Compiled by Shab Levy

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This visual list represents 120 photographers with 459 photographs and 42 additional iconic but not fully identified photographs by different photographers, for a total of 521 images. The list is arranged chronologically by the year of the birth of the photographer and each page is dedicated to one photograph. The list is based primarily on personal preference and non-academic research of some of the most popular works in the history of photography. This is not an academic research and consequently there is no systematic or otherwise justified reason as to the included selections other than personal preference.

Each photograph has a link to Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia on the Internet, about the photographer of the work on view. (Click the name of the photographer to link to Wikipedia.)

I have rationalized my liberal use of images because:

1. The purpose of this list of images and descriptions is not for commercial use.
2. This is a historically significant visual work that could not be conveyed in words.
3. Inclusion of the images is for information, education and analysis only.
4. The inclusion of low resolution pictures here adds significantly to this list because these images depict the actual photographic images and because writing about visual art without showing visuals, is not very useful.
5. The images are low resolution copies of facsimiles of the original works and would be unlikely to impact sales of the originals or of commercial prints based on the originals.

An alphabetical list of fully represented photographers starts on page 505

 Although historically the first permanent photograph, “View from the Window at Le Gras,” in France, captured by the French Nicéphore Niépce’s is the earliest surviving photograph of a scene from nature, circa 1826 and “Boulevard du Temple”, taken by another French, Louis Daguerre in late 1838 or early 1839, was the first-ever photograph of people, the first photograph on this list is a London street scene by Henry Fox Talbot dating from 1945. Although the first two preceded Talbot in capturing photographic images, Talbot is the person making photography a practical process by perfecting the idea of the negative from which multiple prints can be made. Later George Eastman refined Talbot’s process, which is the basic technology used by chemical film cameras today. That is, until the first real digital camera was created in 1975 by Steven Sasson at Kodak which practically changed the whole concept of “taking photos”.

 I hope that you will enjoy perusing the images. I would be grateful if you let me know if in your opinion I have made some major errors, or missed an important work of art. In short, I would like to hear from you. Email me at:

 Thank you,
Shab Levy
Portland, Oregon, March 25, 2012