Thursday, 15 September 2016

The Invention of Photography

William Henry Fox Talbot, The Open Door, 1843
If you are looking to brush up on your early photography history then a podcast available on the BBC website might just be of interest.

Back in July, the BBC Radio 4 show 'In Our Time' recorded a 45 minute programme where the topic of the invention of photography was discussed by an expert  panel. The lives and work of Louis Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot are talked about in some depth along with the effect that early photography had on society. The various early photography processes, many of which used toxic ingredients that caused ill health for the pioneer photographers, are also discussed in some detail.

The podcast description on the website states:-

'Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the development of photography in the 1830s, when techniques for 'drawing with light' evolved to the stage where, in 1839, both Louis Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot made claims for its invention. These followed the development of the camera obscura, and experiments by such as Thomas Wedgwood and Nicéphore Niépce, and led to rapid changes in the 1840s as more people captured images with the daguerreotype and calotype. These new techniques changed the aesthetics of the age and, before long, inspired claims that painting was now dead.'

It wasn't surprising to find out that early photography was a pursuit of wealthy gentlemen. Photography in the 19th century was an extremely expensive and time consuming business. Even having your photograph taken by the early 'pro photographers' was an expensive luxury few could afford - 300 guineas was charged for a portrait (One Guinea is £ 1.05p) taking it well beyond the reach of the average person.

The podcast is available to stream via the BBC site and there is also a MP3 download which means that anyone outside of the UK should be able to access the programme.

The Invention of Photography pocast can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07j699g

Monday, 12 September 2016

Last Letter from Aleppo

I re-tweeted this video a few days ago on Twitter but it is such a sad, touching and emotive film by Channel 4 news (UK) that i will add it here too.

Shamel Al-Ahmad, a Syrian photographer and activist who was killed along with his wife, documented the atrocities in his city of Aleppo.

The experiences and feelings reflected in the letter not only speak for Shamel but also portray what many Syrians have been enduring over the years of war within Syria.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Just Resting...


I thought it was time that the blog received some love after being ignored for some time, so I've changed the template and made a few other tweaks as well. I think the site looks lighter, brighter and a lot fresher now - the old darker design had been running on the site for around nine years!

As for new content, well that is on the way too. I haven't posted in over a year but its time to put that right. The site was never closed... just resting. A new post will be up in the next week or so.

It will be great to be back :)
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