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Abu Simbel, Egypt, c 1905.


Abu Simbel, Egypt, c 1905.
2 7 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 19cm


A snapshot photograph of the entrance to the Temple of Rameses II (1304-1237 BC) at Abu Simbel, Egypt, taken by an unknown photographer in about 1905. Abu Simbel was built between 1297 and 1224 BC. Carved from the side of a mountain, the temple is next to the river Nile in the south of Egypt. Some of the carvings of the pharaoh Ramesses are 35 metres high. The complex of temples and huge statues was moved in the 1950s to make way for the Aswan Dam. Originally a shooting term, the word 'snapshot' was first linked with photography in the late 1850s, when it was used to describe a photograph taken with a brief exposure. Over time, snapshot came to mean any amateur photograph taken with a simple camera. The origins of popular photography can be traced back to George Eastman's [1854-1932] introduction of the first Kodak camera in 1888. Snapshots are informal, personal records of everyday life and experiences.

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© Kodak Collection / National Science & Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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