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History Book Reviews

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Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital

Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital is an almanac for photographers. Documenting everything from the very beginnings of photography right through to the rise of the digital age and beyond, this book is a must for any photography enthusiast wanting to learn about just how the equipment they use came to be. Packed with all the information you could ever want to know about each and every camera, and going through them in order of their age, this book, is a great a...

Retromania: The Funkiest Cameras of Photography's Golden Age

Retromania – The Funkiest Cameras of Photography's Golden Age is certainly a captivating read, if nothing else. For someone relatively new to photography, perhaps someone who has grown up in the digital age and doesn't really know anything of the time before, this book is a real eye opener to cameras of all decades. It is great to see how cameras evolved over the years, especially these, the funkiest of all time! The book starts right back in 1907, with a Kodak Brownie, perhaps the first...

Prings Photographers Miscellany: Stories, Techniques, Tips & Trivia

This is a book that's full of random photography facts, trivia and fun photography related pieces. There are some gems that can be found in the pages but generally, it's a little bit too random and it doesn't seem to have any flow / order to it. It's all in black & white too which isn't that appealing, though the cover is interesting and the book is well made. It's a novel stocking filler that the photographer in your life will probably have a quick read over on Christmas day, put it on a sh...

Photo-texts: Contemporary French Writing of the Photographic Image (Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures)

This book won't be for everyone as the subject is very specific and to say it's a book about photography there really isn't that many images to view. It has the feel of a text book and unless you have a particularly interest in 'contemporary French writing of the photographic image' you really should give this one a miss.

Surrealist Photography (Photofile)

As a lover of surrealist art I have to say I was a little disappointed with this book. It's clear that many of the photographers had weird and wacky ideas but through the medium of photography they couldn't always achieve their "dreams" whereas with art they could explore the mind with greater ease. As a result it's a mixture of clever and wasted. I think the better surrealism books are those that combine photography and art. Certainly not the best in this (Photofile) series.

Concise Focal Encyclopedia of Photography

What this book does is take selection of content from the mammoth Fourth edition of the Focal Encyclopedia of Photography. The question is have the bits that have been taken been pulled together in a way that will satisfy an audience? Suggested readership of this book is photography enthusiasts, teachers, students, collectors. I'd delete enthusiasts and thing twice about suggesting it for collectors. Yes there are some useful sections biographies of selected 20th century photographers is an inte...

A History of Photography - From 1839 to the Present

First impressions are, wow, I wont ever read that. But, stick with it, yes it’s a big book, but boy is it a good read. This book is a 25th Anniversary edition, showcasing just a small sample of the 400,000 plus images that the George Eastman Collection holds. It gives a truly fascinating insight into the processes, and development of the craft over the decades. Your journey starts right back at the very beginning of Photography. In 1839, the world saw the release of two types of photog...

Icons of Photography - The 19th Century

If you like looking at old photos here's one for you. It features all the great pioneers of photography, Niepce, Talbot, Sutcliffe, Fenton etc. Printing on beautiful high quality white paper does the toned images justice and there's a short biog and photo of each of the photographers too, so it could come in handy for A level photography students. While looking through I was amazed at the sharpness of some of the images. These were taken using lenses that were single coated - no apos or aspeheri...

Photography Past/Forward Aperture at 50

A celebration of the Aperture's 50 years in publishing that started life as a journal put together by some of America's leading photographers such as Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Minor White. The wider than A4 book has classic photos including Sebastiao Salgado's Gold Mine and Edward Weston's Nude, Charis. It's a coffee table style book that you can go back to again and again. High quality repro and exerpts from the journal make it an enjoyable read too.

Photos that changed the world

A hard back book with over 100 photographs that have stunned the world throughout the 20th century. Classics such as the 1909 Wright Brothers flight and the 1960 portrait of Che Guevara are balanced with images from Woodstock and the Royal Wedding. And then, of course, there has to be the harrowing scenes from the Napalm Attack in South Vietnam and execution in Saigon. You have probably seen many of these images before, but not all in one place with captions that give fascinating insight to when...