Charles Young is one of the winner’s from the Gola: Born in Britain creative competition hosted in Edinburgh a few weeks earlier. His winning photograph of sheep skulls was created using hand made techniques, and Charles’ interest in photography has led him to make some other extraordinary things.
Creative by nature, Charles is studying his masters in architecture at the University of Edinburgh, however alongside this, he also has a passion for photography. He tries to combine the two interests whenever he can.
He first developed an interest in film photography a few years back, when he acquired his Dad’s Praktica 35mm, and a Franka Solida Jr. medium format camera that belonged to his great aunt. With these two cameras, he started to experiment and develop his skill and techniques, adding bits and pieces to his photographic collection on the way. Charles obviously has great knowledge and skill of film photography, and has put this to good use!
He recently decided he would try out large format photography, however, in light of the fact that the required equipment is rare and expensive, he decided, that by pooling his resources and gathering some materials, he would simply make his own. Charles succeeded in his endeavors and has made a fully functioning medium format camera. He says it is not very sleek, but I had a look at it myself, and considering he that he built ever part of it except for the lens and film holders, it looks very finely made in my opinion!
With this camera, he has gone on to make contact prints, using the processes of cyanotype and salted paper. His skull photograph is the result of his experimentation with these techniques.
Since then, he has inherited a 1900′s era half plate camera, to take photographs on glass plates. Charles tells me, ‘Glass plates for this kind of camera haven’t been made commercially for a long time so the only option was to make my own. Making the emulsion is a weeklong process but the ingredients are quite simple. I was actually quite amazed that I was able to get any kind of image and seeing the negative image appear when you develop a plate is a magical thing.’
Certainly creative and talented, as well as hard working and knowledgeable Charles definitely deserves recognition. Also in his ‘free time’, he has made a scale model of our tenement building, as well as all of the buildings in the immediate surrounding area. Architectural models can be found all over the flat, including a truly fantastic design for a fish market, inspired by an overturned boat.
Have a look at more of Charles’ work here.