Heads up for this: For the first time on British television, BBC Four chronicles the history of photography, in a major landmark series The Genius Of Photography. The series considers the importance of photography as an art form, looking at a multitude of the world's greatest photographs, interspersed with exclusive interviews with renowned photographers such as William Klein and Martin Parr. The series conjures up a picture of just how the camera has changed the way in which people view themselves and the world around them. Continuing the photography theme comes an incredible nine-part series, Archive Of The World, in which thousands of stunning colour photographs from the early 20th century are unveiled. They were commissioned by French financier Albert Khan as one of the most ambitious photographic projects ever to be undertaken, and the documentary series charts his amazing photographic journey across continents. http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/01_january/17/bbcfour.shtml Programme 1: Fixing the Shadows This tells the story of the inventions of photography and the way in which it became an integral part of the modern world. It describes the remarkable achievements of the pioneer photographers, the revolution that took place when George Eastman made photography available to the masses with the invention of the Kodak brand and the story of Jacques-Henri Lartigue, the child photographer and ultimate amateur. Programme 2: Documents for Artists Following the First World War, photography was the central medium of the age. Anyone who fails to understand photography, said the photographer Lazlo Moholy-Nagy will be one of the illiterates of the future. Episode Two examines in detail the work of some of the greatest and most influential modern photographers: Alexander Rodchenko, August Sander, Man Ray, Walker Evans and Bill Brandt. With contributions from Martin Parr, Bernd and Hilla Becher and Mark Haworth-Booth. Programme 3: Right Place, Right Time? Being in the right place at the right time, the decisive moment, getting in closein the popular imagination this is photography at its best, a medium that makes us eyewitnesses to the moments when history is made. Set against the backdrop of the Second World War and its aftermath, this examines how photographers dealt with dramatic and tragic events like D-Day, the Holocaust and Hiroshima With contributions from Magnum legends Philip Jones Griffiths and Susan Meiselas, soldier-lensman Tony Vaccaro and Jon Snow. Programme 4: Paper Movies The three decades from the late 1950s onwards was the real golden age of photographic journeys. Programme 4 relives the journeys that produced some of the greatest paper movies ever: Including Robert Franks odyssey through 50s America and William Kleins one-man assault on the sidewalks of New York. It also examines the arrival of colour as a credible medium for serious photographers, as controversial at the time as Dylan going electric. Contributors include legendary photographers like William Klein, William Eggleston, Robert Adams, Joel Sternfeld, Joel Meyerowitz and artist Ed Ruscha. Programme 5: We are Family Having conquered the street and the road, photographers approached the final frontier: the home, the self, private life. Programme 5 is about the pictures that photographers take of other people and the pictures they take of themselves. Its about what happens when photography translates personal relationships into photographic ones. The chronological heartland of the programme is the 1970s (the me decade) and the 1980s (the me, me, me decade) and includes examination of Diane Arbuss freaks, Richard Avedons confrontations with celebrities like Marylin Monroe and the confessional diaries of Nan Goldin and Araki. Programme 6: Snap Judgements The final programme asks what a photograph is worth these days. We also look at the impact of the digital post-production techniques that make anything possible and the rediscovery of techniques which are taking photography back to the 19th century. With contributions from Jeff Wall, Andreas Gursky, Gregory Crewdson and Chinas leading photographer Wang Qingsong. I pre-ordered the accompanying book for this series some months back and it arrived this week. It looks like a very nice addition to my library. Publication was originally due in May, then pushed to this month. Puzzingly I had a mail from Amazon last week saying it was delayed until October. I phoned the publisher who confirmed this and said it was delayed to coincide with the TC series which should air next month now. Then it arrived Monday. There are 6 chapters within this mighty tome: The Empire of Photography Here comes the New Photographer Some Decisive Moments (Maybe?) On the Road Face to Face What's it Worth? All of these look to have a prologue and epilogue chapter, and appear to follow the TV series closely then. 256 pages in all, and well worth 12 and a half of your Earth pounds.