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What was the first major historical event to be photographed?

What was the first major historical event to be photographed?

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The first photograph is supposed to have been taken in the late 1820s. But what was the first major historical event to be photographed?

It is difficult to give an answer, what is amajor historical event?

According Wikipedia Carol Szathmari was the first combat photographer during the Crimean War (1853-1856). This was some years before the United States Civil War. Some technical information can be found at the Muzeul Naţional de Istorie a României

At Wikipedia they mention also a daguerreotypes of the U.S. troops in Satilo, Mexico, (1847).

Hermann Biow made photographs after a big fire in Hamburg (1842). At least it was a local major historical event.

Edit: I found some new information. The book Photography: A Cultural History by Mary Warner Marien has some interesting informations on page 44ff. The book tells, there were no plans to make th pictures of the Hamburg Fire (Hermann Biow). The first planned pictures from historic events are done 1848 in France (abdication of King Louis-Phillippe) by Eugène Thibault.

The first war photographies are from the Mexican-American War (1848, see page 47).

The first capture of a photograph was the first major historical event photographed (though it was photographed by implication rather than directly: you can't see it in the photograph).


This would most likely be the Mexcian - American War (1846-48). In particular, there is an 1847 picture showing what may be the first amputation photographed.


Although the first photo dates back to 1826 or 1827 (see picture here), it took many years to solve the problem of the long exposure time needed (up to 8 hours for early photos). By 1841 this had been cut considerably (but was still at least one minute), and portraiture and photos of monuments started to become popular. By the late 1840s photographers started to 'get out and about'

villages and towns were served by traveling photographers who had fitted up wagons as studios

It would appear that it was from this time that the first major historical event (for all the problems of this definition) was recorded: the Mexcian - American war.

Photograph of an amputation on April 18, 1847 during the Mexican-American War of Sergeant Antonio Bustos by Belgian surgeon Pedro Vander Linden (who is holding the leg) (via Wikimedia)

This photo may well also be the first one of an amputation. Other photographs of the Mexican American war can be found here, all using daguerreotype photography.

Maybe the next 'major historical event' to photographed was the Great Exhibition in London in 1851. The picture below used a different photographic process (Calotype).

Mounted Calotype depicting a scene from the Great Exhibition of 1851. William Henry Fox Talbot [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

If we accept a local event, then this photograph of a water jousting event in 1842 predates the others.

On Pinterest A large crowd watching a water jousting event on the Saône River in Lyon, France, 1842. Possibly the earliest photograph taken of a sporting event.

The United States Civil War is the first real use of photographs that I have seen for a historical event, or war. It began in 1861, so there is a gap, but I don't know of other photos that might have been taken.

Origins Edit

With the invention of photography in the 1830s, the possibility of capturing the events of war to enhance public awareness was first explored. Although ideally photographers would have liked to accurately record the rapid action of combat, the technical insufficiency of early photographic equipment in recording movement made this impossible. The daguerreotype, an early form of photography that generated a single image using a silver-coated copper plate, took a very long time for the image to develop and could not be processed immediately. [ citation needed ]

Since early photographers were not able to create images of moving subjects, they recorded more sedentary aspects of war, such as fortifications, soldiers, and land before and after battle along with the re-creation of action scenes. Similar to battle photography, portrait images of soldiers were also often staged. In order to produce a photograph, the subject had to be perfectly still for a matter of minutes, so they were posed to be comfortable and minimize movement. [ citation needed ]

A number of daguerreotypes were taken of the occupation of Saltillo during the Mexican–American War, in 1847 by an unknown photographer, although not for the purpose of journalism. [1] [2]

John McCosh, a surgeon in the Bengal Army, is considered by some historians to be the first war photographer known by name. [3] [4] He produced a series of photographs documenting the Second Anglo-Sikh War from 1848 to 1849. These consisted of portraits of fellow officers, key figures from the campaigns, [3] administrators and their wives and daughters, including Patrick Alexander Vans Agnew, [5] : 911 Hugh Gough, 1st Viscount Gough the British commander General Sir Charles James Napier and Dewan Mulraj, the governor of Multan. [6] [7] He also photographed local people and architecture, [7] artillery emplacements and the destructive aftermath. [5] McCosh later photographed the Second Anglo-Burmese War (1852–53) where he photographed colleagues, captured guns, temple architecture in Yangon and Burmese people. [3]

The Hungarian–Romanian Károly Szathmáry Papp took photographs of various officers in 1853 and of war scenes near Olteniţa and Silistra in 1854, during the Crimean War. He personally offered some 200 pictures albums to Napoleon III of France and Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom in 1855. [8]

Stefano Lecchi between 1849 and 1859 took photos of the battle locations of the Roman Republic using the Calotype process [9]

Establishment Edit

The first official attempts at war photography were made by the British government at the start of the Crimean War. In March 1854, Gilbert Elliott was commissioned to photograph views of the Russian fortifications along the coast of the Baltic Sea. [10] Roger Fenton was the first official war photographer and the first to attempt a systematic coverage of war for the benefit of the public. [5] [11]

Hired by Thomas Agnew, he landed at Balaclava in 1854. His photographs were probably intended to offset the general aversion of the British people to the war's unpopularity, and to counteract the occasionally critical reporting of correspondent William Howard Russell of The Times. [12] [13] The photos were converted into woodblocks and published in The Illustrated London News.

Due to the size and cumbersome nature of his photographic equipment, Fenton was limited in his choice of motifs. Because the photographic material of his time needed long exposures, he was only able to produce pictures of stationary objects, mostly posed pictures he avoided making pictures of dead, injured or mutilated soldiers. [ citation needed ]

Fenton also photographed the landscape – his most famous image was of the area near to where the Charge of the Light Brigade took place. In letters home soldiers had called the original valley The Valley of Death, so when in September 1855 Thomas Agnew put the picture on show as one of a series of eleven collectively titled Panorama of the Plateau of Sebastopol in Eleven Parts in a London exhibition, he took the troops' epithet, expanded it as The Valley of the Shadow of Death and assigned it to the piece. [14] [15]

Further development Edit

Fenton left the Crimea in 1855, and was replaced by the partnership of James Robertson and Felice Beato. In contrast to Fenton's depiction of the dignified aspects of war, Beato and Robertson showed the destruction. [16] They photographed the fall of Sevastopol in September 1855, producing about 60 images. [17]

In February 1858, they arrived in Calcutta to document the aftermath of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. [18] During this time they produced possibly the first-ever photographic images of corpses. [19] It is believed that for at least one of the photographs taken at the palace of Sikandar Bagh in Lucknow, the skeletal remains of Indian rebels were disinterred or rearranged to heighten the photograph's dramatic impact.

