Photography has multiple beginnings. As early as the fourth and fifth centuries BC, the Chinese philosopher Mo Di and Greek mathematicians Aristotle and Euclid produced descriptions of a pinhole camera. However, it was not until the early 1800s that the first proper cameras were made, based upon the development of chemical photography in the 1820s. Today, digital algorithms have largely overtaken the distinctive chemical process. Yet, still, photography can be defined by the capturing of light for purposes of image-making. This chapter does not provide a history of photography, nor does it seek to offer an all-encompassing theoretical account (on both counts, a vast literature is available). Instead, the chapter examines a set of specific research themes. Broadly based around questions of public and private viewing, the chapter considers photography and social commentary, the relationship of writing and photography (specifically the production of the photobook and photoessay), and digital photography, or the post-photographic era. To begin, however, the chapter outlines the paradox of photography to faithfully record a scene, yet equally remove it from its original context.