Manarat Al Saadiyat exhibition to show historical images for first time in the Middle East

The photography showcase will give an overview of early image-capturing techniques by pioneering shutterbugs

Eadweard Muybridge's Animal Locomotion (1887) will be on display at the Manarat Al Saadiyat. Photo: Auer Photo Foundation
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A new exhibition at Photography Studio at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi will take visitors on a journey to the origins of the visual art form.

Opening to the public on Monday, The Shot is an exhibition showcasing a collection of historically significant images, featuring original prints from the early 1840s, taken using some of the first photo and cine cameras.

The rare selection of historical images by renowned and significant photographers will be on display for the first time ever in the Middle East.

As a byproduct of having advanced and sophisticated cameras on smartphones, many people today take photography for granted. The Shot will be an engaging exhibition for visitors to understand the origins of a medium that has become a part of everyday life around the world.

Providing an engaging and informative overview of the history of photography, the exhibition will display shooting techniques and an array of images they produced from the early 1800s. These include works by pioneering and renowned shutterbugs at the time.

Visitors to the exhibition will get an understanding of the techniques, technology and skills photographers needed at the time to capture the world around them in creative and engaging ways, despite the use of very basic cameras and equipment.

The exhibition will also highlight how modern-day techniques have reproduced and enhanced these works, using innovative methods that focus on light and shadow.

History enthusiasts will also have a chance to view original photo prints of historical figures in political, artistic and literary fields, from the 1840s and onwards.

The Shot will provide a thorough and reverse reading of the creative processes used in the visual art form at the time, highlighting how the medium has developed and advanced over the years.

Manarat Al Saadiyat is also providing visitors opportunities to partake in interactive workshops to experience the earliest form of photo capturing, using a dark room known as Al Qumra, the origins of which are attributed to the work of Arab scientist Ibn al-Haytham.

Other workshops include photography in a traditional studio and learning how to process and print images based on the style of different time periods.

The Shot will run from December 19 until April 24 at Manarat Al Saadiyat

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