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John Thomson (1837-1921): Photographer

Ovenden, Richard; Puttman, Sir David - Foreword

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ISBN 10: 0114958335 / ISBN 13: 9780114958336
Published by National Library of Scotland - The Stationery Office, South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, 1997
Used Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

222 Pages Indexed. Brown cloth covered boards with gold spoine lettering. No marks, stamps or other defects noted. Boards have pointed corners. Dust jacket has very light wear to edges and corners. John Thomson was one of the most important and influential photographer of the 19th Century. Born in Edinburgh, he travelled extensively with his camera around the Far East. As well as photographing the royal court of Siam, he be the first photographer to document the temple complex at Angkor in Cambodia ( now a World Heritage site of major importance. His major project in the far Far East, however, was undertaken in China, where he was the first photographer systematically to document all aspects of the country: the landscape, industry, architecture street people, and the govcrning classes. He returned to Britain in 1872, publishing his photographs in a number of books and articles which establishcd his reputation as a traveller, photographer, and authority on China. Often using new printing techniques to produce his work, Thornson's involvement with publishing continued to bring about innovations, and in 1877 he broke new ground when he joined forces with a journalist to produce Street Life in London, now regarded as one of the first examples of photojournalism, and a major influence on the development of photography in the twentieth century. Thomson spent the rest of his life as a photographer of high socicty in London, holding the Royal Warrant and teaching photography at the Royal Geographical Society. Contents in Seven Chapters: Creation, Publication, Ruins and Structures, Hearts of Darkness, Formal Portraits, Man and Nature, and John Thomson and Photograplhy by Michael Gray. Plus Notes, Bibliography, and Glossary of Photographic Terms. Size: 8 1/2" X 12". Bookseller Inventory # 12468

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Bibliographic Details

Title: John Thomson (1837-1921): Photographer

Publisher: National Library of Scotland - The Stationery Office, South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hard Back

Illustrator: Geray, Michael - Specialist Photographic Printing and a Chapter

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


Published to accompany and exhibition at the National Library of Scotland, this work draws attention to John Thomson's role as one of the most crucial innovators in the art of photography. Born in Edinburgh, John Thomson travelled with his camera to the far edges of the British Empire, taking many photographs and writing large quantities of text to accompany them. His subject matter covers an impressive sweep, ranging from architecture, archaeology and landscapes, to formal portraiture and street and salon photography.

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