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The Invention of Photography: The First Fifty Years (New Horizons) Paperback – 7 Oct 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (7 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500301115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500301111
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 1 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 890,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Quentin Bajac is a conservationist at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andy_atGC TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many years ago, when I first started an interest in photography and especially in the techniques of processing film - in my teens and early twenties - I had read a few books with references to the history of photography which piqued an interest and borrowed from a library a history of photography so complete (for its time) that it was a coffee table-sized book that just about fitted into my briefcase.

This is a far more concise volume and will quite easily fit into a pocket and it concerns itself only with the first 50 years during which time photography took several different exploratory routes in order to find one that worked reliably and consistently and was easy to use. Some of the earlier ideas were complex, hazardous to the photographer or inconsistent and were suited only to controlled use by those properly trained. Hence only few participated until consistency and repeatability could be assured.

Its story ends at the time when commercial interests assumed responsibility for the making of the plates and the film that followed, namely Eastman's Kodak company, removing the chore from the user and making it more available to the masses at prices many could afford. Initially, it also placed the responsibility for processing and printing with Kodak, hence the motto of the time, 'You press the button; we do the rest'.

Originally written in French, it is to that nation that so much is owed for several of the early innovations of which one, the Daguerrotype, was responsible for the commercialisation of photography as its use was not restricted by patent or license. Studios were opened in several European countries and in the USA, where the process had a longer period of success than it did elsewhere.
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