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Black and White Photography in Australia

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Black and white photography in Australia


The purpose of this report is to describe the black and white photography in Australia, including a list of photographers. This report will focus on the black and white photography in Australia during the 19th and 20th centuries. While also discussing the features of Damien Parer's work and include a detailed description of one of his photographs.

Historical background and key participants

"Photography" is derived from the Greek words photos ("light") and graphein ("to draw"). The word was first used by the scientist Sir John in 1839. It is a method of recording images by the action of light, or related radiation, on a sensitive material.

In 1827, Joseph Nicephore Niepce made the first photographic image. Prior to Niepce people just used the camera obscura for viewing or drawing purposes not for making photographs. Niepce's heliographs or sun prints as they were called were the prototype for the modern photograph, by letting light draw the picture.

According to the History of Photography and Movies in Australia, On 13 April 1841: The Australasian Chronicle announced the arrival of the daguerreotype in New South Wales.

13 May 1841: The first documented photograph in Australia, was taken on this day, being a daguerreotype, it has been lost.

15 May 1841, the Australian reported about the first photo taken in Australia in Sydney. (Kellycountry, 2010)

In Australia, there are many outstanding black and white photographers such as Damien Parer, Max Dupain, John Austin, Axel Poignant, Alastair McNaughton and so on.



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