British photographic history

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Paul Nadar: 19th Century Photo Reportage

Paul Nadar (1856-1939) was the son of the celebrated nineteenth-century French photographer Felix Gaspard Tournachon, aka Nadar. Between the two of them, they achieved a number of 'firsts' in the history of photography including aerial photography, artificial lighting, patented a projection system for animating still pictures and what is believed to be the world's first photo-interview (their subject was a 101-year old chemist and color theorist, Michel-Eugène Chevreul). Paul Nadar was even a Kodak’s representative in France in 1893.

In 1890, he undertook a long trip which brought him to a World Exhibition in Tashkent, the theme of this exhibition - From Turkey to Turkistan, 1890. Paul Nadar's "photo reportage" is one of the first in the history of photography.

He left Paris for Istanbul on a train and crossed the Black Sea. Having reached Batumi, he crosses the Caucasus through Tbilisi and Baku and arrives in Turkistan - present-day Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. He travels the region in two months and takes around 1,200 photos of crowds of people in the bazaars and markets of Asia, the great sandy spaces of deserts, mosques, mausoleums and all the majestic vestiges of the exotic Eastern influences.

Details of this exhibition can be found here, but must warn you that it is held all the way in Uzbekistan!

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