The extraordinary history of National Geographic photography spare more than a hundred years and tens of thousands of unforgettable pictures, a history never before fully presented. Since January 1896, when the subtitle "An Illustrated Monthly" was first added to the magazine's masthead, the Geographic has maintained a tradition of photojournalistic excellence that continues to set new standards, both artistic and technical. With the publication of startlingly unique photographs from great explorations sponsored by the Society, such at Robert Peary's turn-of-the-century Arctic expeditions. Hiram Bingham's discovery of Machu Picchu, early panoramas of the American West by William Henry Jackson, Joseph Rock's rare scenes of inner China in the 1920s, the first bird's-eye views from stratospheric balloons, and never-before-seen images from the earliest voyages beneath the sea, the National Geographic has been at the forefront of presenting the world in all its magnificent variety.
Now, on the brink of the 21st century, six authors in the field of photography -- respected curators, award-winning writers, distinguished university professors -- have been asked to discuss what they regard as the significant accomplishments of National Geographic and place them within the greater context of the history of photography. Era by era, these experts offer invaluable analysis and fascinating commentary on the pivotal role played by the Geographic in the development of this very special kind of photojournalism. To make their points, these experts have assembled a wonderfully varied representation of great photographs from the Society archives -- many previously unpublished -- and they further highlight important historical developments in special portfolios devoted to the milestones et each period: from the magazine's first color photographs in 1910 to the first color underwater pictures in 1927 to the cutting-edge technologies of today and the issues they present, and more.
For generations, National Geographic's commitment to a groundbreaking blend of stunning, innovative photography and informative, engaging text has consistently delivered the irresistible attractions of this astonishing world into the eager imagination of armchair travelers everywhere.