Photography Blitz Aims to Capture Images of Contemporary Northampton
48-Hour Local History Project Seeks Community Participation
Friday, May 2 through Saturday, May 3, 2014
Does your family live in or near Northampton, Massachusetts? Do you have any favorite buildings in town? How about any spots where a treasured memory was made? And, over the course of your time in the area, how have you seen Northampton changed? A free public art project called “Midnight to Midnight” wants to know how YOU would answer these questions (and more)! From 12:01am on Friday, May 2nd through 11:59pm on Saturday, May 3rd, all are encouraged to use photography to document aspects of Northampton that they feel are significant. A collaboration between Historic Northampton Museum, the Forbes Library, and the Northampton Camera Club, this two-day event seeks to create a digital record of the city as it is today, in 2014. Each image submitted will build up a virtual archive of images and information about our present-day Northampton – a story told from many different perspectives and with a variety of photographic tools and techniques. While it is important and exciting simply because it is an accessible, collaborative project organized by three local organizations for anyone wishing to participate, the underlying goal is to foster a sense of connection to the people and places of Western Massachusetts, and an understanding of the larger community that Northampton contains.
This collaborative activity is a great educational opportunity for parents, families, and educators because it presents contemporary daily life and daily tasks as being significant (both now and to future generations), and can imbue participants with a sense of appreciation for, and pride of, their home. The funky turrets on City Hall? Snap a photo – you’ll help future Northamptonites know how long those turrets were part of the cityscape! And that beautifully hand-drawn poster you found stapled to a telephone pole? Your photo of it will serve as a record of that event taking place, not to mention a record of local entrepreneurial graphic design and marketing efforts! Even a picture of trash in a local parking lot will help to fill out and accurately embellish the “big picture” of Northampton that the “Midnight to Midnight” creators are hoping to achieve. And not only does “Midnight to Midnight” offer a historical context through which to regard and examine our current choices and behaviors, it also promotes technology usage across the categories that too often segregate community activities, such as age and income level. Participants may use digital cameras, including cell phone cameras, to take pictures; high-tech equipment is not necessary to participate. Those seeking computer access for photo submissions can use the public computers at the Forbes Library – another way to get out in the community and take advantage of the resources that are being made available!
Once the 48-hour “photography blitz” is over, contributors should submit their photographs (up to 12, saved as .jpg files, no larger than 25 MB, and all taken in the city of Northampton) to the Northampton 48 hours website by May 10. These images will be displayed at digital slide shows presented at Historic Northampton, Forbes Library, A.P.E. Gallery, and other as yet undisclosed locations. The museum and library will also comb through the submissions and select photographs to accession into their permanent collections, based on both the historical significance of the subject matter and the quality of the images themselves.
The press release from the Northampton Camera Club stipulates that, “When submitting photos, photographers should include information identifying the name of the photographer as well as the time, place, and subject of the photo. Submission of photographs grants permission to Historic Northampton, Inc., Forbes Library, and the Northampton Camera Club to use the photographs in digital and printed shows, to display them on a publicly accessible website, to use them in publicity, and to store them permanently in a digital archive. Individual photographers retain all other rights to their own photos.” For more information and full instructions, visit Historic Northampton “Midnight to Midnight.”
[Photo credit: (c) Sienna Wildfield]