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History of Photography

It could be said that photography was not “invented”…. but that it evolved over time. . The word “Photography” was first used in 1839. It was coined by Sir John Herschel. It comes from the Greek words “.

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History of Photography

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History of Photography

It could be said that photography was not “invented”…

but that it evolved over time. Slide3

The word “Photography” was first used in 1839. It was coined by Sir John Herschel. It comes from the Greek words “


” meaning


and “


” which mean



The pinhole camera or the


(Dark Chamber) can be traced back to the Greeks and Chinese as early as the 4



Artist used the CAMERA OBSCUREA to create more accurate drawings/paintings.Slide5

In the 1500s many artists, including Michelangelo and Leonardo


Vinci, used the "



" to help them draw pictures. A person or object would be outside the dark room and their image was reflected on a piece of paper and the artist would trace it.Slide6

The camera


was made portable by the 1700s by putting it in a box with a


on one side and a glass screen on the other. Light coming through this pinhole projected

an image onto the glass screen, where the artist could easily trace it by hand. Artists soon discovered that they could obtain an even sharper image by using a

small lens in place of the pinhole.


In 1727 a German professor, Johann Heinrich Schulze, observed that

silver salts

darkened when exposed to light. But the idea of making pictures using this information did not occur to him. That invention required the talents of a later generation of scientists.Slide8

The birth of photography happened in 1826 when a French scientist,




, put a metal plate coated with bitumen (a tarlike material) in a camera


.  The Bitumen would harden when exposed to light. The unhardened material was washed away making a negative image which was then printed using ink. His first photograph was latter destroyed. His earliest remaining photograph

he did by placing his camera


facing his house for

eight hours

. Slide9


Made by

Louis Daguerre

in 1835

The first practical photographic process

The Process

Highly polished silver-plated copper sheet exposed to iodine vapor.

The Latent image would appear by heating the sheet with hot mercury fumes. (Latent Image means you can’t see the image until it is developed)

Remaining light-sensitive particles were removed “fixed” with a hot salt solution.Slide11

Pros of the Process

Greater sensitivity to light

Shorter exposure times 3-15 min

Clearer images

Cons of the Process

Very expensive


Images would oxidize in the air, must be kept in a sealed case.Slide12

Still Life in Studio 1837 DaguerreSlide13

Robert Cornelius, self-portrait, Oct. or Nov. 1839, approximate quarter plate daguerreotype. The back reads, "The first light picture ever taken." This self-portrait is the first photographic portrait image of a human ever producedSlide14


People had to sit for

6 to 10 minutes

for an exposure to be made.

Bright Sun

Head clampSlide16

One sitter recalled the ordeal:

"(He sat) for eight minutes, with strong sunlight shining on his face and tears trickling down his cheeks while...the operator promenaded the room with watch in hand, calling out the time every five seconds, until the fountains of his eyes were dry."Slide17


William Fox Talbot

of England. 1835

The Process

Paper coated with silver chloride.

The paper negative was waxed to make it translucent.

Another sheet of sensitized paper was placed under the waxed negative and exposed with a bright light.

When the right density was reached, the paper was fixed, washed, and dried.

Duplicate prints could be made.Slide18

Talbot’s process of making a positive print from a negative is the basis of modern photography.


Could make multiple prints from a negative


The prints were not as good as the daguerreotypes.

The lower quality was caused by the grain or texture of the paper negative. This defect was transmitted to the print.Slide19

Window in the South Gallery of


Abbey made from the oldest photographic negative in existence

Henry Fox Talbot 1835Slide20


Invented by Frederick Scott Archer, and English sculptor in 1851.

The Process.

Glass coated with light-sensitive sliver salts (


was a plastic-like substance containing potassium iodide)

When the


had dried to a “tacky” state, a bath in silver nitrate sensitized it to light.

The wet plate was loaded into the camera and exposed immediately.

Exposed plates also had to be developed, fixed, and washed immediately.If the


dried before the sequence was completed, it became water-resistant and could not be developed.Slide21


Created a more stable and detailed negative (Unlimited Prints).

Could record fine detail and register slight differences in tone (Sharper).


Had to be developed quickly before the emulsion dried. Could only do one exposure at a time, then immediately develop.

