2012-11-24

A Short History of Photography

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For times immemorial, people have tried to reproduce their surroundings into pictures of their own. They have used techniques of paintings, carving and sculpturing and for years images have been projected onto surfaces. Photography is the result of combining several technical discoveries.

Long before the first photographs were made, Chinese and Greek philosophers described a pinole camera. But it was until Ibn -- al -- Haytham (965 -- 1040) a Muslim scientist made significant contributions to the principles of optics and invented the camera obscura which is a prototype of today's modern camera. While this early prototype may have had modest usage in its time, it was an important step in the evolution of the invention.

Earliest Known Photograph [1825]
Earliest known, surviving heliographic engraving in existence, made by Nicéphore Niépce in 1825 by the heliography process. His illustration is of an etching printed from a metal plate that was etched following alteration of the ground by sunlight; the image is of a 17th Century Flemish engraving showing a man leading a horse.

The First Photograph Ever Taken "View from the Window at Le Gras" [Circa, 1826]
The first permanent photograph (later accidentally destroyed) was an image produced in 1822 by the French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. His photographs were produced on a polished pewter plate covered with a petroleum derivative called bitumen of Judea. View from the Window at Le Gras (La cour du domaine du Gras) was the first successful permanent photograph, created by Nicéphore Niépce in 1826 at Saint-Loup-de-Varennes. Niépce captured the photo with a camera obscura focused onto a sheet of 20 × 25 cm oil-treated bitumen. As a result of the 8-hour exposure, sunlight illuminates the buildings on both sides.

The First Photograph of a Human "Boulevard Du Temple" [Paris, 1838]
Boulevard du Temple, taken by Louis Daguerre in late 1838, was the first-ever photograph of a person. It is an image of a busy street, but because exposure time was over ten minutes, the city traffic was moving too much to appear. The exception is a man in the bottom left corner, who stood still getting his boots polished long enough to show up in the picture.

The First Light Picture and Human Potrait Ever Taken [1839]
Robert Cornelius, self-portrait, Oct. or Nov. 1839, approximate quarter plate daguerreotype which is a procedure invented in 1839 using silver on a copper plate. The back reads, "The first light picture ever taken." This self-portrait is the first photographic portrait image of a human ever produced.

The Photo of the first Photographic Studio [1893]

First Color Photograph [1861]
Although color photography was explored throughout the 19th century, initial experiments in color resulted in projected temporary images, rather than permanent color images. Moreover until the 1870s the emulsions available were not sensitive to red or green light.The first color photo, an additive projected image of a tartan ribbon, was taken in 1861 by the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell.

First High Speed Photograph [1878]
In 1887, using a series of trip wires, Eadweard Muybridge created the first high speed photo series which can be run together to give the effect of motion pictures. High speed photography is the science of taking pictures of very fast phenomena. In 1948, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) defined high-speed photography as any set of photographs captured by a camera capable of 128 frames per second or greater, and of at least three consecutive frames.

First Motion Picture [1888]
This film is the first celluloid film created and it gives us a true look at how people looked and, more importantly, carried themselves. The film only lasts for two seconds but it is enough time to see the characters walking. It was recorded at 12 frames per second by French inventor Louis Le Prince. It was filmed at the home of Joseph and Sarah Whitley, in Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England on October 14 and the people who appear are Adophe Le Prince (Louis's son), Sarah Whitley, Joseph Whitley, and Harriet Hartley.

First Digitally Scanned Photograph [1957]
The first image scanner ever developed was a drum scanner. It was built in 1957 at the US National Bureau of Standards by a team led by Russell Kirsch. The first image ever scanned on this machine was a 5 cm square photograph of Kirsch's then-three-month-old son, Walden. The black and white image had a resolution of 176 pixels on a side. Technically, this is the very first digital photograph -- all these years later, digital cameras are only just beginning to have the full capabilities of film cameras.

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3 comments:

cwmcdonald.com said...

I like it :) A little too short though.

ISO 1200 Magazine said...

Yeah, ;D

Anonymous said...

So nothing happened - photographically speaking - since 1969? That's good to know!