Andrew Molitor's History Series

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  • Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
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    on: July 18, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Good to see you here Andrew, and a very worthwhile undertaking. I think you’ve captured the essence of the beginnings nicely in this article, and looking forward to your future contributions on the subject, which is of considerable interest (at least to me, and no doubt many others).

    You are correct that historians of photography consider the “invention of photography” to be the work of Niepce, Daguerre and Talbot. However, there is an interesting “pre-history of photography” documented in Helmut and Alison Gernsheim’s authoritative “The History of Photography”, where they discuss some interesting antecedents of photographic processes going back to the 1600~1700s.

    Working independently of Daguerre and Talbot, was Hippolyte Bayard, who not only independently invented a negative-positive process, but also a direct positive process. The Gernsheims note that Bayard deserves more recognition as an independent inventor of photography along with Daguerre and Talbot.

    Also in the domain of reference materials, two other particularly good books (amongst others for sure) in the area of photographic history, are “The Photographic Art of William Henry Fox Talbot” by Larry Schaaf, published by Princeton University Press in 2000, and the other “Monumental Journey The Daguerreotypes of Girault de Prangey” by Stephen Pinson, published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2019. Both books are very well made, but this latter volume is particularly remarkable for its fine printing and binding.  Collectors of photographic history literature who don’t own these volumes could find them worthwhile acquisitions.

    The history of this medium is of course rich with fascinating inventions of equipment and processes, so looking forward to your future contributions on the subject.

    Mark D Segal
    Author: Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, published by LaserSoft Imaging AG
    https://www.silverfast.com/downloads/92ed080ac1ae274ea6aeed756a504f7a/en.html

    Andrew Molitor
    Andrew Molitor
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    Posts: 34
    Re: Andrew Molitor's History Series
    Reply #1 on: July 18, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    Thank you!

    I should caution that anyone hoping to really learn the history of photography from my series should probably abandon that hope 😉

    Truly, there are any number of excellent books which are really much better sources for a cohesive, complete, view of the thing. My goal is to highlight a few interesting vignettes, perhaps to spark some interest, perhaps to suggest some alternate viewpoints. The facts are well known, but perhaps I can open up some thoughts on how we interpret those facts.

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Participant
    Posts: 194
    Re: Andrew Molitor's History Series
    Reply #2 on: July 18, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Yes indeed, that was my takeaway, and your article, hitting the key highlights, stimulated me to think again about just how rich this history is.

    Mark D Segal
    Author: Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, published by LaserSoft Imaging AG
    https://www.silverfast.com/downloads/92ed080ac1ae274ea6aeed756a504f7a/en.html

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