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12200901878?profile=originalI spotted this on Luke McKernan’s excellent blog which deals with silent and early cinema which can be found at I can do no better than take Luke's words: A new tool from Google Labs offers interesting ways of analysing silent film subjects (or any other subject, for that matter). The Ngram Viewer uses data taken from the 15 million books and other documents scanned by Google Books to trace the occurrence of words or phrases (up to five words) between 1800 and 2000, showing how often they occur each year.

All you do is enter your search term or phrase, then choose a time period and your language, and you get the results presented as a graph. Having searched for your term, below the graph you are given the option to search Google Books itself for your term by particular time periods or universally. You can also compare your term with others, by adding a comma-separated second term into the search box. You can compare any number of terms, though there are only five colours available.

12200902491?profile=originalThere seem to be any number of interesting applications for this as a tool, even if the results are approximate and erratic. The frequency of appearance of terms in books is not necessarily a reliable guide to their importance, and some terms register no scores at all (e.g. Gaumont, Muybridge, Mary Pickford), presumably because Google Books hasn’t indexed them yet. But there is more than enough there to encourage imaginative searches and to yield interesting discoveries.

12200902873?profile=originalI have included some examples here. Most of us have some awareness of the origins of the word Photography and a Ngram produces an expected graph. If one adds ‘imaging’ then it’s clear how, with the rise of digital photography, this word has begun to supersede photography. Another interesting graph was produced by showing platinotype and palladiotype (the subject of discussions on BPH) the others are self-explanatory.

Although there are issues with the data (it’s dependent on the books google has scanned and the use of which words or phrases to use needs careful consideration) this could be a useful tool for representing trends

12200902892?profile=originalDo have a go, and let me know of any interesting Ngrams that you are able to create.


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History of Photography in 40 Photographs .....

12200901865?profile=originalForty photographs have been selected from the National Photography Collection (National Media Museum) to give an overview of the history and development of photography in the West. From Fox Talbot's earliest calotypes to Richard Billingham's Untitled (Flying Cat), these photographs provide a fascinating glimpse at this diverse subject. The selection features key images drawn from their holdings of mainly British photographers. Each photograph is accompanied by some background information about the photographer and the image.


Click on the link here to see if you agree with them, and have your say!

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12200901479?profile=originalWhat is said to be the world's first exhibition of platinum-palladium prints, an exceptional technology allowing the photographs to last for thousands of years, is taking place in Bangkok. Since the late 1980s, the German-born photographer, Hans Georg Berger, has been working in the process and his work has been displayed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Staatliche Museen in Berlin, among others. 

According to Berger, platinum-palladium prints are a special way of putting a black-and-white image onto paper. It's a very ancient technique; these prints can last for thousands of years unaltered - longer than any other printing material. "We used them not because we wanted to play with platinum, but we think that these photos are so important that they have to be produced in the most archival form possible. We think that these photos are part of the history of humanity and should be documented as such," he said.

The exhibition Nirvana Icons: Sacred Luang Prabang showcases a collection of 23 photos, chosen from over 15,000 images he has taken over two decades. Burger said he is involved in several projects with the Buddhist Heritage Project of the sangha of Luang Prabang.

"Currently, we working on a project with the British Library. We have discovered over 3,500 photographs the Lao monks have been taking of themselves for the past 120 years, so we are digitising and archiving them. It's one of the greatest discoveries in the history of photography. Details of the BL's Endangered Archives project on this photo archive can be found here.

The news report can be found here, and details of the exhibition here. The show will be moving on to San Francisco and Paris sometime next year.

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Yvon: France's best-known Unknown Photographer

12200900868?profile=originalWell, that's what one contemporary critic called  Pierre Yves-Petit (1886-1969), who went by the name of Yvon.


This is because no other images of Paris are better captured than those by him. Petit came of age with the picture postcard, which was introduced in 1870 and flourished in the final decades of the 19th century with the completion of the Eiffel Tower. Although his images are instantly recognisable, it was only this year that Petit began to gain recognition as more than a producer of souvenir images.


12200901071?profile=originalRobert Stevens, who spend years researching the history behind Petit's work, has compiled a collection of his images in a book entitled 'Yvon's Paris' which can be found on the Amazon link on the right. Alternatively, you can have a quick glance on the inside of this hardcover here.


