09 150 years of inspiration
If you only go to one show this winter, make it this one!
The Royal Photographic Society of the UK is the oldest photographic society in the world, and possesses an unrivalled collection of historic photographs and artefacts. We’re talking over 250,000 images, 8,000 items of photographic equipment and 31,000 books, periodicals and documents.
The cream of this collection, set up at the behest of Queen Victoria’s consort Prince Albert, is to go on show in early December at the Science Museum in central London. This unique and historic exhibition features some of the earliest known images, dating back to the 1820s, by pioneers of photography such as Roger Fenton, William Henry Fox Talbot and Julia Margaret Cameron, alongside contemporary works by Don McCullin, Terry O’Neill, Martin Parr and other modern greats.
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* The exhibition is called Drawn by Light, and opens at the Media Space in London’s Science Museum on 2nd December. It will run until 3rd March next year, and tickets cost £8. Full details are at * There’s so much inspiration to be had from the images, that it’s hard to know where to start, but what’s particularly interesting is how photography found its own voice in the 19th century, and emerged as an art form in its own right as the technology improved – rather than being the poor relation of painting. * A purely technical analysis of the images on display rather misses the point (the best photographs are always greater than the sum of their parts), but it’s worth paying particular attention to composition. There will be nothing in the frame ‘by accident,’ that ends up unintentionally distracting you – so think about how you can apply this core principle to your photography. Notice too how often many great photographers ‘break the rules’. * Read our 175 Years of Photography, free with issues 153-155, before you go!
Paul Strand / RPS
Learn from the pioneers of photography at the Drawn by Light exhibition at London’s Science Museum until March 2015