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The Art of Photography

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (1765-1833) created the first photograph in 1822. He was a French inventor and research chemist. Whatever images Niépce created the first few years have been lost.

As a result, the oldest known photograph in the world dates from 1826 and is featured here. He then joined forces with a man who had invented a better camera, Daguerre.

"VIEW FROM A WINDOW" BY NIEPCE IN 1826 IS THE OLDEST PHOTOGRAPH IN THE WORLD

"VIEW FROM A WINDOW" BY NIEPCE IN 1826 IS THE OLDEST PHOTOGRAPH IN THE WORLD

Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre

Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (1789-1851) was a skilled painter in search of a new artistic medium. He and Niépce invented the "Daguerreotype," which created positive images that could not be reproduced.

Daguerre's first picture dates to 1837, but I prefer this shot from one year later.

"BOULEVARD DU TEMPLE" BY DAGUERRE IN 1838

"BOULEVARD DU TEMPLE" BY DAGUERRE IN 1838

William Henry Fox Talbot

William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) was the competition and he succeeded in the creation of photography using negatives, as we do today unless using a digital camera. Talbot was an Englishman well schooled at Cambridge in mathematics and optics. I present his photograph from 1844.

"LOCH KATRINE" BY FOX TALBOT IN 1844

"LOCH KATRINE" BY FOX TALBOT IN 1844

Félix Nadar

Félix Nadar (1820-1910) was an artist turned photographer from Paris. He was also a journalist, novelist and balloonist. Nadar was the first person to use artificial lighting and the first to take aerial photographs.

His greatest fame came from portrait photography, so we will look at his photograph from 1859 of the most famous actress of the 19th Century, Sarah Bernhardt. It is reminiscent of sculpture.

"SARAH BERNHARDT" BY NADAR IN 1859

"SARAH BERNHARDT" BY NADAR IN 1859

Henry Peach Robinson

Henry Peach Robinson (1830-1901) was the most famous photographer in the 19th Century. He was from England, and tried his hand at painting and bookselling before becoming a photographer. I feature here the 1858 photograph that made him a worldwide sensation at the time.

"FADING AWAY" BY HENRY PEACH ROBINSON IN 1858

"FADING AWAY" BY HENRY PEACH ROBINSON IN 1858

Mathew Brady

Mathew Brady (1823-1896) was an American who is considered the father of photojournalism. His work covering the American Civil War brought home the horrors of combat in a new, and to some, shocking way. Brady photographed 18 Presidents of The United States, including photos of President Lincoln used on the Five-Dollar Bill and Lincoln Penny.

This photograph is from 1865.

"DEAD CONFEDERATE SOLDIER PETERSBURG VIRGINIA" BY MATHEW BRADY IN 1865

"DEAD CONFEDERATE SOLDIER PETERSBURG VIRGINIA" BY MATHEW BRADY IN 1865

Timothy O'Sullivan

Timothy O'Sullivan (1841-1882) was an American who mastered landscape photography. He had previously worked for Mathew Brady and shot outstanding photographs of the civil war. O'Sullivan became the official photographer for the United States Geological Expedition and on that mission took this photograph in 1873.

"ANASAZI RUINS" BY TIMOTHY O'SULLIVAN IN 1873

"ANASAZI RUINS" BY TIMOTHY O'SULLIVAN IN 1873

Jacob Riis

Jacob Riis (1849-1914) was a police reporter in New York City, where he photographed crime scenes. It was his pictures of slums that were to be his more lasting legacy as they led to changes in housing codes and labor laws.

Riis was a pioneer of flash photography, made possible by the invention of gunpowder. He worked as a carpenter, miner, salesman, reporter and newspaper editor before becoming a photographer. This photograph dates to 1889.

"FIVE CENTS LODGING" BY JACOB RIIS IN 1889

"FIVE CENTS LODGING" BY JACOB RIIS IN 1889

Alfred Stieglitz

Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) is considered the founder of "modern" photographic art in the United States and an important person in the history of American visual arts. Stieglitz studied mechanical engineering and chemistry prior to photography. He later became an important writer and publisher.

We will review what he considered his finest work, this photograph from 1907. In it we clearly sense the difference between classes on an ocean liner. Stieglitz established documentary photography as an art form.