Details of an exhibition showcasing come of Yvon's images can be found here, as well as a selection of the prints here

Photo: Yvon, Notre Dame, c 1920s, vintage gelatin silver print; 3 1/2 x 5 1/8 inches


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While studying my Prints taken from the Glass Plates of the Victorian Photographer, Rev. Montague (Monty) Bird (see my Blog) in my local village Pub on Boxing Day - I, by chance discussed the Prints with a couple who were visiting the Pub, and they informed me that they had a huge Collection (1000's of Glass Negatives and Prints) taken by the Victorian Photographer, Francis Frith. I am subsequently in communication with them, as this appears to be a very important Collection in the history of British Photography - if anyone has an interest in the Collection ..............................
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12200900057?profile=originalIn Search of Biblical Lands: From Jerusalem to Jordan in 19th-Century Photography features some of the first photographic images of the eastern margins of the Mediterranean. This region is one of the most photographed places on earth, with subjects ranging from architectural sites to evocative geography, scenes of pastoral life, and its people.


The photographs on view in this exhibition reveal what the travelers of the 1800s discovered on their journey: a landscape of belief, at once familiar yet still mysterious, and includes  rare, early daguerreotypes, salted-paper prints, and albumen silver prints, created between the 1840s and 1900s by the leading photographers of the time, including Felice Beato, Maxime Du Camp, Auguste Salzmann, James Graham, Louis Vignes, Frank Mason Good, and Frederic Goupil-Fesquet.


Highlights of the exhibition are photographs by English photographer Francis Frith (18221898), whose compelling images were made during three trips to the Holy Land in the late 1850s, and daguerreotypes by French photographer Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey (18041892) from his three-year tour of the Near East, culled from the Getty Museum's collection.

Visitors can see the region up-close through stereoscope tours on two large stereo viewers that digitally replicate the three-dimensional immersive experience. Each viewer has a selection of 12 cards that recreate a journey around Jerusalem and Palestine with particular attention paid to objects and places of interest and local color connected through scriptural citation.

Also of considerable note are a series of photographs made during the Duc de Luynes subsidized expedition to the Dead Sea and beyond, including views of ruined Crusader castles in what is now Jordan, and of Petra, the city carved out of rosy sandstone that had been first visited by Europeans in 1828 and is now a world heritage site in Jordan. These rare images come from the GRI's acquisition of the entire publication of the Duc de Luyne voyage.


Details of the exhibition can be found here, and the official press release here.

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One of the great paradigm shifts in contemporary art over the past 20 years has been the movement of photography into the realm of fine art. The critical and commercial success of artists such as Wolfgang Tillmans, Thomas Struth and Andreas Gursky, who are represented by contemporary art galleries, and the appointment of photography curators to top public galleries such as Tate Modern and Guggenheim, has ensured that the medium is increasingly regarded as a vital part of contemporary artistic practice. With digital techniques of manipulation becoming more and more advanced, photography stands to continually develop and change as a tool for artists.

Given that the first photograph was produced in 1826, why did it take so long for photography to be accepted by the art world? How reliable is a photograph as evidence of the real world? What makes a documentary photograph different from a 'fine art' photograph? How will the increasing impact of digital manipulation impact upon the medium? What might the future developments in photography be?

These are some of the questions that curator Charlotte Cotton, photographers Anne Hardy and Clarisse D'Arcimoles and artist and writer David Campany will discuss as they explore the most pressing questions regarding photography today.

Click here to book:

New Directions in Contemporary Photography
Charlotte Cotton, Anne Hardy, Clarisse D'Arcimoles and David Campany in conversation
7.30pm, Monday 17 January 2011

Tickets are £10 / £6 students and each ticket admits one person. There are only 300 seats available so please book early.


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Job: Curator, Ikon Gallery

12200899682?profile=originalIkon, one of the UK’s leading international contemporary art galleries seeks a dynamic and creative individual for the post of Curator. They will work with the Director to initiate and deliver an ambitious exhibition programme at the gallery and off-site. The successful candidate will have at least 5 years experience working within an international contemporary visual art context, have considerable experience of writing and publishing, will be audience focused and will be interested in supporting the development of visual artists locally, nationally and internationally.


The salary is in the range £30,345 - £33,054. The post is offered on a full time permanent basis. 


Deadline for applications: Monday 10 January 2011 Interviews are due to be held on: Monday 31 January 2011. The Gallery recently hosted Seeing the Unseen, a revisit of the gallery’s 1976 exhibition of high-speed photographs by the pioneering American scientist and photographer Dr Harold E. Edgerto, over the summer, as reported by the BPH creator here.


Further details and an application pack can be found here. Alternatively, contact Ikon on 0121 248 0708.

Ikon Gallery is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sectors of the community.

