History of Photography - A brief exerpt from Answers.com

North California Coastal Redwoods Ansel Adams
North California Coastal Redwoods Ansel Adams
The Invention of Photography
The French physicist, Joseph Nicéphore Niepce, made the first negative (on paper) in 1816 and the first known photograph (on metal; he called it a heliograph) in 1826. George Eastman's introduction in 1888 of roll film and the simple Kodak box camera provided everyone with the means of making photographs for themselves. Meanwhile, studies in sensitometry, the new science of light-sensitive materials, made exposure and processing more practicable.

The Rise of Black & White Photography
Photography's legitimacy as an art form was challenged by artists and critics, who seized upon the mechanical and chemical aspects of the photographic process as proof that photography was, at best, a craft. To prove that photography was indeed an art, photographers at first imitated the painting of the time. Enormous popularity was achieved by such photographers as O. J. Rejlander and Henry Peach Robinson, who created sentimental genre scenes by printing from multiple negatives.

In opposition to the painterly aesthetic in photography was P. H. Emerson and other early advocates of what has since become known as “straight” photography. According to this approach the photographic image should not be tampered with or subjected to handwork or other affectations lest it lose its integrity. Appropriately,


Pepper, Edward Weston
Pepper, Edward Weston
Emerson was the first to recognize the importance of the work of Alfred Stieglitz, who battled for photography's place among the arts during the first part of the 20th century.

The Ideals of Photography
In California during the 1920s and 30s Edward Weston and a handful of kindred spirits founded the f/64 group, taking their name from the smallest lens opening, that which provides the greatest precision of line and detail. This small and unofficial group—which included Imogen Cunningham, Ansel Adams, and Willard Van Dyke—came to dominate photographic art, overshadowing the pictorial aesthetic. They and their imitators eschewed all post-exposure handwork, and worked with 8 × 10-in. view cameras in order to obtain the largest possible negatives from which to make straightforward contact prints. They limited their subject matter to static things: the still life, the distant or closely viewed landscape, and the formal portrait. The influential teacher Minor White became known for his poetic, visionary work related in technique to this straight approach.


Dubrovnik,
Dubrovnik,
Philip Pankov seeks to adhere to this “straight” approach to photography as defined by the masters of the art.



   
 





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