"THE STEERAGE" BY ALFRED STIEGLITZ IN 1907

"THE STEERAGE" BY ALFRED STIEGLITZ IN 1907

Edward Steichen

Edward Steichen (1879-1973) was a protégé of Stieglitz. He was an established painter in America before becoming a famous photographer. His photographic portrait of Greta Garbo remains his most well known work, but I am more intrigued with this one from 1924. Later in life he won an Academy Award for documentary film.

"GLORIA SWANSON" BY EDWARD STEICHEN IN 1924

"GLORIA SWANSON" BY EDWARD STEICHEN IN 1924

Eugène Atget

Eugène Atget (1856-1927) was a humble French photographer. Picasso was one of his patrons. He is famous as the documentarian of the Paris of his day. Atget was an orphan who became a sailor and then an actor. He is known today as a master of urban historical photographic art.

"NOTRE DAME" BY ATGET IN 1925

"NOTRE DAME" BY ATGET IN 1925

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) is considered the father of "modern" photojournalism. He was from Paris and a photographer since childhood. Cartier-Bresson also painted.

He was to become a world traveler in the broadest sense, taking photographs around the globe of some of history's most important events and people. He would only use a Leica 35MM camera and refused to use flash. This picture was shot in 1932.

"BEHIND THE GARE ST LAZARE" BY CARTIER-BRESSON IN 1932

"BEHIND THE GARE ST LAZARE" BY CARTIER-BRESSON IN 1932

Comments

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 05, 2012:

tlpoague— There certainly is. I, too, am amazed.

Thank you for coming by to review my Hub. I appreciate your kind comments. And you, as always, are most welcome. :-)

Tammy from USA on January 03, 2012:

There is something new to be learned every day. I have never heard of some of these artists, but love the photos you posted with them. It is amazing to see how far we have come with photography. Thanks for sharing this facinating information.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 11, 2011:

Hyphenbird— Thank you for taking the time to review this Hub and gallery. I appreciate your gracious comments.

You wrote: "Isn't it wonderful how some dreamers see the world in such a different way than most? Then we have these beautiful pieces of art."

Yes it is! And yes we do.

I am thankful for your compliments and you are most welcome. :-)

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on September 09, 2011:

This is stunning with those gorgeous photographs and full of information. I knew a few of these people. I used to world as a professional photographer and learned during my studies. Some I had no idea about and I thank you for adding to my education. Isn't it wonderful how some dreamers see the world in such a different way than most? Then we have these beautiful pieces of art.

James, I am sorry I have not been commenting on more of your Hubs and will be in the future. This one will be a favorite though for sure.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 05, 2011:

Storytellerrus— I missed you too. I didn't know I had offended you. Sometimes I do come across a bit strong in my opinions and that has alienated a few folks. I appreciate your kind note and I'm glad we have made up. I am going to try to be a kinder, gentler James from now on. :-)

Thank you and you are welcome.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on August 04, 2011:

I missed you. My red headed temper got the better of me. I think I have a handle on what it is that sets me off and of course it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the past. So... thank you, kind sir! Glad to be back.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 03, 2011:

Storytellersrus— Yes! I have seen that awesome photographic art by the great artist Stieglitz.

I am glad you liked the Daguerre. That sucker is ancient!

Thank you for visiting my Hub. I appreciate your thoughtful comments. Always a pleasure to hear from you.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on August 02, 2011:

My favorite Stieglitz was a winding staircase with (I believe) a rose in the foreground. Stunning. I had the opportunity to purchase an original print once, down in Santa Fe. But I needed to eat.

I do love photography. Thanks for introducing me to "BOULEVARD DU TEMPLE" BY DAGUERRE. It is exceptional.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 14, 2011:

Ralph Deeds— Thank you!! Thank you very much! :D

Ralph Deeds from Birmingham, Michigan on July 13, 2011:

Nice Hub.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 03, 2011:

TheMonk— You are quiet welcome, my friend. I appreciate the Voted Up! Thank you for visiting my Hub.