In 1860 Beato left the partnership and documented the progress of the Anglo-French campaign during the Second Opium War. Teaming up with Charles Wirgman, a correspondent for The Illustrated London News, he accompanied the attack force travelling north to the Taku Forts. Beato's photographs of the Second Opium War were the first to document a military campaign as it unfolded, doing so through a sequence of dated and related images. [20] His photographs of the Taku Forts formed a narrative recreation of the battle, showing the approach to the forts, the effects of bombardments on the exterior walls and fortifications, and finally the devastation within the forts, including the bodies of dead Chinese soldiers. [20]

During the American Civil War, Haley Sims and Alexander Gardner began recreating scenes of battle in order to overcome the limitations of early photography with regard to the recording of moving objects. Their reconfigured scenes were designed to intensify the visual and emotional effects of battle. [21]

Gardner and Mathew Brady rearranged bodies of dead soldiers during the Civil War in order to create a clear picture of the atrocities associated with battle. [22] In Soldiers on the Battlefield, Brady produced a controversial tableau of the dead within a desolate landscape. This work, along with Alexander Gardner's 1863 work, Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter, were images which, when shown to the public, brought home the horrific reality of war. [23]

Also during the Civil War, George S. Cook captured what is likely and sometimes believed to be the world's first photographs of actual combat, during the Union bombardment of Confederate fortifications near Charleston – his wet-plate photographs taken under fire show explosions and Union ships firing at southern positions September 8, 1863. [24] By coincidence, northern photographers Haas and Peale made a photographic plate of USS New Ironsides in combat September 7, 1863.

The most lethal war in South American history was the Paraguayan War of 1865–1870. It was also the first occasion for South American war photography. In June 1866, the Montevideo firm of Bate y Compañía commissioned the Uruguayan photographer Javier López to travel to the field of battle. [25]

López used the wet-plate collodion process, making and developing his plates in a portable darkroom. The plates were sensitive to blue light only his darkroom was an orange tent. This was the first time photography had covered South American warfare and his images became iconic. [26] The firm did send a photographer to cover the Siege of Paysandú the year before, but he arrived after the fighting was over. He captured images of the ruined town and corpses in a street.

The Second Anglo-Afghan War of 1878–1880 was photographed by John Burke who traveled with the British forces. This was a commercial venture with the hope of selling albums of war photographs.

20th century Edit

World War I was one of the first conflicts during which cameras were small enough to be carried on one's person. Canadian soldier Jack Turner secretly and illegally brought a camera to the battlefront and made photographs. [27]

In the 20th century, professional photographers covered all the major conflicts, and many were killed as a consequence, among which was Robert Capa, who covered the Spanish Civil War, the Second Sino-Japanese War, the D-Day landings and the fall of Paris, and conflicts in the 1950s until his death by a landmine in Indochina in May 1954. [28] [29] Photojournalist Dickey Chapelle was killed by a landmine in Vietnam, in November 1965. The Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima in 1945 was taken by photojournalist Joe Rosenthal. [30]

Unlike paintings, which presented a single illustration of a specific event, photography offered the opportunity for an extensive amount of imagery to enter circulation. The proliferation of the photographic images allowed the public to be well informed in the discourses of war. The advent of mass-reproduced images of war were not only used to inform the public but they served as imprints of the time and as historical recordings. [31]

Mass-produced images did have consequences. Besides informing the public, the glut of images in distribution over-saturated the market, allowing viewers to develop the ability to disregard the immediate value and historical importance of certain photographs. [21] Despite this, photojournalists continue to cover conflicts around the world.

Journalists and photographers are protected by international conventions of armed warfare, but history shows that they are often considered targets by warring groups — sometimes to show hatred of their opponents and other times to prevent the facts shown in the photographs from being known. War photography has become more dangerous with the advent of terrorism in armed conflict as some terrorists target journalists and photographers. In the Iraq War, 36 photographers and camera operators were abducted or killed during the conflict from 2003 to 2009. [32]

Several have even been killed by US fire two Iraqi journalists working for Reuters were notably strafed by a helicopter during the July 12, 2007, Baghdad airstrike, yielding a scandal when WikiLeaks published the video of the gun camera. [33] Hilda Clayton was killed when the mortar she was photographing accidentally exploded. [34] War photographers need not necessarily work near active fighting instead they may document the aftermath of conflict. The German photographer Frauke Eigen created a photographic exhibition about war crimes in Kosovo which focused on the clothing and belongings of the victims of ethnic cleansing, rather than on their corpses. [35] Eigen's photographs were taken during the exhumation of mass graves, and were later used as evidence by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. [36]

First Photograph Ever

The world's first photograph&mdashor at least the oldest surviving photo&mdashwas taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826 or 1827. Captured using a technique known as heliography, the shot was taken from an upstairs window at Niépce's estate in Burgundy. As heliography produces one-of-a-kind images, there are no duplicates of the piece, which is now part of the permanent collection at the University of Texas-Austin.

When was photography invented?

First Photograph: 1827

It was just one in a series of experiments, but View from the Window at Le Gras is the earliest surviving photograph. Nicéphore Niépce used a sheet of metal with a film of chemicals spread on it.

Though light-sensitive, it wasn&rsquot very sensitive. It took 8 hours to record the image. You can see sunlight illuminating both sides of the buildings. From here on, the timeline of photography moves rapidly.

Different metal plate technologies began to be used by astronomers, other scientists, and a new breed of artist/scientists, the naturists. The naturists were quite often scientists and inventors themselves, using this new technology to record the beauty of the world around them.

Daguerreotype: 1839

Around this time, the word photography began to be used to describe this new industry. From 1839 on, the popular metal plate process known as daguerreotype opened up this mix of art and technology to the masses.

photo by merrymoonmary via iStock

Well, the masses that could afford the time and money involved anyways. Though it may have been one of the easier metal plate photographic processes, it was still messy, expensive, very time consuming, and somewhat dangerous.

Enter the Camera: 1841

Photographers of this era generally used cameras designed and made by themselves or skilled craftsmen, adapting lenses made by optical manufacturers to use photographically.

Early in the camera timeline of the history of photography were optical companies such as Zeiss, Leitz, and others starting to design lenses specifically for photography. Voightlander went a step beyond and introduced a camera for metal plates in 1841.

Photojournalism: 1848 - 1865

In addition to its scientific uses and all the art produced, photography also made its way into the news. The June Days 1848 workers revolt in France, the Crimean War of 1853 - 1856, and the US Civil War of 1861 - 1865 thrust photographic images of war into the public view.

Written journalistic descriptions and hand-drawn or painted illustrations were replaced by photographic images. These images were displayed in public shows and published in newspapers and magazines.

photo by duncan1890 via iStock

In the photography timeline, this helped photography gain a strong place in modern society. Could you even imagine the news now without any photos?

Celluloid Roll Film: 1835 - 1887

Metal and glass plates were fragile, cumbersome and hard to work with, and somewhat costly for the average person. A more accessible method continued to be looked for by photographers.

