Cover image for Seizing the light : a history of photography
Seizing the light : a history of photography
Hirsch, Robert.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : McGraw-Hill, [2000]

Physical Description:
xiii, 530 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 28 cm
Format :


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Material Type
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TR15 .H557 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

On Order



Presents the history of photography. This title covers production values, and rare and unusual prints.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Hirsch (State Univ. of NY, Brockport) offers a well-organized and well-written history of photography. He begins by stating that the idea of photography was present long before the camera was invented; he ends with a discussion of the digital future. This work belongs on the same shelf as Beaumont Newhall's The History of Photography (1st ed., 1949) and Naomi Rosenblum's World History of Photography (1st ed., CH, Apr'85; 3rd ed., 1997). Though the book is chronologically structured, Hirsch is quite concerned with how scientific, artistic, and philosophical thinking influenced the evolution of photography. He shows how the invention of photography was foreshadowed in literature and art. This inclusive technique deepens our understanding of how photography is influenced by other ways of knowing the world and, in turn, influences them. The author is not unwilling to offer his own opinion of photography and world events; e.g., he calls Edward S. Curtis's much admired photographs of Native Americans racist. He has a point of view and forcefully presents it to the reader. This is not an objective work, but it is well worth reading. Section endnotes; useful bibliography. General readers; undergraduates through professionals. T. Sexton; University of Alaska, Anchorage

Table of Contents

Louis Jacques Mande DaguerreJoseph Nicephore Niepce and Sir John Fredrick William Herschel and William Henry Fox Talbot and Anna AtkinsHippolyte Bayard and Mungo Ponton and Hercules FlorenceSamuel F.B. MorseJohn Plumbe Jr. and Albert Sands Southworth and Josiah Johnson Hawes and Matthew B. BradyJames Presley BallJohn WhippleWilliam Henry Fox TalbotDavid Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson and Sir William Newton and Thomas KeithLouis-Desire Blanquart-Evrard and Thomas Sutton and Gustave Le Gray and Charles NegreHenri Le Secq and Edouard Baldus and Charles MarvilleFrederick Scott ArcherAndre Disderi and John Jabez Edwin MayallNadar and Camille Silvy and Antoine Samuel Adam-Salomon and Napoleon SaronyCharles Piazzi SmythCharles Wheatstone and Sir David Brewster and Antoine Claudet and Oliver Wendell HolmesRoger Fenton and James Robertson and Felice A. BeatoMathew Brady and Alexander Gardner and Timothy O'Sullivan and George N. Barnard and Andrew Joseph Russell and William BellLady Elizabeth EastlakeLady Clementina Hawarden and Lady Filmer and Lewis Carroll and Oscar Gustave Rejlander and Henry Peach Robinson and Julia Margaret CameronDr. Hugh Welch Diamond and Dr. Thomas John BarnardoMaxime Du Camp and John Beasly Greene and Auguste Salzmann and John Shaw Smith and Francis Frith and Robert MacPherson and James Anderson and Fratelli Alinari and Bisson Brothers and Lala Deen DayalPhilip Henry Delamotte and Robert Howlett and Joseph Cundall and Edouard Baldus and Camille Silvy and Samuel BourneJohn Thomason and Thomas AnnanThomas M. EasterlyCarleton E. Watkins and William Henry Jackson and Andrew J. Russell and Eadweard