From the moment, in 1839, that cameras became easily portable, photographers took them on the road and recorded what they saw for the folks back home. Travel photography was one of the medium's most popular early manifestations, whetting the public's appetite for landscapes and street scenes of faraway places and the oddly dressed people who lived in them. That appetite—fueled by widely distributed postcards and stereo views, as well as books, newspapers, and magazines—raged unabated for much of the late 1800s. But this taste for the exotic dissipated quickly once cameras became cheap, simple to operate, and readily available at the turn of the century, and people discovered the simple pleasures in their own backyard. Forget the Parthenon and the Nuba villages—the snapshot itself was marvelous; its spontaneity, ephemerality, and imperfections provided not just diversion but a whole new, vastly influential... More >>>