U3AC Photography Forum 2018-19 4. History of Photography

Yesterday I presented ‘A (Partial) History of Photography’ to the Forum.  It was partial in both senses: it covered only a small part of the history; and it reflected my tastes and choices.  I tried to blend the history of issues, subjects, photographers and technology in a more or less chronological narrative.  I avoided using ‘first’ photographs of a genre and those that are so well-known as to be regarded almost as clichés.

Twenty-one slides covered: 1. First Photos; 2. War Photography; 3. The Urge to Travel; 4. Portraiture; 5. Searching for the Invisible; 6. ‘You press the button, we do the rest’; 7.  Photography as Art; 8. Campaigning Photography; 9. The Birth of Modernism; 10. Straight Photography; 11. The Avant-garde; 12. Photojournalism; 13. The New Deal – FSA; 14. Magnum; 15. The Decisive Moment; 16. Conceptual Photography; 17. New Documents; 18. Photo Books. 19. Colour; 20. Digital; and 21. Artist-Photographer?  See my presentation at www.zimbushboy.org/photo-forum-2018-19

 

Comments from members reflected the partial nature of the talk.  Things I didn’t cover included: Polaroid; cartes-de-visite; stereoscopic views; space, aerial and medical photography; and early colour photography, Autochrome and FSA colour work.  And I should have started with the camera obscura.  Next time.

Photos: 1. Samuel Bourne, Fatehpur Sikri, India, c. 1866;  2. Man Ray, Untitled Rayograph, 1922;  3 Lee Friedlander, New York City, 1963

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