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Starting from the analysis of the article ‘The Camera on Wheels’, which was published in the magazine Amateur Photographer in December 1885, Sara Dominici explores the relation between photography and cycling in late Victorian Britain. It looks, in particular, at how the confluence of new ways of moving and seeing influenced photographic practices. As contemporary accounts reveal, despite the significant difficulties of carrying fragile cameras on unstable machines, combining cycling and photography was incredibly popular: amongst the reasons was the possibility to reach a wider choice of locations, and thus subjects to photograph, and to do so in a way felt as entirely under one’s control.
The talk examines the profound influence that this had on how photographers thought of camera practices, leading to the desire for a camera apparatus that could benefit from the freedom and independence associated with their newly embraced mobility, as suggested in the title itself ‘The Camera on Wheels’.
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