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Lecture 7

Communications lecture 7.docx

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Communication Studies
Ghislain Thibault

Visual Culture: photography and film  Late 19 century (1850-1900)  Alongside electric media, the 19 century saw the rise of 3 new writing systems: o Photograph (literal meaning: writing light) o Phonograph (writing sound) – when we taking a picture are we taking a photo of a moment that will now last through time? o Cinemato-graph (writing movement) Photograph  1839: first commercial photographic system (called the daguerreotype)  Photography on paper made it possible to reproduce images mechanically  Photographs were slow to be regularly features in newspapers  ****VIDEO!*** EXAM  Daguere: artist who invented the photograph, created the diorama o his photographs were each one of a kind developed on a metal frame covered in iodine and developed in mercury o he never took a patent, he negotiated with the French government and earned himself money for life by making them available for use of the public domain. Democratization of access to technology o Made portraits possible for everyone who couldn’t afford paintings o People lined up to have their pictures taken for their children to see when they’re gone, or their grandchildren to see o Daguerrotypes were covered in glass to protect them and placed in a small ‘suitcase,’ picture frames developed out of this o Not in mass reproduction, just a single photograph, almost seen as a piece of art o The dauerrotype will be famous for only a few years, then film comes into being, and it becomes possible to reproduce these pictures on many papers o Similar to how the monastic scribes (artists) are replaced with printing press for mass production (film)  In newspapers, drawings and sketches were features in ads, not photographs, and printers had “sketchers”  The idea that pictures are worth 1000 words was not totally true back then, because people did not trust the pictures The Ride of photojournalism  Journalists using photos  Constitutive Elements o Halftone pictures (technical) o Press Photographers (social) o Photo Agencies – would send you a series of photos and you could buy some (business)  People are moving into cities to become informed, they’re reading by electric light etc.  By early 1870’s almost no newspapers used phot
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