Amateurs and Artists: 19th and 21st Century Photography in the South West
A conference to be held by Royal Photographic Society, Historical Group
13th–15th May 2011, Lecture Theatre 2, Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA
Early photography in Plymouth is an untold story. Robert Hunt, independent inventor of photographic processes, Richard Beard, the first daguerreotype licensee, Charles Eastlake RA, first RPS president, and Linnaeus Tripe, an early calotypist, were all from Plymouth. W.H.F. Talbot, inventor of the positive/negative (calotype negative) process, photographed Plymouth in 1845 and Roger Fenton photographed the Royal Albert Bridge, Saltash, in 1858. Local interest in photography was such that the Devon and Cornwall Photographic Circle was established in January 1854.
The conference is linked closely to three exhibitions. Amateurs and Artists: Early Photography and Plymouth at Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, on display 9th April to 30th July 2011. Out of the Ordinary, a group exhibition of work by members of the Royal Photographic Society, South West Contemporary Group is on display at Sherwell Centre, University of Plymouth, 9th to 27th May 2011. The third exhibition, Chemical Traces, is a response to Amateurs and Artists: Early Photography and Plymouth, and will be on display in Scott Building, University of Plymouth. Tours of these exhibitions form part of the conference on Friday and there will be a special viewing of Amateurs and Artists on Friday, 5.30 – 7.00 pm.
See the RPS page for the event for full details. Apart from the main conference, there are two optional free events on Sunday May 15th:
- A calotype demonstration. Revisiting the site of William Henry Fox Talbot’s photograph The Victualling Office, Plymouth, 1845, a view from the Battery at Mount Edgcumbe across Plymouth Sound. Take the Cremyll Ferry, Admirals Hard, Stonehouse, Plymouth, to Mount Edgcumbe. Ferry fare is £1.20 each way, journey time 8 minutes. Meet at the Orangery (café), three minutes walk from the ferry (there is a car park if you wish to drive there) at 11.30 am. The calotype will be made at the Battery, approximately 12 noon.
- FREE Reconstruction of the position of the early 19th century Camera Obscura on The Promenade, Plymouth Hoe with an opportunity to view the optics and the panorama within the Fotonow VW Camper Obscura. The Fotonow VW Camper Obscura will be operating on The Promenade, Plymouth Hoe, Friday 13th May until Sunday 15th May, 2011, 9 am until 6.30 pm.