Photo-history Talks

I regularly give talks to both specialist and general audiences. Lectures for camera collectors are usually quite technical, and are all given within the PCCGB organisation, but for other types of audience please contact me. Most of my material is about Victorian photography and the period before World War II, and usually it can be themed to suit your interests. Some examples, all illustrated with digital slides, and/or real examples of cameras and images:

Photography - the first fifty years. This covers from the beginnings and even the prehistory of photography, up to the launch of the first Kodak, which really put photography into the hands of ordinary people. It is image-led but covers the technology enough to make sense of the pictures.

Taking your likeness. The experience of being photographed in Victorian times. Some of the “first fifty years” material, plus studios, cameras, the photographer’s stage set, etc. What it was like for the rich, and later the less rich, to experience their first time as a photographer’s subject.

Into the Wilds. Expedition photography in Victorian times was heroic beyond belief. Photographers had to endure all the usual perils, plus carry with them a complete mobile darkroom, and hundredweights of glass plates and chemicals. And they could produce results we would struggle to equal today.

How did we get Here? The journey from a Victorian studio camera to today’s 35mm or digital single lens reflex. This talk is of particular interest to camera clubs.

The Gold Photographs of Mizuno Hanbeh. A remarkable photographer in late nineteenth century Japan, who invented a method of creating the traditional Japanese gold-on-lacquer work by photographic means. I and two colleagues have done extensive research  and I can show the results of that, and exhibit numerous examples.


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