Seizing the Light: A History of Photography / Edition 1

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"Its chief virtues are a succinct, mostly lucid style, a wide intellectual scope, a flood of ideas and insights at every turn, sensitivity to the technology and culture of photography, and a willingness to attend to images . . . In the end, perhaps the best measure of a text is whether or not one would choose it from among all the offerings to use in class. I have chosen to use this book." - Photo Review, Spring 2000

"An excellent introductory history book." - Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism

In this wonderful and entertaining book, Hirsch has produced the most useful, readable, and practical successor to Newhall. Seizing the Light is written in a friendly, accessible way -- dense with information, but more hip and lively than other offerings, especially those aimed at college students." - exposure: The research journal of the Society for Photographic Education. Vol. 32.2 (Fall, 1999)

Hirsch's prose is very digestible. He writes in a clear, lively style with a minimum of jargon." - Views: the newsletter of the Visual Material Section of the Society of American Archivists

Science, culture, and art come together in this comprehensive history of photography. With superlative production values, rare and unusual prints, and a fresh perspective, Robert Hirsch has written the ideal companion to the first 200 years of photography.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780697143617
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert J. Hirsch (Buffalo, NY) is the Associate Director of Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY and co-director of Visual Studies Workshop Graduate Program. He is also Associate Professor of Art a SUNY/Brockport.Until June of 1999, he was the Director for Photographic Arts (CEPA Gallery), Rochester, NY.
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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Advancing toward Photography: The Birth of Modernity 3
Ch. 2 The Daguerreotype: Image and Object 25
Ch. 3 Calotype Rising: The Arrival of Photography 49
Ch. 4 Pictures on Glass: The Wet-Plate Process 71
Ch. 5 Prevailing Events/Picturing Calamity 97
Ch. 6 A New Medium of Communication: Art or Industry? 115
Ch. 7 Standardizing the Practice: A Transparent Truth 135
Ch. 8 New Ways of Visualizing Time and Space 165
Ch. 9 Suggesting the Subject: The Evolution of Pictorialism 185
Ch. 10 Modernism: Industrial Beauty 213
Ch. 11 The New Culture of Light 237
Ch. 12 Social Documents 267
Ch. 13 Nabbing Time: Anticipating the Moment 299
Ch. 14 Photography and the Halftone 315
Ch. 15 The Atomic Age 343
Ch. 16 New Frontiers: Expanding Boundaries 371
Ch. 17 Changing Realities 395
Ch. 18 Thinking About Photography 431
Bibliography 485
Individual Artists 492
Technology 502
Sources for Artists Books 503
Index 504
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2005

    The Persistence of Fine Books

    For everyone with an interest in photography, either as an artist of the medium, a beginner looking for direction, or a collector who wants informed background to enhance appreciation of fine photographs both from the past and from the present obsession, SEIZING THE LIGHT: A History of Photography is essential reading. Robert Hirsch knows his subject and in one hefty book manages to share the beginnings of photography some 200 years ago with the evolution of the camera and the discipline of photographing. Well illustrated with both photographs and drawings, Hirsch chronicles the famous and not so famous practitioners of the art in succinct but richly colorful biographical abstracts to accompany examples of each artist. The phases through which this art form has passed makes for fascinating reading even beyond the scope of the title: the use of the camera in documenting the history of our globe at celebration, at war, at discovery, and at the side of the people of the day is a journey well lead by a writer well skilled. Though this book is now six years old it remains one of the more important textbooks for the art school classroom. But more important it is so richly written that it remains a fascinating survey of life since the camera. From the beginnings of the pinhole box to the present day digital images on the cell phone etc, the invention of the camera has inextricably changed our perception of the world. Learn the how and why of it! Highly recommended. Grady Harp

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2009

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