Brief History of Photography

My three-year old niece enjoyed playing in the park, the light was great and her mother did not hesitate to take some pictures with her cell phone, chose some and shared on her Facebook, 150 km. away.  I could take a few minutes to see her grow, almost in real-time. It was not always so. The first of my nieces, now a mother, when she wants to see her childhood photos she must go to the old family albums, preserved with care and with the photographs losing colour over the years.

The word “photography” comes from the Greek photo (light) and graph (writing). We may conclude that photography is writing LIGHT.
A more precise definition is: Photography is the science and art of capturing images using various techniques LIGHT SENSITIVE AND PRESERVATION IN VARIOUS MATERIALS OR ELECTRONICALLY.

For thousands of years humans tried to capture images that remain in time as a need for assistance to the collective memory. In 1839, with the worldwide dissemination of the first photographic process, the daguerreotype begins the history of photography.

An important background of the photograph, are the camera obscura and research on the blackening of silver salts. Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) (965-1040) conducted several experiments on the camera obscura and pinhole camera.

In 1685 according to treaties published by Zahn, the camera was ready for photography, but still could not fix images. If a box will allow the passage of external light only through a small hole in the center of one wall, the external image is projected upside down on the wall opposite the hole.

In 1826, the French scientist Nicephore Niepce obtained the first photographic images, unpublished, that could not be permanently fixed. Some materials are more sensitive to light than others, we can notice when for example some objects have been left for some time
on metal or paper and on removal the silhouette remains with a different color tone.

The oldest photograph that remains is a reproduction of the image known as  The View from the Window at Le Gras, obtained in 1826 with the use of a camera obscura and supports through a chemical emulsion of silver salts.

In 1839, Louis Daguerre made ​​public its process for obtaining photographs onto a polished silver surface, which he called daguerreotype. This solved some technical problems of the initial Niepce and reduced exposure times required. Almost at the same time Hercules Florence, Hippoly the Bayard and William Fox Talbot developed alternative methods. The one created   by Fox Talbot by negative on a paper, and from these negatives reproduced positive prints, also on paper. The negative-positive process called calotype of Talbot.

In 1855 the wet collodion negative triumphed, which allowed many paper copies positive to albumin, with great clarity and tonal range. These copies of albumin were the type most commonly used photo paper in the second half of the nineteenth century. All these systems were very traditional.

The first color photograph was taken by the physicist James Clerk Maxwell in 1861, making three successive photographs with a different filter each time: red, green and blue.

After 1880 it was possible to purchase the new plates to dry gelatin-bromide, which were no longer craft, but were manufactured industrially.
In 1880 the technique of halftone printing was invented, which is the predecessor of the current offset and color photography process.

In 1888, Kodak brought to market a camera that used roll of film, rather than flat plates.
The first true color photographic plate chrome-Auto-Lumière did not arrive on the market until 1907. These plates were chrome auto glass slides.

In 1913 comes the first Leica and  in 1936 the first 35 mm SLR., The Kine-Exacta.
The first modern color film, Koda Chrome was first used in 1935.

The first initiative of artistic photography comes in 1890 in Europe. A group of photographers make manipulation techniques in making and positivism, and suggests that resulting from its use is a work of photographic art.

1950 a new industrial processes make it possible to increase greatly the speed and light sensitivity of films in color and black and white. The latter rate was increased from a maximum of ISO 100 to ISO 5000, while the color is multiplied by ten.

1960  the first VTR (Video Tape Recorder, that in 1951  were already able to capture TV images, turning them into an electrical signal and store them on magnetic media) are used by NASA to capture the first electronic pictures of Mars.

The appearance of the first digital camera in 1990 is the basis for the immediate creation of images.
Since its invention, photography credibility as a witness had full unquestionable reality due to the operation of the capture device. Subsequently, the means of recording reality has been considered an ideological position, which has nothing to do with the neutral and objective function.
New digital technologies have the ability to convert the real and intervene on the record of the image, to the extent to manipulate and distort images without losing the photographic realism with which they were captured.
From the daguerreotype in 1839 to the digital camera in 1990, evolution of photography has changed the way we communicate, it is notable also that the definition photography won as lost credibility, but never ceases to amaze us as technique  or art it affects us emotionally and awakens our memories and feelings.

It is quite true that a simple picture is worth a thousand words.


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