Bill Jay On Photography /essays and articles     page 2
To the reader: I have added the date of writing or first publication at the end of each article, where known. I confess to a laxity in keeping such records - the next article, the one not yet written, is far more engaging than the fate of past ones. Some of the articles have also appeared in my three anthologies: Cyanide and Spirits (1991), Occam's Razor (1992), and Sun in the Blood of the Cat (2001).

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Feel free to print articles for your personal use. Additional writings will be posted at frequent intervals.

Passing Shots: The pistol/rifle camera in photographic history, 1858-1938
Past Perfect:
The relevance of the history of photography to contemporary artists
Perils and Pleasures of Making Lists:
The Book of 101 Books
Photographic Pleasures, Popularly Portrayed with Pen and Pencil:
Photographers as Exhibitionists:
A few of the reasons why gallery and museum exhibitions of photographs are so predictable and dull.
Photographs and Facial Expressions:
Charles Darwin's use of photographs for The Expressions of the Emotions in Man and Animals, 1872
The Contradictions are Clear
Photography as Metaphor:
When photographs were presumed to tell the truth...
Photography by Degrees:
Notes on photographic education
Photography, God and the Devil:
Religious attitudes to photography in the 19th century
Photography- the Third Wave:
The digital revolution and what it portends for photography
Pointing a Finger at the Moon:
Reflections on a teaching career
Prices of Photographs:
Average charges for images in Victorian photographic studios
Private Views on Public Speaking
Professors and Professionals:
A plea for bridging the divide
Publish and Perish:
An open letter regarding academic peer reviews and evaluations
Punch magazine, 1841-1891:
Comprehensive list of prose, verse and illustration relating to photography during its first fifty years
Queen Victoria's Second Passion:
Royal patronage of photography in the 19th century
Royal Command:
Francis Bedford's photographs of the educational tour of the Middle East by the Prince of Wales, 1862.
Say No To Negatives:
A gentle spoof on political correctness
Search for the Soul:
The mystery of James Kidd's search for the soul
So Much for Individuality
Something Fishy:
On looking at a photograph by Robert Heinecken
Souls on a Plate:
A mad photographer kills his sitters in order to picture their departing souls- The Camera Fiend, 1911, by E. W. Hornung
Smoking in the Darkroom
The Black Art:
The problem of silver stains in 19th century photography
The Camera Fiend:
Snapshots introduce ethics into photography
The Curious Case of Combination Portraits
The Hypnotic Photographs of Emil Boirac:
Strange experiments with a Victorian obsession
The Myth of Fact:
Statements of historical fact are less certain than they seem
The Myth of the Picture "Story":
Photographs are images, not ideas
The Naked Truth:
The female nude and political correctness
The Other Side of Photography:
For a discussion on photography/art education
The Photographer as Aggressor:
When photography became a moral act
The Romance of Photography:
Advice on love and marriage from the 19 century photographic press
The Thing Itself:
The fundamental principle of photography
The Victorian Traveler
and the accompanying camera
The Disturbing Image (a survivalist guide to contemporary photography)
Titles and Trends:
How a photograph is titled offers clues to how it should be viewed
Uncaring Camera:
issues of morality in photography
Up the Nile with Francis Frith:
Francis H. Wenham, 1824-1908
Valentine Blanchard 1831-1901:
A once-famous but now forgotten Victorian photographer
W. Eugene Smith:
A personal snapshot
Walter Bentley Woodbury 1834-1885:
and the history of his Woodburytype process
What Ever Happened to Humor?
Wordplay in the 19th century photographic press
What's in a Name:
Problems of attribution in Victorian photography
Whiffley Puncto and Co:
Pseudonyms in 19th century photographic journals
Why Weegee Was Not A Westerner:
Or, the secret of successful landscape photography
William Jerome Harrison 1845-1909:
Brief notes on one of the earliest photographic historians
Women In Photography:
The number of females, 1840-1900

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