Oct 12th 2015

Photography: A Victorian Sensation (Coursera)

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Explore the Victorian craze for photography, examine its history, from the earliest images in 1839 and how it has influenced the way we capture and share images today as photography moved from being a niche concern of the few, to one of the most important cultural forms of the modern world.

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 photography.

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.

Suggested Readings:
The Invention of Photography: The First Fifty Years (New Horizons)
VICTORIAN PHOTOGRAPHY a collectors guide
Photograph: A Victorian Sensation
Scottish Photography: The First Thirty Years