TheMonk from Brazil on July 01, 2011:

My photography teacher talked so little about this. I find it is amazing how photography has evolved from just an experience to an art form of itself. Thanks for the great info! Voted up, for sure!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on April 19, 2011:

Lynn S. Murphy— I look forward to checking your your impersonations. Thank you very very much for coming by to check out my Hub. I appreciate your comments. :-)

Lynn S. Murphy on April 14, 2011:

Amazing artists and photographers. Some I knew, most not. I impersonate the greats.How better to learn.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 10, 2011:

johnwindbell— I am glad you enjoyed it, friend. I was not aware of the book you mentioned but I must say I agree with the quote from it. Thank you for visiting my Hub. I appreciate your comments.

johnwindbell from - the land of beards and buggies on February 10, 2011:

Much enjoyed your hub. The digital age has lost it. In the book 'Hey Day' by Kurt Andersen, a character, a photographer, said, "the new devices permit the unskilled and untrained to impersonate artists."

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 16, 2010:

sherrylou57— Thank you! I will do that. You have a good day and God Bless!

sherrylou57 from Riverside on December 15, 2010:

James, this hub is way cool! Go and see my pic on the firey sky, last Sat the sky was blazin!! It was so very breathtaking! have a good night!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 29, 2010:

Carl Hahn— Thank you! I am well pleased that you appreciate this gallery. Yes, it is priceless.

Carl Hahn on November 28, 2010:

This is a great group photographs by the masters, especially the first photograph by Daguerre. That one is priceless.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 12, 2010:

Kamran100— Thank you! Thank you very much.

Kamran100 on July 12, 2010:

really nice art. looking attractive photos

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 06, 2010:

Mr. Happy— Thank you! Thank you very much. :D

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on July 06, 2010:

The "Anasazi Ruins" photo is gorgeous. So is the one of the Notre Dame. Cheers!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 15, 2010:

epigramman— Sam Shephard? hmmm . . . I appreciate the sharing of this Hub with your friends. That is a gracious thing to do. Thank you for your wonderful compliments.

epigramman on June 13, 2010:

to the man who looks like the actor/playwright - Sam Shephard - what a wonderful hub you have here - I will be sharing this with all of my photography friends!!!!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 25, 2010:

Pollyannalana— Thank you! I am truly sorry to hear about your loss. Some people. I'd say that exhibits a lack of values! Thanks for coming.

Pollyannalana from US on May 24, 2010:

Very good, I love to find very old books just for the art, I had probably 100, maybe more, not sure they all had art from 1800's but they got stolen. But I still look, find one now and then.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 23, 2010:

Steve 3.0--- Thank you. Yes, I agree, that is an extraordinary photograph by a fabulous artist. Thanks for the interesting additional information. I'm going to look for that.

Steve 3.0 from Cornwall UK on March 23, 2010:

Nice hub. I like the Cartier-Bresson Behind the Gare St. Lazare. If you look at a decent print of it, you can see the repeating pattern with the mans legs reflected, the poster in the background and the hands of the clock.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 14, 2010:

Duchess Oblunt--- How nice to hear from you. Thank you for coming round and leaving your warm words. I appreciate you and your work on HubPages.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 14, 2010:

Eileen Hughes--- Thank you for your comments. And you are most welcome.

Duchess OBlunt on March 14, 2010:

As always James, I get around to coming over to read your history/art hubs. They always give so much information and detail. Thank you again for another great one!

Eileen Hughes from Northam Western Australia on March 12, 2010:

Great photos and naration. thanks for sharing.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 04, 2010:

RosWebbART--- It's nice to hear from you again. Thank you for the compliments.

Ros Webb from Ireland on March 03, 2010:

Beautiful !!! Love it..

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 11, 2010:

Moulik Mistry--- I love photography, too. You are most welcome and also: welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

Moulik Mistry from Burdwan, West Bengal, India on February 11, 2010:

Photography is my pet love - thank you very much for this great article...

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 19, 2009:

stars439— Thank you for being one of my most faithful readers. And I mean that two ways.