A combination of two technologies, silver halides and celluloid based emulsions continued getting improved upon.

In 1835, Henry Fox Talbot invented a viable method of spreading a gelatine emulsion on paper. In 1839, astronomer John Herschel came up with a way to fix the image recorded by silver halides.

photo by juankphoto via iStock

In 1887, these two technologies were first manufactured together as a photographic film. This film could be produced in individual sheets or as a roll.

KODAK: 1888

George Eastman of Rochester, New York had an idea. Use this new roll film, build a simple, easy-to-use camera, and market it as a fun use product. In the history of photography, Eastman was a master of marketing photography to the masses. &ldquoYou push the button, we do the rest.&rdquo

photo by DutchScenery via iStock

Eastman Kodak became a driving force in the worldwide boom of photography. They introduced many different formats of films, both in rolls and sheets, as well as cameras for beginner, enthusiast, and professional photographers.

Moving Pictures: 1878 - 1900

photo by Grafissimo via iStock

Motion pictures, moving pictures, or movies are an entrenched part of the timeline of photography.

The question of how best to capture subjects in motion was first successfully answered by Eadweard Muybridge in response to settling a bet about horses hooves and galloping. The things that move technology!

In short time, cameras and accompanying projects were invented to film continuous motion and display them by means of projecting onto a large screen. Later innovations such as sound recording get added in as well in due course.

35mm Film and the Leica: 1913

One of the more common formats of roll film was 135 format, also called 35mm. This format was used primarily for motion pictures, but it also started getting spooled into small cartridges for miniature still cameras, as they were called then.

The movie cameras transported 35mm film through the cameras vertically, with an image frame of 18x24mm. In 1913, Oskar Barnack, an engineer at Leitz, designed a prototype still camera that transported the film horizontally, producing a 24x36mm image frame.

Photo by jacopo marello on Unsplash

By 1925, the Leica I was introduced and became a commercial success. In time, the 24x36mm format became one of the most produced and used image formats in all of photography. This still holds true in digital cameras today.

35mm SLRs: 1957 & 1959

While many film and camera formats exist, 35mm became one of the most popular formats in our history of photography.

In 1957, the first eye-level viewing single-lens reflex camera with an instant return mirror was introduced by Asahi Optical of Japan, called the Pentax.

The year 1959 saw the release of the Nikon F, a professional-caliber 35mm SLR with an entire system of lenses, motor drives, and other accessories surrounding it.

Photo by Jonathan Talbert on Unsplash

35mm SLRs became one of the primary types of cameras for photographic images. Their form factor and image format are still one of the more dominant forces in modern digital photography.

Digital Reigns Supreme: 1975 - Present

The history of photography timeline continues progressing through to the present day with digital imaging taking front stage for most photographers. Digital is a fantastic medium for photography because of all of the varied formats, storage and display options, and ease of transferring images.

The first known digitally recorded images were created in a Kodak lab in 1975 and it took 23 seconds to capture the 0.01 MP image. The camera was very basic but the recording apparatus weighed in at 8 pounds.

Among the first digital cameras of the 1980s and 1990s were several point shoot style cameras from computer makers and the bigger camera manufacturers. From about 1989 through to the early 2000s, Fuji and Kodak collaborated with Canon and Nikon to make digital cameras that fit into what professionals needed.

Nikon then introduced the D1 in 1999. This marked the first time that a major camera manufacturer on its own designed and built a camera specifically as a digital system camera.

Photo by Chris Yang on Unsplash

By 2004, the sensor in the Canon EOS 1D Mark II had surpassed the resolving power of the former industry standard Kodachrome slide film. Digital was here to stay. DSLRs were pretty much taking over from 35mm SLRs.

History of Photography Timeline Continues: Present Day

Even though a lot of attention is given to 35mm format cameras, film or digital, many other formats exist. We can also look at the introduction of video recording for motion pictures.

One of the most interesting aspects of the timeline of photography is the modern smartphone. Just think, in our pocket we can carry a camera that records still images and video. We can then transfer these photos and movies virtually instantaneously to almost anywhere in the world.

Photo by Omar Prestwich on Unsplash

Compared to the camera obscura or stinky metal plates, we have definitely come a long way.

Really, the subject of a timeline for the history of photography could fill up a rather large book.

Hopefully, this brief synopsis puts you in a mindset to continue to advance yourself as an artist/scientist/craftsperson, also known as a photographer!

20 First Photos from the History of Photography

Photography has been a medium of limitless possibilities since it was originally invented in the early 1800s. The use of cameras has allowed us to capture historical moments and reshape the way we see ourselves and the world around us. To celebrate the amazing history of photography and photographic science, we have assembled twenty photographic ‘firsts’ from over the past two centuries.

#1. The First Photograph

The world’s first photograph made in a camera was taken in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. The photograph was taken from the upstairs windows of Niépce’s estate in the Burgundy region of France. This image was captured via a process known as heliography, which used Bitumen of Judea coated onto a piece of glass or metal the Bitumen than hardened in proportion to the amount of light that hit it.

#2. The First Color Photograph

The first color photograph was taken by the mathematical physicist, James Clerk Maxwell. The piece above is considered the first durable color photograph and was unveiled by Maxwell at a lecture in 1861. The inventor of the SLR, Thomas Sutton, was the man who pressed the shutter button, but Maxwell is credited with the scientific process that made it possible. For those having trouble identifying the image, it is a three-color bow.

#3. The First Cape Canaveral Launch Photograph

NASA photographers snapped the first photograph of a Cape Canaveral launch in July of 1950. The rocket being launched was known as the ‘Bumper 2’ it was a two-stage rocket comprising a V-2 missile based and a WAC Corporal rocket. The shot also clearly showcases other photographers lined up and ready to get their images of the event.

#4. The First Digital Photograph

The first digital photograph was taken all the way back in 1957 that is almost 20 years before Kodak’s engineer invented the first digital camera. The photo is a digital scan of a shot initially taken on film. The picture depicts Russell Kirsch’s son and has a resolution of 176𴢈 – a square photograph worthy of any Instagram profile.

#5. The First Photograph of a Person

The first photograph of a human appeared above in a snapshot captured by Louis Daguerre. The exposure lasted around seven minutes and was aimed at capturing the Boulevard du Temple, a thoroughfare in Paris, France. Due to the long exposure time, many individuals who walked the street where not in place long enough to make an impression. However, in the lower left of the photograph we can see a man standing and getting his shoes polished. Further analysis of the picture later found a few other figures – can you find them?

#6. The First Self Portrait Photograph

Before ‘selfies’ were all the rage, Robert Cornelius set up a camera and took the world’s first self-portrait in the back of a business on Chestnut Street in Center City, Philadelphia. Cornelius sat in front of the lens for a little over a minute, before leaving the seat and covering the lens. The now iconic photograph was captured 170+ years ago in 1839.

