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History of Photography

History of Photography

London College of Communication
Taught by
A respected industry expert


A stimulating introduction to the diverse histories of photography, combining lectures and visits. This course has been designed for photographers who wish to get a better understanding of historical contexts as well as those who enjoy learning more about image making. Making links between historical approaches and contemporary practice, we will critically investigate key movements, transformations and changing methods, from first experiments and photography’s invention to photography in the 21st Century.

You'll take part in lectures, discussions and guided exhibition visits to London galleries, collections and archives, such as the V&A Photography Centre and The Photographers’ Gallery. Looking at different genres and movements including Street Photography, Surrealism, the Objectivity School and new approaches to the medium in the digital age, you will view historic photographic prints and experience contemporary artworks up close. 

You will leave the course with the ability to interpret, discuss and evaluate photographic works and have a clear understanding of historical contexts. If you are a practising photographer you will be able to use your research to contextualise and further your approach. 

Topics Covered

  • Photographic Inventions: Technology, Science and the Practice of Light
  • Portraiture: Identity and the Other
  • Modernist Photography: Surrealism, Straight Photography and the Image as Document
  • Postmodern Approaches and Conceptual Art
  • The Digital Image: Virtual Networks and Post-Truth

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Interpret, discuss and evaluate photographic works
  • Demonstrate an understanding of historical contexts and influences
  • Make connections between historical, contextual studies, first hand research and your practice 

Who Should Attend

This course is for you if you are a photographer who wants a better understanding of historical contexts and critical debates in photography or  professionals in the arts who wish to expand their knowledge and skills within photography specialism. Alternatively you may be interested in this as a hobby or personal passion.


Beginner. You don't need any experience or knowledge to take this course. 

Follow Up Courses

After you have completed this course you may want to continue your photography practice on Summer: Contemporary Photography Practices or Magnum Documentary Intensive

Tutor Description

This course will be taught by a respected industry expert.

Available dates