RIT Faculty and Alumni Spearhead Revisions to Photography Encyclopedia

RIT photography professor Michael Peres is editor in chief of The Focal Encyclopedia

The Focal Encyclopedia (4th edition), edited by Michael Peres, chair of the biomedical photographic communications department in RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

With the evolution of picture taking and making over the past decade, Rochester Institute of Technology faculty, staff and alumni have revised a comprehensive photography encyclopedia to reflect the changes in both film and digital technologies.

Michael Peres, chair of the biomedical photographic communications department in RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, serves as the editor in chief of the comprehensive reference book, The Focal Encyclopedia (4th Edition). Peres oversaw an international team of more than 100 photographic and imaging experts in rewriting and revising the book’s third edition published in 1993. The world-renowned George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film collaborated on the revision.

The Focal Encyclopedia is designed to be a reference book for students, practitioners, and researchers of photography as well as digital imaging practitioners who work in business, industry, publishing, advertising, science and the visual arts. This current edition, 880 pages, contains comprehensive essays as well as numerous photographic reproductions.

“This encyclopedia was created not to simply be another academic text, but rather to appeal to those with broad interests in photography seeking authoritative information about the myriad branches of photography and imaging and issues associated in this dynamic era when both technologies and digital technologies co-exist,” says Peres.

More than 35 current RIT faculty members from RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, School of Print Media, Image Permanence Institute and the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science served as editors, authors and image contributors. RIT alumni and members of industry also contributed to the book’s content.

Topics covered in the encyclopedia include photographic practices and themes of the 20th century, digital photography, the history and evolution of photography, 20th century material and process essentials, photographic companies and applications, and major themes and photographers of the 20th century. Images from world-renowned photographers such as Ansel Adams and RIT alumnus Jerry Uelsmann are among the more than 450 photographs in the book, including some never before published from the George Eastman House collection.

NOTE: Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized for academic leadership in computing, engineering, imaging technology, and fine and applied arts, in addition to unparalleled support services for students with hearing loss. More than 15,500 full- and part-time students are enrolled in RIT’s 340 career-oriented and professional programs, and its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.

For nearly two decades, U.S. News & World Report has ranked RIT among the nation’s leading comprehensive universities. The Princeton Review features RIT in its 2007 Best 361 Colleges rankings and named the university one of America’s “Most Wired Campuses.” RIT is also featured in Barron’s Best Buys in Education.

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