by Richard McKinstry

Building on earlier scientific advances, photography as we know it today progressed from the 1830s when, according to Journal des Artistes, Frenchman Louis Daguerre, was successful in creating an "image produced by the camera obscura, so that a portrait, a landscape or view of any kind, projected upon this plate by the ordinary camera obscura, leaves its impress there in light and shade." Thanks to photography, today we have images of former leaders from various eras, public figures of all kinds, the natural and built environment of years past, historical events, our families, and scores of other subjects. We collect photographs for what they show, for the messages they convey, and for their artistry. In America, we identify photography with such luminaries as Matthew Brady, George Eastman, Alfred Stieglitz, Dorothea Lange, Margaret Bourke-White, and many others. We prize their work alongside anonymous photographers who have all contributed to the evolution of this important form of communication.

   © 2011 The Ephemera Society of America