This journal began life as the Australian version of the British Photographic Review of Reviews, imported by the photographic supply company Baker & Rouse. Some thirty-five pages of international journal reprints and commentary was complemented by around ten pages of local copy. Its motto was 'Non Progredi est Regredi,' which it explained: 'new processes, ingenious appliances, and cunning wrinkles for the production of novel effects, are matters of everyday revelation both in the scientific and mechanical branches of the photographic art. To be ignorant of these is most certainly to go backward.' The British material and reports from around the world covered reviews of exhibitions, technical information, and a broad and heterogeneous collection of photographs as art. The Australian material included discussion of photographers' prices and the need for professional co-operation and unity. There was correspondence, biographical sketches, competitions, and local photographic illustrations. In January 1895, only the title changed; all else remained the same, including the incorporation of the Review of Reviews.
The magazine included considerable discussion of spirit or spook photography, the Roentgen Ray, various forms of moving pictures, and similar inventions. It also reported on photography's use in various fields: microbiology, criminology, anthropology, and tourism. The journal carried photographs of the Boer War, Federation, the great drought, and other major events, as well as artistic studies. It railed against the Kodak Company's attempt at monopoly, and instituted a sale and exchange service for photographic equipment. However, after April 1905, when Baker & Rowse became the sole agency in Australia for Kodak, complaints stopped and advertising increased.
Edwin J. Welch (q.v.) was founding editor (1894-1899), followed by Alfred Allen (q.v.) (1899-1905), who was replaced long-term by Walter Burke (q.v.). Under Burke, the journal was made over, with new printers and fine art paper 'so that high-grade illustrations can be used in the text as well as on special pages'.