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Distributed for Reaktion Books

Photography and Travel

Photography and travel go hand in hand—landmarks and scenic vistas everywhere are thronged by tourists with their eye to the view finder, trying to capture their memories on film or in megapixel. When the pioneers of photography, Henry Fox Talbot and Louis Daguerre, made their inventions public in 1839, advocates for the new technology immediately recognized photography’s capability to vividly present the spectacles of the world and make famous sights accessible to those who were not able to experience them in person. In this lively account of the partnership between photography and travel, Graham Smith explores the diverse ways pictures and travel have been partnered from the nineteenth century to today.

Taking us from France and Italy to Egypt, Japan, and North America, Smith illustrates how photography was influenced by new forms of transcontinental travel, including railroads, cars, and planes. He shows that as travel has become more democratized, the methods and experiences of it have developed in unexpected directions to create new photographic narratives. Smith also examines how photographers often go to great lengths and face considerable danger to record exotic destinations, from the ice caves of the Mer de Glace to the maw of Vesuvius, the summit of Mount Everest, and even the pockmarked surface of the moon. Packed with images from around the globe, Photography and Travel is the perfect book for intrepid photographers and armchair travelers alike.

187 pages | 80 color plates, 20 halftones | 7 1/2 x 8 2/3 | © 2013


Art: Photography

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“Graham Smith’s Photography and Travel is an erudite and informed examination of the influence of photography on the concept of ‘travel,’ and reversely, of the wider world on photography as a means to record and introduce locations previously inaccessible to the majority.”


 “It’s nice to have all the pictures and Smith’s book tells the extraordinary tale of the relationship between travel and the photographic arts from 1830s to the present day. He covers an impressive amount of ground: photographs stealing the show at the great exhibitions of the 19th century, the rise of the picture postcard, the emergence of image-packed magazines, and how photos did as many favours for the Venetian economy as the famous glassware. There’s also a detailed account of how the technology evolved. Fittingly, the book contains many well-chosen illustrations—a reminder that putting camera in the hands of travellers was a good idea.”

Geographical Magazine

Table of Contents

1. Travel
2. Travel, Photography and Writing
3. The First Decades
4. The Universe in a Portfolio
5. The Twentieth Century

Select Bibliography
Photo Acknowledgements

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