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'Catchers of the Light' - A Magnum Opus on the History of Photography

I am writing to inform members of the imminent appearance in print of a magnum opus related to the History of the Photography, called 'Catchers of the Light', which tells of the 'forgotten lives of the men and women who first photographed the heavens', of which one eminent Professor of Astronomy recently wrote:

"It is rare to find a magnum opus in astronomy that is so detailed, so interesting, and so expert over a wide range that it is hard to carry across the magnificence of this work...I highly recommend this to all with an interest either in the history of astronomy or in the history of photography." Jay M. Pasachoff, Memorial Professor of Astronomy, Williams College; from April 2013 Newsletter of the Historical Astronomy Division, American Astronomical Society.

The book is to be published in two A4 sized hardback volumes, totalling nearly 1700 pages and includes a comprehensive Index - weighing in at about 8 kilos!. For those who prefer a little lighter reading, an eBook edition is also available!

It contains biographies and important information (much of it new) on many of the early pioneers of photography, including well known names such as William Henry Fox Talbot, Louis Daguerre, Nicephore Niepce, Frederick Scott Archer, Richard Leach Maddox, Leon Foucault, Hippolyte Fizeau and George Eastman. Lesser figures like John Adams Whipple, Albert Litch, William Breed Jones, James Wallace Black, Thereza Llewelyn, Mary Field, Thomas Henry Wainwright, Frederick Charles Luther Wratten, Charles Edward Kenneth Mees and many more are also featured.

All of the above pioneers contributed in some way either directly or indirectly in mankind's quest to understand the Universe through the media of Photography, by means of  the various processes and technologies developed during the period from 1839 up until the present day - whether it be Daguerreotype, Calotype, Collodion, Gelatino-Bromide, Plastic film or the CCD chip.

Of particular importance to Photographic Historians, is that in a number of cases, the biographies included on important figures like Archer and Maddox represent the first ever published on them.

In addition to the biographies, the book contains a great deal of historical information on the general development of photography and on the photographic processes and technologies used and their relative importance to each other. On a lighter note, the workings of the modern digital camera is explained with the aid of a mad scientist, a field of Leeks, an Irish Leprechaun,11 million square buckets and an army of pixies, all washed down with lots of rain!

I am sure this book will be of great interest to all libraries and museums, as well as students and researchers into the History of Photography. An electronic review copy is available on request to interested institutions, organizations and magazines.

For further details on the Book, see the links below:

The Index can be downloaded from here as a PDF:
Stefan Hughes

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