History of Photography Podcast

Reviews For History of Photography Podcast

I love this podcast. The host’s quiet passion always comes through, whether he’s talking about a street photographer or the early advent of a camera (the Brownie) marketed to kids. I always learn something new! I’m hooked.
This is absolutely the best podcast for learning photography’s history. Brilliant photographer and educator Jeff Curto gives you nothing less than a college level course worth of lectures on photography and its place in history. His years of experience and warm demeanor means that he knows how to keep it interesting and fun.
Just found this podcast while looking for someone to listen to while doing some boring paperwork. Very interesting, only wish the episode were a tad longer. Still a great way for a photography student to pass some time.
What a wonderful way to learn about the history of photography! As a busy professional photographer this podcast is priceless. It's like going to Pratt for free!
I am thoroughly enjoying the podcast and really appreciate all the time Curto takes to share his wealth of knowledge! Highly recommend.


I adore this podcast. I've been listening for three years now and it's always fresh and interesting. I love the video format Jeff uses now.
My only wish is that I would like to see the pictures your discussing with the class. I've seen podcasts change the "Cover Photo" during the show. And sometimes I can't hear the questions students are asking.
Professor Curto brings the history of photography to life. Kudos!!!
Interesting and informative and I do recommend it. But I have to mention that it is best to take it in small bites. If you listen too often some of Jeff’s speaking habits begin to, well, annoy. He suffers from a variation of Valley Girl speak we sometimes hear from older, well-educated and otherwise very articulate people. He can’t help but litter his talk with endless “sort ofs” and “kind ofs”. Serving as all purpose adjectives and adverbs, their usage makes him sound equivocating and afraid to go on record with even the most straightforward statement or description. He describes one part of a scene as “sort of the sweep of the shoreline.” An artist has “sort of a penchant” because he “kind of felt like.” Add in some “I means” and a few “you knows” and it kind of sort of like becomes distracting. And finally it is totally uncool for a 60 year old guy to feel he has to use “totally” and “cool” when responding to his students. I know it’s free, so I must be a fastidious curmudgeon, but the folks in the class are paying for it. So, Jeff, take a stand and let us know what you think, say it unequivocally!
I have been subscribing to and enjoying this podcast for several years but this season almost every episode has been plagued with technical problems. The second to last one I downloaded had so much static it was unlistenable and as I type this review I am listening to the latest one which suffers from the same problem. It used to be one episode per season would be a useless mess of technical problems, now it is every one. The only thing I can do is to delete the episodes and hope that the next one is at least tolerable, but it might just be time to unsubscribe and forget about it.
A great series of lectures filled not only with a fascinating take on the history of photography, but provocative and thoughtful interpretations of what it all means. In addition, Jeff Curto has a great presentation style. If you are interested in photography, don't miss this podcast.
