Photography Resources from Robert Hirsch

Discover the newest books and content from Robert Hirsch, photographer, writer, curator, and the director of Light Research.

Featured Books the Light

A Social & Aesthetic History of Photography, 3rd Edition

The definitive history of photography book, Seizing the Light: A Social & Aesthetic History of Photography delivers the fascinating story of how photography as an art form came into being, and its continued development, maturity, and transformation.

. Possibilities

The Expressive Use of Concepts, Ideas, Materials, and Processes, 4th Edition

The long-awaited new edition of this seminal text features clear, reliable, step-by-step instructions on innovative alternative and traditional photographic processes. Over and above a full update and revision of the technical data, there are new sections on digital negative making, electrophotography, and self-publishing.

. and Lens

Photography in the Digital Age, 3rd Edition

The new edition of this pioneering book allows students to acquire an essential foundation for digital photography.



Exploring Color Photography

From Film to Pixels, 6th Edition

Lead Contributor: Greg Erf

Robert Hirsch’s Exploring Color Photography is the thinking photographer’s guide to color imagemaking. Now in its sixth edition, this pioneering text clearly and concisely instructs students and intermediate photographers in the fundamental aesthetic and technical building blocks needed to create thought-provoking digital and analog color photographs.


Transformational Imagemaking: Handmade Photography Since 1960

This groundbreaking survey of significant work and ideas focuses on imagemakers who have pushed beyond the boundaries of photography as a window on our material world. Through interviews with more than 40 key artists, this book explores a diverse group of curious experimentalists who have propelled the medium’s evolution by visualizing their subject matter as it originates from their mind’s eye.

Companion Websites


Exploring Color Photography

"Thoroughly 'user friendly', Exploring Color Photography is an ideal instructional textbook for college and university level photography curriculums and should be considered a critically important acquisition for professional and academic library Photography instructional reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists." - Michael J. Carson, The Midwest Book Review

Transformational Imagemaking: Handmade Photography Since 1960

"[I]n a substantial preface, an introductory scholarly essay, and over fifty artists’ interviews, this beautifully illustrated volume uncovers traditions of what are commonly called alternative photographic practices – the ‘transformational imagemaking’ of Hirsch’s title – as having been central to photography from its very start. Above all else, this book presents a strand of photography-based art that has too often flown under the radar of scholars of photographic history, and it delivers an astonishing array of recent work that harnesses photography’s perceived indexicality to play with received ideas about perception and reality. In so doing, the book allows for a reconsideration of all photographs as products of artistic imagination created by ‘makers’ rather than ‘takers’, in Hirsch’s words." - Elizabeth Otto, History of Photography

"Preceding the visual collection of images are a thought-provoking preface and in-depth history on the artform of handmade photography, beginning with the first hand colored Daguerreotypes and bringing us all the way up to modern day haptics and realists. After reading this comprehensive history retold with such devotion to the subject, one cannot help but gain increased respect for the meeting of philosophy, creativity, and kinesthesia that underlies the handmade photography world." - One Twelve Publishing

Light and Lens, 2nd Edition

" Light and Lens is an ambitious work in that it presents an immense amount of complex technical information very clearly and succinctly without leaving anything out, weaves historical information throughout, challenges students (everyone!) to 'think critically' about the photograph and their own work at every turn, coaches, encourages, and it is also beautifully designed -- giving each artwork featured a real presence that inspires students." - Laurie Turner, Santa Fe Community College

"Robert Hirsch clearly pitches Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age as an introductory college-level photography textbook that is foremost an idea book rather than a software or camera manual. In line with this philosophy, Hirsch ensures that critical seeing and aesthetic values are amply addressed alongside the technical. Thus, chapters on the history of photography, visual foundations, and symbolism lead off the book, and he closes with thoughtful chapters concerning seeing with a camera and thinking and writing about images. This emphasis is a refreshing and stimulating approach for a photographic textbook." - Afterimage

"Hirsch's Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age is a valuable resource for information about skills, basic to advanced, for a new photographer or an experienced teacher. The text is written with knowledge of history and its importance to contemporary ideas and images. With its ambitious coverage of a broad range of skills and ideas, the text is applicable to students at a variety of levels and useful as a reference throughout a student's academic career." - Exposure

About Robert Hirsch

Robert Hirsch is a photographer, writer, curator, and the director of Light Research ( His books include: Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age, Seizing the Light: A Social History of Photography, Photographic Possibilities: The Expressive Use of Equipment, Ideas, Materials, and Processes, and Transformational Imagemaking: Handmade Photography Since 1960. Hirsch is a former Associate Editor for Digital Camera (UK) and Photovision, and a contributor to Afterimage, exposure, Contact Sheet, The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, History of Photography, The Photographic Collector, The Photo Review, and World Book Encyclopedia as well as former Director of CEPA Gallery. Hirsch’s work has been exhibited in over 200 solo and group shows.

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