The Royal Photographic Society / SHU Photography Research Day – Saturday 16 November

Photograph of Watt's workshop

The Royal Photographic Society/SHU Photography Research Day, 2019

On Saturday 16th November BA Photography will be hosting the 3rd joint Royal Photographic Society Historical Group / SHU Photography Research Day at Sheffield Hallam University in the Cantor lecture theatre. The event organised by Geoff Blackwell (RPS) and Andrew Robinson (SHU Photography) is free to all SHU staff and students and includes presentations and papers by external speakers and RPS members alongside SHU staff and students.

The morning session, chaired by Roger Farnham, will explore James Watt’s possible contribution to the origins of photography as a celebration of the 200-year anniversary of his death and the 250th anniversary of his steam engine patent.

Speakers on James Watt include Ben Russell from the Science Museum, who curates mechanical engineering and is responsible for the famous James Watt’s Workshop; Rose Teanby, who has been researching optical artefacts in Watt’s workshop, and Roger Farnham who will describe the research behind The James Watt Print Show and Watt’s 1780 patent letter-copier process. Roger will also explain how gallic acid, as used by Watt, became a key component in photography, as pyro in the wet collodion process, before taking on legendary status as a plate and film developer.

Photograph of Watt's workshop

The afternoon session from 1PM includes papers by Martin Barnes (Senior Curator of Photographs at the V&A), Dr Michael Pritchard (Director of Education and Public Affairs at the RPS) and Dr Ron Callender alongside SHU academics Dr David Clarke (Reader & Principal Lecturer in Journalism) and Andrew Robinson (Senior Lecturer in Photography) who are presenting papers exploring the role of photographs in the representation of custom, myth and legend as part of their work with The Centre for Contemporary Legend at SHU. Work by two photography students, current final year David Ketley and recent graduate Ali Dolbar will also be presented.

Please see here for the programme and details of the day.

There is no ticketing procedure – SHU staff and students are invited to turn up on the day however are asked to email Andrew in advance. The event is only open to SHU staff and students and RPS members.

Kindly supported by the Department of Media Arts and Communications (MAC).