1 – Feb 28Space: Mezzanine

A team of locals have been using vintage cameras as part of the Art Deco Festival.

The cameras were all made over sixty years ago, with one being over a century old! Equipped with simple lenses and shutters, each takes photographs on black and white roll film- no editing or megapixels here! Many of these cameras are made of cardboard, metal and Bakelite plastic and often gave just eight photographs per film.

Just as the cameras were made for beginners, most of the photographers are novices at using such old cameras. With camera in hand they have been taking pictures around Napier and the best pictures will be on display. Most of the cameras took photographs of our Art Deco buildings shortly after they were built! Some things change – others stay the same…

‘The photographs on display were all recently taken with vintage cameras. Imagine only having eight photographs on a roll of film. No filters, exposure modes, flash or even a light meter to help you! The cameras used to take these photographs range in age from 1914 to the early 1960’s. All of them were designed for amateurs and have only the simplest of controls.

In the months before 2018’s Art Deco Festival eight volunteers were each given a camera and film to photograph the city.  Just like the original owners of these cameras, none had used this sort of camera before! The results are on display here at the CAN.


This event was organised by Napier local Jake Brookie, who donated the cameras used in the exhibition. Everyone has a camera in their phone in 2018, and the internet has replaced the family album for many. We hope that this display shows a different side of photography when photographs were carefully considered and the cameras brought out on the most important of occasions.’

Jake and the photographers would like to thank the Art Deco Trust and Creative Arts Napier for their support of this event.

For more information, or to register for 2019’s camera rally, contact Jake at oldfilmuser@gmail.com or call 021 025 73553.


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