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Take a 40-Minute Tour Through the History of Photography

Great Britain’s Royal Institution has put together a fascinating “tour through the history of photography.” Using his own camera collection as a jumping off point, chemist Andrew Szydlo takes you through a sort of “crash course” on the history of photography in 41 minutes.

Many of our readers will already know most (if not all) of the history described and explained in this lecture, but for newbies, history buffs, or photo enthusiasts who haven’t ever dived into the subject, Sydlo covers a lot of ground in a (relatively) short time.

In the first 30 minutes, he covers:

  • The camera obscura and pinhole cameras – 3:55
  • The first photograph – 5:10
  • The first proper cameras – 10:09
  • Henri Cartier Bresson – 19:35
  • SLR cameras – 22:00
  • Other ‘interesting’ cameras – 23:25
  • Digital cameras – 27:55

Then, around the 29:30 mark, Szydlo ends the presentation with a photography/chemistry demo in which he creates a simple photogram.

If you have a hankering for some educational content–or know someone who might enjoy this crash course in photo history–check out the full video up top. And if you enjoyed this, keep an eye on the Royal Institution’s YouTube channel because they’ve promised to publish a “Part 2” that explores the chemistry of photography in the same depth.

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