Images and Words: An Online History of Photography

Introduction | Contents | Foreword | Testing

If it fails, strange things show up on the screen, text shows out of order and links do not work... no problem that is software testing! Come back soon or drop me an email at and I‘ll try and sort it out. Many thanks for your patience.
This part of Luminous-Lint is a collaborative project to provide an authoritative online history of photography created to the highest academic standards that evolves over time as the knowledge within the global community improves. We will be adding additional content, footnotes, examples and indexes as the project proceeds.
Our motivation in this project is to allow readers access to a greater range of illustrative examples than is possible within the confines of a printed volume. It will take full advantage of the Internet with links for additional research, audio and video materials where appropriate. We do not see this project as one with boundaries and set authors but rather as one that is expansive and collaborative.
The advantage of this collaboration is that it will allow the highest quality text to be supported by the wide range of images, biographies and online exhibitions that are already indexed and available on Luminous-Lint and elsewhere. As much of the material comes from private collections this will allow us to create a rich, deep, fluid and highly visual history of photography. Whereas a normal history may refer to the 1894 Photo Club of Paris catalogue we can show all the images for those interested in gaining a deeper understanding. Iconic photographs can be explained by critics, photo-historians or the photographer who took the image. The structure of a printed book however is important as it provides a coherent form that is lacking in almost all websites - sometimes to their benefit but not where a structured understanding is required. This project will have both a structure but allow access to additional materials in novel ways.
Both authors appreciate that there are subjects which are covered only briefly or not at all and over time we will work with colleagues to gradually fill in the pieces. We are not seeking to reinvent the wheel so if you have material that will fill in a gap or elucidate a point or footnote please let us know.
This project is an adventure that both of us are enthusiastic about and if it helps to encourage a deeper understanding of a subject we love so much the better.
Over the years both of us have been assisted by thousands of people and we will make certain that each is thanked properly on this site as it progresses. It will take some time to come out of the developing bath and to start revealing all that is possible.
Starting points...
Robert Hirsch Exploring Color Photography, Fifth edition (Focal Press, 2011)
Robert Hirsch Seizing the Light: A Social History of Photography, Second edition (McGraw-Hill, 2009)

Robert J. Hirsch
Light Research
146 Newfield Street
Buffalo, NY 14207-1650
Alan Griffiths
Box 33055 Quinpool RPO
Halifax NS B3L 4T6

Images on this webpage may or may not be included in the published work.
Copyright on Luminous-lint
Please report factual errors as soon as possible to along with the numbers that end each paragraph.
We would like to say a grateful thanks to all the private collectors, dealers, gallerists, photo-curators and photo-historians who have made this website possible by providing images and information.
This website is dedicated to those that share for the benefit of all - Thank you.