Camera-Less: Photographic Fidelity (And Infidelity)

Authored by: Katherine Ware

The Focal Press Companion to the Constructed Image in Contemporary Photography

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138125025
eBook ISBN: 9781315647807
Adobe ISBN:


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In a time of photographic pluralism it is deeply satisfying to see artists discovering inspiration in the very fundamentals of a medium that is nearly two centuries old. When its discovery came to public attention in Europe in the 1830s, the medium was heralded by its proponents as an efficient way of rendering form quickly and accurately both for personal enjoyment as well as for education and dissemination. In the increasingly industrialized capitals of Europe, photography suited the rationalist philosophical bent of the dominant culture as well as its changing economy and was prized for its descriptive precision and perceived objectivity.While cameraand negative-based photography came to dominate the field from the 1900s on, camera-less photography played a critical role in the development of the medium and throughout its history has continued to be a critical touchstone and crucible for the conceptual understanding of photography. 1

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