In the field this meant having taking a portable darkroom everywhere with you.Slide22

This photograph shows a typical field setup of the Civil War era. The wagon carried chemicals, glass plates, and negatives - the buggy used as a field darkroom.Slide23

An old deteriorated wet plate featuring

Theodore RooseveltSlide24

Glass Negatives: the


Wet Plate

State Archives of FloridaSlide25

A portable photography studio in 19th century Ireland. Slide26


1871 Richard L. Maddox, a British physician

The Process

Replace the “wet”


coat with a thin coating of gelatin and silver nitrate.

The gelatin/nitrate was


and retained its sensitivity to light for some time.Slide27


In 1879, the dry plate was invented, a glass negative plate with a dried gelatin emulsion.

Dry plates could be stored for a period of time. Photographers no longer needed portable darkrooms and could now hire technicians to develop their photographs. Dry processes absorbed light quickly and so rapidly that the hand-held camera was now possible.Slide28


The plate taken could be developed anytime after exposure.

The cumbersome, portable darkroom was no longer needed.

This advancement make the commercial manufacture of photographic plates possible.


Still big and bulky.

Still not available to the average person.Slide29

Example of a Dry Plate Photograph

Leonard Dakin 1887Slide30

In 1888 George Eastman introduced a 100-shot box camera (

The Kodak Brownie


The camera and film were returned to Eastman for processing.

The camera and the new prints were then returned. The camera was also reloaded, ready to take another

100 prints


Eastman launched the sale of the camera with the slogan, “You press the button, we do the rest.”

Eastman also introduced his trademark name Kodak.


was a word that Eastman came up with. It started and ended with his favorite letter K.Slide32

In 1889, Eastman replaced the paper backing with a clear, flexible, celluloid



Prints were easier to make because the gelatin did not have to be stripped from the backing to make the print.Slide33

Mr. Eastman wanted everybody to be able to take photographs. He worked hard to develop a camera that everybody could afford to buy. He did it in 1900. It was the Kodak Brownie box roll-film camera. It cost $1.00. Now everyone could take photographs, not just


professional photographers.Slide34

Photograph taken with a Brownie camera. Notice how the photograph is round, just like the opening in the camera.

The Brownie

The Kodak Brownie was the first

one time user

camera (kind of like a disposable camera today).Slide35

Color Photographs

People had tried to make color photographs since 1860. It wasn't until 1906 that a film sensitive to all colors called "panchromatic film" was produced. You had to take three separate negatives and then use a special viewer so you could see all three slides


on top of each other.

The first color plates were invented in 1907 by





. They named it


. The colors appeared in delicate pastel.


The Magic Lantern - Lantern SlideSlide38

Birth of “motion” pictures

Leland Stanford unwittingly started a chain of events that contributed to the development of

motion pictures

. To settle a wager regarding the position of a trotting horse's legs, he sent for


Muybridge, a British photographer who had recently been acclaimed for his photographs of Yosemite.Slide40

Although Muybridge initially considered the task impossible, he made history when he arranged 12 cameras alongside a race track. Each was fitted with a shutter working at a speed he claimed to be "less than the two-thousandth part of a second." Strings attached to electric switches were stretched across the track; the horse, rushing past, breasted the strings and broke them, one after the other; the shutters were released by an electromagnetic control, and a series of negatives made.Slide41

Though the photographs were hardly more than silhouettes, they clearly showed that the feet of the horse were all off the ground at one phase of the gallop. Moreover, to the surprise of the world, the feet were bunched together under the belly. None of the horses photographed showed the "hobbyhorse attitude" - front legs stretched forward and hind legs backward -so traditional in painting. The photos were widely published in America and Europe.Slide43


Scientific American

printed eighteen drawings from Muybridge's photographs on the first page of its October 19, 1878 issue. Readers were invited to paste the pictures on strips and to view them in the popular toy known as the zoetrope, a precursor of motion pictures. It was an open drum with slits in its side, mounted horizontally on a spindle so it could be twirled. Drawings showing successive phases of action placed inside the drum and viewed through the slits were seen one after the other, so quickly that the images merged in the mind to produce the illusion of motion.Slide44


The flashbulb was invented in the 1930.

