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Lecture 4

Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Louis Daguerre, Mathew Brady, Dry Plate

Media, Information and Technoculture
Course Code
MIT 2000F/G
Daniel Robinson

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Week 4: Photography/Photojournalism
Monday, September 26, 2016
11:19 PM
Early Photography
Daguerreotype, 1839
Louis Daguerre came up with the first type of photography
See the spread of photographic studios, can only shoot indoors
Unique image can only make one unique image (non-producible), a’t e repliated (limitation
same as being an artist and drawing a piece of art)
Cheaper than getting portrait painted
Wet Plate Collodion
Web plate collodion process, 1850s-
o Multiple print from single glass negative (multiple copies)
o Cheaper, more mobile, user friendly
o Labour intensive, slow, lets you shoot outdoors
Might shoot a lot and only be able to use one
o Had to have all the wet chemicals, so the dry plate was invented
o Needed a portable darkroom
Dry Plate Collodion Process
Became more mobile, starts to see more travel type photos (exploration)
No more portable darkrooms
o Did not need all the chemicals
Alloed people like George Daso ap aker Geologial “urey of Caada brought
photography along with geography
Photos of Remote areas
Mathew Brady famous photographer in the U.S.
Had a portrait studio in NYC
In his studio he often did portraits with celebrities, politicians,
High sociologic level
Portraiture embodies nation history, model of citizenships
Taking these images that could portraits citizenship values
Believed ones character could be shown in a photography
Not random shots, planned
Simple backdrops to focus on the face
Lighting highlighted the sculpture of the face
Dignified posing and even dramatic presentation of oneself
o Nationalism
o Citizenship
o Character
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Democratic Portraiture
Middle class people were now able to have their photographs taken
A photo i  ould’e ost  et half days laour
Painted portraits
o Wealthy/luxury
o Having photographs in homes was a sign of democratization
o Up util this tie, you did’t ko ho you preset yourself to others
Photographic portrait
o Emblem of democracy
Individual as Coherent Self
Symbol of Inner Self Not just a recording, but you can see a character through photos
The Living Dead
Deathrates are higher die before their photo was taken
How do we remember this person? Get a photograph ith the ee if they’re dead
Photo as keepsake of deceased common feature of photography
“leepig “ujet
Seeing, Believing: War Documentary
Civil War, 1861-65
o M. Brady took photos of civil war was difficult for many people to see
o A. Garder/T. O’“ullia
o Horror of War
o Orchestrated Realism still shots of dead bodies
o Changed prior romanticized depiction
Romantic/Documentary Depiction
You start to see many different types of feelings with photography : terrible conditions in war,
Painting: you see heroism, nationalism
Social Documentary
Document social lives, especially in cities to see development
Jacob Riis
o Pulished a ook alled Ho the Other Half Lies, 
o Had many illustrations captured social causes of crime and other social problems and
publicized it
o Put pressure on their landlord to clean up their apartments
o Attempt to try to move public opinion to make them think that the government to do
Affect Social Change
Reform Movement
Cultural Other – photograph people and put them in another box differet fro you ad
highlight a alieated for of huaity, high soiety’s uriosity of the other lass, ouristi
dimension, accompanied text were often racist in terms of their description. Poor Jews would
have: money is their God. Italian immigrants: Italian were born gamblers
Prejudice eyes
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