Rank #1: The Camera in The Cathedral: A Brief History of Photography of the Natural World
From the very beginning of the medium, photographers have wanted to portray their sense of wonder and awe in the face of the natural world through the camera’s lens, often offering up nature as the Great American Cathedral. This romantic tradition continues, but the mid-20th century saw a change in the way photographers looked at the world around them; a change that altered the face of photography. By looking at photographs from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, we’ll explore the ways photographers have recorded and interpreted nature with the camera.
- Mayslake Nature Study and Photography Club – Oakbrook, IL
- The Machine in the Garden Revisited – American Environmentalism and Photographic Aesthetics (PDF) – an article by Deborah Bright
- Handout for this podcast episode
- Slides for this podcast episode
- Text Transcription of this Podcast – Audio transcription by rev.com
Rank #2: Photo History – Class 3 – History Survey Part 2
In this second part of a two-part survey, we continue our fast trip through the history of photography, attempting to get a handle on who did what, when they did it and how it happened. We start in around 1880 and finish up in the 1990s.
Rank #3: History of Photography Podcast 11 : The Cyanotype
The cyanotype was one of the earliest photographic processes and with its rich, blue color, remains one of the most beautiful. Invented in 1842 by the amazingly prolific Sir John Herschel, the easy-to-produce cyanotype lives on today in the darkrooms of many photographers and artists.
Links for this episode:
- Sir John Herschel – at the Getty Museum
- Anna Atkins – British Algae in the New York Public Library
- Alternative Photography – a how-to guide from a good source
- Cyanotype material from Freestyle Photo
- Lenscratch.com – Review of a contemporary exhibition of alternative processes, including Cyanotype
- My Italy Photography Workshops are being planned for May and June of 2016 – get on the Advanced Notice Mailing List here
Papaver rhoeas. Paper watermarked 1845.
Cyanotype from the Atkins-Dixon album presented by Anne Dixon to her nephew in 1861.
Image from A History of Women Photographers, published by Abbeville Press.
Rank #4: Photo History – Class 4 – Light and Likeness: Portrait Photography
The 4th class meeting starts a more conceptual approach to the medium’s history. We look at 19th, 20th and some 21st century portraits and see if we can draw some conclusions about what makes a good portrait photograph. We also see if we can draw some parallels with the words and ideas of the Transcendentalist thinkers and writers Emerson and Thoreau and see if they can help us illuminate what portraiture means.
Rank #5: History of Photography Podcast 1 : Photo History 2.0
Welcome to the History of Photography Podcast 2.0!
Having retired from my college teaching job, I’m no longer teaching the photo history class, but I have lots of other irons in the fire and want to continue the podcast with some new topics and ideas.
A complete semester of the History of Photography class will still be available online, as well as some other resources.
Links for this episode:
Rank #6: Photo History Summer School – May 13
It’s summer, but photo history doesn’t rest… May 13th is the anniversary of the birth of Czech photography Jan Saudek (1935, Prague) and also the anniversary of the death (1980) of German photographer Otto Umbehr, known as Umbo. This “summer school” podcast briefly presents their work.
Some images by Jan Saudek & Umbo
Websites for this podcast:
Rank #7: Photo History – Class 5 – Photography as Transport + On The Road
Photography as a form of transportation is the topic for class #5. We look at how the advent of wet-plate collodion technology spurred the advance of travel and landscape photography, with a special emphasis on photography of the American west. There is also a brief exploration of 20th century photographers who went “on the road” as well as a look at the way 21st Century technology like Google Earth, Gigapan and Photosynth are changing the way in which we are able to see the distant parts of the globe for ourselves.
Rank #8: Photo History – Spring 09 : Art Institute of Chicago Field Trip
Field Trip! The Photo History class visits the The Mary L. and Leigh B. Block Photography Study Room at the Art Institute of Chicago, giving us the opportunity to see original images from the history of the medium.
The Art Institute of Chicago:
Rank #9: History of Photography Podcast 10 : The Kodak Brownie
The Kodak Brownie camera was one of the most popular cameras in the history of photography. The Brownie popularized low-cost photography and introduced the concept of the snapshot to a public eager to preserve their personal and family memories. With its simple controls and initial price of $1, it was intended to be a camera that anyone could afford and use.
Links for this episode:
- The George Eastman House’s Brownie Collection
- Kodak’s Brownie History Page (a little dated, but interesting)
- Brownie In Motion – Stephen Takacs very cool project – also on Stephen’s website
The Kodak Brownie
Rank #10: Photo History – Class 6 – Photography and Painting
The interactive relationship that painting and photography have had for 174 years is the topic of this class session. We attempt to look at how painting influenced photography and vice-versa. We also look briefly at how what photographs “look like” influence our understanding of what they are.
Rank #11: Photo History Intersession – December 20
In the first of a few “intersession” podcasts between the fall and spring semesters, we commemorate the birth date of photojournalist W. Eugene Smith (1918) and the anniversary of the death of photographer Bill Brandt (1983).
Rank #12: Photo History Summer School – May 23
Cornell Capa, the photojournalist and tireless advocate of humanistic photography died today, May 23, 2008. He was 90 years old. A great and committed photographer, Capa’s heartfelt images were often overshadowed by two other elements in his life. One was the photography of his brother, the pre-eminent war photographer Robert Capa. The other was the founding and early management of the International Center for Photography (ICP) in New York, considered by many to be one of the most important photographic resources in the world.
Photographs (below) by Cornell Capa – click to enlarge
Rank #13: Photo History – Class 11 – Women in Photography
Rank #14: Photo History Intersession – January 01
In the third History of Photography Intersession, we look at some interesting events from January first, as we commemorate the birth date of photographer William Klein, the anniversary of the death of Edward Weston, some facts about George Eastman and his inventions and the birth of the Associated Press Wirephoto.