Wildlife and Early American Photography
Publication Year: 2011
Developing Animals compellingly investigates the way photography changed our perception of animals. Brower 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, Developing Animals 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.
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
When I began this project in the fall of 1998 at the University of Rochester, I was often asked why I wanted to study animals. The topic struck some of my instructors and fellow students as a strange obsession, as the stakes of an inquiry into the representation of animals were not immediately obvious. ...
Introduction: Capturing Animals
Contemporary American woodlore suggests that to properly respect nature we should “take only photographs and leave only footprints” when we enter the wilderness. In this schema photography appears as a nonintrusive, environmentally friendly activity that shows proper respect for the fragility of nature; taking photographs takes nothing from nature, leaving it undisturbezd. ...
Chapter 1: A Red Herring: The Animal Body, Representation, and Historicity
The Photographic Exchange Club of London’s Photographic Album of 1857 contained a photograph of a heron titled Piscator No. 2 (Figure 1). The photograph was accompanied by an epigram that read, “And in the weedy moat, the heron fond of solitude alighted. ...
Chapter 2: Camera Hunting in America
Writing in 1900, the American critic James B. Carrington claimed that “as a test of skill in bagging game there is no comparison between the gun and the camera.”1 In other words, he argued that hunting animals with a camera was more difficult than hunting with a gun. ...
Chapter 3: The Photographic Blind
In the introduction to the book Photographing Nature, the editors of Time-Life Books suggest that within the logic of the photographs of nature they present, “man is really just an offstage voice” (7). While he might be the “the inventor-operator of the image making apparatus,” they argue that man “is not in the picture itself, and does not belong there” (7). ...
Chapter 4: The Appearance of Animals: Abbott Thayer, Theodore Roosevelt, and Concealing-Coloration
Nineteenth-century animal photography was characterized by the attempt to make animals visible. This effort can be seen in the development of photographic technology by Eadweard Muybridge, Étienne-Jules Marey, and Ottomar Anschütz to capture mobile animal bodies; the adaptation of hunting techniques to make uncooperative animal bodies photographable; ...
Conclusion: Developing Animals
Since the announcement of photography in 1839, there have been an ever-increasing number of cameras pointed at animals in nature. The resulting photographs bear, in varying degrees, the traces of the animals in front of the lens and the humans behind them. ...
Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2011
OCLC Number: 704273001
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Developing Animals