The discovery trail
The discovery trail is an educational zone aimed at anyone who is keen to learn and be amazed. This fun trail introduces visitors to the main concepts of photography, covering its basic principles, language and applications. Discover the pioneers of photography and visit a 19th century photographer’s studio. Go inside the camera obscura before observing the properties of light. Examine the inner workings and attributes of vision (such as perspective and unique viewpoint) and learn about its limits (such as persistence of vision and optical illusions). From here, we move on to the language of photography and consider concepts such as viewpoint and framing, which allow the photographer to highlight or remove elements of reality. The trail continues with the publication of photography – press photography, photography in advertising, true-to-life images and those that have been altered for aesthetic, political or commercial purposes.
What could be more fascinating than discovering through real-life demonstrations the process – and magic - of developing photographs? This outstanding facility allows trainees to put their observations into practice, whether it’s creating photograms, exploring the principle of pinhole cameras or, for older visitors, experimenting with chemigrams and the darkroom processes used by the surrealists. Play around with composition, transparency, different shades of grey and image manipulation and let your creativity run wild!
Our digital laboratory is the perfect companion for the darkroom and allows visitors to learn about technological developments in photography. They can use software to explore “classic” concepts of photography hands-on, such as framing and viewpoint, and improve their understanding of the techniques involved (such as Photoshopping and data transmission) within the broader context of media literacy.
Cut, paste, paint, assemble, imagine, create, photograph – whether it’s training, workshops or taster courses, our learning events are held in a large room in the Museum’s new wing with direct access to the park.