Sophont
Sunday, November 16, 2003
 
Art Books: The History of Photography: "From Library Journal
The founder of Spiratone, a company that once supplied photographic accessories, S.F. (Fred) Spira is also well known for his extensive collection of photographic equipment. This volume, which includes Spira's writings and is coauthored by his son, Jonathan, and Lorthrop, a former president of the American Photographic Historical Society, provides a history of photographic processes with a focus on consumer-oriented picture taking. It includes thorough discussions on film and camera history, color photography, photo reproduction, stereo photography, and motion pictures and an especially good chapter on digital photography. Photo illustrations are taken from the more than 20,000 objects in Spira's collection. A chapter on photography and humor seems out of place, but in general the book supplies understandable explanations of photographic devices and methods and is a good supplement to more general histories, such as Naomi Rosenblum's A World History of Photography. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries. Eric Linderman, East Cleveland P.L., OH
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Book Description
A comprehensive history of photographic technique and practice, based on one of the world's foremost private collections of photographica.

S.F. Spira, founder of Spiratone, collected more than twenty thousand individual objects relating to the history of photography -- a collection of unusual substance and depth, including many items that are extremely rare and not duplicated among the holdings of any museum in the United States. Spira's collection is remarkable in that it clearly illustrates the connection between one phase in the development of photography and the next, and the complex relationships between photography and other disciplines, such as painting and scientific research.

This book's comprehensive chapters cover the prehistory of photography, the advent of dry plates and roll film, and stereo photography and the motion picture. While particular attention is given to historic technical achievements and pioneering advances in design, objects such as books, magazines, cartoons, photo-related toys, darkroom supplies, and original film add value and dimension to this scholarly but accessible volume.

About the Author
Based on S. F. Spira's own writings and collection, the book is co-authored by Eaton S. Lothrop, Jr., an eminent photo historian and author of A Century of Cameras."

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