#7. The First Hoax Photograph

The first hoax photograph was taken in 1840 by Hippolyte Bayard. Both Bayard and Louis Daguerre fought to claim the title “Father of Photography.” Bayard had supposedly developed his photography process before Daguerre introduced the Daguerreotype. However, the announcement of the invention was held off, and Daguerre claimed the moment. In a rebellious move, Bayard produced this photograph of a drowned man claiming that he killed himself because of the feud.

#8. The First Aerial Photograph

The first aerial photograph was not taken by drone, but instead by hot air balloon in 1860. This aerial photograph depicts the town of Boston from 2,000 feet. The photographer, James Wallace Black, titled his work “Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It”.

#9. The First Sun Photograph

The first photograph of our sun was taken by French Physicists Louis Fizeau and Leon Foucault on April 2nd, 1845. The snapshot was captured using the Daguerreotype process (don’t tell Bayard) and resulted after a 1/60 of a second. If you observe the photograph carefully, you can spot several sunspots.

#10. The First Space Photograph

The first photograph from space was taken by the V-2 #13 rocket, which was launched in October, 24th of 1946. The photo depicts the Earth in black-and-white from an altitude of 65 miles. The camera that captured the shot was a 35mm motion picture camera that snapped a frame every second and a half as the rocket climbed straight up into the atmosphere.

#11. The First News Photograph

While the photojournalist’s name may have slipped away, his work has not. This photograph taken in 1847 via the Daguerreotype process is thought to be the first ever photograph taken for the news it depicts a man being arrested in France.

#12. The First President Photograph

John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States, was the first president to have his photograph taken. The daguerreotype was shot in 1843, a good number of years after Adams left office in 1829. The first to have his picture taken in office was James Polk, the 11th President, who was photographed in 1849.

#13. The First Lightning Photograph

Lightning can be an exciting subject to capture and the first photographer to grab a snapshot did so in 1882. Photographer, William Jennings, used his findings to showcase that lightning was much more complicated than originally thought – notice how the lightning branches out in the above piece.

#14. The First Fatal Airplane Crash Photograph

Disaster photograph may not be the most pleasant of subjects, but we can learn from our past mistakes. This photo from 1908 showcases the death of Aviator Thomas Selfridge. The plane was an experimental design by the Aerial Experimental Association, which was part of the US Army. The plane was also carrying Orville Wright when it crashed however, he survived.

#15. The First Moon Photograph

The first photograph of the moon was taken by John W. Draper on March 26, 1840. The photograph was a Daguerreotype that Draper took from his rooftop observatory at New York University. The image has, since then, appeared to acquire a significant amount of physical damage.

#16. The First Colored Landscape Photograph

The first colored landscape to showcase the world in color was taken in 1877. Photographer, Louis Arthur Ducos du Hauron, was a pioneer in color photography and was the mastermind behind the process that created this photo. The shot depicts southern France and is appropriately titled “Landscape of Southern France”.

#17. The First Photograph of Earth from Moon

The Earth was photographed from the Moon in all its glory on August 23rd, 1966. A Lunar Orbiter traveling in the vicinity of the Moon snapped the shot and was then received at Robledo De Chervil in Spain. This was the Lunar spacecraft’s 16th orbit around the Moon.

#18. The First Tornado Photograph

Nature can be a destructive force, and this image of a Tornado was taken in 1884. The photographer was captured by a local fruit farmer living in Anderson County, Kansas. The amateur photographer, A.A. Adams, assembled his box camera and took the photograph 14 miles from the cyclone.

#19. The First Photograph from Mars

The first image of the planet Mars was taken by Viking 1 shortly after it touched down on the red planet. The photograph was taken on July 20th, 1976, as NASA fulfilled its mission to obtain high-resolution images of the planet’s surface. The images were used to study the Martian landscape and its structure.

#20. The First 3D American President Portrait Photograph

Computer experts from the Smithsonian and the USC Institute for Creative Technologies teamed up to take the first 3D Presidential Portrait. The shot of Barack Obama utilized a custom-built 50 LED light array, eight ‘sports’ cameras, and six wide angle cameras. The photograph was than 3D printed and is available for viewing at the Smithsonian.

The 16 Most Important Moments in Naked TV History

Just when we thought that to break through the cable-TV noise you needed to flail some testicles with a cat-o'-nine-tails or watch someone's mom have sex, HBO proves all you need is a randy court stenographer, played by Alexandra Daddario, and the lack of a T-shirt.

Kris Jenner, America’s Most Naked Grandma, 2014

One can’t watch a simple reality-TV show about the children of formerly famous decathletes without seeing pilated breasts. Can nudity even have impact anymore? Have boobs finally jumped the shark? (Note to self: Is it possible to find a coffee mug with a picture of boobs jumping a shark?) Is it over? Yeah, probably not.

The Enduring Reign of Sideboob

Pamela Anderson, Sideboob Pioneer, Baywatch, September 1992

There was a time, before the Internet showed Paris Hilton’s sideways red-carpet boob, when there was very little nakedness on TV. It was the era of sideboob, and it’s not over. We don't know who thought of it, but they should be richer than Pam Anderson by now.

Natalie Dormer Becomes the Most Disrobed Lady in History (of shows we admit to watching)

It's not just Game of Thrones, it's The Tudors! And something from the BBC! And with any luck, season two of True Detective!

The Creative Nakedness of Game of Thrones

Perhaps no other show has done more than _GoT _to pioneer the imaginative wearing of less. Prime example: Cave-Bath Steamed Nipples (above). This is why nubile wildings exist.

Men Get Gratuitously Not Naked

David Cross bathing in Jorts on “Arrested Development”, 2003

Right now, you can turn on your television and see a naked woman doing basically anything a human is capable of doing—broadcasting the news, showering in prison. Sometimes these women even interact with men! And what are the men wearing when they join these casually nude women in bed, or in the shower, or in any old place? Pants. Or shirts. Or furs. Recall, for instance, the Game of Thrones scene where poor naked Rose Leslie's Ygritte stands, exposed, in front of Kit Harington's Jon Snow, who is sporting…a mammoth-sized animal pelt over pants, and probably a shirt and some armor. It's embarrassing, the way we are spared the sight of something we see every day. It's actually more awkward than the real thing. And if programmers won't go full frontal, we have "A Modest Proposal" (see above David Cross in Arrested Development even bathed in jorts.)—Zach Baron

Okay, And Sometimes Men Get Gratuitously Naked

Surprise Nakedness, Part 1: Late Show with David Letterman

Feeling celebratory, Drew Barrymore bares her half birthday suit to David Letterman on the Late Show for his forty-eighth.