You posed a great question. It seems to me life is getting softer and harder; with less middle. I'm glad you were touched by those two great photographs. God Bless You!

stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on December 19, 2009:

I was touched by the art of the photograph in 5 cents Lodging, and by the Confederate soldier. Life is so precious yet was treated so awful. I maybe wrong but I think life has changed a lot in comparison to the hard days of yester years. It seems to me that young people today have kinder hearts than folks of long ago. I could be very wrong. Maybe it depends a lot on surroundings and availabilities of things. God Bless you.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 27, 2009:

kysnoopyq42— That one is sad. It was a groundbreaking photo at the time. Perhaps the first photo ever shot at the point of death. Thank you for coming; all the way from Kentucky! ;0

kysnoopyq42 from no where on November 26, 2009:

I just like to look at the pretty pictures. All except for the dead soldier one.. that one is sad.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 07, 2009:

katyzzz— How nice to hear from you again. It has been a while it seems. Yes, that Cartier-Bresson is intriguing, isn't it? Thank you for checking out my Hub and leaving word that you did. I appreciate it.

katyzzz from Sydney, Australia on November 07, 2009:

It's so interesting to go back in time, James. I love photography. And the last one is an unexpected surprise.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 13, 2009:

debdav— I'm glad you did. Thank you for coming by and letting me know. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community.

debdav on October 13, 2009:

really enjoyed your hub

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 18, 2009:

Luciendasky— You are surely welcome. Speaking of welcome: Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

I am well pleased that you enjoyed this piece. I look forward to reading your work.

Luciendasky from Florence, OR on September 18, 2009:

Thank you for writing such an informative hub! I love photography but didn't know much of the history until now :D

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 16, 2009:

SimeyC— Thank you so much for your interest and kind remarks. I publish 3 a week so . . .

I must admit—I love the photos, too. :D

Simon Cook from NJ, USA on September 16, 2009:

Another great hub - very well written and full of great photos! It's a pleasure to read and I learned a lot too!!!! It's going to take me months to read all your hubs!!!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 05, 2009:

Dolores Monet— Thank you, dear. It is a pleasure to receive this visit from you. I appreciate your kind comments and insights. I'm glad you enjoyed it, too.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on September 05, 2009:

I love this hub, James. You are so wonderful at sharing art. I never realized that photography was so old and am wowed at being able to see the oldest photograph in the world. How cool! I love Stieglitz and Cartier-Bresson as well.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 05, 2009:

Peggy W— I am impressed. I don't know anyone who has actual daguerreotypes. I do have some old photos that were passed down to me from maybe 1900, but I don't know how they were made.

Thank you for visiting and for your kind comments. Always a pleasure to see you.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 05, 2009:

Great hub, James, as usual. I have a couple of old daguerreotypes...one of my grandfather when he was with the National Guard stationed in San Antonio many years ago and also one of my mother, her siblings and a cousin when they were kids. Had photos made from the old tin type negatives and due to scratches, etc, they are not the greatest...but still happy to have them.

Very interesting hub about the history of art photography. Thanks!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 03, 2009:

bayareagreatthing— It is an honor to have a real photographer stop by and praise my humble work. You are right, there were no "redos" in the old days—just like in music, where you couldn't lip synch your songs and bring in recorded tracks to "fill things out." There was a time when live band was really live—all the way.

Thanks for your comments.

bayareagreatthing from Bay Area California on September 03, 2009:

I appreciate reading about photo history. The pictures that go with it are great. It is amazing how much photography has developed. As a photographer, I appreciate the immense effort involved in getting "just the right shot" when there wasn't any post production tools to fix things! I look forward to your next one James.

Tina Irene on September 03, 2009:

Facts are facts! And you're certainly welcome.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 02, 2009:

Tina Irene— Why, thank you so much. I appreciate you stopping in and saying such nice things. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 02, 2009:

dashdot— I agree with you. He was absolutely a genius. Welcome to Hub Pages. I looked at your photos on your first Hub—great work! Thanks for leaving your comment here and reviewing my article.

Tina Irene on September 02, 2009:

James -

Fantastic subject, superb photo choices, and another beautifully put together hub.

dashdot from nl on September 02, 2009:

i hail Henry william Fox Talbot he is my hero the true genius :) i make lumenrpints thanks to him!!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 01, 2009:

Tigermadstanley— Why, thank you! You are welcome. I do appreciate your encouragement and affirmation.

