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The Short Story of Photography

A Pocket Guide to Key Genres, Works, Themes & Techniques

Ian Haydn Smith


The Short Story of Photography is a pocket guide to key genres, works, themes and techniques and a new and innovative introduction to the subject of photography. Simply constructed, the book explores 50 key photographs from the first experiments in the early nineteenth century to digital photography.

Accessible and concise, the book explains how, why and when certain photographs really have changed the world. It demystifies technical jargon, giving readers a thorough understanding and broad enjoyment of photography since its creation.

‘Film critic Smith turns his keen eye toward photography, crafting a concise history of the medium. Organized into four sections—genres, techniques, themes, and works—the bulk of the book considers 50 key works spanning the course of nearly 200 years, beginning with French inventor and photography pioneer Nicéphore Niépce’s 1826 heliograph View from the Window at Le Gras through to German photographer Andreas Gursky’s 2016 digitally manipulated photo of the inside of an Amazon warehouse.’
-Publishers Weekly
‘If you’ve got a passion for photography and want to learn more about it’s technical side, The Short Story of Photography is a perfect introduction to the intricacies of the form. Author Ian Haydn Smith touches on the most significant features of photography: genres, famous works, themes, and techniques, resulting in a well rounded crash course for curious readers.’
– Iyana Jones, Musée Magazine

Other books in The Short Story of… series include The Short Story of Art, The Short Story of Modern Art and The Short Story of Architecture. Coming soon: The Short Story of Film.

The Short Story of Photography ships internationally with free shipping within the UK.

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Ian Haydn Smith is the editor of Curzon Magazine and BFI Filmmakers Magazine. He has written and broadcast widely on film and photography.

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