In the course of our 170 year relationship, photography has delighted us, served us, moved us, outraged us and occasionally disappointed us. But mainly, it has intrigued us by showing the secret strangeness that lies beneath the world of appearances. And that is photography’s true genius.
Follow the story of photography in BBC Four’s six-part series ‘The Genius of Photography’. See some of the most famous photographs ever taken and find out more about what made them so very special.
The Genius of Photography is an excellent 6-part episode documentary initially presented on BBC, then to National Geographic, chronicling the history and progress of photography as an art form and a hobby that spanned from 19th century to this day. BBC Four’s series examines the crucial events and the important photographs that have started the growth of photography – from the first photographic process called daguerreotype to digital camera, from portraits towards photo-journalism, from art to creative advertising.
The film tells the tales behind the world’s greatest photographers, the first photographs they taken and the acknowledgement of photography being a reputable medium; from its usage as a necessary family ownership to the digital age. The film showcases interviews with some living legend photographers such as Martin Parr, William Eggleston, Jeff Wall, Juergen Teller, Nan Goldin, William Klein, Robert Adams, Sally Mann and Andreas Gursky, to fully understand what makes a genuinely great photograph.
As a breakdown of the history of photography the 1st episode discusses many ground and delivers an abundance of information. For the period of 170 years, photography bring joy to us, inspired us, surprise us, outraged us and at times upset us. Yet mostly, it has fascinated us about its wonderful, excitement and democratic medium which has changed the way we view ourselves and the world around us.
Below is a 15 minute excerpt from this extraordinary BBC series. Check out BBC stores online to purchase or download the complete series.