It could be said that photography was not “invented”… But that it evolved over time.
The word “photo graphy” comes from two Greek words that mean “writing with light.” The first time the word photography was used was in 1839 when the invention of the first photographic process was made public.
The idea for creating a permanent “photographic” image came from experimentation with the camera obscura. The camera obscura (latin for dark room) was first used about 2400 years ago.
The camera obscura was essentially a device that projected an image upside down onto a surface. Artists used this device to create accurate proportions in their paintings. The camera obscura in its basic form is a box with a pinhole in it to let in light.
Since its first use, artists and scientists alike tried to find a way to make the camera obscura’s image permanent. Eventually this experimentation led to the invention of photography
In 1826, Joseph Niépce invented the first photographic process he called heliography. The heliographic process involved coating a sheet of pewter with a light sensitive asphalt material that hardened when exposed to light. The pewter sheet was placed in front of the camera obscura to create the image.
Shortly after developing heliography, Niépce became partners with Louis Daguerre. Together they worked to improve the heliographic process. Even at its best the heliographic process took several hours to create one image.
After Niépce’s death Daguerre continued to work on the process, eventually creating a new process- the Daguerrotype in 1837. This photographic process involved coating silver, a known light sensitive material, onto a copper plate. It shortened the heliography process of several hours to several minutes and created a more detailed image.
Although the Daguerrotype was hugely popular it had downfalls: The images it created were not reproducible. The chemicals used in the process were highly toxic, causing severe health problems for the daguerrotypists.
In 1839, William Talbot introduced a new photographic process, the calotype- this one creating an image on paper. Talbot’s process exposed the silver-gelatin coated paper to light, and then ran the exposed paper through various chemical processes. The Calotype had one clear advantage over its predecessors- reproducibility. This was the beginning of modern photography.
Although the Calotypes were reproducible, they were not as detailed or as clear as the earlier dagguerotypes. Frederick Scott Archer solved this problem in 1851 by creating the collodion wet-plate process. This process used similar chemicals to his earlier calotype process but placed the chemicals on a glass plate, eliminating the rough quality of the prints.
Although this process was reproducible and created a detailed image it had one major disadvantage. Since the negative was made on a glass plate and needed to be processed immediately, it meant you had to have an entire dark room with you every time you took a picture.
Until the 1880s most people had been photographed but very few people actually knew how to take or develop a photo. All this changed with the invention of the roll of film. Putting the light sensitive material on an easy to handle roll made photography accessible to everyone.
George Eastman was the first to market roll film commercially. His company, Eastman Kodak Company, developed a portable camera pre-loaded with film. Customers would purchase the camera, take their pictures, and send them off to be developed. They would then receive their developed pictures and their returned cameras with a new roll of film. THUS MODERN PHOTOGRAPHY
Ancient Chinese and Camera Obscura- 2400 Greeks years ago Joseph Niépce Heliography- 1826 Louis Daguerre Daguerrotype- 1837 William Talbot Calotype- 1851 Frederick Scott Archer Collodion wet-plate process George Eastman Kodak camera company/ roll film- 1880’s
After the invention of the Kodak camera the popularity and inventions of photography skyrocketed. Your assignment: create a timeline of the inventions and major milestones of photography since the creation of the Kodak. Your timeline MUST be created using Adobe InDesign.
Your timeline MUST include: The top 15 most important discoveries in photography since the Kodak camera Photographs of these discoveries Each discovery MUST include a description of what the discovery was, who discovered it, and when it was discovered. You ARE being graded on your ability to make a timeline that follows all guidelines, is accurate, informative, and visually pleasing.