Registered charity no. 528892. Ikon is funded by Arts Council England and Birmingham City Council

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Photo Archive: P&O Heritage Collection

12200899665?profile=originalP&O has a long and proud history stretching right back to 1815 when "a young man with no influence and but limited pecuniary means, opened an office in Lime Street, London and commenced business."  The young man was Brodie McGhie Willcox and he was joined in his new endeavour, as ship broker and agent, by Arthur Anderson, employed by him as a Clerk.  Willcox and Anderson soon became partners and with the financial backing of a Dublin ship owner, Captain Richard Bourne, the "Peninsular Steam Navigation Company" issued its first prospectus in 1835.  The rest, as they say, is our history.


The P&O Photographic Collection is a unique record of the company's ships and history from the advent of commercial photography in 1860's to 2000, and includes over 15,000 photographs which range in type from albumen prints to glass plate negatives and 35mm colour slides. Today, the collection is maintained by Dubai-based global marine terminal operator DP World, which acquired the P&O Group in 2006.


The photo archive, including posters, paintings, drawings, postcards etc is now online and can be found here.


Photo: View of passengers on the deck of CEYLON (1858). 
Sepia Albumen Print



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Following the introduction of the daguerreotype process in 1839, Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre was initially regarded as the principal inventor of photography. It was not long, however, before the legitimacy of this title fell under dispute. Other inventors, including Joseph-Nicéphore Niépce and William Henry Fox Talbot most notably, were seen as possible rivals. This debate about the rightful claimant, otherwise known as the ‘priority debate’, has remained an important issue for many photohistorians ever since.

Although Daguerre always plays a role in publications discussing the advent of photography, he is not always treated favourably. His reputation has become damaged over time as, intentionally or not, photohistorians fall back on clichéd arguments and generalisations. 

Daguerre’s rivals, including Niépce, Talbot, and Hippolyte Bayard, are at times pushed by photohistorians, many of whom rely on various pieces of evidence to strengthen their cases, like lawyers in a courtroom drama.

What’s wrong with Daguerre? shows that wishful thinking and preconceptions, national pride and commercial attitudes play a significant role in photohistoric writing. Although the inventors are long gone and their processes have long since been eclipsed by modern techniques, the old rivalry between them continues. What’s wrong with Daguerre? explores the reasons why Daguerre and the daguerreotype are often devalued, and analyses why advocacy on behalf of Talbot and his calotype process has been so successful.


Hans Rooseboom, What's wrong with Daguerre? Reconsidering old and new views on the invention of photography

35 pp., soft cover, 21 cm, € 7,00 (shipping not included)


 For ordering details see below or contact the author:


Please note that this book can only be ordered from the author/publisher.


Price (shipping & handling included)

Within the Netherlands: € 9,00

To other European countries: € 9,75

Outside Europe: € 10,30 / USD 14.00 / CAD 14.00



To order a copy please email us your name, address and the payment method you have chosen.

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We prefer payment by bank transfer or PayPal. We only accept cash payment when sent as a registered letter.


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12200899274?profile=originalConversations: Photography from the Bank of America Collection -  This exhibition is selected from the wide-ranging art holdings of Bank of America, one of the largest and most comprehensive corporate collections of photography in the world. The collection was significantly influenced by scholars Beaumont and Nancy Newhall, who in the late 1960s assembled a core group of photographs covering the entire history of the medium for The Exchange National Bank of Chicago, a legacy Bank of America institution.


In 2011, nearly 100 works from Bank of America’s photography collection will be on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The exhibit, Conversations: Photography from the Bank of America Collection, will feature photography that spans the earliest development in the medium, dated 1851, to the present day with a collection of internationally renowned contemporary works. The exhibition will then travel to museums in Europe.

Details of the Boston exhibition is here, and the European tour will be posted in BPH when available.



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12200906653?profile=originalExposed: Photography and the Classical Nude is a celebration of the naked human body in photography - and of the influence of the Classical ideal of ancient Greece and Rome on that art form.

From the 1840s to the present day, many of the great names of photography are represented including: Henry Fox Talbot, Eadweard Muybridge, Wilhelm von Gloeden, Leni Riefenstahl, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Chim, Brassai, Robert Doisneau, Herbert List, Max Dupain and Lewis Morley.

One hundred nude images will be on display at the University of Sydney's Nicholson Museum during the Sydney Festival next month, details of which can be found here.


Photo: Antikythera (Apollo), Herbert List, Gelatin silver print, 1937.

