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A Personal Analysis of Two images from UCL collections (Cultural and Historical Geography) - Essay Example

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Cameras and photos have, to some extent, changed even the lifestyle of people. While just a few hundred years ago it took quite a while to paint a picture, taking one takes as little…
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A Personal Analysis of Two images from UCL collections (Cultural and Historical Geography)
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Download file to see previous pages This phenomenon is not a feature of photography, because a photo reflects exactly what a camera captures. For this reason photographs may even serve as evidence of certain historical events – they reflect the reality of the moment.
On this matter James Curtis outlines that “Public and scholarly faith in the realism of the photographic image is grounded in a belief that a photograph is a mechanical reproduction of reality” (Curtis 2003, pp.1-2). Therefore, it is possible to assume that in most cases a photograph can give rather precise information about the people, places and events of a particular moment in time. For this reason it is interesting to investigate the social, cultural and historical context of photographs from different time periods to find out how these geographical aspects change through time, and how they are reflected by photography.
Just like the ‘Group photograph of visit to Russia’, ‘Research into Heredity’ can be called a documentary photograph because it also tells a story of what was taking place around the moment of taking a picture. In particular, ‘Research into Heredity’ is a photo of a boating party. What is known is that the party took place sometime between 1880 and 1889, and the photograph of its participants was used by Sir Francis Galton as a part of his research into heredity and genetics.
Most likely Sir Galton kept this photograph for scientific purposes. It is seen that some faces were cut out of the photo. So, it might be assumed that those cut out faces were then used by the photographer as an aid in his research of heredity.
It can be seen that both, men and women, as well as some children, were present at the party. Most men are accompanied by a woman, so it is possible that men came to the party together with their families. Considering that many people in the photograph are relatives, the assumption ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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