Developing AnimalsWildlife and Early American Photography

Developing AnimalsWildlife and Early American Photography

Matthew Brower

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780816654789

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press

Abstract

Pictures of animals are now ubiquitous, but the ability to capture animals on film was a significant challenge in the early era of photography. This book takes us back to the time when Americans started taking pictures of the animal kingdom, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the moment when photography became a mass medium and wildlife photography an increasingly popular genre. The book investigates the way photography changed our perception of animals. It analyzes how photographers created new ideas about animals as they moved from taking pictures of taxidermic specimens in so-called natural settings to the emergence of practices such as camera hunting, which made it possible to capture images of creatures in the wild. By combining approaches in visual cultural studies and the history of photography, the book goes further to argue that photography has been essential not only to the understanding of wildlife but also to the conceptual separation of humans and animals.