The History of Photography

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Comments are off Aug 5, 2016 Photography

The word photography was derived from two Greek words. “Photos”, meaning light and “graphein”, meaning to draw. It was first used by a scientist named Sir John F.W. Herschel in 1839.The pinhole camera was invented by Alhazen, an authority in optics who lived around 1000AD. The pinhole camera also known as the camera obscura was used to view or draw but in 1827, Joseph Nicephore Niepce took the first photographic image with it. Back then, the photos were called heliographs or sun prints and are considered a prototype for the modern photographs.

When Niepce developed these images, it would take him eight hours and the picture would fade soon. Later on, fellow Frenchmen, Louis Daguerre found a way to reduce that time to half an hour and the images would stay.

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Modern photography

In 1829, Niepce and Daguerre formed a partnership to develop better photography and after Niepce died, Daguerre developed a better method and named it the daguerreotype, after himself. In 1839, he sold the rights to his development to the French government then published a book to help understand the process.

Negative to positive– Henry Fox Talbot, a contemporary of Daguerre was the first to develop the first negative, which could be used to print multiple positive prints. In 1841, he perfected the process and named it the “calotype”, which is a Greek word meaning beautiful picture.

Tintypes-These were developed and patented by Hamilton Smith in 1856.

Wet negatives– An English sculptor named Fredrick Scoff Archer invented the wet plate negative. He used glass instead of paper and it gave a more detailed picture. This required a dark room because the emulsion dried a lot quicker. Later on, dry negatives were developed and they were better.

Roll films– George Eastman invented the flexible film in 1809. It could be rolled and was unbreakable and the box camera was made a reality.

Color photographs- In early 1940s apart from the Kodachrome, which was introduced in 1953 were made available and they could be used to create color pictures.

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