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The First Photographers

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Edward Weston, by Tina Modotti Enlarge

Edward Weston with his Graflex Camera
(Tina Modotti, 1923, Public domain)

The First Photographers

Although considered a magnificent innovation, photography, at its invention in 1839, did not make many conquests. In fact, at the time, artists who tried to make a living off their art saw in this process of reproduction of the image a threat.

Thus, painters, sculptors, draftsmen and engravers alike held photographers in contempt, viewed as second-class artists. Some dismissed the first photos as "dull creations, devoid of any artistic sense", and were thus used more as models for painting.

It was only over the course of experimentation, by gradually developing a concern for detail and subtlety, that photographers finally carved out for themselves a niche within the artistic community.

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