Surprise Nakedness, Part 2: The Super Bowl Halftime Show

During the Super Bowl halftime show, Janet Jackson reveals that a giant ninja star is tragically stuck in her right nip!

Surprise Nakedness, Part 3: MTV Movie Awards

Brüno (a.k.a. Sacha Baron Cohen, in full Victoria's Secret Angel regalia) straddles Eminem. He's super jazzed about it!

NYPD Blue Breaks All the Rules

Dennis Franz's pioneering butt on NYPD Blue, Fall 1993

"I wanted to have adults in realistic sexual situation," says NYPD Blue co-creator Steven Bochco. Which meant more breasts and butts—male and female—than any network show at the time. There would be no Game of Thrones, if there was no NYPD Blue.

Social Documentation and Advances in Technology

In the second half of the 19th century, the field would expand beyond war and disaster photos. Photographer John Thomson paired with journalist Adolphe Smith for a monthly magazine that depicted the lives of people on the streets of London. From 1876 to 1877, Street Life in London revolutionized the field by using images as the dominant means of storytelling.

Room in a Tenement in New York City. (Photo: Jacob Riis / Museum Syndicate)

Two important technological developments also helped push the field forward&mdashhalftone printing and flash powder. Halftone, which eventually replaced engraving, allowed the full range of shadows in photographs to be printed and sped up the printing process greatly. By the early 1900s, the technology would be adopted by most daily papers. Flash powder allowed for candid, indoor photography, something that would be fundamental for the foremost social photojournalist of the time, Jacob Riis.

A Danish immigrant, Riis arrived in the United States in 1870. His seminal work, How the Other Half Lives, documented the lives of immigrants living in New York&rsquos slums and tenements. Used as a catalyst for social reform, his work showed the real power that photojournalists can have for spurring change.


The coining of the word "photography" is usually attributed to Sir John Herschel in 1839. It is based on the Greek φῶς (phōs), (genitive: phōtós) meaning "light", and γραφή (graphê), meaning "drawing, writing", together meaning "drawing with light". [4]

A natural phenomenon, known as camera obscura or pinhole image, can project a (reversed) image through a small opening onto an opposite surface. This principle may have been known and used in prehistoric times. The earliest known written record of the camera obscura is to be found in Chinese writings by Mozi, dated to the 4th century BCE. [5] Until the 16th century the camera obscura was mainly used to study optics and astronomy, especially to safely watch solar eclipses without damaging the eyes. In the later half of the 16th century some technical improvements were developed: a biconvex lens in the opening (first described by Gerolamo Cardano in 1550) and a diaphragm restricting the aperture (Daniel Barbaro in 1568) gave a brighter and sharper image. In 1558 Giambattista della Porta advised using the camera obscura as a drawing aid in his popular and influential books. Della Porta's advice was widely adopted by artists and since the 17th century portable versions of the camera obscura were commonly used — first as a tent, later as boxes. The box type camera obscura was the basis for the earliest photographic cameras when photography was developed in the early 19th century. [6]

The notion that light can affect various substances — for instance, the suntanning of skin or fading of textile — must have been around since very early times. Ideas of fixing the images seen in mirrors or other ways of creating images automatically may also have been in people's minds long before anything like photography was developed. [7] However, there seem to be no historical records of any ideas even remotely resembling photography before 1700, despite early knowledge of light-sensitive materials and the camera obscura. [8]

In 1614 Angelo Sala noted that [9] sunlight will turn powdered silver nitrate black, and that paper wrapped around silver nitrate for a year will turn black. [10]

Wilhelm Homberg described how light darkened some chemicals in 1694. [11]

Schulze's Scotophorus: earliest fleeting letter photograms (circa 1717) Edit

Around 1717, [12] German polymath Johann Heinrich Schulze accidentally discovered that a slurry of chalk and nitric acid into which some silver particles had been dissolved was darkened by sunlight. After experiments with threads that had created lines on the bottled substance after he placed it in direct sunlight for a while, he applied stencils of words to the bottle. The stencils produced copies of the text in dark red, almost violet characters on the surface of the otherwise whitish contents. The impressions persisted until they were erased by shaking the bottle or until overall exposure to light obliterated them. Schulze named the substance "Scotophorus" when he published his findings in 1719. He thought the discovery could be applied to detect whether metals or minerals contained any silver and hoped that further experimentation by others would lead to some other useful results. [13] [14] Schulze's process resembled later photogram techniques and is sometimes regarded as the very first form of photography. [15]

De la Roche's fictional image capturing process (1760) Edit

The early science fiction novel Giphantie [16] (1760) by the Frenchman Tiphaigne de la Roche described something quite similar to (color) photography, a process that fixes fleeting images formed by rays of light: "They coat a piece of canvas with this material, and place it in front of the object to capture. The first effect of this cloth is similar to that of a mirror, but by means of its viscous nature the prepared canvas, as is not the case with the mirror, retains a facsimile of the image. The mirror represents images faithfully, but retains none our canvas reflects them no less faithfully, but retains them all. This impression of the image is instantaneous. The canvas is then removed and deposited in a dark place. An hour later the impression is dry, and you have a picture the more precious in that no art can imitate its truthfulness." [17] De la Roche thus imagined a process that made use of a special substance in combination with the qualities of a mirror, rather than the camera obscura. The hour of drying in a dark place suggests that he possibly thought about the light sensitivity of the material, but he attributed the effect to its viscous nature.

Scheele's forgotten chemical fixer (1777) Edit

In 1777, the chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele was studying the more intrinsically light-sensitive silver chloride and determined that light darkened it by disintegrating it into microscopic dark particles of metallic silver. Of greater potential usefulness, Scheele found that ammonia dissolved the silver chloride, but not the dark particles. This discovery could have been used to stabilize or "fix" a camera image captured with silver chloride, but was not picked up by the earliest photography experimenters. [18]

Scheele also noted that red light did not have much effect on silver chloride, a phenomenon that would later be applied in photographic darkrooms as a method of seeing black-and-white prints without harming their development. [19]

Although Thomas Wedgwood felt inspired by Scheele's writings in general, he must have missed or forgotten these experiments he found no method to fix the photogram and shadow images he managed to capture around 1800 (see below). [19]