Muybridge and Frank Jay Haynes and John K. HillersEadweard Muybridge and Thomas Eakins and Etienne-Jules Marey and Ottomar AnschutzEmile Zola and Edgar DegasPaul NadarLevi L. Hill and James Clerk MaxwellPeter Henry EmersonGeorge DavisonRobert Demachy and Heinrich Kuhn and Frederick H. Evans and Pierre DubreuilAlfred Stieglitz and William FraserJoseph T. KeilyFred Holland Day and Frank Meadow Sutcliffe and Alvin Langdon CoburnAnn Brigman and Gertrude Kasebier and Alice BoughtonEdward Jean Steichen and Adolf de Meyer and Frank Eugene and Clarence Hudson WhiteAlfred StieglitzAnton Giulio Bragaglia and Arturo BragagliaFrank B. Gilbreth and Lillian M. GilbrethAlvin Langdon Coburn and Paul StrandChristian SchadMan Ray and Laszlo Moholy-NagyMax Ernst and Raoul Hausmann and John Heartfield and Hannah HochAleksandr RodchenkoBauhaus and Morton Schamberg and Charles SheelerPaul Outerbridge and Margaret Bourke-White Stieglitz's "Equivalents"Edward SteichenEdward Henry WestonGroup f/64 and Ansel Adams and Imogen Cunningham and William MortensenAlbert Renger-Patzsch and Karl Blossfeldt and Eugene AtgetLaszlo Moholy-Nagy and Lucia MoholyFlorence Henri and Gyorgy Kepes and Lotte JacobiBarbara Morgan and Frantisek Drtikol and Francis Joseph BruguiereHans Bellmer and Georges Hugnet and Man Ray and Raoul UbacJacob A. Riis and Lewis Wickes HineAdam Clark Vroman and Edward Sheriff Curtis and Francis and Benjamin Johnston and E.J. Bellocq and Tina ModottiHorace Poolaw and James Van Der Zee and Eudora WeltyAugust SanderDorthea Lange and Walker Evans and Arthur Rothstein and Russell Lee and Ben Shahn and Gordon Parks and Marion Post WolcottBernice Abbott and Roman VishniacHumphry SpenderSid Grossman and Aaron SiskindJacques-Henri Lartigue and Erich Salomon and Andre Kertesz and Brassai and Henri Cartier-Bresson and Bill Brandt and Manuel Alvarez Bravo and Lisette Model and Helen Levitt and Wright Morris and Harold Edgerton and Felix H. ManJohn Heartfield and Alfred Eisenstaedt and Ernst HaasEdward Steichen and Lejaren a Hiller and Nickolas Muray and Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton and Horst P. Horst and Martin Munkacsi and Alexey Brodovitch and Irving Penn and Richard Avedon and Hiro Philippe Halsman and Yousuf Karsh and Arnold NewmanWeegeeRobert Capa and David Seymour and Lee Miller and William Eugene Smith and Cornell Capa and Shomei Tomatsu and Hiromi Tsuchida and Don McCullin and Henry Frank and Leslie and "Larry" Burrows and Edward T. AdamsSusan Meiselas and Mary Ellen Mark and Sebastiao SalgadoAnsel AdamsClarence John Laughlin and Frederick Sommer and Val TelbergMinor WhiteHarry Callahan and Aaron Siskind and FotoformWynn BullockRobert Frank and William Klein and Mario GiacomelliHenry Holmes Smith and Richard Hamilton and Wallace BermanRobert Doisneau and Roy DeCarava and Eliot PorterRobert RauschenbergWilliam S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin and Andy Warhol and Marshall McLuhanArt Sinsabaugh and Syl LabrotGarry Winogrand and Lee I riedlander and Diane Nemerou ArbusBruce Davidson and Danny LyonDuane Michals and Nathan Lyons and Ray K. Metzker and Jerry Uelsmann and Robert Heinecken and Carl ChiarenzaChuck CloseRobert Fichter and Doug Prince and Naomi Sauage and Sonia Landy Sheridan and Thomas Barrow and William LarsonKen Josephson and Joseph Jachna and Robert Flick and Barbara CraneRalph Eugene Meatyard and Les Krims and Lucas Samaras and Ralph Gibson and Larry Clark and Michael Lesy and Eugene RichardsEmmet Gowin and Judy Dater and Eliot Erwitt and Burk Uzzle and Bill OwensEdward Ruscha and Lewis Baltz and Robert AdamsMark