British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

Victorian Giants. The birth of art photography showing at London's National Portrait Gallery from 1 March includes a number of events based around the exhibition. They include: 

Lecture: Through the Camera Lens, and What Lewis Carroll Found There. 1 March at 1900.  Lindsay Smith, Professor of English at the University of Sussex, explores Carroll’s fascination for the technology of photography, and for the material and conceptual aspects of photographs, in the context of his larger creative achievement. Book here.

Weekend Workshop: The Victorian Studio. 10 and 11 MarchPhotographers Kasia Wozniak and Eddie Otchere lead a one-day workshop in which you will experience a Victorian Portrait Studio, focusing on the camera, print technology, production values and fashion of the era - with a few modern workarounds. Each participant will gain an appreciation of the patience and care Victorian photographers had to consider in order to create affordable portraits, working with a model in a recreation of a Victorian studio setting, and using a large format camera to capture that one perfect shot on direct positive paper. You will develop and process your portrait, ending the day with your print. Book for 10th or the 11th.

Lecture: Portraits for the Stereoscope: Seeing the Victorians. 22 March at 1900. Denis Pellerin, photo historian and curator of Dr. Brian May's collection of Victorian photographs, takes us on a stereoscopic journey through the studios of photographic artists including Antoine Claudet, William Kilburn, John Jabez Mayall and Thomas Richard Williams. Discover the Victorians as you have never seen them before, in full colour and in glorious 3-D. Book here

Lecture: Julia Margaret Cameron: 19th Century Photographer of Genius. 29 March at 1900Colin Ford CBE, photographic curator and historian, looks at the life and work of Julia Margaret Cameron, who was not only a brilliant photographer but aimed to photograph as many Victorians of genius as she could. Book here.

Lecture: Outside/In: Clementina Hawarden’s Domestic Portraits. 10 May at 1900. Art photographer or portrait photographer—or both? Clementina Hawarden (1822-1865) won awards for artistic costume tableaux of her daughters. Using images selected from the 775 Hawarden photographs in the Victoria and Albert Museum collection, Virginia Dodier discusses how Hawarden’s photographic style evolved while her family remained the focus of her life and work. Book here.

Weekend Workshop: Pop-Up Wet Plate Collodion Studio. 12 and 13 May 2018.Come and experience one of the most popular early photographic processes, discovered in 1851 and used by photographers including Julia Margaret Cameron. Artist Almudena Romero is taking up residence for the day to create unique individual portraits in timed sittings. Book your half hour slot during which you will sit for your portrait and observe the process in real time via a video link from inside the dark room. Book here

There are a number of other photography-related events taking place at the Gallery during March-May. Find out more here.

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