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History Of Photography


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  • 1. Discuss Cornell Note Taking Tips History of Photography Objective: The student will be able to understand the evolution of the photographic process from its beginning to its present day form. Indicate each slide number (there are 29). Spread out. There have been 4 catalysts or major shifts in the development of photography. Slide 1
  • 2. Copyright Notice Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA This presentation is for educational purposes only. No money is being made and is provided with similar allowances for other educators to use for non-profit, educational purposes. Images are from various sources, including many of my own. If you would like to high res images I have shot, please visit for various work online. If you are the original author of any of the samples, pictures, text, etc. please let me know if you object to the usage and I will remove your material promptly. Photo by Drew Loker
  • 3. Catalysts come in many forms What is a catalyst for you doing well in school? What was the catalyst for the cell phone? Slide 1a
  • 4. camera obscura 300 B.C. Aristotle observed the effect of the camera obscura. Saw the aspect of how light forms an image when constricted to a very small opening Slide 2
  • 5. camera - obscura chamber - dark Slide 2a
  • 6. Leonardo Da Vinci experimented with the camera obscura in 1490. He used it to help with his drawings Slide 3
  • 7. Camera Obscura in a tent
  • 8. Early Obscuras Slide 3b
  • 9. Girl with a Pearl Earring A young peasant maid, working in the house of painter Johannes Vermeer (Colin Firth), becomes his talented assistant (Scarlett Johansson) and the model for one of his most famous works. Slide 3b1
  • 10. Pinhole Camera – Modern Day Camera Obscuras Slide 3b4
  • 11. Obscura in YOUR room… Slide 3c
  • 12. Slide 3d
  • 13. My former neighbor Slide 3d2
  • 14. Making a Camera Obscura… and turning it into a camera by putting a piece of photo paper in it. Slide 3e1
  • 15. Fortunately, your camera is ready to go 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. As you come into the classroom, get two (2) pinhole cameras. Take note if any comments have been written on the bottom of the camera regarding the exposure (i.e. exposure compensation). After you get your camera, head straight to the darkroom with your paper safe, your camera, and your supply coupon. Keep your photo safe, camera, coupon. paper safes at your station so when you finish your first set of picture, you can reload. Buy your photo paper. (We buy in small amounts so we don't have to worry about waste...or damage...or theft.) To conserve paper, you may choose to cut down your paper to 5x8 for your first round of pictures. Put your name only, very small, along the very edge of your paper (on the back). Do NOT put your name in the center. Also TRY to put the camera number you used for that sheet of paper. Load your pinhole camera(s) with a sheet of paper, either 5x8 or 8x10. The 8x10 sheet paper will be horizontal in the box. Or, if you are doing a 5x8, it will be vertical. In the case of the vertical, you will want to put a small piece of masking tape behind the paper to keep it pressed against the back of the container. The emulsion should be facing the lens of the camera. IOW, the armadillo is doing a back bend inside the Oatmeal can. Be careful to notice that the shutter is closed and that you have placed the black sheet over the end secured with a rubber band. Go outside and find a picture you want to capture. You will only be getting one or two shots...maybe three, tops. So, make them count. If you got two cameras, you can shoot both at the same time. You might want to try a self portrait with one of your pictures. Try staying very still during the entire exposure. Or, staying very still during half of the exposure and then getting out of the picture during the exposure. Position the pinhole camera so that it will be very steady. Try to find an evenly lit scene. Avoid pointing the camera directly at the sun. It could starburst, but more than likely it will just blow out the paper (solid black). Carefully open the shutter. Be very careful that the camera does not move during the exposure. I will give the exposure time during class, but generally, if it is sunny, your exposure will be 30-60 seconds. If it is completely overcast, the exposure could be as long as 5-7 minutes. Carefully close the shutter. Return to the darkroom and remove the photo paper and process. Repeat process, increasing and decreasing time for your camera and/or specific scene. Remember, you are shooting a NEGATIVE… so light areas will appear dark. So, it is normal to have a dark negative. However, there should be some light parts of the pictures. If your print is TOO dark, there might be something wrong with your camera. Slide 3e2
  • 16. Strange? Don’t ask me…there is a strange fascination with getting IN your own shot because the exposure times are sometimes as long as 5 minutes. Slide 3e3
  • 17. Pinhole Camera – V61 Porch – by Julie Canant Slide 3g
  • 18. Slide 3b Slide 3h
  • 19. Camera Obscura Analogy Camera Obscura was to the Early Artist like the Digital Camera is to the New Photography Explosion Slide 3i
  • 20. Silver salts turn dark Johan Schulze discovered that silver salts darken when exposed to light in 1727. (They started making Photograms…but they were temporary.) Slide 4
  • 21. Silver Salts Turn to Metal 1777 Carl William Scheele discovered silver salts darken because they have been converted to metallic silver. Slide 5
  • 22. Image Made Permanent 1819 Sir John Herschel used Sodium thiosulfate to make the image permanent (FIXER) Slide 6
  • 23. The word “Photography” given by Hershel Greek Origin: Photo – graph = light – writing OR “Writing with light.” Slide 6a
  • 24. Writing with Light Slide 6b
  • 25. Writing with Light Show Sprint Commercial (time permitting) Light Warfare (from YouTube)
  • 26. Thomas Kincaid is the MASTER of Painting with Light
  • 27. First Recorded Exposure, 1826 Joseph N. Niepce exposed first image for 8 hours entered into partnership with Daguerre; he died before process was perfected. Niepce called this process "heliography" or sun drawing Slide 7
  • 28. 1839…a busy year for photography A Daguerreotype and Calotype were being developed simultaneously. Daguerreotype on the left…tilt the tray at an angle when it comes around to you…it’s the shiny one Slide 8
  • 29. Daguerreotype, 1839 1839 Louis Daguerre made the Daguerreotype, a silver image on a copper plate. Slide 8a
  • 30. Daguerreotype, silver image It took from 5 to 40 minutes to expose, although by 1841 the process was improved to less than one minute. Slide 8a
  • 31. 5 Min Exposure I stood in each place for 1.5 minutes. 5 Minutes made for a proper exposure of the building…but not for me in any one of the places I stood.
