Looking for books of the technical history of photography

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by Existing Light, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

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    Well, it's been a while since I've been active here. I've been dealing with some health and financial problems, which are all (hopefully) heading in the right direction now. But I'm not sure how long it'll be before getting back in to a darkroom. Until then, I'd like to study up on something I've always had an interest in: the technical/scientific side of photography. I'm looking for books that detail the evolution of photographic tools, processes, equipment, etc, basically a how/why this process was used and how it evolved, who pioneered it and who expanded upon it. If anyone knows of any good relevant books or journals, I'd really appreciate it. And, of course, I'll be utilizing Google and Amazon and scouring local libraries on the next off day I have
     
  2. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    A good place to start is Roger's Blog over at Lensrentals.com. He's written a lot about the history of photography and lenses and chemicals and all of that. Great way to while away a few days reading. But the best part is, he actually cites references and has a bibliography at the end of each article, I'm sure you could pick up anything listed there...
     
  3. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

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    This is why I love this site. This is awesome. Thanks :D
     
  4. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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  5. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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  6. jjphoto

    jjphoto Member

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    I doubt there's a shortage of books about the history of photography or it's technology but I can only help you with some relatively old ones as I generally avoid books with ISBN's, ie post 1960. A few that I find quite interesting are listed below. The last book may or may not be the kind of thing you are looking for but worth mentioning, IMHO.

    The Science Museum Photography Collection by D. B. Thomas (Her Majesty's Stationary Office, London, 1969) is essentially a catalogue of the collection and seems quite comprehensive. It shows all kinds of related technology, cameras, lenses, shutters, processes etc from the very start of photography.

    Victorian Photography by Alex Strasser (The Focal Press, London/New York, 1942) Having been written in 1942, is only 40 or so years away from the end of the period it's describing so it feels more genuine and real, and possibly (?) more accurate than anything written much later. It is specifically about the Victorian period of photography which includes the invention of photography and it's development during that period.

    Photography To-Day by D. A. Spencer (Oxford University Press, London, 1943) This book is a real joy to read, possibly because it doesn't go into extensive detail about each and every subject whilst still being comprehensive. It's not a chemistry, optics or history book but it does cover almost everything to some degree.
     
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  7. MDR

    MDR Member

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    The best and most comprehensive book ever written about the technical history of photography is Josef Maria Eder's Ausf├╝hrliches Handbuch der Photographie. It's a collection of several books each dealing with a certain aspect of photographic techniques and can be viewed on google books and Archive.org unfortunately it's also written in German. http://archive.org/search.php?query=Josef maria eder
     
  8. rthomas

    rthomas Subscriber

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    Beaumont Newhall's book Latent Image is a fun read.
     
  9. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

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    Thanks guys. Read through some of the LensRentals articles today. Great stuff. Havent had a chance to do any library searching, but hopefully on my next day off sometime in the middle of next week I'll get to scour a couple of local libraries (and, obviously, having to sign up/register/whatever for a library card to take books home if I don't feel like hanging around at a library all day)
     
  10. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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  11. Merg Ross

    Merg Ross Member

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    Look for a copy of Photography Principles and Practice by C.B. Neblette. I think you will enjoy it. Written in 1927 and revised in 1930. I still use it as a reference; amazing, in some respects, how little has changed!