The Genius Of Photography
In the most comprehensive look at the most influential art form in the world, the series explores every aspect of photography - from daguerreotype to digital, portraits to photo-journalism, art to advertising; in the UK, America, China, Japan, Africa and beyond. It includes interviews and encounters with some of the world’s greatest living photographers including William Eggleston, Nan Goldin, William Klein, Martin Parr, Sally Mann, Robert Adams, Juergen Teller, Andreas Gursky, Jeff Wall and many others. But as well as telling the stories behind the world’s greatest photographs and the photographers who took them, the series examines the ‘genius’ of photography itself, this magical, unpredictable and democratic medium that has transformed the way we see ourselves and our world.
The series culminates in an examination of the impact of the digital post-production techniques that make anything possible, and looks at the rediscovery of techniques which are taking photography back to the 19th century.
With contributions from Jeff Wall, Andreas Gursky, Gregory Crewdson and one of China’s leading photographer Wang Qingsong.
Fixing the Shadows tells the story of the birth of photography itself and the profound question that it raised, and which has never been satisfactorily answered: what is photography for? Detailing the rival methods of the pioneers Henry Fox Talbot and Louis Daguerre for ‘fixing the shadows’, the programme examines how photography took its place alongside other new technologies like the railway and telegraph to transform our understanding of the modern world. It describes how pioneer photographers like the portraitist Nadar asserted the status of photography as an art only for this status to be transformed by the Kodak revolution, which put the camera into the hands of the masses who unlocked its potential for surreality, randomness and surprise. Finally it examines the case of Jacques-Henri Lartigue, the schoolboy photographer who demonstrated the true genius of photography in the hands of the amateur. Includes interviews with Chuck Close and David Byrne.