Photography and Exploration

Research output: Book/ReportMonographpeer-review


When Ferdinand Magellan set out to circumnavigate the globe in 1519, he wasn’t able to take a digital camera or a smartphone with him. Yet, as the eagerly awaited images from the Mars Rover prove, modern exploration is inconceivable without photography. Since its invention in 1839, photography was integral to exploration and used by explorers, sponsors and publishers alike, and in the early twentieth century, advances in technology – and photography’s newfound cultural currency as a truthful witness to the world – made the camera an indispensable tool. In Photography and Exploration, James R. Ryan uses a variety of examples from polar journeys to space missions to show how exploration photographs have been created, circulated and consumed as objects of both scientific research and art.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherReaktion Books
Number of pages192
ISBN (Electronic)9781780231365
ISBN (Print)9781780231006
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013

Publication series

PublisherReaktion Books


  • documentary photography
  • photographs as information resources
  • photography
  • scientific applications


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