Klett and Milton RogovinStephen Shore and William Eggleston and Joel Meyerowitz and Jan Groover and John Pfahl and Joel Sternfeld and Mark CohenJoan LyonsRuth Thorne-Thomsen and Robert Hirsch and David LevinthalNam June Paik and John BaldessariBruce Nauman and Arnulf Rainer and Anselm Keifer and Christian Boltanski and Gilbert and George and William WegmanBernhard and Hilla Becher and Robert CummingBart Parker and Paul Berger and ManualRichard Prince and Sherrie Levine and Michael Mandel and Larry Sultan and Barbara Kruger and Victor BurginJudith Golden and Cindy Sherman and Eileen Cowin and Laurie SimmonsCarl Chiarenza and James Casebere and Sandy Skoglund and Olivia Parker and Joel-Peter Witkin and Patrick Nagatani and Andree Tracey and Philip Lorca diCorcia and JeffWallLew Thomas and Hollis Frampton and Marion Faller and Barbara Kasten and David Hockney and Michael Spano and Holly Roberts and Doug Starn and Mike Starn and Adam Fuss and Abelardo MorellAndres Serrano and Robert Mapplethorpe and John Coplans and Nan Goldin and Sally MannDinh Q. Le and Jeffrey Henson Scales and Guerrilla Girls and Jo Spence and Terry Dennett and Annette Messager and Jolene Rickard and Clarissa Sligh and Carrie Mae Weems and Lorna Simpson and Krzysztof Wodiczko and David WojnarowiczDavid T. Hanson and Richard Misrach and Peter Goin and Robert DawsonNancy Burson and Tyrone Georgiou and Pedro Meyer and Carol Selter
Dedicationp. v
Prefacep. vii
Chapter 1 Advancing toward Photography: The Birth of Modernityp. 3
A Desire for Visual Representationp. 3
Perspectivep. 4
Thinking of Photographyp. 4
Camera Visionp. 5
The Demand for Picturemaking Systemsp. 6
Proto-Photographers: Chemical Action of Lightp. 7
Modernity: New Visual Realitiesp. 9
Optical Devicesp. 10
Images through Light: A Struggle for Permanencep. 11
Other Distinct Originatorsp. 18
Chapter 2 The Daguerreotype: Image and Objectp. 25
What Is a Daguerreotype?p. 27
The Daguerreotype Comes to Americap. 28
The Early Practitionersp. 29
Early Daguerreian Portrait Makingp. 29
Post-Mortem Portraitsp. 33
Technical Improvementsp. 33
Expanding U.S. Portrait Studiosp. 34
The Art of the Daguerreian Portraitp. 35
Daguerreian Portrait Galleries and Picture Factoriesp. 38
African-American Operatorsp. 40
Rural Practicep. 42
The Daguerreotype and the Landscapep. 42
The Daguerreotype and Sciencep. 43
Chapter 3 Calotype Rising: The Arrival of Photographyp. 49
The Calotypep. 49
Early Calotype Activityp. 52
Calotypists Establish a Practicep. 59
Calotype and Architecture: Mission Heliographiquep. 63
The End of the Calotype and the Future of Photographyp. 67
Chapter 4 Pictures on Glass: The Wet-Plate Processp. 71
The Albumen Processp. 71
The New Transparent Lookp. 72
The Ambrotypep. 74
Pictures on Tinp. 77
The Carte-de-Visite and the Photo Albump. 78
The Cabinet Photograph: The Picture Gets Biggerp. 82
The Studio Traditionp. 84
Retouching and Enlargementsp. 88
The Stereoscopep. 91
The Stereop. 92
Chapter 5 Prevailing Events/Picturing Calamityp. 97
Current Eventsp. 98
Early War Coveragep. 99
The American Civil Warp. 102
How Photographs Were Circulatedp. 110
Chapter 6 A New Medium of Communication: Art or Industry?p. 115
Discovering a Photographic Languagep. 120
Americans and the Art of Naturep. 129
Positivismp. 130
Chapter 7 Standardizing the Practice: A Transparent Truthp. 135
Mechanical Photographyp. 135
The Traveling Camerap. 137
Picturing Industrializationp. 143
Urban Lifep. 146
The Otherp. 147
The American West: The Narrative and the Sublimep. 148
Chapter 8 New Ways of Visualizing Time and Spacep. 165
The Inadequacy of Human Visionp. 165
