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Archive for the 'documentary' Category

The Genius of Photography – BBC 2007

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Another great BBC documentary series consisting of six episodes of one hour – The Genius of Photography from the BBC in 2007.

Through this series the story of photography is unfolded from first inception of the idea to make persistent pictures through to the modern context in 2006. In this context it’s worth remembering that the iPhone (certainly an upping of the mobile photography ante) was launched in June 2007. Any commentary towards the end of the series about the sheer mass of photography pales into insignificance against the reality of our experience in 2013. Photographs are ubiquitous, democratic, social and unchained from the camera.

That being said I really did enjoy this series because of the way they pulled the story together as an intelligent reading of facets across time. The photograph is many things to as many people and the idea of what photography is and why it exists has evolved dramatically over time.

The list of photographers covered and interviewed and subject matter covered is way beyond what I could hope to describe in these few sentences, so… maybe it’s time for you to watch those episodes:

  1. The Genius of Photography Fixing the Shadows – 59 mins
  2. The Genius of Photography Documents for Artists – 60 59mins
  3. The Genius of Photography Right Time Right Place – 59 mins
  4. The Genius of Photography Paper Movies – 59 mins]
  5. The Genius of Photography We are Family – 59 mins
  6. The Genius of Photography Snap Judgements – 59 mins

Master Photographers Series – BBC 1983

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

The intention has always been to post links to video resources profiling photographers and photography history on this website. Therefore, consider this the first in a long series of documentary lists. I should prepare you though; most modern documentaries are unlikely to get a major showing here because I’m more interested in an era of film. I’m interested in photography masters. In a process of doing things and seeing things. And in the chemicalia.

There is probably no better place to start sharing these documentaries – and there are many of them available – than the classic 1983 BBC six part series titled Master Photographers.

  1. Master Photographer Jaques-Henri Lartique (1894-1986) – 35 mins
  2. Master Photographer Andre Kertesz (1894-1985) – 31 mins
  3. Master Photographer Bill Brandt (1904-1983) – 35 mins
  4. Master Photographer Ansel Adams (1902-1984) – 34 mins
  5. Master Photographer Andreas Feininger (1906-1999) – 35 mins
  6. Master Photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898-1995) – 34 mins

As a quick note I’d like to dispel a certain myth: that exposure to chemicals killed film photographers young. Look at their ages. I wouldn’t take it as a given that shooting film will cut you down in your prime. Give film a chance.

So if you haven’t seen this BBC series I hope you can find 3 hours to invest. I’ll be posting more of this type of linkage here in the next few months, if only so I can find them all again in some sort of organised record.

The amount and quality of documentaries available for free online continually astounds me. In comparison to earlier photographers we’re absolutely privileged.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

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