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The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography

4th Edition

Edited by Michael R. Peres

  1. ISBN: 9780240807409
  2. Publication Date: April 2007
  3. Format: Hardback
  4. Pages: 878
  5. Price:
    • $135.95 (USD)
    • £84.99 (GBP)
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*Over 450 color images, plus never before published images provided by the George Eastman House collection, as well as images from Ansel Adams, Howard Schatz, and Jerry Uelsmann to name just a few

The role and value of the picture cannot be matched for accuracy or impact. This comprehensive treatise, featuring the history and historical processes of photography, contemporary applications, and the new and evolving digital technologies, will provide the most accurate technical synopsis of the current, as well as early worlds of photography ever compiled. This Encyclopedia, produced by a team of world renown practicing experts, shares in highly detailed descriptions, the core concepts and facts relative to anything photographic. This Fourth edition of the Focal Encyclopedia serves as the definitive reference for students and practitioners of photography worldwide, expanding on the award winning 3rd edition.

In addition to Michael Peres (Editor in Chief), the editors are:

Franziska Frey (Digital Photography), J. Tomas Lopez (Contemporary Issues), David Malin (Photography in Science), Mark Osterman (Process Historian), Grant Romer (History and the Evolution of Photography), Nancy M. Stuart (Major Themes and Photographers of the 20th Century), and Scott Williams (Photographic Materials and Process Essentials)

Author Bio

Michael Peres joined the teaching faculty of Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Photographic Arts & Sciences in 1986. He is a professor of biomedical photography and teaches photomicrography, biomedical photography and other related applications of photography in science. He served as the chair of the biomedical photographic communications department from 1989 until June 2010 when he was appointed associate administrative chair of the School. Peres has enjoyed a varied photographic career that began in 1973. Some of his professional activities include serving the coordinator of the R•I•T Images from Science project as well as one of the coordinators of the RIT Big Shot project. Peres has received numerous awards including the 2003 RIT Eisenhart outstanding teaching award and the Gitner prize (2x) presented by the RIT College of Imaging Arts & Sciences for outstanding achievement in the graphic arts. In 2007 Peres was awarded the Schmidt medal by the BioCommunications Association for lifetime achievements in the field of bio-communications.


"A huge volume of knowledge, we would call this book no less than a bible… it is something to be studied and not simply read. Every serious photographer should have a copy of The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, and anyone who is genuinely interested in learning, will find himself going over its pages again and again."--Better Photography

"There is hardly an aspect of photographic practice and equipment that is not covered in this encyclopedia." -- The Picture Professional, Quarterly Magazine of the American Society of Picture Professionals, third issue 2007

"This work is without doubt one of the most important single-volume encyclopedias in print."

"It is a must purchase for all public and academic librabries, and the relatively low price puts it within reach of most individuals who are involved in the photographic arts."
-CHOICE (Nov. 2007)


History and the Evolution of Photography
Introduction: Contemporary thoughts on the History of Photography

The Technical Evolution of Photography in the 19th Century
Introduction of Photographic Equipment, Processes and Definitions of the 19th Century
Photographic Equipment, Processes and Definitions of the 19th Century
Introduction to Biographies
Biographies of Selected Innovators of Photographic Technology from the 19th Century
Selected Photographs from the 19th Century
Evolution of the Photographic Lens in the 19th Century

Advances in Silver Halide Photographic Technology Timeline

Major Themes and Photographers of the 20th Century
Introduction: Practice, Programs, and Practitioners in 20th Century Photography

Photography Practice in the 20th Century
Photography and Art
Photography and Society
Photography and Commerce
Photography in Selected Organizations of the 20th Century
Museums, galleries, and collections
Colleges, workshops, and centers
Photographic Education in the United States
Photography and Publishing in the 20th Century
Newspapers and magazines
Histories, theories, and criticisms
Photographic Practitioners in the 20th Century
African American Photographers
Biographies of Selected Photographers in the 20th Century

Photographic Companies and Applications
Introduction: Photography's Dependence on Equipment

Profiles of Selected Photographic Film and Digital Companies
Hewett Packard
Konica Minolta
Lucky Film

Overviews of Selected Applications of Photography
Still life.
Architectural Photography
Corporate Photography
Dance and Theater Photography
Freelance Photography
Identification Photography
Industrial Photography
Landscape Photography
Narrative, Documentary, and Editorial Photography
Orb Photography
Panoramic Photography
Postcard Photography
School Photography
Snap Shot Photography
Sports Photography
Stock Photography
Wedding Photography

Digital Photography
Introduction: Digital, a maturing technology

Digital Archiving
Imaging Systems
Solid State Imaging Sensors
Standards and Imaging Materials
Current Standards for Digital Camera Testing and Characterization
Digital Camera Testing
Image Formation
Color Spaces, Color Encoding and Image encodings
Color Management
Color Management in the Future
Digital Camera RAW
Digital Image Processing
Metadata and Digital Photography
Spectral Imaging
Creative Applications of Digital Photography, the scan-o-gram
Glossary of Digital Terminology

Advances in Digital Photographic Technology Timeline

Contemporary Issues
Introduction: A different set of questions for a new age

Academic and Pedagogical Issues:
The Impact of Digital Imaging On Photographic Education
Ethical Photojournalism: Its authenticity and impact
The Future of Publishing
100 years from Now
Perception, Evidence, Truth, and Seeing
The Photo Market Place and Contemporary Image Makers
The Photographic Studio of the 21st Century
Photographic Virtual Reality
Potlatch, Auction, and the In-between: Digital Art and Digital Audiences
The Pressure to be Up to Date
Science as Art

Scientific Photography: expanded vision
Introduction: Science and the image

Acoustic Photography
Aerial Photography
Anthropological Photography
Archeological Photography
Astronomical Photography
Ballistics photography
Botanical Photography
Cave photography
Darkfield Illumination
Dental Photography
Electron Imaging
Electron microscopy
Endoscopic Photography
False Color Photography
Fluorescence Photography
Forensic Photography
Geological photography
High Speed Cinematography
High Speed Still Photography
Holographic Interferometry
Imaging manipulation
Infrared photography
Medical Imaging(diagnostic)
Medical Photography
Military Photography
Moiré effect
Multispectral Imaging
Nature Photography
Night time and Twilight Photography
Nuclear track recording
Ophthalmic photography
Photomacrography, Optical Scanning, and Scientific Close-Up
Police photography
Remote Sensing
Schlieren & shadowgraph photography
Scientific Visualization
Space Photography
Streak & strip Photography
Technical photography
Time Lapse Photography
Underwater Photography

Human Vision

20th Century Photographic Materials and Process Essentials
Introduction: Essential Elements and the Preservation of Key Features of Technology

Silver Halide Materials: General Emulsion Properties
B&W Films and Paper Structures
Color Photographic Processes
Silver Dye Bleach Photography
Photographic Optics
More on Lenses and Filters
Photometry, Radiometry and Measurement
Color Theory
Color Measurement
Lighting and Equipment
Camera History, Types, and Design