Amanda Davey from Canterbury, Kent, UK on September 01, 2009:

James, You have a real eye for art. The photos you have chosen are amazing. Thanks for creating another informative but interesting and creative hub.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 01, 2009:

coffeesnob— Thank you. Brady's work was sensational at the time—and striking even now. There were many who thought it beyond good taste. And many who thought maybe we should know what war is. It reminds me of abortion pictures now, which, by the way, Hub Pages says I cannot show.

Thanks for your comments.

coffeesnob on August 31, 2009:

James,

Great collection of Photos. I was struck by Matthew Brady's step forward into photojournalism. I can only imagine the controversy of bringing the war home with his pictures. Awesome job here.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 31, 2009:

Vladimir, my friend! Thank you very much for coming.

Vladimir Uhri from HubPages, FB on August 31, 2009:

Great pictures, James.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 31, 2009:

Camping Dan— There is much beauty in these old photos. I still have not switched to digital. I use a Canon EOS but I have some great lenses. Thank you for the visit and the comments.

Camping Dan on August 31, 2009:

Some of the classic images and processes still get my attention. We seem to lose so much with digital photography that we had before. I miss the old days for sure.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 30, 2009:

GPAGE— Thank you very much for your laudations.

I think you should do a Hub with your B&W pics and let us all enjoy them. I would be quite interested to see them.

I appreciate the visit and hope all is well in your exotic world. :)

GPAGE from California on August 30, 2009:

James! I think this is fantastic. VERY much of an interest to me. ;

I have always been a huge fan of Stieglitz & Bresson. I did see an exhibit at the old Getty Museum on Steichen many years ago and it was one of those "AHHHH" moments where I just wanted to see everything! I am a big fan of B& W pics and have shot some amazing black and white landscapes and pics in Europe......

Looking forward to what you dig up next!!!!! post 1932 ; G

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 30, 2009:

Kebennett1— I so appreciate your ongoing encouragement.

It's hard to believe the Daguerre is a photo—it looks painted almost. I had never heard of O'Sullivan until I began this research and for 1873—I found this photo of his to be stunning.

Thank you so much for your compliments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 30, 2009:

Paradise7— I am trying to produce good work that people enjoy. It pleases me greatly to receive your response. I thank you for the affirmation. :D

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 30, 2009:

jiberish— Thank you for your gracious words. I am basking in the glow of your accolades right now. :D

Whatever gifts I may have, I didn't earn them. They were given to me and I am grateful. I am glad you enjoyed this piece. It was a joy to put together.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 30, 2009:

IslandVoice— I am so pleased to receive these complimentary comments from you as you are such a fine photographer. I have not seen that documentary but I will put it in my Netflix queue right now. Thanks for the tip and the visitation.

Kebennett1 from San Bernardino County, California on August 30, 2009:

"BOULEVARD DU TEMPLE" BY DAGUERRE IN 1838, for some reason really speaks to me. I find it very surreal, almost haunting! My favorite of this line up! "SARAH BERNHARDT" BY NADAR IN 1859,is absolutely beautiful. I believe it rivals any works of today! "DEAD CONFEDERATE SOLDIER PETERSBURG VIRGINIA" BY MATHEW BRADY IN 1865 Excellent photojournalism of the time. He really did accomplish a lot with the Presidents. Impressive! "ANASAZI RUINS" BY TIMOTHY O'SULLIVAN IN 1873. Amazing Ruins captured by an obviously amazing photographer.

Another informative, well written, artistic, beautiful Hub! You keep me coming back for more!

Paradise7 from Upstate New York on August 30, 2009:

James, you've outdone even yourself--what a great hub! What an informative, interesting, terrifically researched and pictorial hub. I love the Sarah Bernhardt pic. I love them all. Thank you so much, again, for taking the time and effort to compile and share this information.

jiberish from florida on August 30, 2009:

James, your creativity just amazes me, your talents are endless, another wonderful read, thank you.

Sylvia Van Velzer from Hawaii on August 30, 2009:

5 Stars for this hub! Another truly eye catching, excellent and informative piece. I esp love Alfred Stieglitz and Ansel Adams, my two favorites. If you haven't seen "The Eloquent Eye" documentary, it is a must see for someone like you. Hat's off Mr Watkins!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 30, 2009:

R Burow— There has surely been a long record of human brilliance and creativity. Especially when we consider we are just apes with thumbs.

