HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY
THE LONGEST LIST OF THE LONGEST
STUFF AT THE LONGEST DOMAIN NAME AT LONG LAST
Just How Did
Photography Get It's Start?
Long ago, people were using a
camera-like device to make pictures. This was called the camera obscura.
“Camera” is the Latin word for “chamber.” “Obscura” means “dark.” This early
ancestor of today’s camera was actually a dark room with a tiny hole in one
wall. Light came through the hole. It produced an image, on the opposite wall,
of people or objects outside the hole.
For about 500 years, the camera obscura was used mostly
for watching eclipses of the sun. Using it, people did not have to look directly
at the sun. Then artists and mapmakers realized that the camera obscura could be
very small wooden huts that could be carried from place to place—were developed.
In time, the camera obscura was reduced to a small box
much like a modern camera. A lens was placed in the hole where the light
entered. The Lens helped to concentrate the light rays. There also was a
diaphragm to control the amount of light coming in. The back of the box was a
translucent screen. (Something translucent lets light pass through, but we
cannot see through it.) A sheet of paper could be placed over the screen and the
image traced on the paper.
By the late 1600s, the development of the camera obscura was well advanced.
But it was more than a century before people learned how to capture the image
made by the camera. A German doctor, Johann Schulze, made the discovery that
finally led to the film used today. In 1727, Schulze found that sunlight would
blacken chalk that had been treated with a solution of silver nitrate. Modern
photography is based on Schulze’s discovery that light affects certain silver
successful photographs were made by a French inventor, Joseph Nicephore Niepce,
about 1826. He succeeded in capturing an image that did not immediately fade
when light struck it. He placed the exposed metal plate (coated with an asphalt
compound) in a solution that brought out the picture. The solution also washed
away all the compounds that had not yet been exposed to the light. In other
words, he fixed the picture.
In 1829, Niepce became a partner of Louis Daguerre, a
French theatrical designer. Before they had finished improving a developing
process, Niepce died. Daguerre continued working on the process. In 1839, he
revealed what became the first widely successful system of photography. His
pictures were called daguerreotypes. Each was unique—one of a kind. There was no
negative, and no prints could be made.
At about the same time, in England, William Henry Fox
Talbot invented the first practical process that produced a negative from which
prints could be made. The process—called the calotype—began with a negative
image on paper. It was then printed on another sensitized piece of paper to
produce a positive print.
Photography (part 2)
Page Sponsored By:
Photo to Painting