No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2016

VIS102 History of Photography (8)


This subject traces the development of photography from the optical processes of the camera obscura and early chemical forms of fixed direct image, through the development of the paper negative and box camera up to the SLR camera of the recent past.
Photography is treated as the outcome of technological, cultural, and commercial circumstances, and its effects on social life. We look at the technological, cultural and commercial influences and consider the importance of the production and use of photographic images in daily life.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details prior to contacting their course coordinator: VIS102
Where differences exist between the handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Communication and Creative Industries

Enrolment restrictions

Not available to students who have completed PHT107
Incompatible subject(s)Related subject(s)
PHT107 PHT107 VIS102 replaces PHT107

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
- be able to trace technological developments in photography and demonstrate their understanding of the links between cultural forms and technology
- be able to explain the reasons for the mass uptake of photography at given historic times
- be able to analyse examples of photographic works in terms of their historical provenance and medium


The subject will cover the following topics:
- Early optical processes of the camera obscura and camera lucida - Initial chemical processes leading to direct fixed images - Invention and refinement of the negative - Types and social significance of nineteenth-century photography - Development and mass uptake of portable and box cameras - Documentary and realistic photography of the early 20th Century and its social intent - Popular colour snapshot technology - Refinement of the SLR camera - Physical manipulation of the negative and positive image; causes and responses


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.