View Full Version : The Genius of Photography
The BBC really outdid themselves on this program. It's a 6 part television series that recently aired on the BBC, and is airing in North America quite soon, I believe. It's also readily available for download if you're torrent savy.
The show starts with Talbot, and Daguerre, and goes through many fantastic artists. HCB, Capa, Golden, Meyerowitz, Klein, Frank, and Smith, to name just a few. One of the best programs about photography that I've ever seen. If you see it in the TV guide, cancel the wedding, skip the funeral, and the president can wait. Just sit back and watch.
I didn't really know where to put this, so I hope it's ok here.
I really enjoyed the series, especially the earlier episodes. I think there is a book that accompanies the series.
Note to Toronto-area RFF members: this series started on TVO last Thursday evening (Jan 17) at 10pm. The first segment was excellent -- a really interesting overview of photography's beginnings.
Thanks for the heads up about this. I'm looking forward to whenever it will be broadcast in the US (so if anyone learns, please share the news). As for the accompanying book, on the "Book Club 2" thread we've discussed using it soon (and the book can be ordered here in the US through abebooks.com).
There is a book and it's available from all the usual booksellers in the UK.
There was an earlier series from the Beeb from about ten years ago, called the Decisive Moment. I only have parts of it on some old VHS cassettes. I actually preferred that to the latest series. And they both had Denis Lawson as the narrator.
If you get the chance, look out for some more BBC programmes about the work of the Albert Kahn Foundation. He was a French industrialist, born in the late 19th Century, who used his immense fortune to document the world through photography and film in the early years of the last century. He hired the best photographers and cinematographers (monochrome only, with some colour film of Paris in the 1920s) to take images in the newly invented Autochrome process. They took large format colour photographs and are absolutely stunning. They show a way of life that has almost disappeared right around the globe.
There have been two series of these so far, with a third being shown this week on BBC2. Each show is an hour long. There's a book to accompany the series, but no sign of any DVDs yet.
I saw this was available on TPB (http://thepiratebay.org/user/phooto/). Erase this message if it's not OK to "report" these kind of things...
We had a thread at the time it was aired.I enjoyed 1-5 but part 6 wasn't for me.
I liked the series (haven't yet seen the last one or two), but was somewhat miffed by the one on "Documentation for Artists." Is it just me, or did they do a small slight towards Dorothea Lange in favor of Walker Evans? Don't get me wrong, I love Walker Evans. Just recently bought some more books on him. However, I get tired of repeated efforts to down-play Lange's contribution. Is it likely that the "Migrant Mother" shot they showed was somewhat posed? Sure. Her own account indicates so:
Did Evans never pose his scenes or subjects? I think not. Even that episode pointed out how Evans adjusted things in the sharecropper's cabin slightly, or how he posed Sherrie Levine up against the cabin wall. Yet it often seems like Lange is held up as having committed a sin, but Evans is, as always, a saint.
I personally don't favor one over the other, but love them both.
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