Thomas Wedgwood and Humphry Davy: Fleeting detailed photograms (1790?–1802) Edit

English photographer and inventor Thomas Wedgwood is believed to have been the first person to have thought of creating permanent pictures by capturing camera images on material coated with a light-sensitive chemical. He originally wanted to capture the images of a camera obscura, but found they were too faint to have an effect upon the silver nitrate solution that was recommended to him as a light-sensitive substance. Wedgwood did manage to copy painted glass plates and captured shadows on white leather, as well as on paper moistened with a silver nitrate solution. Attempts to preserve the results with their "distinct tints of brown or black, sensibly differing in intensity" failed. It is unclear when Wedgwood's experiments took place. He may have started before 1790 James Watt wrote a letter to Thomas Wedgwood's father Josiah Wedgwood to thank him "for your instructions as to the Silver Pictures, about which, when at home, I will make some experiments". This letter (now lost) is believed to have been written in 1790, 1791 or 1799. In 1802, an account by Humphry Davy detailing Wedgwood's experiments was published in an early journal of the Royal Institution with the title An Account of a Method of Copying Paintings upon Glass, and of Making Profiles, by the Agency of Light upon Nitrate of Silver. Davy added that the method could be used for objects that are partly opaque and partly transparent to create accurate representations of, for instance, "the woody fibres of leaves and the wings of insects". He also found that solar microscope images of small objects were easily captured on prepared paper. Davy, apparently unaware or forgetful of Scheele's discovery, concluded that substances should be found to eliminate (or deactivate) the unexposed particles in silver nitrate or silver chloride "to render the process as useful as it is elegant". [19] Wedgwood may have prematurely abandoned his experiments because of his frail and failing health. He died at age 34 in 1805.

Davy seems not to have continued the experiments. Although the journal of the nascent Royal Institution probably reached its very small group of members, the article must have been read eventually by many more people. It was reviewed by David Brewster in the Edinburgh Magazine in December 1802, appeared in chemistry textbooks as early as 1803, was translated into French and was published in German in 1811. Readers of the article may have been discouraged to find a fixer, because the highly acclaimed scientist Davy had already tried and failed. Apparently the article was not noted by Niépce or Daguerre, and by Talbot only after he had developed his own processes. [19] [20]

Jacques Charles: Fleeting silhouette photograms (circa 1801?) Edit

French balloonist, professor and inventor Jacques Charles is believed to have captured fleeting negative photograms of silhouettes on light-sensitive paper at the start of the 19th century, prior to Wedgwood. Charles died in 1823 without having documented the process, but purportedly demonstrated it in his lectures at the Louvre. It was not publicized until François Arago mentioned it at his introduction of the details of the daguerreotype to the world in 1839. He later wrote that the first idea of fixing the images of the camera obscura or the solar microscope with chemical substances belonged to Charles. Later historians probably only built on Arago's information, and, much later, the unsupported year 1780 was attached to it. [21] As Arago indicated the first years of the 19th century and a date prior to the 1802 publication of Wedgwood's process, this would mean that Charles' demonstrations took place in 1800 or 1801, assuming that Arago was this accurate almost 40 years later.

The birth of photography

Photography is so omnipresent today -whether in science, advertising, current events media, propaganda, or just our own snaps – it is hard to imagine a world without it. And yet 200 years ago it didn’t exist. In the period between the two Napoleons experiments were underway both in France and in England, and by the time Napoleon’s nephew Louis-Napoleon became Emperor of France in 1852, photography was creating its own small revolution.

What is photography?

The word “photography” literally means “drawing with light”. The word was supposedly first coined by the British scientist Sir John Herschel in 1839 from the Greek words phos, (genitive: phōtós) meaning “light”, and graphê meaning “drawing or writing”. The technology which led to the invention of photography essentially combines two distinct sciences: optics – the convergence of light rays to form an image inside a camera – and chemistry, to enable that image to be captured and recorded permanently onto a photosensitive (light-sensitive) surface.

The first camera?

Already during the Renaissance (several centuries earlier) artists had begun to use a sort of primitive “camera” called a camera obscura (a latin term meaning literally “dark room” from which is derived our modern word “camera”) to more accurately copy nature by means of drawing. This naturally-occurring optical phenomenon had already been observed for hundreds (even thousands) of years: If a brightly lit scene or object is placed opposite a hole cut into the side of a darkened space (room or container), the rays of light reflected off that object, passing through the hole, converge into an upside-down image which can be seen to be “projected” onto the surface inside the container. But the camera obscura only allowed for the viewing of that image in real time. In order to record it permanently, artists still had to trace the image by hand inside the camera.

Early photographic experiments

Around 1800, in England, Thomas Wedgwood (son of Josiah Wedgwood, the famous potter) managed to produce inside a camera obscura a black and white negative image on paper or white leather treated with silver nitrate, a white chemical which was known to darken when exposed to light. However, he was not able to fix the image permanently because the lighter parts of the image also became dark when looked at in the light for more than a few minutes. His discovery was reported in a scholarly journal in 1802 by a chemist Humphry Davy and translated into French.

The first photograph

Enhanced version of the image Nicéphore Niépce obtained from the window in Le Gras 1826/7 (See the original plate here)

Then, in 1816, (when Napoleon had just arrived on St Helena), a Frenchman, Nicéphore Nièpce, succeeded in capturing small camera images on paper treated with silver chloride (another chemical sensitive to light). However, like Wedgwood, he was not yet able to fix and preserve these images.

So, he began experimenting with other light-sensitive substances, and in 1822, Nièpce invented a process he named “heliography” (again, using Greek words, this time meaning “sun drawing”, from helios and graphê). And in 1826/7, Nièpce succeeded in making the earliest surviving camera photograph. It represented a view from a window at Le Gras (his hometown in Burgundy, France), captured on a pewter plate coated in bitumen diluted in lavender oil. The exposure time was probably several days.

The daguerreotype – the first commercial success

Daguerreotype of Louis Daguerre in 1844 by Jean-Baptiste Sabatier-Blot

A few years later, Nièpce went into partnership with Louis Daguerre, and together they improved the heliograph process, substituting a more light-sensitive resin and improving post-exposure treatment. After Nièpce died in 1833, Daguerre developed a technique in which a silver-coated copper plate fumed with iodine vapour formed silver iodide when exposed to light in the camera. He made a major breakthrough when he found that a “latent” (almost invisible) image obtained from a brief exposure could be further developed and made visible by exposing it to mercury fumes: in this way exposure times (which previously were several hours) could be reduced to a few minutes . On 7 January 1839, Daguerre’s discovery was presented at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences, and due to the importance of the discovery, the French government decided to give Daguerre a life-time stipend (salary) in exchange for making the method freely available to whoever wanted to use it, instead of patenting it.

The daguerreotype, as Daguerre’s invention was named, was an immediate success, providing a relatively inexpensive and accurate way of representing scenes and faces which previously had to be drawn or painted by hand. Within a few years, photographic studios had popped up all over Paris and indeed across the world, as the up-and-coming middle classes all wanted to have their portraits taken. It is said that photographic apparatus was taken to St Helena to photograph Napoleon I’s body when it was exhumed in 1840, but that the material was damaged and did not work.


