Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the constant presence of photography in the digital age. It determines the reasons why photography is still needed in modern culture and presents a detailed discussion of the history of photography. It begins with a section on the two individuals credited for the invention of photography: William Henry Fox Talbot, and Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre. It then looks at the early commercial applications of photography, such as portraiture and a tool for disciplinary authority. It considers the possibility of the photograph as a historical document and how it became a privileged image of official record. The article concludes that while digital technology has quickly replaced the light-sensitive chemicals, it has failed to replace the ethical and cultural place of photography as a mode of truth telling, a way of knowing the world, and as a system of representation.

Keywords: photography, history, William Henry Fox Talbot, Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, early commercial applications, historical document, official record, digital technology

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.