This is a course aimed at introducing you to the
history of photography in the 19th century. It combines theory with practice,
giving you the option to respond to some of the iconic images we will explore,
and to create and share your own images.
It will provide an introduction to the
processes, people and images associated with early photography, starting in 1839
when Louis Daguerre announced the daguerreotype image in France, and WHF Talbot
unveiled the calotype process in England. You will have the chance to learn
about the personalities, processes and social contexts of the rise of
Throughout, you will hear from a
range of people who are passionate about photography in the 19th
century. We will focus on specific images and techniques, ranging from
high end studio portraiture, iconic landscapes and cityscapes and the rise of
itinerant and beach photography for the masses. There will be opportunity
for you, the course participant, to respond to some of these images with your
own photographic experiments and to share your own family album.
The course is
linked to a new major exhibition from the National Museum of Scotland called
Photography, A Victorian Sensation.
Follow the discussion on twitter: #vicphotomooc
Week 1 - First Images
Introduces the first photographic processes, unveiled in 1839 - the daguerreotype, by Parisian Louis Jacque Mandé Daguerre
and the calotype, by Englishman WHF Talbot, which Hill & Adamson used to produce around 3,000 images between 1843 and 1848.
Week 2 - 1851: A Year to Remember
With the Great Exhibition in London and two major milestones in the development of photography: first, stereoscopy, the 3D sensation and second, the new, faster wet collodion process that made outdoor photography much easier.
Week 3 - Studio Photography, Amateur Photography
In 1851 there had
been about a dozen photographic studios in London; by 1866 this number had
increased to 284. Photography became
extremely fashionable, particularly in the new carte-de-visite and stereo
forms. Amateur photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron, photographed the writers, artists, scientists in her social circle.
Week 4 - Stereo Sensation
presentation of the lenticular stereoscopic viewer at the Great Exhibition,
viewing the world in 3D became a Victorian craze. The experience of
using a stereoscope was described as ‘mesmerising’. The London
Stereoscopic Company, formed in 1854, had as its slogan: ‘no home without a
Week 5 - Photography for Everyone
look at how photography rapidly moves from an expensive, amateur hobby, to
reaching the masses, with the growth of cheap ‘tintypes’ and beach photography,
and end with the impact of the Kodak camera, marketed with the slogan "You press the button and we do the rest".