From a photograph : authenticity, science and the periodical press, 1870-1890 / by Geoffrey Belknap.

Belknap, Geoffrey [Browse]
  • London, UK ; New York, NY, USA : Bloomsbury Academic, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2016.
  • ©2016
xix, 268 pages ; 24 cm


Summary note
Throughout its early history, photography's authenticity was contested and challenged: how true a representation of reality can a photograph provide? Does the reproduction of a photograph affect its value as authentic or not? From a Photograph examines these questions in the light of the early scientific periodical press, exploring how the perceived veracity of a photograph, its use as scientific evidence and the technologies developed for printing it were intimately connected. Before photomechanical printing processes became widely used in the 1890s, scientific periodicals were unable to reproduce photographs and instead included these photographic images as engravings, with the label 'from a photograph'. Consequently, every image was mediated by a human interlocutor, introducing the potential for error and misinterpretation. Rather than 'reading' photographs in the context of where or how they were taken, this book emphasises the importance of understanding how photographs are reproduced. It explores and compares the value of photography as authentic proof in both popular and scientific publications during this period of significant technological developments and a growing readership.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • Sect. I. Placing trust in photographs. Illustrating Victorian culture : photography and the popular press
  • Illustrating nature : photography and the scientific press
  • sect. II. Photographic trust in use. The pigeon, The microphotograph, and the hot air balloon : technologies of communication
  • Photographing the invisible : the periodical and the reproduction of the instant
  • Photography at a distance : reproducing the 874 transit of venus enterprise.
  • 9781474266727 ((hardback) : (alkaline paper))
  • 147426672X ((hardback) : (alkaline paper))
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