Records of the Dawn of Photography

Talbot's Notebooks P & Q

Records of the Dawn of Photography

This is the first publication of the two most important notebooks created by William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877), the inventor of negative/positive photography. Notebooks P and Q span the period from the first public announcement of photography in 1839 through the 1843 plateau of Talbot's researches. They record both his false starts and his triumphs. While the emphasis is on the new art of photography, there is substantial reference to chemistry, electricity, light, optics, and railroad motive power. The notebook pages are reproduced in full, preserving the tempo and organization of Talbot's thoughts, and keeping his sketches in context. This book will fascinate anyone interested in the history of science or technology.

William Henry Fox Talbot: Shadow Play

William Henry Fox Talbot: Shadow Play

* Accompanies an exhibition in the Media Space gallery of the Science Museum, London, in spring 2016* Approximately 30 per cent of the material in the book (by both Talbot and his own circle) is currently unavailable in print or previously unpublished* Explores new angles of interpretation, in particular the influences of Talbot's closest circle of friends, and whether photography ever achieved the ambitions that he set out for itPublished to accompany an exhibition at the Science Museum, London, in spring 2016, this catalogue features 100 high-quality reproductions of Talbot's work.Through two introductory essays, the book examines how Talbot's invention of photography in the 1830s, evolved to establish the artistic, scientific and industrial possibilities for photography. As a radically new way of seeing, Talbot set out how the medium of photography had the ability to open up the visual world to a different kind of scrutiny, as well as to reaffirm what was considered to be 'real'. Such experiments make Talbot's practice and thinking all the more complex and lasting but also provocative as he sits between ambitions of art and science through photography, and economic gain. The book furthermore discusses the relationships between a network of photographers who gravitated towards Talbot's process but each of whom took photography into different territory. Assessing their artistic contribution and social legacy, it reflects on how enthusiasm for photography was initially limited to a small close-knit, elite group of people.William Henry Fox Talbot is a testament to Talbot's magical and industrial visions for his invention, that range from the delicate capture of natural specimens to more staged and functional ambitions for photography as means of mass production. It will be of interest to the art enthusiast and general historian of nineteenth-century innovation, as well as to all those curious to learn more about this pioneer of photography.

William Henry Fox Talbot

Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum

William Henry Fox Talbot

William Henry Fox Talbot--a scientist, mathematician, author and artist--is credited with being the inventor of photography as we know it. In mid-1834 he began to experiment with light-sensitive chemistry, and in January 1839 he announced his invention of the photogenic drawing, two weeks after Louis-Jacques Mand� Daguerre's daguerreotype process debuted in France. Talbot's improved process, the calotype, was introduced in 1840. This invention, which shortened exposure times and facilitated making multiple prints from a single negative, became the basis for photography as it is practiced today. The Getty Museum's collection includes approximately 350 of Talbot's photographs, about 50 of which are reproduced here in full color with commentary on each image. Also included are an introduction to the book and a chronological overview of the artist's life as well as an edited transcript of a colloquium on Talbot's career.

The Miracle of Analogy

or The History of Photography, Part 1

The Miracle of Analogy

The Miracle of Analogy is the first of a two-volume reconceptualization of photography. It argues that photography originates in what is seen, rather than in the human eye or the camera lens, and that it is the world's primary way of revealing itself to us. Neither an index, representation, nor copy, as conventional studies would have it, the photographic image is an analogy. This principle obtains at every level of its being: a photograph analogizes its referent, the negative from which it is generated, every other print that is struck from that negative, and all of its digital "offspring." Photography is also unstoppably developmental, both at the level of the individual image and of medium. The photograph moves through time, in search of other "kin," some of which may be visual, but others of which may be literary, architectural, philosophical, or literary. Finally, photography develops with us, and in response to us. It assumes historically legible forms, but when we divest them of their saving power, as we always seem to do, it goes elsewhere. The present volume focuses on the nineteenth century and some of its contemporary progeny. It begins with the camera obscura, which morphed into chemical photography and lives on in digital form, and ends with Walter Benjamin. Key figures discussed along the way include Nicéphore Niépce, Louis Daguerre, William Fox-Talbot, Jeff Wall, and Joan Fontcuberta.

Reading Then & Now

In Colour

Reading Then & Now

A history of Reading

What the Victorians Made of Romanticism

Material Artifacts, Cultural Practices, and Reception History

What the Victorians Made of Romanticism

This insightful and elegantly written book examines how the popular media of the Victorian era sustained and transformed the reputations of Romantic writers. Tom Mole provides a new reception history of Lord Byron, Felicia Hemans, Sir Walter Scott, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and William Wordsworth—one that moves beyond the punctual historicism of much recent criticism and the narrow horizons of previous reception histories. He attends instead to the material artifacts and cultural practices that remediated Romantic writers and their works amid shifting understandings of history, memory, and media. Mole scrutinizes Victorian efforts to canonize and commodify Romantic writers in a changed media ecology. He shows how illustrated books renovated Romantic writing, how preachers incorporated irreligious Romantics into their sermons, how new statues and memorials integrated Romantic writers into an emerging national pantheon, and how anthologies mediated their works to new generations. This ambitious study investigates a wide range of material objects Victorians made in response to Romantic writing—such as photographs, postcards, books, and collectibles—that in turn remade the public’s understanding of Romantic writers. Shedding new light on how Romantic authors were posthumously recruited to address later cultural concerns, What the Victorians Made of Romanticism reveals new histories of appropriation, remediation, and renewal that resonate in our own moment of media change, when once again the cultural products of the past seem in danger of being forgotten if they are not reimagined for new audiences.

Fifty Key Writers on Photography

Fifty Key Writers on Photography

A clear and concise survey of some of the most significant writers on photography who have played a major part in defining and influencing our understanding of the medium. It provides a succinct overview of writing on photography from a diverse range of disciplines and perspectives and examines the shifting perception of the medium over the course of its 170 year history. Key writers discussed include: Roland Barthes Susan Sontag Jacques Derrida Henri Cartier-Bresson Geoffrey Batchen Fully cross-referenced and in an A-Z format, this is an accessible and engaging introductory guide.

Two centuries of shadow catchers

a compact history of photography

Two centuries of shadow catchers

This book covers the history of photography from its primitive beginning to the present day, including the use of electronic techniques. Also included are the basic development of cameras, film, film processing, and photo techniques. A wide range of photos illustrate major trends such as: photography in advertising, studio photography, and documentary photography.