At the same time that Daguerre was perfecting his process, an Englishman, William Fox Talbot, had in 1835 succeeded in producing negative photographic images using a technique similar to Nièpce’s early experiments, and which required a long exposure time (at least an hour). After reading about Daguerre’s discovery, Talbot perfected a method whereby a paper negative could be exposed for only a minute or two, producing a “latent” image which could then be chemically “developed out” and made visible. The resulting translucent negative, despite being less detailed than the daguerreotype, had the advantage that it could be used to make multiple positive copies. Talbot published his results, which became known as a “talbotype” or more usually “calotype” (from the Greek kalos, meaning “beautiful” and tupos meaning “impression”) in 1841, and this became the prototype for the negative-positive printing process which would remain the basis of analog photographic reproduction throughout the 19 th and 20 th centuries until the invention of digital photography.

Have a look at a video of the calotype process.

Criticism of the new medium

Honoré Daumier: the most practical position to achieve a nice portrait with a daguérreotype, 1847

Back in France there was however some resistance to the new technology, especially from artists who may have feared that photographers would put them out of business! Some of them, such as the satirical cartoonist Honoré Daumier, didn’t hesitate to ridicule the most successful photographers and their clients. The poet and art critic Baudelaire saw in photography the gratification of modern society’s innate materialistic and narcissistic tendencies (he would have hated the selfie!): “The foul society rushed like a single Narcissus to contemplate its trivial image on the metal [plate]”.

Artist-photographers and innovators

However, some artists, seeing the new medium’s potential for creativity, actually turned to photography themselves. One of them was Gustave Le Gray, a painter who set up his own portrait studios where he not only photographed friends, family and notable clients he also taught photographic technique to other photographers and even invented new techniques. In 1848, he realised that applying wax to paper negatives made them more receptive to detail. Then in 1850 he invented a glass negative process known as “wet collodion” (which was perfected by Frederick Scott Archer). This method, which provided more detailed images than the calotype but could be reproduced unlike the Daguerreotype, seemed to combine the best of both worlds.

Imperial patronage of the new medium

Gustave Le Gray, Prince-President Louis-Napoleon, 1852

It was Gustave Le Gray who was the first official photographer to a French head of state – Prince-President Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, (nephew of Napoleon I) who went on to become Emperor in 1852. Like other monarchs, such as Queen Victoria, Louis-Napoleon quickly realised that photography provided the means to present himself and his family to his subjects as real human beings. Photographs could be reproduced in large numbers and in various formats (from pocket-sized “visiting cards” to special-edition framed prints which imitated traditional painted portraits).

Scientific missions

But the new medium was not limited to the lucrative activity of portraiture. Photographers were soon in demand for documenting all kinds of subjects for scientific purposes. Napoleon III himself initiated several of these commissions such as making accurate documentary images of historic buildings all over France that were in need of restoration (known as the “Mission Héliographique”) or reporting on the new military camp ordered by Napoleon III at Chalôns. The Crimean War of 1853-1856 which the Russian Empire lost against an alliance between France, Britain, the Ottoman Empire and Sardinia was the first to be documented photographically.

The beginning of press photography

Thibault, The Barricade in rue Saint-Maur-Popincourt before the attack by General Lamoricière’s troops, 1848

Before the invention of photography, current events and news were reported principally via the written word or occasionally by engraved copies of drawings or paintings. It was not until 1848 that a photograph of a current event – the barricade of the Rue Saint Maur (25-26 June), part of the ongoing tensions following the 1848 Revolution and the declaration of the Second French Republic – was reproduced (about two weeks after the event!) as an engraving in an illustrated magazine. After 1860, magazines would explicitly mention when an engraving was made from a photograph, and, by implication, lend weight to the supposed authenticity of the scene represented.

Photographic insight into history

The realism of photography adds a unique visual dimension to our understanding of the Second French Empire. We can look into the faces of the protagonists, the Imperial family, other personalities. We can also notice what they chose to show and what they chose not to, just as Napoleon I had carefully organised his public image when commissioning artists to make paintings of himself and his exploits.

Why not have a look at some painted portraits of Napoleon I and compare then with those official photographic representations of his nephew, Napoleon III…

The Evolution of the Camera

Afterward, cameras that can work and store images on a screen, developed.

  • The Kodak Camera: The Kodak Camera, which was one of the earliest camera models, developed by George Eastman at 1888 and released for sale.

The name is remembered because it successfully introduced the usage of films on camera. Although, it was a pretty simple design along with fixed shutter speed and fixed focal length.

  • Lucia- The First Compact Camera:
  • At the year of 1913, Oskar Barnack, a German optical engineer, presented a model prototype of compact camera called Lucia. It contained a 35mm lens and later on, it put into mass production in the year of 1925.
  • Reflex Camera: Reflex cameras designed and developed massively at the years of the 1920s and 1930s.
  • First SLR(Single Lens Reflex) Camera: The concept of seeing the image before capturing it introduced by SLR(Single Lens Reflex) cameras. It was in the year around the 1930s. To visualize the image that will be captured, the designer used a prism and afterward it turned to be the key concept of modern DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras.
  • Polaroid Camera: Polaroid cameras was an evolution of the industry because, for the first time in photography technology, it allows the cameraman to take and print the pictures instantly. A special chemical process used then in Polaroid cameras to print the image captures within almost one minute.

Although, the popularity of these models took off when another model of cameras,named as Polaroid Model 20 Swinger introduced at 1965. This version of Polaroid camera made history by being one of the most selling cameras of all time.

  • Disposable Cameras The next addition of camera technology bumped up with disposable cameras. Although the concept of disposable cameras was around during 1949, it actually showed up in the 1990s.

By then, the Kodak model cameras gained much popularity. Kodak cameras were so much popular because of their cheap rate and they perfect for event-based photo sessions like birthdays, weddings, etc.

Cameras With Digital Image Sensors: A real revolution in history was the introduction of digital image sensors in the cameras.

This tech-first promoted and invented by Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith at the year of 1969. In fact, because of the significant role of their invention, the scientist’s pair awarded the Nobel prize recently (2009).

First Commercial DSLR(Digital Single Lens Reflex) Camera: The most popular digital camera of the current age, named DSLR first introduced commercially by Kodak at the year of 1991.

Afterward, with a little evolution to the technology, photos and videos developed to be stored in SD memory cards as JPEG format.

Modern DSLR Cameras With a lot of improvements of DSLR cameras, it had turned into the magical device to take pictures of much higher resolution and pixels.

The popularity of digital cameras started to explode at around the 2000s as photography become so smarter and the photography costs decreased. Modern technology with digital cameras is being improved day by day with the introduction of electric viewfinders and touch-pads.

Brief History Of Photography: Infographic

Photography History Timeline

Names To Remember in Photography History

The invention of photography is considered to be a scientific achievement and a great addition to the industrial world. Apart from the scientific and business perspective, it contains a great art value that represents day to day life in a frame. The artistic concept of photography was first introduced by this man named Alfred Stieglitz.

