Capturing The Light. A book review.

Capturing the Light  By Roger Watson and Helen Rappaport.

ISBN 978-0-230-76457-6

Published by Pan Macmillan

I haven’t written a book review since I was in school many, many years ago. However since my iMac is in for a screen replacement I’m reduced to blogging on my iPad. So I hope you will bear that in mind while reading this short review.

How was our hobby of photography first invented? How do you capture an image and keep it forever? This is what this book is all about.Capturing the Light is not some dry history book about how and who.It reads much like an adventure story.The authors have done a great job in building the atmosphere of the time and painting a wonderful picture in our minds of the main protagonists in the book namely Louis Daguerre,flamboyant artist, entrepreneur, showman in search of fame and fortune, and Henry Fox-Talbot wealthy gentleman and,humble scientific genius.Both from very different backgrounds, and both with two different methods of working. Daguerre never seemed to make any notes on his work and still today there are doubts about how he discovered his process.

What fascinated me was the length of time it took to find a process to fix an image that did not disappear in sunlight . This major step was what was going to make photography what it is today. Images could be made on paper since the 1790’s but soon disappeared if not viewed by candlelight or moonlight. Then in 1835 Fox-Talbot finds a method and fails to mention it until four years later when, charismatic Louis Daguerre announces his own process to the world. 

I could go on, there is so much in this wonderful book which I would heartily recommend to anyone interested in our hobby.