The History

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The History

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The History of Photography


Where does the word"Photography” come from?

"Photography" is derived from the Greek words photos ("light") and graphé ("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.


Camera Obscura

The camera obscura (Latin for 'dark room') is an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen.It was used in drawing and for entertainment, and was one of the inventions that led to photography. The device consists of a box or room with a hole in one side. Light from an external scene passes through the hole and strikes a surface inside where it is reproduced, upside-down, but with color and perspective preserved. The image can be projected onto paper, and can then be traced to produce a highly accurate representation.


Pinhole Camera

The first reference to the optic laws that made pinhole cameras possible, was observed by Aristotle around 330 BC, who questioned why the sun could make a circular image when it shined through a square hole.The smaller the hole, the sharper the image, but the dimmer the projected image.A pinhole camera's shutter is usually manually operated because of the lengthy exposure times, and consists of a flap of some light-proof material to cover and uncover the pinhole. Exposures range from 5 seconds to hours and sometimes days.


Sun Pictures

1800’s: Thomas Wedgwood, a potter, makes a major contribution to the world of photography by creating "sun pictures". Wedgwood placed opaque objects on paper and leather treated with silver nitrate. Exposing the paper, with the object on top, to natural light, then preserving the image in the dark room, essentially became the birth of photography as we know it today.



Photogram - A photographic print made by placing an arrangement of objects on photosensitive paper exposed to light to yield an image of ghostly silhouettes floating in a void of darkened space. The first photogram was probably made around 1802.


The First Photograph

Nicéphore Niépce (of France) developed a way to permanently capture the image of a camera obscura.In 1827 he made the world's first surviving photograph from the window of a country home in France. It required an exposure, in bright sunlight, of eight hours.


The Daguerreotype

In 1837 Louis Daguerre developed the DaguerreotypeThe image is a direct positive made in the camera on a silvered copper plate. The surface of a daguerreotype is like a mirror, with the image made directly on the silvered surface; it is very fragile and can be rubbed off with a finger, and the finished plate has to be angled to reflect some dark surface in order to view the image properly. Depending on the angle viewed, and the color of the surface reflected into it, the image can change from a positive to a negative.


English Contributions

William Henry Fox Talbot developed his own method of photography at about the same time as Daguerre. Talbot impregnated paper with silver nitrate or silver chloride; when exposed in a camera, the paper turned black where light struck it, creating a negative image of the subject.To achieve a positive image, a contact print could be made by placing the negative over a second piece of sensitized paper and exposing the combination to bright light.This was the first negative-positive process and produced photographs called “calotypes”


English Contributions

In 1851 F. Scott Archer invented the collodion process, which combined the fine detail of the daguerreotype with the ability to print multiple paper copies like the calotype.The process was complicated and the plate was light-sensitive only as long as it remained wet. Because plates had to be used immediately after preparation, a portable darkroom (in the form of a tent, wagon, or railway car) had to accompany the camera wherever it went.



1854: Adolphe Disderi develops carte-de-visite photography in Paris, leading to a worldwide boom in portrait studios for the next decade. The carte-de-visite was usually made of an albumen print, which was a thin paper photograph mounted on a thicker paper card.Photograph was the size of a visiting card and were traded among friends and visitors.Card mania spread throughout Europe and then quickly to America. Albums for the collection and display of cards became a common fixture in Victorian parlors.




photography was discovered by Charles Wheatstone in 1838. A special camera with two lenses was used to take two simultaneous photographs of the subject from viewpoints separated by about the same distance as a pair of human eyes. When the resulting pictures were viewed through a special viewing device, they merged to create a 3-dimensional image.



first Kodak camera

In the 1880s, George Eastman invented flexible roll film to replace photographic plates.Photographers no longer needed to carry boxes of plates and toxic chemicals around.In 1888 Eastman's Kodak camera went on the market with the slogan "You press the button, we do the rest“.This launched the era of mass-market photography.



1934: Fuji Photo Film is founded; the first Japanese producer of photographic films. 1940s: Fuji begins making cameras and lenses, in addition to film.



– Instant Film

Edwin Land founded the Polaroid Corporation, which sold the first instant camera to the public in 1948.The Polaroid camera’s one-step process for developing and printing photographs created a revolution in photography. In 1963, the first colour instant film was developed by Polaroid.In 2008, Polaroid decided to cease all production of instant cameras, in favor of digital photography products


The Arrival of Digital Cameras

The first attempt at building a digital camera was in 1975 by Eastman Kodak.The camera weighed 8 pounds (3.6 kg), recorded black and white images to a cassette tape, had a resolution of 0.01 megapixels (10,000 pixels), and took 23 seconds to capture its first image. To play back images, data was read from the tape and then displayed on a television set.The prototype camera was a technical exercise, not intended for production.


The Arrival of Digital Cameras

1988 -The first true digital camera that recorded images as a computerized file was the Fuji DS-1PIt contained a 400 kilopixel CCD and saved photographs to removable Toshiba memory cards.CCD or Charge-Coupled Device - is an analog electronic device that can be used as the image sensor in place of film in an electronic camera or optical devices like microscopes or telescopes. CCDs are also used in digital and film cameras as parts of some autofocus and light metering systems.



-The first commercially available digital camera was the Dycam Model 1; it also sold as the Logitech Fotoman. It used a CCD image sensor, stored pictures digitally, and connected directly to a computer for download.The camera had a resolution of 0.077 megapixels, shot in black & white, and could store 32 photos.The original price was $995 (US)


1991: the Kodak DCS-100, the first commercial digital SLR was a Nikon F3 body whose film chamber and winder were gutted to make room for the sensor and electronics.The photographer needed to carry a separate storage unit, worn on a shoulder strap and connected via cable.The camera was intended for photo journalists, in order to quickly send photographs back to the studio or newsroom.It had a resolution of 1.3 megapixels and the entire system was marketed at a retail price of $20,000 (US).




The Nikon D1 was the world’s first digital SLR built entirely by a single manufacturer. It had 2.7 megapixels and sold for around $5000.2000: The first camera phones are introduced in Japan2001: Polaroid goes bankrupt 2004: Kodak ceases production of film cameras2005: Canon EOS 5D, first consumer priced full-frame digital SLR, priced at $3000


Digital Camera’s of


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