Photo Book Review: Photography: The Definitive Visual History

Photography: The Definitive Visual History is a true celebration of the greatest photographs and photographers from around the world. This is a lavishly illustrated visual history of photography (from its start in the 1820s to the present day) written and curated by world-renowned photographer, writer and broadcaster Tom Ang.

Photography follows the path from those first blurry images of the past to the skillfully created digital images of today. The book traces the evolution of photography, period by period, covering every genre from portraits to panoramas, historical tableaux, travel photography, photojournalism, street photography and digital imaging It offers more than just the iconic images that represent turning points in the development of this art form, it also has unexpected finds—such as hand-tinted prints from nineteenth-century Japan, an early portrait of an African princess, a color photograph of an aviator taken during World War 1.

Each chapter also includes “In Focus” features that analyze key photographs (such as Lange’s Migrant Mother, or Bill Brandt’s Belgravia, London, 1951) pointing out various elements of style and technique that make these images so unique and revealing the often surprising stories behind their creation.

Photography contains in-depth profiles of more than 50 photographers including Eugène Atget, Ansel Adams, Shomei Tomatsu and Cindy Sherman, and reveals what motivated them and how their photography developed. The book also reflects on the work of some lesser-known photographers (whose work was not recognized during their lifetimes) and includes shots from talented amateur photographers. This book traces the evolution of cameras, studying the lenses, lighting, film and the technology that made photography possible. The illustrated reference directory offers biographies of more than 250 of the world’s greatest photographers.

Photography: The Definitive Visual History; by Tom Ang; DK; $50; (ISBN: 9781465422880)

More info on Photography: The Definitive Visual History here.