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The Photography Bookby Phaidon
Synopses & Reviews
The ubiquity of camera phones today has made us all photographers, and as these nano-devices attest, the history of photography, perhaps more so than any other art, is also a history of technology, one best revealed in the very vehicle that makes it possibleand#151;the camera.
Through brief, illustrated chapters on fifty landmark cameras and the photographers who used them, Michael Pritchard offers an entertaining look at photography as practiced by professionals, artists, and amateurs. A History of Photography in Fifty Cameras is organized chronologically, beginning with William Henry Fox Talbotand#8217;s wooden and#147;Mousetrapand#8221; camera of 1835. Other entries include the Brownie (1900), the Coronet Midget (1935), the Kodak Instamatic 100 (1963), and, of course, the Polaroid SX-70 (1972). Photographs within each chapter show not only the cameras themselves but also samples of the images made with them. Pritchard uses each camera as a point of entry for talking about the people who used them and the kind of photos they produced, from Weegee and his Speed Graphic to Cartier-Bresson and the Leicaand#8217;s role in the invention of photojournalism. In the hands of individual photographers, he reveals, cameras came to represent unique styles of depiction.
Together, the stories of the fifty cameras gathered here present an approachable and informative take on a medium that continues to fire the imagination, whether weand#8217;re perfecting the selfie or longing for the days of Fotomat.
This is a mini edition of "The Photography Book", containing every sort of photography, from pictures of famous events such as the Royal Wedding and the first landing on the moon, to familiar shots by the masters of photography such as Bill Brandt and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
This book is a popular history of photography told through brief, illustrated chapters on fifty landmark cameras and the photographers who used them. The history of photography is in part a history of the cameras that moved the medium forward and gave photographers different ways of seeing and depicting the world. In the hands of certain photographersand#151;think of Weegee with his Speed Graphic or Robert Capa with his Leicaand#151;individual cameras created whole new visual styles.
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; For much of the cameraand#8217;s history, it was a mechanical device. By the 1950s, electrical control of shutters and exposure requiring a battery had increasingly became the norm. From the late 1970s, electronic and then computer control of camera functions were introduced to higher specified and more expensive cameras. The arrival of commercially viable digital cameras, which recorded an image on a CCD sensor rather than on film from the early 1980s, transformed the camera to a fully electronic device. By the mid-2000s, digital cameras were outselling film cameras, and in 2012 smartphone cameras were outselling digital cameras by a factor of six. The definition of what a camera was had changed as different electronic devices converged into one unit. The camera seems set for a further dramatic period of change in both its functionality and appearance.
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; A History of Photography in Fifty Cameras relates this story by selecting fifty key camera models and analyzing them in chronological order. The origin and development of each model is described in detail, along with its impact on both the art and science of photography.
This new mini edition of the bestselling "Photography Book" contains all the visual energy and compelling insights of the original, but in a light and truly portable format, making it ideal both for browsing through and using as a serious sourcebook. 500 images, 384 in color.
About the Author
Michael Pritchard was a photographic specialist at Christie's London for twenty years. He has been director general of the Royal Photographic Society since 2011.
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