Exploring Plastic Lenses on Your DSLR and Film Cameras

Produce evocative images with non-traditional lenses and techniques

Yet another innovative way to represent life! Photographers often prefer toy cameras such as the Holga and Diana over sharper, more sophisticated professional cameras, because their plastic lenses are closer to what we see with our own eyes. They enable us to produce evocative images with vignetting, focus fall off, and light leaks. The recent release of Holga and Lens Baby lenses for DSLR cameras further expands the creative possibilites.

This course enables you to explore and express your unique creative vision with a variety of plastic cameras and lenses. Lectures examine the work of photographers use of plastic cameras across all photographic genres, providing a context for each day's work. Discussions cover compositional theory and technical concerns. Afternoons are spent working in the field on specific assignments, each designed to awaken your eye and strengthen your ability to deal effectively with new subject matter in a highly personal way. Students can use digital and analogue photography and are encouraged to experiment with as many lenses and cameras as possible. This is an exciting opportunity to realize all the different resources photographers have. Great photographs don't depend merely on expensive equipment. Beautiful pieces can be produced with delightful simplicity. 


Emily Schiffer

© Emily SchifferEmily Schiffer is a documentary photographer interested in depicting essential details of life that are often overshadowed by larger, more newsworthy circumstances. In 2005, she founded the My Viewpoint Youth Photography Initiative on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, where she continues to teach and shoot. In 2011, she co-created See Potential, a community engagement/ public art photography project on Chicago’s South Side, which mobilizes residents to see potential in their community and create social change. Awards include: a 2013 Open Society Foundation Audience Engagement Grant, a 2011 Emergency Fund Grant from the Magnum Foundation, the 2010 Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Portraiture, the 2010 winner of the PDN Photo Annual Personal Project Category, the 2009 Inge Morath Award, presented by Magnum Photos and the Inge Morath Foundation, and a 2006-2007 Fulbright Fellowship in Photography. Emily has exhibited her photographs internationally. Publications include: Smithsonian Magazine, Photo District News, TIME Magazine Lightbox, Mother Jones, and BURN Magazine. Her work is in the permanent collections of The Farnsworth Museum, US, The Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Japan, Foto Baryo, Philippines, and The Center for Fine Art Photography, US.  Emily received her BA in Fine Art and African American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. For more information please visit www.emilyschiffer.com