It starts with the obvious - the invention of photography and the various methods developed for capturing images. There are a couple of videos showing how labour intensive this all was. It then moves on to show how photography was used throughout the 19th century:
- To record the growing interest in ancient civilisations, and there are some fantastic shots of Egypt, India and Burma
- Anthropology, to record medical specimens and compare ethnic groups for research and teaching
- Potraiture - this was primarily wealthier households who began to compile family albums
- Panoramic imagery - fairly crude but impressive nonetheless
- Muybridge sequences which were hailed as the precursor to the moving image
- War and its aftermath, eg the Crimean
- Urban renewal eg the construction of the Crystal Palace
What have I learned?
I noticed that there were no examples of photography purely for art's sake, so I suppose that back in the 19th photography was more purposeful. Possibly due to the time and costs involved in producing each image?