Polaroid instant photographs in 1947 by Edwin Land

1986 Fuji introduced the disposable camera

1984 Canon demonstrated the first digital electronic still cameraSlide46

Digital Photography

How it came to beSlide48

A step towards Digital

Television plays a part in the development of digital photography.



the first video tape recorders were used to record TV programs. Before this, most television was either live, or was a broadcast movie.Slide49

With video tape an image was recorded, not as an image in itself, but as a coded signal (Electrical Impulses “Digital”) onto magnetic tape.

Later that coded tape was run through a decoding machine (I.E. a video tape player) and the machine converted the coded signal back into pictures.Slide50

Why is video tape so important?

It is the start of recording an image in as a coded signalSlide51

Find an old cinema reel and you’ll see the different frames with an actual image on them.

Find an old cassette tape and you’ll see nothing. It needs to be decoded for you first.Slide52

Developed Film and you see an image.

Memory card, you can’t see the image. It needs to be decoded first.Slide53

The Scanner


A scanner doesn't actually take pictures, but they do copy an image already created.

Why this is important/The new technology.

Scanners can pick up the different intensities of light and shade in a pictures as save them as a binary, i.e. digital signal.Slide54

What does space have to do with digital photography?Slide55



Jump-started the US into doing everything they could to compete, on every level they could think of.Slide56

What do satellites do?

They “spy on the enemy”.

Take pictures of earth and space.Slide57

Satellites could have a camera

Cameras could spy on the enemy

No Film developers in space

Must send film back to Earth somehow, or no picturesSlide58

Digital Cameras were the answerer

Record photographs and “beam” the digital signal back to Earth.

The signal was then decoded and the images could be viewed.Slide59

Charge-Coupled Device CCD



George Smith and Willard Boyle experimented with computer memory chips at Bell Labs.

They developed the first CCD.

CCD: A sensitive integrated circuit for storing image signals based on the color spectrum.Slide60

Color on a Computer

Computers began implementing digital technology in the late 1970.

Images began using tiny cells of tone and color called…Pixels.

Pixel is a computer term that is short for the words “picture elements” and describes the thousands to millions of individual dots of light that produce digital imagesSlide61

The resolution of an image is determined by pixel density-the grater the density of pixels, the more memory the images required to process.

So as computers evolved to process greater amounts of information, so too did image resolution increase.

Modern digital cameras use designations such as dynamic range and megapixel to describe the maximum resolution the camera can record images at.Slide62




working for Kodak used a CCD to produce an digital image

Camera weighed

8 Pounds






Magnetic Video Cam

Recorded analog images on two-inch floppy disks and played them back on a TV set or Video monitor.



was not a digital camera, but a still analog version of video cameras of the time.


3 Megapixel

, not good enough to printCould use more then one floppy disk 1MB 25 photosSlide64

1987 DCS

Kodak scientists first megapixel sensor

Professional Digital Camera System (DCS) 1.3 megapixel sensorSlide65

Apple: digital camera into homes

Before 1994 digital cameras were only used by professional photographers and others who worked with the print and media industry.

In 1994 Apple brought digital cameras into the lives of consumers for their use.

Introduced a color digital cameras 640x480pixel CCD and fixed focus 50mm lens, called Quick Take 100

Great step, but had drawbacks.

Only could story 8 images.

Quality mediocre.Slide66


Memory Cards

1-6 minutes to download


1995 first camera to take moving images with sound recording and still images

Movies could only be 10 seconds longSlide67


Kodak introduced a digital camera that took

low resolution

images and was quite expensive at





Laser Technology to record JPEG on small plastic discs



: memory cards credit card sizedSlide69


First Internet Photography site to allow people to load photos directly from a digital camera to a website.

Nikon first introduced cameras with 2 megapixel ability for consumersSlide70



new image sensor. Can record different colors on each individual


. Before it could only do one color.Slide71

Digital catches up to Film


Canon Rebel: First affordable digital SLR



Interchangeable Lens

2004 Nikon D70Slide73

Quality keeps going up, and prices go down.

It is hard now to find a 3 megapixel camera, even in a Phone.Slide74

It could be said that photography was not “invented”…

but that it evolved over time. Slide75

Photography will continue to evolve…

What do you think will be the next step?