The first photographers sent on assignment covered the Crimean War in 1855 and the American Civil War from 1861. They did so with simple but large wooden 8x10 inch field cameras on tripods and with wet plates that had to be coated before each exposure. Dry plates became available from the 1870s and at about the same time, the half-tone printing process was perfected in Canada and exported to the United States and Europe, driving up the demand for pictures for publication. The new specialist in photography-the press photographer-required a new type of camera. One that was hand held, robust, big enough to provide a good-sized glass negative for contact printing, with a lens that could be precisely focused, a shutter that would freeze action and an accurate viewfinder. At that stage, nobody had yet thought of such refinements as a rangefinder or exposure meter or an independent source of illumination. In this book Reg Holloway, who was an apprentice reporter/photographer from 1947, describes the types of cameras that were developed to meet the special needs of press photographers. He explains the laborious procedures involved in using the early cameras and along the way he touches on some of the risks that early press photographers took in their attempts to document the world. Including: - The American photographer who had himself suspended from a bunch of weather balloons to gain elevation and who had to be brought back to earth by the bursting of balloons with careful rifle fire. - The Canadian photographer who persuaded his colleagues covering the opening of a railway station to pool their flash powder and caused a frightening explosion. - The pack of photographers in London in 1924 who broke through a police line to photograph the arrival of six US aviators on the first round-the-world flight. As the author remarks, a scrum in which everybody was wielding a large and heavy wooden camera could be a dangerous situation. The cameras illustrated are in the author's collection, assembled from around the world during 30 years he spent in the British foreign service following his career as a reporter.