Books on the history of photography?
January 25, 2013 10:44 AM   Subscribe

I only really have time to read a single book on the origins of photography. What do you recommend? Think Daguerre and Talbot, no need for hundreds of pages devoted to the camera obscura. I'd also prefer something heavier on text than actual photographs.
posted by Lorin to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'd just start with Nicéphore Niépce on Wikipedia (he was way ahead of William Henry Fox Talbot or Daguerre) and follow the links as desired. Better than a book.
posted by w0mbat at 10:50 AM on January 25, 2013

Seizing the Light was my photo history textbook in art school.
posted by bradbane at 11:21 AM on January 25, 2013

The History of Photography by Beaumont Newhall is a classic.
posted by book 'em dano at 3:34 PM on January 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seconding Beaumont Newhall. It was actually used as the textbook for a two-quarter class I took on the history of photography when I was in college.
posted by strangecargo at 4:39 PM on January 25, 2013

I used a previous edition of A World History of Photography for a Photo History class I had to take for my major. Though it's a tad expensive (even used), I think it's one of the best out there. I have yet to see a book as detailed.

If that's too steep, I second w0mbat's suggestion of starting with Niepce and following the trail.
posted by arishaun at 12:23 AM on January 27, 2013

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