Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history
When films on a flexible support appeared on the market in the 1880s, the whole world of photography was radically transformed. Cameras underwent a complete metamorphosis, rapidly becoming smaller and smaller in size and more and more sophisticated mechanically. The arrival of the film meant that a sequence of shots could be linked-up and with the added advantage of glass-plate negatives, the use of cameras as a whole was greatly simplified, leading to a complete revolution in the way people saw everything and communicated their observations. This was the beginning of the intense activity of 20th Century photographers.
With the invention of the Kodak cameras, along with their catchy slogan « Press the button, we do the rest », photography became the « witness of happy days » for so many amateurs and their families. Photographic images, now accessible to one and all, suddenly became more spontaneous...
Of course, the film opened up the movie industry and then Edison's 35 mm movie film led to yet another innovation, Oskar Barnack's famous Leica. This device laid the groundwork for modern-day cameras. With the Rolleiflex, also an absolute essential for any photo-reporter, the Leica played a major role in the golden era of illustrated newspapers and magazines.
It did not take long for the industrial world to recognise the potential of films, and photography became a mass market sector. With the spread of colour images during the 1960s, the film and its secondary products were soon to be found in every supermarket.
This exhibition evokes the ways in which photography has spread to all age groups, all social groups, amateurs and professionals alike, as well as its momentous effect on the written press and publicity. Visitors will be able to admire some rare devices and amazing applications, not forgetting the users themselves, both in front of and behind the camera…
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