JUST KIDDING!!! :D

This world is amazing. My life has been amazing. I am grateful for my blessings. Thank you for your remarks.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 30, 2009:

DeBorrah K. Ogans— Thank you! It is interesting that for most of human history we could not have a short or long term historical record of events and people, except eye witness accounts or painting/sculpture, which are much more subjective. I love those art forms but photography gives us a new accuracy and immediacy. At least it did before PhotoShop! :)

I appreciate you taking the time to visit and leave word.

R Burow on August 30, 2009:

It is amazing how far we've come. What brilliant minds who started the process. Never in their wildest dreams...

Great hub!

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans on August 30, 2009:

James this is simply fabulous! I find the whole concept of being able to capture a moment in time via photography fascinating.

Wonderful informative hub!

Blessings

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 30, 2009:

advisor4qb— An air of mystery there. Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your encouragement. :D

advisor4qb from On New Footing on August 30, 2009:

I liked the one of Gloria Swanson, too!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 30, 2009:

asalvani— You work as a photographer? That must be a wonderful profession. You are blessed. I wish I could do the same. Thank you for your warm words.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 30, 2009:

Tom Whitworth— Yes, that effect in the Talbot is emulated by lens filters today. That photo is one of the oldest extant made with a negative.

Thank you for your appreciation of my article. And you are most welcome.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 30, 2009:

jesusmyjoy— Thank you. Old family photos are a treasure. I have a few myself. I appreciate you for visiting.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 30, 2009:

ftgfmom— The Garbo is stunning. Perhaps I should have used it also. Most of these photographers have created many wonderful works and that made it difficult to choose just one. But I wanted to keep it short. Thank you and you are welcome.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 30, 2009:

ethel smith— Thank you very much for coming by and leaving your compliment. I always enjoy hearing from you.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 30, 2009:

Sufidreamer— Thank you! You know me enough by now to know the history is what intrigues me. The difference between photography as a hobby, a craft, or an art is the use of the camera by the photographer. Not the machine itself. These folks were definitely artists, though photography was not accepted as art for quite some time.

I appreciate your warm words and the visitation.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 30, 2009:

BrianS— These were surely men of genius—and patience. One big obstacle was slow speeds of the cameras, which is why for a long time moving things could not be photographed except as a blur. Yes, we have it pretty easy today.

I am glad you liked this Hub. I appreciate your remarks.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 30, 2009:

jill of alltrades— You are welcome. I do know that you are an excellent photographer. So I am especially pleased that you enjoyed this piece. Thank you for your kind comments.

asalvani from London, UK on August 30, 2009:

Wonderful photos James, you touched my heart with this hub as photography is my job. I'm very happy that you brought this in light for many to see and admire.

Tom Whitworth from Moundsville, WV on August 30, 2009:

These photos are truly beautiful. I am in awe of artistic people. I am quite surprised by the detail and resolution in some of these pre-20th century photos. However the lack of such detail as I refer to haziness as shown in the Lock Katrine photo by Talbot is often emulated by special lenses of modern photography.

Thank you James for this display.

Betty Bolden from Bucyrus Ohio on August 30, 2009:

wonderful photos...i have lots of photos of my great grandparents and grandparents ..they are amazing old photos.

ftgfmom on August 30, 2009:

I don't know much about photography, but I enjoyed this. I loved the picture of Gloria Swanson, But you peeked my curiosity with Greta Garbo. Thank you for sharing.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on August 30, 2009:

Some stunning photographs James. Even the soldier in its sad way.

Sufidreamer from Sparti, Greece on August 30, 2009:

Facinating Hub, James - I know little about photography, so this was a nice journey through history. In this age of megapixels and Photoshop, it goes to show that expensive equipment does not a great photographer make.

Look forward to the next installment.

Brian Stephens from Laroque des Alberes, France on August 30, 2009:

I have never really studied the history of photography, certainly not this far back. It must have taken an amazing level of skill to produce photographs of such quality with the equipment they had available to them. We are truly spoilt today with our digital cameras that make photography in relative terms so much easier for us than our predecessors.

Really enjoyed this hub, you have found a subject close to my heart and a topic I should have looked at much sooner.

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