Class 10 - Spring 10 Jeff Curto gives some highly inaccurate information in regards to Robert Capa, D-Day and his famous motto First: - Curto fails to properly explain that Capa came in with the first assault wave on Omaha Beach. If you saw 'Saving Private Ryan', then you can imagine what went on that morning on the beach. The reality of that event was far worse than depicted in the movie. US forces alone suffered 3000 dead an 1500 wounded within a few short hours of hitting the beach. Please keep in mind that Mr. Capa went voluntarily on this mission, because among other reasons, he believed that if he was going to photograph soldiers risking their life, he had to share that same risk with them. Otherwise he could not live with himself and do his job. The images are shaky because: - Capa and the troops were dodging a hailstorm of German machine gun fire. No time to break out the tripod and take a calm shot. - Capa was scared beyond anything he had previously experienced and he freely admits this in his book "Slightly out of Focus" - He was shooting with 100asa film in the early gray of an overcast morning, which did not allow for the use of high shutter speeds to freeze the action. (Capa carried two Zeiss Contax rangefinder cameras with 50mm lenses. He made approximately 100 - 110 exposures.) The film was NOT processed on a landing craft or support ship and it was NOT damaged by using the wrong developer. This is also not the reason why the grain is so pronounced in these shots. This is what happened. It is documented in several books and I heard it from John G. Morris himself at a presentation. Capa barely made it back alive from the beach to a support ship. There he helped unload the wounded, took some more pictures and eventually collapsed from physical and mental exhaustion. He awoke a short time later and the unprocessed film was sent back across the English Channel to the LIFE magazine office in London. Capa included a note to John G. Morris (Photo editor, LIFE) telling him that 'all the action was on the 35mm rolls'. He had taken some shots on 120 roll film, but these were made on the support ship, not the beach or landing craft. All pictures had to be cleared by a government censor, before they could be shipped to the USA and LIFE magazine headquarters for publication. Prints and negatives were transported via airplane to the United States, from England. The film was properly processed at the LIFE magazine lab, but time was running out. In order to clear the censor and reach the airplane before take off, the heat in the drying cabinet was increased. This resulted in the emulsion melting off the film base. Of the roughly 106 shots, only 11 shots survived. John G. Morris rushed prints of these 11 images to the censor, where they were approved and loaded on an airplane to New York, headed for LIFE magazine. It should be noted that when Capa found out about this, he took it surprisingly well. In fact he told Morris that if the lab assistant was fired as a result of the incident, that he would quit LIFE. Second: Capa's famous slogan: "If your pictures aren't good enough, then you're not close enough" Jeff Curto interprets this as Capa being a chest beating, macho guy, which couldn't be further from the truth. Capa was incredibly brave, but beneath his jovial facade he was a sensitive and troubled man. Capa meant two things by that line. The obvious one being that you need to be physically close to your subject. You need to breath the same air and take the same risks as your subject. But he also meant that you need to be emotionally close to your subject. You need to be compassionate or passionate, because you understand their emotional state. Remember kids, just because it's on the internets, does it mean that it's true, although quite frankly I don't understand how Jeff Curto is qualified to teach a class, if he can't get the basic facts about one of the most famous figures in photography straight.
This is a great class. Curto knows how to tie the loops together of history, culture and politics with elegance, wit and intelligence. Most recently, I was really taken by the women and photography class. His interest, support and knowledge had me humming right along with him. This was a class I wished I had taken in college years ago. Until the last few moments when he asks why are their no female landscape photographers. I was surprised and disappointed that he seems to allude to gender being a defining factor in this seemingly sewn up equation. Here are two names for you Mr Curto: Justine Kurland(Whitney Biennial 2010) and Paula McCartney (Bird Watching: MoCP Summer 2010.) I hope you include them in future lectures as I am sure there will be more female names to add to those two in short time. Thanks for a great class and thanks for sharing as a free podcast.
Jeff Curto is in great form here, giving you what amounts to a college-level introduction to the history of photography. He takes an easy tone throughout and adds instructive photos to shed light on the historic figures who should command your attention in this field. I've recommended this podcast as well as his Camera Position podcast to fellow members of my local camera club.
This is an excellent podcast -- one of the best photo podcasts on iTunes IMO. Jeff Curto offers an excellent overview of the history of photography from it's inception in 1839 to the modern day. His narrative is easy to follow and well illustrated. I think this is best viewed on a larger screen but it works on an iPod as well. The podcast is excellent for anyone interested in the history of photography and is an excellent review (or preview) of the subject for photography students. I listened through this series before taking a history of photography program in my college certificate program and the knowledge gained here helped me ace the course. Highly recommended.
While I took a couple wonderful photography classes with Dr. Keith McElroy at the University of Arizona many moons ago, I would have greatly appreciated taking Jeff's classes at the same time. Both compliment each other well. I am ever so grateful that Jeff allows me to follow along with his class year after year. Thanks!
