Photo Histories
The Photographers' History of Photography

Photo Histories

John Angerson's English Journey

Published in 1934, J.B. Priestley’s English Journey became one of the most influential books in the nation’s response to the Great Depression. When photographer John Angerson retraced the writer’s footsteps three quarters of a century later he found a changed landscape, but one in which Priestley’s observations, and the observations of some great British photographers remain as pertinent as ever, writes Graham Harrison.

The Two Lives of Thomas Frederick Hardwich (1829-1890)

Author of a best-selling manual on photographic chemistry and close friend and collaborator with the great Robert Howlett, TF Hardwich departed London following the death of his friend to become a vicar and doctor in a colliery village in Durham. Rose Teanby investigates the two lives of a Victorian pioneer.

Look, Observe and Think

Dealers unhappy with auction houses, auctioneers looking for new markets and the new Tate Modern on building its photography collection: A report by Graham Harrison.

Julia Margaret Cameron and Britain’s Photographic Heritage

Graham Harrison looks at the life and work of Julia Margaret Cameron and the history of an unsettled and priceless collection of work which includes some of her finest photographs, that seems set to make a controversial move from the National Media Museum at Bradford to the V&A in London.

A Pocket Full of Kodachromes

The opening of the first major UK show of the American artist and modest pioneer of colour photography, Saul Leiter, prompts Graham Harrison to catch the early morning bus to London.

Harold Evans and Pictures on a Page

It’s nearly 40 years since Harold Evans wrote Pictures on a Page, generally considered the definitive text on photojournalism, graphics and picture editing. Graham Harrison reads an early edition of the book and meets the celebrated newspaperman in London as he collects a major publishing award.

The Trace of a Trace

As the exhibition Conflict Time Photography opens in Essen, Germany after four months at Tate Modern in London, Graham Harrison considers some big prints with obscure titles with the help of The Violence of the Image, a book that examines the impact of war photography on modern society.

Tony Ray-Jones and the Lyrical Origin of Parrworld

‘Only in England,’ the inaugural exhibition at the Media Space, the London venue for the National Photography Collection, places Martin Parr’s early black and white project, The Non-Conformists, beside the work of Tony Ray-Jones who Parr cites as a major influence. Graham Harrison visits the Science Museum to take a look.

The History Men: Helmut Gernsheim and Nicéphore Niépce

Born one hundred and fifty years apart the achievements of the struggling landowner and inventor Nicéphore Niépce and the groundbreaking photo historian Helmut Gernsheim were inextricably linked when Gernsheim rediscovered Niépce’s long-lost first photograph in a trunk. Graham Harrison looks at the exploits of the photographer turned historian and of the brilliant, but ill-fated, Frenchman who Gernsheim proved was the true inventor of photography.

The Light Shone and Was Spent: Robert Howlett and the Power of Photography

Within a year of producing one of the greatest portraits of the nineteenth century photographer Robert Howlett lay dying in his Kensington lodgings. Finding the history books wanting, David White argues it’s time to reassess the importance of the Victorian with the modern eye.