Category Archives: U3AC Photography Courses

Five Facets of Photography – Ideas that Changed Photography: Straight Photography

In the early years of the 20th Century it was increasingly realised that photography would not be taken seriously if it simply aped painting.  Ironically, Alfred Stieglitz, a supporter of the pictorialist Photo Secession in the US, was midwife to … Continue reading

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Five Facets of Photography – Ideas that Changed Photography: Marketing/Advertising

Advertising in the 19th century relied mainly on the power of the description of the product’s excellence and occasional unconvincing illustrations.  Recognition of the value of pictures, the improved technology of reproduction and the growth in newspapers and magazines provided … Continue reading

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Five Facets of Photography – Ideas that Changed Photography: Tabloids

In 1903 Alfred Harmsworth started the first modern tabloid newspaper, The Daily Mirror, in London. Appealing to the mass market, it presented the now familiar mix of crime stories, human tragedies, celebrity gossip, sports, comics, and puzzles.  Photographs were an essential … Continue reading

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Five Facets of Photography: Ideas that Changed Photography – The Web

The World Wide Web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989.  On 18th July 1992 he uploaded a promotional image of four slickly dressed women, the first photograph to be published on the web.  The most radical innovation in disseminating … Continue reading

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Five Facets of Photography: Ideas that Changed Photography – William Eggleston

In 1973-74 William Eggleston discovered dye-transfer printing. The process resulted in some of Eggleston’s most striking and famous work, such as his 1973 photograph The Red Ceiling, of which Eggleston said, “The Red Ceiling is so powerful, that in fact, I’ve … Continue reading

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Five Facets of Photography: Photographs that Changed the World – Alexander Gardner

The American Civil War Battle of Antietam, 17th September 1862, was the bloodiest day in American history, with a combined tally of 22,717 dead, wounded, or missing.  The photographer Alexander Gardner arrived there two days later and set up his … Continue reading

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Five Facets of Photography: Ideas that Changed Photography – Doreen Spooner

Doreen Spooner (1928-2019) was the first woman to work as a staff photographer on a Fleet Street newspaper during a forty-year career, mostly on the Daily Mirror. Spooner’s photograph of George Bernard Shaw won the British News Picture of the … Continue reading

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Five Facets of Photography: Ideas that Changed Photography – George Rodger

George Rodger was a founding member of Magnum Photos in 1947. He travelled to Africa and photographed of indigenous people of the Nuba Mountains, the Latuka and other tribes of southern Sudan, in 1948 and 1949.  The results are regarded as, ‘some of the most historically … Continue reading

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Five Facets of Photography: Women in Photography – Germaine Krull

Germaine Krull (1897 – 1985) was an avant-garde photographer, political activist, and hotel owner. Her nationality has been recorded as variously European, though she spent many years in Brazil, the Republic of the Congo, Thailand, and India. She is one of a number … Continue reading

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Five Facets of Photography: Women in Photography – Miwa Yanagi

Looking for someone to include as an example of the art/conceptual practice in photography, I found Miwa Yanagi. She is a Japanese photographic artist (b 1967) who examines self-image and stereotypes of women in contemporary Japanese society.  In her third … Continue reading

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Five Facets of Photography: Photographic Controversy – Leni Riefenstahl

The University of Cambridge Museum of Classical archaeology has on display a cast of the Roman marble copy of a Greek bronze sculpture of a discus thrower, Diskobolus.  In a project called ‘Beyond the Pale’, the Museum records how sculpture … Continue reading

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Five Facets of Photography: Travellers, Exploration and Photography – Robert Peary

I’m putting together material for my U3AC course ‘Five Facets of Photography’ and discovering fascinating photographic byways.  I’ll share some of these in occasional posts. In 1891 Robert Peary lived with the world’s northernmost people, a community of Greenland Inuit … Continue reading

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Coffee Stop

Bridges coffee shop, Tuesday 19th November; I’m on my way to the ‘Reading Women’ class.  Outside with a black americano and an almond croissant; it’s mild for mid-November, but a brisk wind rattles the awning overhead. I dip into Women … Continue reading

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Cambridge U3A – Five Facets of Photography

I’ve put forward a proposal for a new course in 2021-22. Photography, like all of the arts, does not exist in a vacuum, yet too often we take photographs at face value, paying attention to what they are of rather … Continue reading

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Women in Photography

The story of Merci Lack and The Dig (blog 17th February 2021) is a reminder of how until comparatively recently women as photographers have been forgotten, ignored or written out of the history of the medium:  they make only brief … Continue reading

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