Module Identifier AH32520  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Mr Christopher P Webster  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Mr Christopher P Webster  
Course delivery Lecture   14 Hours.  
  Seminars / Tutorials   6 Hours. 20 hours lectures/seminars 80 hours reading, study, seminar and assessment preparation  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  50%
Semester Assessment 25% CAL test and 25% essay (2500 words) 

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to
.a) identify the major movements in nineteenth and early twentieth century photography
b) identify and understand the major processes in nineteenth and early twentieth century photography
c) identify and demonstrate understanding of the major trends in nineteenth and early twentieth century photography
d) identify and discuss the work of select individual photographers in nineteenth and early twentieth century photography
e) articulate an awareness of the visual revolution which photography heralded for societies world-wide
f) understand and discuss the role photography has played as a visual art

Brief description

This module presents the History of Photography from its inception until the 1940s. It charts the early development of photography for the art history student and is an informative essential background for fine art students who specialize in photography. The course investigates a variety of processes, the major themes of photography in the first one hundred years (the portrait, travel, war, etc.) and includes case studies of major historical figures


Invention1.   Opticks: Philosophical Inquiries and Concepts centred on Light and Light Capture (Lecture)
2.   Before Photography: The Pre-Invention up to Niepce (Lecture)
3.   Visit to the Camera Obscura (Seminar)
4.   An Alchemical Thread: Talbot and Daguerre (Lecture)
5.   New Processes, New Prospects: The Wet and Dry Plate Processes (Lecture/Seminar)
6.   The National Library of Wales Photography Collection (Seminar)
7.   Terms and Processes (Test)

Reinterpreting Reality
1.   Perception and Effect: Memento Mori, the Portrait and the Dead (Lecture)
2.   Representation and Control (Seminar)
3.   War, Travel and the Camera (Lecture)
4.   Social Realism 1: John Thompson to Lewis Hine (Lecture)
5.   Social Realism 2: the FSA (Lecture)
6.   The Use of the Documentary Mode (Seminar)
7.   Bill Brandt: from Documentary to Art (Lecture)
The New Art
1.   A New Art: Julia Margaret Cameron and Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, case studies (Lecture)
2.   High Art Photography: Conflict and Debate (Rejlander, Robinson and Emerson) (Lecture)
3.   The Nineteenth Century Art Photograph (Seminar)
4.   Stieglitz and the Photo-Secession (Lecture)
5.   Photo-Modernism: Moholy-Nagy, Man Ray and Photo-Painting (Lecture)
6.   The American Tradition: Weston, Adams and White (Lecture)

Slide Review and Examination Preparation.

Module Skills

Problem_solving Contextualizing historical precedent in the history of photography (e.g. visual, cultural, media, conceptual effects of the medium)  
Research skills Researching through the use of library resources (National Library, Hugh Owen) as well electronic resources (e.g. JOEY, the internet), object studies (School of Art collections, NLW collections of photographs  
Communication Written communication skills  
Improving own Learning and Performance Written, critical, IS and research skills further developed  
Team work Seminar discussion groups and debate  
Information Technology Writing in an academic context using word processing and CAL systems  

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Barthes, Roland. (1982) Camera lucida : reflections on photography London: Cape
Brothers, Caroline. , 1996. (1996) War and photography : a cultural history. London : Routledge
Clarke, Graham. (1997) The photograph Oxford University Press
Ed. Ian Jeffrey. London (1993) Bill Brandt Photographs 1928-1983 Thames and Hudson, London
Jeffrey, Ian. 1981. (1981) Photography : a concise history London: Thames and Hudson,
Malcolm, Janet. Diana &. , (1980) Nikon : essays on the aesthetic of photography Boston: D. R. Godine
Newhall, Beaumont. 1972 (1972) The history of photography: from 1839 to the present day. London: Secker and Warburg
Sontag, Susan. (1979) On photography London: Penguin
Trachtenberg, Alan. (1989) Reading American photographs : images as history, Matthew Brady to Walker Evans. New York: Hill & Wang
Warner Marien, M. (2002) Photography, A Cultural History London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd.,


This module is at CQFW Level 6