by Liana Turner
HIS antique camera collection and photographs have come together to form a stunning display at Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery.
But Andrew Chalmers originally had no plans to exhibit his photographs.
The current exhibition, Memoirs in a Box - Mr Chalmers' first at the gallery - evolved as he experimented with the traditional camera gear.
He said the exhibition itself was that of his partner Debbie's, which former gallery director Nicola Holly embraced.
He said exploring the capabilities of his camera collection was exciting.
"With the pictures, the resolution is a lot more than you can do with digital,” Mr Chalmers said.
"(The plan) wasn't actually to exhibit my photos, I was just going to put a few photos up to show what the cameras could do.
Mr Chalmers said he had begun by collecting magic lanterns and slides.
"The magic lanterns I collected, the manufacturers of the ones I liked actually made a camera so I bought a camera to go with the collection,” he said.
"When I got it I didn't have a clue how it worked.
He said much of this was a matter of trial and error. But this ended with more success than failure - a result that's clear from his stunning images currently adorning the Stanthorpe gallery's walls.
About three years ago while living in a rental, Mr Chalmers set up his own darkroom in the laundry.
In a time when most people have a camera in their pockets, Mr Chalmers said bringing back the old art form of photography was exciting.
"I find it amazing, you take a bit of blank film and then I can actually watch the picture appearing through the developer and I still find it absolutely amazing,” he said.
If he's able to secure the funding, Mr Chalmers said there were future exhibitions with hands-on components.
Memoirs in a Box is on display at Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery until Sunday. The gallery is open 10am-4pm Tuesday to Friday and 10am-1pm Saturday and Sunday.