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Annie Leibovitz visits the NMeM


12200905661?profile=originalWorld renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz visited the National Media Museum on Tuesday 14 December - the latest stop on a personal journey she is undertaking looking at places relating to inspirational and culturally significant people. Her travels, which will be documented in an upcoming book titled Pilgrimage, brought her to Bradford to view and photograph items belonging to Julia Margaret Cameron (1815 – 1879), part of the Royal Photographic Society Collection in the National Photography Collection which is held here.



Annie looked at personal letters, photographs, albums and a folio, all of which belonged to Cameron, one of the earliest pioneers of photography. Cameron, like Annie, was celebrated as a great photographer and for her work producing portraits of famous people and historical figures of the era.

Annie said: "I am very impressed with how you care for such legacies – of Julia Margaret Cameron's work and items from the Royal Photographic Society period. There really are treasures here. It is one thing to take care of such work but to give this access to anyone who wants to study or see it is fantastic."



Annie is shown in the photograph with Curator Colin Harding.

The full blog entry can be seen here:






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Fritz Kricheldorff

I just obtained a Kricheldorff Klapp Reflex listed as from 1905. It is a very interesting folding SLR with a focal plane shutter. I have found it impossible to discover much about the maker, could not find his patent, but believe he made this camera with some variations betwen 1905 and 1910, possibly later. Can anybody help with more information? I can post pictures if people are interested.

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Exhibition: 19th Century British Photographs

12200904283?profile=originalThis exhibition of photographs from the National Gallery of Canada is the third in a series of survey exhibitions that examine iconic works from the Photographs Collection and situate them within a historical and social context. Photographs by some of the medium’s earliest practitioners, including William Henry Fox Talbot, Hill and Adamson, Anna Atkins, and Julia Margaret Cameron, will be featured. The exhibition’s approximately 100 works will present examples of several different photographic processes, among them salted paper prints, daguerreotypes, albumen silver prints, collotypes, carbon prints, and woodburytypes.


Details of the exhibition can be found here. A book to accompany the exhibition will also be published towards the end of Jan 2011, and can be found on the Amazon link on the right.

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Exhibition: The Lives of Great Photographers

12200904270?profile=originalThe Lives of Great Photographers is a compelling new exhibition drawn exclusively from the National Media Museum’s  extensive and diverse Photography Collection,  including works from The Royal Photographic Society  Collection and the Daily Herald Archive. Together this exhibition presents a selection of photographs by some of the greatest photographers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


Further details can be found here.

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12200904697?profile=originalPerhaps not generally known, but Ida Kar (1908-74) was a pioneer who photographed some of the most important artists of her generation – including Henry Moore, Georges Braque and Jean-Paul Sartre. Kar was born in Russia in 1908 and studied in Paris at the height of the surrealist movement. By the late 1930s she had set up her first studio in Cairo where she met her second husband, Victor Musgrave. They moved to London and threw themselves into the Bohemian lifestyle. He became one of the most important art dealers and she became one of the most important photographers.


The National Portrait Gallery announced that it hopes to change that by mounting an exhibition of nearly 100 photographs, some never publicly shown before, by a woman at the heart of postwar cultural life in London.


The full report can be found here, and the exhibition details here.


Photo: Ida Kar's photograph of Georges Braque, taken in 1960. Photograph: National Portrait Gallery London

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The University of Rochester and George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, the world's preeminent museum of imaging, have entered into an alliance to further public engagement, research, and education in the arts and sciences, with a focus on the museum's photography and motion-picture collections. This will be the most extensive museum and university alliance of this type in existence.

Read the full press release here.

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Archive: Vatican to digitize 8 million images

The Vatican is embarking on a project to restore and digitize its archive of more than 8 million photographic images. The images, which date to the 1930s, comprise a unique visual history of seven pontificates. But many of the negatives have been damaged by handling and poor storage, officials said.

The restoration project, unveiled at a news conference Dec. 7, will take at least five years. The negatives -- including early glass plate negatives -- will be cleaned and scanned for digital preservation, and a new storage facility will control temperature and humidity levels to prevent future damage. The archive had its beginnings in the 1930s, when Rome photographer Francesco Giordani set up a photo studio near the Vatican and was called to do various portraits of Pope Pius XI. He was called more and more often when the Vatican newspaper began publishing photos in its pages, and by the 1960s, his archive was already immense. When Giordani retired in 1977, the photo archive was left with the Vatican, which didn't really know what to do with the collection. After being temporarily housed at the Vatican Museums and elsewhere, it was entrusted to the offices of L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.

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