The Genius of Photography

Exploring the key events and images that have marked the development of photography in a quest to understand what makes a truly great photograph.

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  • Snap Judgements 6 of 6
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    February 21, 2008

    What is a photograph worth these days? Digital post-production techniques make anything possible while techniques are being rediscovered that take photography back to the 19th century. With contributions from Jeff Wall, Andreas Gursky, Gregory Crewdson and China's leading photographer, Wang Qingsong.

  • We Are Family 5 of 6
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    February 14, 2008

    The pictures that photographers take of other people and the pictures they take of themselves: what happens through the 1970s (the "me" decade) and the 1980s (the "me, me, me" decade) when photography translates personal relationships into photographic ones. Works include Diane Arbus's "freaks," Richard Avedon's confrontations with celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and the confessional diaries of Nan Goldin and Araki.

  • Paper Movies 4 of 6
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    February 7, 2008

    Some of the "greatest paper movies" ever are Robert Frank's odyssey through 1950s America and William Klein's one-man assault on the sidewalks of New York. With much controversy, colour was becoming a credible medium for "serious" photographers. Contributors include William Klein, William Eggleston, Robert Adams, Joel Sternfeld, Joel Meyerowitz and artist Ed Ruscha.

  • Right Place, Right Time? 3 of 6
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    January 31, 2008

    Being in the right place at the right time. The decisive moment. Getting in close. In the popular imagination this is photography at its best, a medium that makes us eyewitnesses to the moments when history is made. Set against the backdrop of the Second World War and its aftermath, we see how photographers dealt with events like D-Day, the Holocaust and Hiroshima, With contributions from Magnum legends Philip Jones Griffiths and Susan Meiselas and soldier-lensman Tony Vaccaro.

  • Documents for Artists 2 of 6
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    January 24, 2008

    "Anyone who fails to understand photography," said 1920s photographer Laszlo Moholy-Nagy "will be one of the illiterates of the future." Alexander Rodchenko, August Sander, Man Ray, Walker Evans and Bill Brandt were among the most influential photographers of the 20th century. Martin Parr, Bernd and Hilla Becher and Mark Haworth-Booth contribute to the discussion.

  • Fixing the Shadows 1 of 6
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    January 17, 2008

    Since the remarkable achievements of the pioneer photographers, photography has become an integral part of the modern world. George Eastman made photography available to the masses with the invention of the Kodak brand. The work of Jacques-Henri Lartigue, child photographer and ultimate amateur.