Posted by: annmucc | November 9, 2009

The Wonderful World of [Early] Photography

And no! I am not the only one to say so! The British Library agrees. In fact it organised a whole day of activities around the theme  to coincide with their exhibition ‘Points of View‘ (though it focusses on the 19th century rather than the 20th century period I am looking into)! Of course, having these events on my doorstep I couldn’t just let them go by, so I booked tickets for a number of events, and off I went.

First up was a talk on ‘Photographic History without Photographs’ by Michael Pritchard. It was really interesting to hear how he is looking at the history of photography by looking through patents, trade books, corporate documents etc. Hearing him talk inspired me to get back on a previous mini-focus of my research to find the patents related to photographic dyes and to organise them into a database (yes, I am also doing the ECDL exam at uni [they offered it for free, so why not] so this could be a way of getting back to grips with MS Access). We’ll see how that mini-project will go :).

After this there was a Magic Lantern Show by Professor Heard. I have never seen a magic lantern show…but it was so entertaining! The ‘Professor’ really had a way with the show, and he definitely knew how to bring it to life, both by his act, and definitely by the moving slides ;). It was good!

The last event I went to was a lecture on ‘New light through an old hole’ about pinhole cameras – another  entertaining lecture to say the least. The presenter was a character…but I think he omitted one major thing: what is a pin hole camera, and how does it work? He said he didn’t want to bore us, but it would have helped if we knew a bit about these cameras (yes, I KNOW we did it in physics classes in secondary school…but a bit of a refresher would not have harmed anyone ;)). I think this would have allowed us to appreciate even more what has been achieved by these cameras.

By now I was quite exhausted, so it was off home for me.


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