All Classical Radio James Depreist

National Camera Day: It’s a snap

All right, much more than a snap. Photography is history and documentation, truth and illusion, high art and a creative tool for everyone. Celebrate its day on June 29.

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Black & white photograph: K.B. Dixon, "Oil Can," 2024.
K.B. Dixon, “Oil Can,” 2024.

Photographer, writer, and frequent ArtsWatch contributor K.B. Dixon has brought to our attention that today, Saturday, June 29, is National Camera Day. (It’s also World Sand Dune Day, World Industrial Design Day, International Mud Day — perhaps, as political season heats up, in recognition of the slinging thereof — and U.K. Armed Forces Day, but we’ll let someone else deal with those ones.)

The camera, as photographer Peter Dam notes, is a child of the 19th century, taking a series of technological leaps from the ancient technique of the camera obscura, or pinhole image, which has been traced back as far as 500 B.C.

Beginning with Joseph Nicéphore Niépce’s invention in 1816 of the heliograph, advancing in 1839 to Louis Daguerre’s daguerrotype and in the same year, Alphonse Giroux’s production of the first camera to use standardized plates and Henry Fox Talbot’s development of calotype, the first camera to use photographic film, the camera has marched steadily forward to claim its prominent position in history, documentation, art, and culture. It’s become both a medium of high art and a democratic companion for the masses — a complex procedure requiring meticulous setup and a quick-and-easy art form that’s, well, a snap.

To underscore the celebration of the day, Dixon also sent along three of his own recent photographs, which you can see and enjoy on this page. To see much more of his work for ArtsWatch, look here.

— The Editors

Black & white photograph: K.B. Dixon, "Cup, Can, Pottery," 2024.
K.B. Dixon, “Cup, Can, Pottery,” 2024.
Black & white photograph: K.B. Dixon, "Writer Margaret Malone," 2024.
K.B. Dixon, “Writer Margaret Malone,” 2024.

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Photo Joe Cantrell

K.B. Dixon’s work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and journals. His most recent collection of stories, Artifacts: Irregular Stories (Small, Medium, and Large), was published in Summer 2022. The recipient of an OAC Individual Artist Fellowship Award, he is the winner of both the Next Generation Indie Book Award and the Eric Hoffer Book Award. He is the author of seven novels: The Sum of His SyndromesAndrew (A to Z)A Painter’s LifeThe Ingram InterviewThe Photo AlbumNovel Ideas, and Notes as well as the essay collection Too True, Essays on Photography, and the short story collection, My Desk and I. Examples of his photographic work may be found in private collections, juried exhibitions, online galleries, and at K.B. Dixon Images.

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