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Jan-Christopher Horak

Subject Art
Communication Studies » Visual and Non-verbal Communication

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


The word photography comes from the Greek (photos) and (graphein), meaning to write with light. From its invention in the early 1800s to the beginning of the twenty-first century, photography referred to a photo-chemically based system of analog and indexical still image production that resulted in an optical reproduction of the space in front of the lens. In the first five years of the new millennium analog photography was almost completely supplanted by electronically based digital systems that calibrate light intensities in terms of logarithms. For most of the nineteenth century, photographs were produced by specialists, using a variety of chemical formulae to make and develop light-sensitive surfaces. As artist-technicians, their primary concern was to document the world of appearances, although aesthetic manipulation of reality became an ever-growing trend. By the early twentieth century, photographic processes had become standardized and their production industrialized, allowing a growing number of amateurs, as well as professionals, to document various aspects of everyday life, and create photographic art in all kinds of genres and styles, including abstract and camera-less photography, architectural, →  advertising , fashion, documentary, nature, nude, →  photojournalism , →  portraiture , and surrealist. With the invention of half-tone printing in the 1880s, photography ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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