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History of Photography Podcast
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History of Photography Podcast

Author: Jeff Curto

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History of Photography class sessions, photo history podcasts and other resources with Professor Jeff Curto
42 Episodes
The cyanotype was one of the earliest photographic processes and with its rich, blue color, remains one of the most beautiful. Invented in 1842 by the amazingly prolific Sir John Herschel, the easy-to-produce cyanotype lives on today in the darkrooms of many photographers and artists. Links for this episode: Sir John Herschel –  at the … Continue reading History of Photography Podcast 11 : The Cyanotype →
The Kodak Brownie camera was one of the most popular cameras in the history of photography. The Brownie popularized low-cost photography and introduced the concept of the snapshot to a public eager to preserve their personal and family memories. With its simple controls and initial price of $1, it was intended to be a camera … Continue reading History of Photography Podcast 10 : The Kodak Brownie →
When light sensitive material is exposed to light, a chemical change happens, but this change isn’t necessarily visible. This idea is perhaps part of why early photographers – and early viewers of photographic images – had a hard time with the concept of the latent image, yet it was one of the most important components … Continue reading History of Photography Podcast 9 : Latent Image and Immediate Image →
The photographs of pioneer color photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorsky (1863–1944) give us a remarkable view into a world that is now lost – the Russian Empire just before the Russian Revolution and World War I. In this podcast we explore both Prokudin-Gorsky’s photographs and the unique tri-color photographic technique he employed to create them. Links … Continue reading History of Photography Podcast 8 : Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky →
Tina Modotti (1896 – 1942) was an Italian photographer who was most active in Mexico between 1923 and 1930. Known for her romantic and business relationship with Edward Weston and her friendships with Diego Rivera, Frieda Kahlo and other Mexican artists, Modotti was also a political activist during the Mexican Revolution and beyond. Links for … Continue reading History of Photography Podcast 7 : Tina Modotti →
John Szarkowski’s book Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art is one of the best ways to learn not only about the history of photography, but also about photography’s aesthetics as well. Szarkowski, the former Director of the Department of Photography at MOMA from 1962 to 1991, pairs 100 … Continue reading History of Photography Podcast 6 : Looking at Photographs →
Photographer Gordon Parks, born 1912 and died 2006, was one of the most important figures of twentieth century photography. A humanitarian with a deep commitment to social justice, race relations, poverty, civil rights and honest depictions of urban life, Parks’ work provides an amazing chronicle important aspects of American urban life in the last half … Continue reading History of Photography Podcast 5 : Gordon Parks →
Photographer James Van Der Zee was active from the 1920s through the late 1970s, working primarily in his native Harlem neighborhood in New York city.  Through his elegant portraits and images of social, religious and athletic groups, he created an intimate narrative about his community, showing the world a part of America that was rarely … Continue reading History of Photography Podcast 4 : James Van Der Zee →
When the exhibition The Family of Man opened in January of 1955, 60 years ago this month, visitors were greeted by more than 500 photographs and these words by the poet Carl Sandburg: “People! Flung wide and far, born into toil, struggle, blood and dreams, among lovers, eaters, drinkers, workers, loafers, fighters, players, gamblers. Here … Continue reading History of Photography Podcast 3 : The Family of Man →
Photographer Lisette Model, born in Vienna, Austria in 1901 and died 1983,  was an important street photographer of the early 20th century, defining much of what would be considered part of the street photographer’s aesthetic for decades to come.
Welcome to the History of Photography Podcast 2.0! Having retired from my college teaching job, I’m no longer teaching the photo history class, but I have lots of other irons in the fire and want to continue the podcast with some new topics and ideas. A complete semester of the History of Photography class will … Continue reading History of Photography Podcast 1 : Photo History 2.0 →
The 15th and final class session examines documentary and conceptual photography, looking at the motivation and rationale behind them. We also try to tie up the ideas of the course with some concluding remarks. Slides for this class session Handouts for this class session Jeff’s other podcast, Camera Position Italy Photography Workshops
During his 29-year tenure as Director of the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the great curator and photographer John Szarkowski (1925 to 2007) changed the way the world saw photography. This short class session introduces Szarkowski’s work and was followed by a film about him. Slides for this class … Continue reading Photo History – Class 14 – Szarkowski: How To See →
The middle of the 20th century was a time of tremendous change in all areas of the world and especially in the world of photography. This class session looks at the changes that photography experienced during the atomic age through an examination of the cultural, political and artistic climate of the time. Slides for this … Continue reading Photo History – Class 13 – The Atomic Age and New Frontiers →
Is any photograph real? This question comes up as we trace the trajectory of the manipulated image in this class session. We also try to see if we can figure out where our digital photographic age is taking us and whether we want to go there. Slides for this class session – Manipulation Handout for … Continue reading Photo History – Class 12 – The Manipulative Impulse →
Is anatomy destiny? This class session looks at women’s photography by examining the work of various female photographers as well as by looking at the bigger issue of whether the photographer’s gender changes the images that are made. Slides for this class session Handout for this class session
This week, we examine photographers using large cameras and those using small cameras and try to examine the importance of the choice of tools to the photographer. Does the tool drive the idea, or the idea drive the tool? Slides for this class session Handout for this class session
One of the great characters in the history of the medium, Alfred Stieglitz was also one of the most influential photographers and promoters of photography of the 20th century. In this class, we look at Stieglitz and the group of photographers and other artists he gathered around him. We also try to examine why what … Continue reading Photo History – Class 9 – Stieglitz and the Photo Secession →
Stop-motion photography as practiced by Edweard Muybridge and Etienne-Jules Marey and others is the topic of this class session. These scientific experiments ultimately led to the development of motion pictures by Edison. Slides for this class session Handout for this class session
A slightly shorter class session, as we cover three smaller topics: 1) the ideas surrounding stereoscopic photography, 2) the way 19th century photographers handled photographing standard subjects; once you take away subject, what other choices do photographers have to make? and 3) Rephotography: how does subject matter change over time and what does that mean … Continue reading Photo History – Class 7 – Stereography and Standard Subjects →
Comments (1)

javier k

Good explanation of the history of photography with improved podcast. Only wished I can see some of the parts he's showing to his students face to face while talking them😅

Jun 12th
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