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History of Photography

History of Photography

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Published by: selvaganapathy_dft on Oct 17, 2011
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INTRODUCTION "Photography" is derived from the Greek words photos ("light") and graphein ("to draw") The word was

first used by the scientist Sir John F.W. Herschel in 1839. It is a method of recording images by the action of light, or related radiation, on a sensitive material. Pinhole Camera Alhazen (Ibn Al-Haytham), a great authority on optics in the Middle Ages who lived around 1000AD, invented the first pinhole camera, (also called the Camera Obscura} and was able to explain why the images were upside down. The first casual reference to the optic laws that made pinhole cameras possible, was observed and noted by Aristotle around 330 BC, who questioned why the sun could make a circular image when it shined through a square hole. The First Photograph On a summer day in 1827, Joseph Nicephore Niepce made the first photographic image with a camera obscura. Prior to Niepce people just used the camera obscura for viewing or drawing purposes not for making photographs. Joseph Nicephore Niepce's heliographs or sun prints as they were called were the prototype for the modern photograph, by letting light draw the picture. Niepce placed an engraving onto a metal plate coated in bitumen, and then exposed it to light. The shadowy areas of the

In 1829. Then. Louis Daguerre Fellow Frenchman. Daguerre developed a more convenient and effective method of photography. creating a surface that was sensitive to light.the daguerreotype. but the whiter areas permitted light to react with the chemicals on the plate.engraving blocked light. When Niepce placed the metal plate in a solvent. Niepce's photograph required eight hours of light exposure to create and after appearing would soon fade away. he put the plate in a camera and exposed it for a few minutes. The Birth of Modern Photography Louis Daguerre was the inventor of the first practical process of photography. Daguerre's process 'fixed' the images onto a sheet of silverplated copper. He polished the silver and coated it in iodine. However. he formed a partnership with Joseph Nicephore Niepce to improve the process Niepce had developed. naming it after himself . but it would take him another dozen years before Daguerre was able to reduce exposure time to less than 30 minutes and keep the image from disappearing afterwards. In 1839 after several years of experimentation and Niepce's death. Louis Daguerre was also experimenting to find a way to capture an image. appeared. After the image was painted by light. gradually an image. until then invisible. Daguerre bathed the plate in a .

Tintypes Tintypes. one that would not change if exposed to light. This was a negative image. A thin sheet of iron was used to provide a base for light-sensitive material. This process created a lasting image. were another medium that heralded the birth of photography.solution of silver chloride. he perfected this paper-negative process and called it a calotype. Greek for beautiful picture. In 1839. Negative to Postive Process The inventor of the first negative from which multiple postive prints were made was Henry Fox Talbot. yielding a positive image. Talbot made contact prints. In 1841. The daguerreotype gained popularity quickly. by 1850. The background became black. reversing the light and shadows to create a detailed picture. Daguerre and Niepce's son sold the rights for the daguerreotype to the French government and published a booklet describing the process. He then exposed the paper to light. there were over seventy daguerreotype studios in New York City alone. Talbot sensitized paper to light with a silver salt solution. . patented in 1856 by Hamilton Smith. and from the paper negative. and the subject was rendered in gradations of grey. an English botanist and mathematician and a contemporary of Daguerre.

Photography advanced considerably when sensitized materials could be coated on plate glass. the dry plate was invented. he coated glass with light-sensitive silver salts. Flexible Roll Film In 1889. wet plates had to be developed quickly before the emulsion dried. an English sculptor. Dry plates could be stored for a period of time. Dry processes absorbed light quickly so rapidly that the hand-held camera was now possible.Wet Plate Negatives In 1851. such as Eastman's. Using a viscous solution of collodion. this wet plate created a more stable and detailed negative. a glass negative plate with a dried gelatin emulsion. George Eastman invented film with a base that was flexible. Frederick Scoff Archer. . Because it was glass and not paper. Photographers no longer needed portable darkrooms and could now hire technicians to develop their photographs. In the field this meant carrying along a portable darkroom. made the massproduced box camera a reality. invented the wet plate negative. However. Dry Plate Negatives & Hand-held Cameras In 1879. unbreakable. and could be rolled. Emulsions coated on a cellulose nitrate film base.

polyester polymers have been . In the mid-1920s. introduced in 1935) were brought to the market. Most films produced up to the 1970s were based on this technology. and fireproof. The first flexible movie films measured 35-mm wide and came in long rolls on a spool. A nitrate-based film will deteriorate over time. Special storage for this film is required. using this technology. releasing oxidants and acidic gasses. Nitrate film is historically important because it allowed for the development of roll films. commercially viable color films (except Kodachrome. Nitrate film was produced in sheets (4 x 5-inches) ending the need for fragile glass plates. Since the 1960s. which is chemically similar to guncotton. flexible. dating to 1889. Photographic Films The first flexible roll films. 35-mm roll film was developed for the camera. It is also highly flammable. medium-format roll film was created. It measured six centimeters wide and had a paper backing making it easy to handle in daylight. By the late 1920s. Triacetate film came later and was more stable. This led to the development of the twin-lens-reflex camera in 1929. These films used the modern technology of dye-coupled colors in which a chemical process connects the three dye layers together to create an apparent color image.Color Photographs In the early 1940s. were made of cellulose nitrate.

