For this assignment we were required to work in groups to give a formal presentation on early documentary. Specifically the biography and works of the following three 19th century photographers; Francis Frith, Rodger Fenton and Mathew Brady discussing three images of each photographer. These photographers were a few of the first to record history in the making. To explore and share the places captured and the people living there. This new form of communication played a vital role in the way society viewed painting and drawing. Not only as a means of conveying information but also as a medium of visual or artistic expression.
In the broadest sense, all photography not intended purely as a means of artistic expression might be considered ‘documentary’, the photograph, a visual document, of an event, place, object, or person, providing evidence of a moment in time. Yet the term ‘documentary photography’ has a more specific meaning. The Life Library's Documentary Photography (1972) defined it as ‘a depiction of the real world by a photographer whose intent is to communicate something of importance—to make a comment—that will be understood by the viewer’.
Francis Frith, an English photographer, was born in 1822. He becoming a founding member of the Liverpool Photographic Society in 1853. Frith sold his companies in 1855 in order to dedicate himself entirely to photography. He journeyed to the Middle East on three occasions, the first of which was a trip to Egypt in 1856 with very large cameras (16" x 20"). By the time Frith returned to England, he was somewhat of a celebrity.
In 1860 Frith embarked on a monumental mission. He wanted to document every city, town and village in Britain. His intention was to portray a 3D scene onto a ...
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Smarthistory.khanacademy.org, (2014). Early Photography - Smarthistory. [online] Available at: http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/early-photography.html [Accessed 3 May 2014].
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