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Used for everything from geographic evaluation to secret spy missions, aerial photography has a rich and storied history, ably recounted here in Photography and Flight. Aerial photography is marked by its dependency on technological developments in both photography and aerospace, and the authors chart the history of this photography as it tracked the evolution of these technologies. Beginning with early images taken from hot-air balloons, fixed platforms, and subsequent handheld camera technology, Denis Cosgrove and William Fox then explain how military reconnaissance and governmental projects were instrumental in catalyzing these and other innovations in the field. They examine pivotal historical moments in which aerial photography began to establish itself as essential tool, such as in World War II military strategies, high-altitude photography taken from postwar rockets and aircraft, and the use of aerial photography during the cold war and the Cuban Missile Crisis. The book also explores the advancement of geographic scholarship through aerial photography, ranging from military excursions into Antarctica to the images of the curvature of the earth taken during the Apollo space missions. While digital technology and remote sensing have changed the landscape of photography, Photography and Flight argues that they have not diminished the significance of aerial photography in providing images of the earth. Rather, new technologies and resulting innovations such as Google Earth have enabled the mass democratization of access to such information. Photography and Flight ultimately reveals how the camera lens from far away continues to unearth telling details about the land and those who live upon it.
This updated edition focuses on aerial photography and image interpretation, with new coverage of GPS, GIS, small format aerial photography, statistical analysis and mapping errors and active remote sensors. In a straightforward, user-friendly style, updated material is provided on new practice and technology, including examples from environmental monitoring.
When Ferdinand Magellan set out to circumnavigate the globe in 1519, he wasn’t able to bring 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 has been integral to exploration, used by explorers, sponsors, and publishers alike, and 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. Examining a wide range of photographs and expeditions, Ryan considers how nations have often employed images as a means to scientific advancement or territorial conquest. He argues that because exploration has long been bound up with the construction of national and imperial identity, expeditionary photographs have often been used to promote claims to power—especially by the West. These images also challenge the way audiences perceive the world and their place within it. Featuring one hundred images, Photography and Exploration shines new light on how photography has shaped the image of explorers, expeditions, and the worlds they discovered.
The first U.S. Navy aerial photographs were taken in 1913 in support of fleet exercises off Guantanamo, Cuba. Following WWI, a Navy Photographic expedition went north, making the first aerial mapping photos of the Alaskan territory. WWII found Navy shuttermen in the Pacific theatre, performing pre- and post-attack reconnaissance, along with "hitting the beach" to record the war as it unfolded. Shortly after, Navy photographic units were in the Pacific to record early atomic bomb tests. The Navy's aerial photo reconnaissance mission, both at the front end with the weaponless aircrews and the output of thousands of images and photo interpretation, continued to develop through the mid-20th century. The last aerial photo plane in the Navy's inventory was retired after flying to the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum Annex at Dulles International Airport in Fairfax County, Virginia. The 74 year odyssey of Navy and Marine Corps aerial reconnaissance photography was finished.
In Mina Loy, Twentieth-Century Photography, and Contemporary Women Poets, Linda A. Kinnahan explores the making of Mina Loy’s late modernist poetics in relation to photography’s ascendance, by the mid-twentieth century, as a distinctively modern force shaping representation and perception. As photography develops over the course of the century as an art form, social tool, and cultural force, Loy’s relationship to a range of photographic cultures emerging in the first half of the twentieth century suggests how we might understand not only the intriguing work of this poet, but also the shaping impact of photography and new technologies of vision upon modernist poetics. Framing Loy’s encounters with photography through intersections of portraiture, Surrealism, fashion, documentary, and photojournalism, Kinnahan draws correspondences between Loy’s late poetry and visual discourses of the body, urban poverty, and war, discerning how a visual rhetoric of gender often underlies these mappings and connections. In her final chapter, Kinnahan examines two contemporary poets who directly engage the camera’s modern impact –Kathleen Fraser and Caroline Bergvall – to explore the questions posed in their work about the particular relation of the camera, the photographic image, and the construction of gender in the late twentieth century.
Theorists critique photography for "objectifying" its subjects and manipulating appearances for the sake of art. In this bold counterargument, John Roberts recasts photography's violating powers of disclosure and aesthetic technique as part of a complex "social ontology" that exposes the hierarchies, divisions, and exclusions behind appearances. The photographer must "arrive unannounced" and "get in the way of the world," Roberts argues, committing photography to the truth-claims of the spectator over the self-interests and sensitivities of the subject. Yet even though the violating capacity of the photograph results from external power relations, the photographer is still faced with an ethical choice: whether to advance photography's truth-claims on the basis of these powers or to diminish or veil these powers to protect the integrity of the subject. Photography's acts of intrusion and destabilization, then, constantly test the photographer at the point of production, in the darkroom, and at the computer, especially in our 24-hour digital image culture. In this game-changing work, Roberts refunctions photography's place in the world, politically and theoretically restoring its reputation as a truth-producing medium.

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