This thesis explores the development of tourist photography through stereography and Instagram utilizing Niagara Falls stereographs from three collections ranging in date from 1850-1905 and Instagram images geotagged to Prospect Point, Niagara Falls, New York, all posted in the same twenty-four hours from August 6-7, 2016. First, a literature survey explores the history of photography at Niagara Falls, the circulation of tourist imagery, and social media and the networked image. It then moves on to an early history of photography at Niagara Falls with an emphasis on stereographs. It continues into a brief history of social media and an explanation of the inner workings of Instagram.
Finally, it concludes with comparisons of aesthetic choices, access, and circulation in stereographs and Instagram, all using the case study images. This thesis argues that Instagram follows the same photographic tradition as stereographs and serves many of the same purposes in tourist photography