The Retro Lens: Vintage Photography Festival at the Maritime Museum

Visit the South Australian Maritime Museum on Sunday 21 May and discover the lost art of vintage photography – the way we captured our world before the advent of the smartphone.

This unique festival is jam-packed with all things analogue―vintage studio sets and free photo booths, tintype portraiture, pinhole camera making and printing, camera obscuras, and cyanotype workshops. Activities will appeal to adults and children alike and everyone has a chance to make and take home a stunning image developed on site. Port Adelaide visitors can scour the streets for The Beastie – Andrew Dearman’s bizarre camera and darkroom in one― and search for whacky portraits from Mr Bond’s studio hidden in local businesses. Those who locate the full album, go in the draw for an Instamax Mini!

On offer as part of South Australia’s History Festival, the day is developed in partnership with Renewal SA and Port Adelaide Enfield Council. This means that all workshops come at 19th century price tags! The Analogue Lab’s Cyanotype Sunday include sessions at just $15 where participants create stunning prints in cyan blue of creatures and plants from our local marine environment. Through the Pinhole with noted local photographer Danica Gacesa McLean comes at the same price tag where kids create their own box brownie cameras, insert film, take a photo and have it developed onsite. The most imaginative print will win its photographer an Instamax Mini. One of a kind tintype portraits snapped by the crew of the Tintype Traveller usually cost $250; for this special Sunday only, festival goers can have a family portrait taken and watch its development in the Tintype caravan for just $50. Photographer Tony Kearney will lead photographers’ tours of some of the Port’s hidden corners – including the Torrens Island Quarantine Station and Hart’s Mill.

The Museum will be buzzing with a range of activities free with entry tickets. Children can make and decorate a wok-box pinhole camera, and both young people and adults can use objects from the Museum’s collection to create fabulous photograms in our Shadowcatcher sessions. Venture upstairs, don dress-ups, and pose on our art deco paper moon or in front of Mr Bond’s Studio, then take home a sepia snapshot souvenir from the photo booth. See the world upside down with the steampunk Camera Obscura and recreate images just as 18th century artists did.

The Retro Lens Festival will be an opportunity to learn about pre-digital forms of photography and create beautiful prints using various analogue techniques. There will be so much on offer and many activities will be included with museum entry” enthused Senior Curator Lindl Lawton. “Visitors can also enjoy the current exhibitions on display in the museum, Hidden Port: Brought to Light; a photographic exploration of Port Adelaide’s heritage by three local photographers and Undiscovered a new exhibition by celebrated photographer Michael Cook.”

The Retro Lens

Sunday 21 May 10am – 5pm.

Bookings essential.

Activities free with museum entry – (some activities incur additional costs).

View the full program at


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