Their stability is enhanced if the print is toned with either sepia (brown tone) or selenium (light. ISO means International Standards Organization.used for gelatin base films. the finer grained and slower a film. The slower the film. This term replaces the old ASA speed indicator. These films use light-sensitive silver halides (grains) that are Tshaped. Photographic Prints Traditionally.  Film Speed (ISO) — An arbitrary number placed on film that tells how much light is needed to expose the film to the correct density. but the real enemy of paper is chemical residue left by photographic fixer. linen rag papers were used as the base for making photographic prints. Loss of the image can also be due to high humidity. technology has produced film with T-grain emulsions. the more light is needed to expose it. If a print is not fully washed to remove all traces of fixer. the result will be discoloration and image loss. The plastic film base is far more stable than cellulose and is not a fire hazard. In addition. Paper will dry out and crack under poor archival conditions. . Today. contaminants in the water used for processing and washing can cause damage. Generally. the lower the ISO number. Films like this offer greater detail and higher resolution. meaning sharper images. Prints on this fiber-base paper coated with a gelatin emulsion are quite stable when properly processed. silvery tone). thus rendering a much finer grain pattern.

Fixer is also called hypo. At first color prints were not stable because organic dyes were used to make the color image. By the mid-1500s a sketching device for artists. Fixer "fixes" the remaining silver halides in place on either film or prints. making the paper water-resistant. By definition a camera is a lightproof object. New printing methods using computer-generated digital images and highly stable pigments. offer permanency for color photographs. with a lens. The idea is to use normal linen fiberbase paper and coat it with a plastic (polyethylene) material. The emulsion is placed on a plastic covered base paper. used to remove residual silver halides (grain) from films and prints when processing them. All camera technology is based on the law of optics first discovered by Aristotle. The problem with resin-coated papers is that the image rides on the plastic coating. that captures incoming light and directs the light and resulting image towards film (optical camera) or the imaging device (digital camera). the camera obscura (dark chamber) was common. or water-resistant paper. was the first color film to produce prints that could last half a century. and is susceptible to fading. new techniques are creating permanent color prints lasting 200 years or more. Fixer (Hypo)—A chemical. dating to the first third of the 20th century. Now. . The image would literally disappear from the film or paper base as the dyes deteriorate. The next innovation in photographic papers was resin-coating. sodium thiosulfate. Kodachrome.

slightly smaller box. or sometimes even by the photographers themselves.The camera obscura was a lightproof box with a pinhole (later lens were used) on one side and a translucent screen on the other. the lens cap would be removed to start the exposure. Johannes Kepler was the first person to coin the phrase Camera Obscura in 1604. A second. The lens was placed in the front box. Kepler further suggested the use of a lens to improve the image projected by a Camera Obscura. Apparently he was the first European to publish any information on the pinhole camera and is sometimes incorrectly credited with its invention. A laterally reversed image would be obtained unless the camera was fitted with a mirror or prism to correct this effect. Around 1600. Della Porta reinvented the pinhole camera. When the sensitized plate was placed in the camera. The focus was controlled by sliding the rear box forward or backwards. Daguerreotype Cameras The earliest cameras used in the daguerreotype process were made by opticians and instrument makers. and in 1609. . slid into the back of the larger box. The most popular cameras utilized a sliding-box design. This screen was used for tracing by the artists of the inverted image transmitted through the pinhole.

and printed. the photographer mailed the camera with the film still in it to the Kodak factory where the film was removed from the camera. light-tight box with a simple lens and shutter that was factory-filled with film. After use.Box Camera George Eastman. Flashlight Powder Blitzlichtpulver or flashlight powder was invented in Germany in 1887 by Adolf Miethe and Johannes Gaedicke. an amateur could purchase a camera with enough film for 100 shots. "You press the button. invented the Kodak camera. . The photographer pushed a button to produce a negative. Eastman's first simple camera in 1888 was a wooden. so that photographers could do their own processing. The ad slogan read." A year later. processed. Once the film was used up.00. we do the rest. it was sent back to the company. New York. which then processed the film. a dry plate manufacturer from Rochester. The camera was then reloaded with film and returned. Lycopodium powder (the waxy spores from club moss) was used in early flash powder. For $22. the delicate paper film was changed to a plastic base.

C. the first commercially available photoflash bulb was patented by German. Wratten and Wainwright in 1878. In 1906.Flashbulbs The first modern photoflash bulb or flashbulb was invented by Austrian. In 1878.K Mees) invented and produced the first panchromatic plates in England. Frederick Wratten founded one of the first photographic supply businesses. Filters . Kenneth Mees (E. Magnesium-coated wire was soon replaced by aluminum foil in oxygen. Johannes Ostermeier. On September 23. . General Electric made a flashbulb called the Sashalite. Wratten invented the "noodling process" of silverbromide gelatin emulsions before washing.Frederick Charles Luther Wratten (1840-1926) English inventor and manufacturer.C. Paul Vierkotter. These flashbulbs were named the Vacublitz. 1930. Wratten is best known for the photographic filters that he invented and are still named after him . Wratten with the assistance of Dr.Wratten Filters. Wratten and Wainwright manufactured and sold collodion glass plates and gelatin dry plates. Vierkotter used magnesium-coated wire in an evacuated glass globe. Eastman Kodak purchased his company in 1912.E.

Disposable Camera Fuji introduced the disposable camera in 1986.35mm Cameras As early as 1905." Digital Camera In 1984. Oskar Barnack had the idea of reducing the format of film negatives and then enlarging the photographs after they had been exposed. . Canon demonstrated first digital electronic still camera. As development manager at Leica. 1948. a message they've attempted to convey by calling their products "single-use cameras. The first Polaroid camera was sold to the public in November. He took an instrument for taking exposure samples for cinema film and turned it into the world's first 35 mm camera: the 'Ur-Leica'. he was able to put his theory into practice. We call them disposables but the people who make these cameras want you to know that they're committed to recycling the parts. Polaroid or Instant Photos Polaroid photography was invented by Edwin Herbert Land. Land was the American inventor and physicist whose one-step process for developing and printing photos created instant photography.

Pictures of a Camera Obscura .

Illustration of Camera Obscura in Use Daguerreotype taken by Louis Daguerre .


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