Origins Photojrnlsim Amer PB

Michael L. Carlebach, Author, ML Carlebach, Author Smithsonian Books $34.95 (208p) ISBN 978-1-56098-159-6
Carlebach, an associate professor of communications at the University of Miami and a photojournalist himself, here offers a scrupulously researched history of American photojournalism from 1839 to 1880. He effectively narrates the technical developments that made news photography possible, while also describing how the craft's early successes affected the American people. The first photojournalists were folk paparazzi who badgered presidents and other notables to sit for portraits; later, they risked their lives traveling in wagons with portable darkrooms to photograph Civil War battles and Indian chiefs. Carlebach concentrates on how the craft's foremost practitioners--Mathewok Brady, William Henry Jackson, George Barnard--were able to create, and satisfy, the public taste for a new, more exciting visual journalism. Shocked and fascinated by Brady's wartime photos and Jackson's pictures of the newly laid Union Pacific railroad, the public developed a ravenous appetite for photographic images, spurring the breakthroughs of dry-plate and fast-shutter photography, and ultimately of the halftone printing process, which enabled newspapers and magazines to reproduce photos directly. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/03/1992
Release date: 08/01/1992
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