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Getting Started with Photo Books

In 1843, Anna Atkins made history when she bound her cyanotype impressions of algae into the first photographically illustrated book, Photographs of British Algae. A few months later, inventor of the salted paper print and acquaintance of Atkins, Henry Fox Talbot, published The Pencil of Nature, the first commercially distributed photo book. Ever since these two pioneers, photo books have adopted countless forms varying from cheap, mass-produced ’zines to indulgent, limited edition tomes. A well-made photo book can be an art object unto itself, elevating the experience of the images it houses as much as any gallery or museum.

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