This is a very unique podcast that helped me understand the variety of forces and faces that have influenced - and continue to influence - the world of photography. I was surprised and humbled by how many have gone through the same creative processes for more than a hundred years now. I listened to all the episodes of the 2008 fall session. Each episode kept me engaged and interested - thanks to Jeff's engrossing presentation. Best podcast to listen to if you need some inspiration for taking more photos. It does need some time investment - not just for listening but for assimilating the ideas in it as well. However, once you start listening you will soon find yourself going out of the way to make time to listen to it. Thanks Jeff. Really appreciate you sharing.
I don't have much time to sit down and study, so it's great to listen to your podcast about the history of photography. I listend to it while I work in construction. In my time off, I practice what I hear and study. Thanks Jeff!
Jeff is an excellent speaker about our craft, and this podcast grabs my attention and holds it completely. At the end of each one, I'm excited, motivated, and sad that we have to wait for more. Bravo!
I listened to every lecture on my iPod and then sometimes on my computer so I could review the extensive slides that accompanied the lectures. The organization of material is interesting, and links on Jeff's website are very useful. It's incredible that this is available as a free resource.
Who knew it could be so interesting? I put the whole lot on my ipod for a 2 week trip and by the time I returned I had listened to all of them. My only regret is that I didn't have a Photography teacher like Jeff Curto.
Jeff, Thanks so much for posting this.. I just found it and Im am in love with this information. The portrait episode is perticularly my style.. incedibly detailed, full, and deep information.. I love southworth and hawes!!!.. -busta
Many of these lectures are really worth listening to! I learned a TON and enjoyed it all. Not only is the content excellent, but Jeff's personality is engaging and I wish I could be in his class!!! (How to pronounce names? Nagi LOL)
Photo History Lectures is a great way to get informed on the history of photography without taking a class. I don't have the ability to take this class due t my busy schedule so I try to get as much out of this podcast as possible.
Jeff Curto's lectures are fantastic for anyone with an interest in the art of photography or art history. Curto guides listeners through the brief but fascinating -- and ever-changing -- history of the media while delving into photography's effects on the world around it and the world's effects on photography. For anyone who always wanted to take that elective, but couldn't fit it into their schedules, or those who want to understand where photography came from and how and why it developed the way it did, this podcast is a true blessing.
This is a top quality podcast and a perfect example of how one person can share his knowledge through podcasting for the betterment of all of us. Each podcast is a lecture from Jeff Curto's History of Photography class at College of DuPage in Illinois. The experience is really like you're auditing this interesting class. The lecture slides are included in this Enhanced Podcast for viewing on your iPod or iTunes, and extra handouts and larger versions of the slides are available on his website. These history lessons have given me a much better understanding of what the media of photography is, where it came from, who has shaped its development, and how it affects our society.
If your interest in photography goes beyond the number of megapixels the latest Canon or Nikon cameras have, this podcast is a must. Jeff Curto is a professor of photography at a college in Chicago's suburbs, and you get to sit in on his lectures as he covers photography's origins and evolution through the present day. Beyond the discussions on the technology, styles and famous, infamous and anonymous photographers, you will get a good dose on the impact of photography on the world, culture and society. This last aspect is my favorite part of the podcast. The lectures are long as each episode is a complete class session. This makes it great for a long commute on the subway on my way to work. Jeff's podcast has all his class slides with his notes and examples, so a Video ipod comes in great if you want to listen away from your computer.
For anyone with a passion for photography, the issue is a must listen. Jeff provides a laid back presentation of the rich history of photography. He often provides insight into the famous and not-so-famous figures in photography, as well as a great discussion of the role the art has played in out history. Great podcast.
Worth the time if you have a real interest in following the beginnings of photography through current day. These lectures on everyone from Daguerre to Cartier-Bresson to Meyerowitz offer a lot of great information. The enhanced podcasts work well with images supporting Jeff's points and vice versa. Includes plenty of interesting info. on how the technology of photography has progressed.