This is the first Oxford Companion to deal with the subject of photography. It appears at a watershed in the medium's history, as digital imaging increasingly dominates the global photography scene at both amateur and professional levels. In addition to a wide range of technical information, the book encapsulates in concise and readily accessible form the mass of recent scholarship on photography as a social and artistic practice, organized both thematically and geographically. There are over 800 biographical entries, both on photographers and on other individuals who have significantly influenced photographic culture from the early 19th century to the present. The book's scope is worldwide.
The international team of contributors is made up of leading authorities in their fields, and include: Heather Angel, Sylvie Aubenas, Quentin Bajac, Marta Braun, Clement Cheroux, Elizabeth Edwards, John Falconer, Colin Ford, Ron Graham, Sarah Greenough, Mark Haworth-Booth, Roger Hicks, Paul Hill, Jens Jaeger, Jan-Erik Lundstrom, Naomi Rosenblum, Rolf Sachsse, Martha Sandweiss, Graham Saxby, Joan Schwartz, Sara Stevenson, Roger Taylor, Regine Thiriez, John Ward, Liz Wells, and Mike Ware.
The book is extensively illustrated and includes many pictures never before published. The majority of the 1600-plus entries include suggestions for further reading. But the work's usefulness is further enhanced by the inclusion of an extensive bibliography, a chronology of photographic history, a list of important websites, and an index of people.
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Dr Robin Lenman has just retired from his post as Senior Lecturer in the Department of History, University of Warwick, where he taught an MA course on Photography and Society in Europe. His research specialisms include European visual culture, the social history of photography, and 19th- and 20th-century German and European history. His publications include Die Kunst, die Macht und das Geld (1994), and Artists and Society in Germany 1850-1910 (1997).
For this companion, which is international in scope, editor Lenman (retired, University of Warwick) assembled more than 1,600 entries, of which approximately 800 cover photographers, past and present, and others affiliated with photography. Remaining entries deal with countries, photographic terms and technology, genres, photographic themes (for example, Sociology and photography), and other topics. Several one- to two-page special essays (for example, "Inner-German Border Photography, 1952-1989") are interspersed throughout the volume, as are about 300 photographs, 48 of which are color plates. Article length varies from a short paragraph to several pages (as in the four-and-a-half-page Germany). Content leans toward the historical and theoretical rather than the practical. For example, Lighting and lighting equipment describes key light, fill, and effects lights, then traces the historical development of lighting in photography. Biographical entries emphasize contributions to photography. Entries on countries and photographic themes cover a wide range. Even more diverse, entries on photographic genres cover the popular (e.g., Photojournalism, Sports photography) and the less popular (e.g., Exploration photography, Zoo photography).
Within articles, an asterisk by a word indicates a separate entry. Some articles offer see also references; many also contain short bibliographies, in some cases listing non-English publications. Articles conclude with the initials of one of 180 contributors. Additional features include a thematic table of contents, a chronology, a topically arranged bibliography, a list of key Web sites arranged by type of site and country, and an "Index of People and Companies."
With articles covering such current topics as the Camera phone, Internet, and Photoblogging, this title updates older resources. Similar in scope to The Photography Encyclopedia (Schirmer, 1999), it is appropriate for both scholars and general readers. An affordable, useful tool for academic and public libraries. Stephen Fadel
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