Locomotionp. 166
Transforming Aesthetics: Technical Breakthroughsp. 171
The Hand-Held Camera and the Snapshotp. 172
Time and Motion as an Extended Continuump. 176
Moving Picturesp. 177
Colorp. 178
Chapter 9 Suggesting the Subject: The Evolution of Pictorialismp. 185
Roots of Pictorialismp. 185
Pictorialism and Naturalismp. 186
The Development of Pictorial Effectp. 188
The Secession Movement and the Rise of Photography Clubsp. 188
The Aesthetic Club Movementp. 190
Working Pictorially: A Variety of Approachesp. 190
American Perspectivesp. 194
The Photo-Secessionp. 197
The Decadent Movement and Tonalismp. 198
Women Pictorialistsp. 201
The Pictorial Epoch/The Stieglitz Groupp. 202
The Decline of Pictorialismp. 207
Chapter 10 Modernism: Industrial Beautyp. 213
Cubismp. 214
High and Low Artp. 217
Futurismp. 217
Time, Movement, and the Machinep. 218
Towards a Modern Practice: Distilling Formp. 220
Datap. 222
Exploring Space and Time: The Return of the Photogramp. 224
Surrealismp. 227
Collagep. 227
Suprematismp. 229
Art, Technology, and a New Faithp. 233
Paul Strand and Straight Photography: Purity of Usep. 234
Chapter 11 The New Culture of Lightp. 237
Teaching Modernism: The American Impulsep. 237
Stieglitz's "Equivalents"p. 238
Steichen Goes Commercialp. 240
Form as Essencep. 241
Straight, Modernistic Photographyp. 245
Film und Foto and New Objectivityp. 251
Experimentally Modernp. 255
New Visionp. 257
Pathways of Light: Time, Space, and Formp. 259
Surrealistic Themesp. 260
Chapter 12 Social Documentsp. 267
An American Urge: Social Upliftp. 267
Ethnological Approachesp. 271
Emerging Ethnic Consciousnessp. 277
The 1 hysiognomic Approachp. 280
The Great Depression: The Economics of Photographyp. 283
The FAP Project: Changing New Yorkp. 292
Mass Observationp. 293
The Film and Photo Leaguep. 294
Chapter 13 Nabbing Time: Anticipating the Momentp. 299
Chapter 14 Photography and the Halftonep. 315
Pictures and Printers Inkp. 315
The Photo Magazinep. 317
The Sepration of Art and Commerce: Advertising and Fashionp. 321
Newspapersp. 328
War Reportagep. 330
The New Subjective Journalismp. 337
Bytes and Halftonesp. 337
Chapter 15 The Atomic Agep. 343
The Surrealistic Metaphorp. 345
The Photograph as Spiritp. 349
Photo Education as Self-Expressionp. 351
Family of Manp. 354
Photography and Alienationp. 355
Making a Big Jumpp. 361
The Subjective Documentaryp. 364
The Terror of Richesp. 366
Chapter 16 New Frontiers: Expanding Boundariesp. 371
Structuralism: Reading a Photographp. 371
The Found Image: The Beginnings of Postmodernismp. 373
The Rise of Pop Artp. 375
Challenging the Codep. 377
The Social Landscapep. 379
New Journalismp. 382
Multiple Points of Viewp. 384
The Rapid Growth of Photographic Educationp. 389
Chapter 17 Changing Realitiesp. 395
Alternative Visionsp. 395
Turning the Straight Photograph on Itselfp. 400
Personal Accounts: Documentary Fictionp. 402
The Snapshotp. 411
Post-Structuralism/New Topographicsp. 413
The Rephotographic Survey Project/Time Changesp. 416
Color Risingp. 417
Artists' Booksp. 419
Reconfiguring Informationp. 420
Expanding Marketsp. 422
Critical Writingp. 423
Chapter 18 Thinking About Photographyp. 431
Conceptual Art: The Act of Choosingp. 431
Performance Artp. 435
A Return to Typologiesp. 438
Postmodernismp. 439
Deconstructing Mythsp. 441
Gender Issuesp. 444
Fabricationp. 449
Altering Time and Spacep. 453
Investigating the Bodyp. 456
Multiculturalism: Exploring Identityp. 462
A Personal Cultural Landscapep. 467
The Digital Futurep. 470
Bibliographyp. 485
Individual Artistsp. 492
Technologyp. 502
Sources of Artists Booksp. 503
Indexp. 504