Women participate in the photography world since the 1840s from Britain or France. Most of them were married to male pioneers or had close relationships with their families who developed photographs. In the late 1850s, women started to make photography as artwork for themselves. Until the 1890s, New York City’s initial photography studios were run by women. The timeline presents the 19 key female photographers in ther history. They are listed alphabetically.
The information visualization slides were creating by TimelineJS, an open-source tool developed by the Knight Lab. By following the instructions step by step, users can build visually rich, interactive timelines with a Google spreadsheet. In addition, the system provides the flexibility to apply JSON coding to customize more functional, aesthetic work.
To visualize the design slides of 19 women photographers, I utilized the template of the TimelineJS and inputted the data I collected from the Internet. To get the background knowledge of the topic, I researched the topic from Wikipedia and narrowed down the result by Google SEO. The search results came out that couples of female photographers’ names frequently show up. Then, I decided to refer to the article published by ThoughtCo., a premier reference website with over 20 years of authenticity and focus on expert-created education content.
The content of the slides included the title, subtitle, start and end date, name of female photographers, brief introduction, and their artworks or their portrait. Besides, I formated the background image and color in Minimalism. To make the design clearly understand and readable, I choose the white (#ffffff) background with a contrast black font color, which matches the most black-and-white photos in the slides. To keep the consistent design of this history topic, I pick up a Swiss typeface, Georgia & Helvetica, due to its legibility and neutrality.
From the research, I found out that Google Arts & Culture also dives into this topic. On their published slides, 7 Early Women Photographers You Should Know, the page was designed with vertically scrolling. Through users scroll down the website, the background image and description wording show a parallax movement. The presentation not only demonstrates the image of the photographer herself but also features the photographers’ works as well.
After completing the collected timeline material, I picked 19 selected women photographers and input their descriptive text and metadata in the Google Sheet template. Then, I copy and paste the spreadsheet URL into the timeline generator on the TimelineJS website to preview my results.
Through the timeline’s design process, I appreciated how the historical development of women’s rights reflects on female photography education. What makes those key women photography impacted the next generation. Some of them adventured new technology in their era, although it seems like challenging the controversial standards. Some of them thought out of the box that created their own style and built their empire in the photography industry.
The TimelineJS is also a novel, effective method to convey knowledge to the public. In the generation of information explosion, we live in a visual world that images boost people’s memory. We learn new things and stories with multiple media. That could be a movie, a snapshot, or just a post on social media. To explore the unknown, we read the text contents and intend to decode the cultural meaning of a picture.