Photography was the kernel of lecture and lab practical. Of particular interest was the suggested BBC documentary, called the The Genius of Photography. Which depicted a camera obscura in a Venetian room by the American photographer Abe Morrell . A striking demonstration of the capturing of light by very simple means, yet the foundation for all subsequent cameras.
Daguerreotype reproduction highlighted the photograph as an object of beauty in and of itself, something that was lost with the onset of mass camera production based on Fox Talbots’ calotype process. The mass availability of cameras led to a vernacular genre of photography, which has been maligned by some professional photographers, yet it still includes many images of great beauty.
A generic technical overview of the workings of cameras included detail on the aperture. The manipulation of the aperture, making it shallower or wider impacts the depth of field. The wider the aperture, the smaller the depth of field. Equally the narrower the aperture, the greater the depth of field.
The photos below highlight the difference between a narrow and a wide aperture, this is measured by F stops/numbers. It is slightly counter intuitive, a larger F number equals a narrower aperture.
The photo on the left was taken with an F stop value of 2.6. Here the focus of further objects is blurred. More light has been allowed into the camera lens through a wider aperture, reducing the ability to focus on more objects, and reducing the depth of field. The photo on the right has a value of F6.6, a greater number of objects are in focus, such as the clouds in the background. The smaller the aperture the less light is allowed in, and greater depth of field is created.