Wednesday, October 20, 2021
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A Brief History of Photography

As camera technology continues to advance at stomach-churning speed, it might be wise to remind ourselves of just how far we’ve come, as it’s so easy to get caught up in the never-ending lust for the next shiny new toy. Sometimes, our focus on processors and edge-to-edge sharpness make us forget about the art, the craft, and the photographers that came before us, so sit back and enjoy this short hop through the history of photography.

In this video from one of the world’s most famous auction houses, Christie’s, Darius Himes, its International Head of Photographs, educates us on the first photographic technologies right up through the adoption of color photography and then on to more contemporary work. If you’re unfamiliar with the history of the craft, it’s a fascinating introduction and a perfect jumping-off point to explore the work of some of the more famous names in the industry.

Videos like this are also, I believe, important to bring context to the craft we purport to care about so much. So much time is spent — mostly online — engaging in vapid, contrived arguments about the latest tech. I should know; I’m one of those people. But ultimately, these technologies won’t make me a better photographer. The only way to get better is by studying other photographers and art and then exploring my own ideas with the camera I have now.

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