Photography and Geography


The Geographical Teacher - 1901

The Geographical Teacher – 1901

‘Amateur Photography as an Aid in Teaching Geography’

“Nowadays the camera and the bicycle go everywhere hand in hand. The cyclist has splendid opportunities for photography, and photography is a pleasant addition to the cyclist’s enjoyment. With these two machines the teacher of Geography can do some good solid work. In the camera particularly [s]he will find a valuable friend and helper. Although many teachers still delight in the long lists of old-fashioned text-books, yet many are trying to vivify their work instead of presenting a mass of dry bones. They know that there is no subject on which boys [sic] can be keener, and they will find the camera a great aid in their present uphill task of teaching a subject which rarely receives the recognition it deserves”

C. Carter (1901) The Geographical Teacher Vol. 1. No. 1 pp. 27

To read this charmingly antique yet prescient article click here.

The journal The Geographical Teacher ran from 1901 – 1926. This first article shows the central importance of the visual image, and especially the photograph, in the academic study of geography; a discipline which to this day “rarely receives the recognition it deserves”. It is interesting that Carter here links the emerging middle-class pursuit of photography with another bourgeois device of mobility – the bicycle. The camera and the bicycle would go on to have profound and far reaching impacts on the century that The Geographical Teacher had just begun to publish in.

The camera is a geography machine.

Thursday 30th October 2014
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