Alfred Stieglitz

An American photographer and modern art promoter, he was instrumental in making photography an accepted art form. He is also known for his well-known art galleries where he worked to introduce many Avant-grade European artists to the USA. Alfred stressed that, apart from the painters, photographers are also and should be considered as artists.

Alfred Stieglitz (Source: https://www.wikiart.org/ )

Contribution of Alfred Stieglitz

The greatest contribution of Alfred into the history of the digital camera is the representation of day to day life into a still frame. Besides photography, Alfred, interested in Avant-garde. He owned a few famous art galleries in New York and through these, he introduced some great event-grade artists to the nation.

Alfred pointed out that, apart from the painters, the world considered photographers as artists. He demonstrated that the quality of photographs not only depends on the content of the picture only. It also depends on the conceptual representation of the photographer himself.

The photographer himself can manipulate a lot with the contents present in from the lens. Eventually, due to his restless efforts, photographs of different exhibitions started to be in judgment by photographers apart from artists.

Felix Nadar

Felix Nadar is a French caricaturist and journalist in his early life. Later when the era of photography started on, become a photographer. He is especially remembered for contributing an important factor into photography- using artificial lights in photography. An interesting fact is, Nadar was a friend of famous fiction writer Joules Verne, and thus two friends were inspired by each other.

Felix Nadar (source: wikimedia.org)

Contribution of Felix Nadar

Apart from the successful application of artificial light, Nadar was also famous for another great concept. Portrait photography, which is one of the most populated sectors of the modern photographic industry- was firstly introduced by Nadar. By that time, Nadar was known as close friends of many famous personalities like Joule Verne, peter Kropotkin, Alexander Dumas and George Sands.

Nadar introduced portrait photography with these sorts of famous personalities, and eventually, the concept of portrait photography spread out like wildfire.

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce

Who invented photography? We can say the name “Joseph Nicéphore Niépce”.

Considered as one of the fathers of photography, this French inventor is considered as a pioneer in the field.

He achieved the first successful fixation of an image produced with one camera obscura.

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (source: wikimedia.org )

Contribution of Joseph Nicéphore Niépce

  • Niépce is remembered for developing a technique called ‘Heliography’ meaning ‘Sun Drawing’
  • He developed the first photograph
  • Developed a technique used to create the world’s oldest surviving product of a photographic procedure,
  • Know to create a print made from the photoengraved printing plate.
  • In late years, he even used a primitive camera to develop the oldest surviving photo of a real-world scene.

Henry Cartier-Bresson

Photojournalism is one of the most studied subjects in the world of media and fine arts. But many of us don’t know who is the actual behind the scene person is. Henry Cartier, A French photographer was the first person to bring photojournalism into daylight. Personally, he has gathered photographic experience from around the globe.

Contribution of Henry Cartier-Bresson into the History of Photography

We are thankful to Henry for many reasons. He is the first person to tell the world that photography can be a solution to fix the eternity. When his first exhibition on portrait photographs took place at NY, the portrait pictures caught the attention of the world because being captured with a new dimension. Since then, people had been trying different versions of portrait photography.

Evolution of Photo Development Technology

Photographers use cameras to capture lights that come from the object that we photograph. But after clicking a photo on the camera, the next task is to develop and print the photo on paper. A lot of consequences had been noticed in this photo development technology. From an early age of black and white photo printing to modern color photography- it has been an enormous journey.

Here in this section, we will overlook at the evolution of the photography history timeline that we use to develop the photos after taking them.

Negative to Positive Process

Technologies of printing positive photos from negatives invented many years after the first photographs taken. The creation and invention of negative prints of photos from where multiple positive photos, captured by Henry Fox Talbot who was an English botanist and also a mathematician of contemporary Daguerre.

Talbot used a silver and salt solution to make it sensitive to light exposure and intensity. After putting the chemical on a paper, he exposed the paper to light. The background became black and the subject line subdivided into many shades of gray.

From the negative image, Talbot made several contact points that reversed the lights and intensities to create an original and detailed picture. In 1841, he successfully developed a model of negative to positive image printing and thus he called it

TintypesAfter Calotype, there was another technology which appeared in photography history. Though the patent was taken in 1856, the evolution took place after Calotype had already familiar. There was another medium of tin or iron based materials.

A layer of light-sensitive material provided on the metal sheet and yield the image based on the light intensity and exposure. Unless the material type, the working process was almost same like Calotype. So, both of these technologies were competitors of each other back then.

Wet Plate NegativesIn 1851, an English Sculptor Frederick Scoff Archer introduced another sort of technology for fast and accurate photo development. It called wet plate technology. There in this process, a viscous solution of collodion was used along with coated glass. Silver salts used as the light-sensitive material.

The model develops a perfect negative because it was glass instead of paper. From this invention, photographic development had been taken to the advanced level as the light-sensitive metal could be coated on glass sheets instead of papers. However, there were several disadvantages of the wet plate negatives.

They had to be developed so quickly so that the image can be printed before the emulsion dried. So, in the field, photographers had to carry a portable darkroom with them.

Dry Plate Negatives (With Hand Held Cameras)In the year of 1879, the invention of the dry plate has revolutionized the photographic concept and decreased the cost to a minimum. In fact, it was a glass plate along with gelatin emulsion.

Dry plates one can store for a particular period of time. So after the invention of dry plates, photographers didn’t need to carry the portable darkroom anymore. Hiring technicians to develop images instead of working in person was also a common trend of photographers of this age. In the dry chemical process, it absorbed the light so quickly. So the practice of carrying hand-held cameras started in this age. Overall, the invention of the dry plate was a significant milestone in modern photography.

Flexible Roll FilmUnlike the dry plate and wet plate films, a new version of photographic films introduced in 1889. The major benefit of those films as they were flexible and can roll up. The design implemented by considering the benefit that, it can hold more than 100 images at a time in a very tiny film slot in the camera. With this evolution, allotting a special place for camera films in the camera stopped and films were able to embed into the camera. The designer of this model was George East man. Cellulose nitrate was the chemical that was used in it. The age of box the camera began from this invention.

At the end of the black and white era, color photography was the next step. In was in early 1940s when commercially viable films that can contain multiple colors on it started. An exception was Coda chrome, which launched earlier in 1935. A technology of dye-coupled color was the chemical energy that photographers used in it. Eventually, an apparent color image got produced from this kind of camera. And not to mention that modern photography started with the concept of color photography.

Digital Photographyfinally, we are up to the latest era of photography, which we know as digital photography.

The storyline began when a team by Russell A, Kirsch developed a technology, an advanced version of the binary digital version of the existing technology. A device called the wire photo drum scanner was there to convert the alphanumeric characters, photographs, diagrams etc into binary signals for computers. The first digital photograph was of the infant son of Kirsch himself. The image resolution was 176 x 176 pixels and the pixel density was only one byte per pixel.


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