  • 32. Some pics from the Wall of Water
  • 33. Long Exposures are fun…especially with digital 6 – 10 minute exposures stacked (60’ mins total)…taken in Breckenridge, CO , 11/2009. It was so cold (10 ◦), I set the camera up, then ran back to the car across 50 yards of snow and rocks 6 times.
  • 34. Daguerre’s process involved treating a thin sheet of silver-plate with fumes from heated crystals of iodine to make it light sensitive. It was developed by vapors of heated mercury. Slide 8b
  • 35. Disadvantages of the Daguerrotype: Reversed image One per exposure Shiny surface – limited view angle Slide 9
  • 36. Calotype by Talbot, 1839 1839 William Henry Fox Talbot developed the Calotype, the first negative-positive system. • Daguerreotypes were better than calotypes in terms of detail and quality, but could not be reproduced; • Calotypes were reproducible, but suffered from the fact that any print would also show the imperfections of the paper. • Calotypes also required longer exposures. Very similar to what you are doing with your Photogram & Pinhole cameras Slide 10
  • 37. First American Photographer 1839 Samuel Morse was the first American photographer. Morse's first portraits were made using exposures of between 10 and 20 minutes, which must have been an unbelievable ordeal to the sitters! Slide 11
  • 38. Slide 11a
  • 39. Slide 11b
  • 40. Albumin from eggs 1848 M. Niepce de Saint-Victor introduced albumin process from hen eggs. Calotypes passed the imperfections of the paper negative. The answer was to use glass. Albumin allowed for the chemicals to adhere to glass… providing very fine detail and much higher quality. Slide 12
  • 41. Collodion by Archer, 1851 1851 Frederick Archer introduced the collodion process. Slide 13
  • 42. Wet Collodion on Glass 1854 Wet Collodion process on glass (Ambrotype) requires less exposure. Collodion was a viscous liquid that dried as a very thin film…ideal for dressing and protecting wounds (still available today). It used to make the exposure time even quicker, 2-3 sec seconds. It was used on a glass base making for even sharper images. Slide 14
  • 43. Wet Collodion, 7/4/1890 Slide 14a
  • 44. Slide 14b
  • 45. Early cameras Although pretty old looking, you can still buy a camera like the above. Slide 14c
  • 46. Large Cameras are still very much used today. Only recently have digital backs for these camera become available…for a cool $30k. (I’ll show a video clip later from another part of this movie.) Slide 14d
  • 47. Tintype, 1856 1856 Hamilton Smith introduced the Ferrograph or Tintype. • Similar emulsion as a Collodian, but this type of print was on a metallic plate (not glass). Emulsion was spread onto the plate, resulting in a laterally reversed image (i.e. no negative) in a one stage process. • They were not made on tin, it was a way of saying “cheap metal”, not silver. Low quality (poor tonal quality). • Was very popular with the soldiers because it held up to the elements (rain). Photographers would show up to army encampments. • Faster to produce and less expensive since there was no negative…popular with street photographers…even into the 1950s despite being outdated by 1880. Slide 15
  • 48. Photography Tax Stamp 1862-66 The United States Federal Government imposed a stamp tax on photography. Slide 16
  • 49. Mathew Brady – Civil War 1860’s Mathew Brady, a portrait photographer, is noted for the coverage of the Civil War. Brady was a student of Samuel Morse. Because of Brady, War Photography took on a new LIFE, bringing the images of war to the home for the first time. His refinements to make photography more practical in the field were key to the technological development of photography. Slide 17
  • 50. Mathew Brady photo Slide 17a
  • 51. Alexander Gardner photo Slide 17b
  • 52. Dead Confederate Soldier with rifle Slide 17c
  • 53. Former slaves collecting bones of soldiers killed in the Battle of Cold Harbor over a year after the battle was fought. Slide 17d
  • 54. A photograph of the crowd during the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery. Notice the blurred people. Slide 17e
  • 55. Dry Plate 1871 Dr. R. L. Maddox in Britain produced the first commercial dry plate. Prior to this, people still had to pour on the chemicals on the medium. This would be like getting up each morning and having to make your pop-tarts from scratch. Slide 18
  • 56. First Motion Pictures 1872 Eadweard Muybridge used 24 cameras in sequence to record horses running. (first study in animal locomotion) This technique is used still today in movies like Matrix to show stop action. Slide 19
  • 57. First Motion Pictures The 24 cameras were lined up down a track…and then fired as the race horse passed by. Slide 19a
  • 58. First Motion Pictures The 24 cameras were lined up down a track…and then fired as the race horse passed by. Slide 19b
  • 59. Slide 19c
  • 60. George Eastman 1880 George Eastman marketed dry plates & later introduced the first flexible roll film on a paper base. This made photography popular for the average person. ?pq-path=2699&pq-locale=en_US Slide 20
  • 61. The Kodak Camera Cost $25.00. It made 100 2.5” round photos. After taking the pictures, you sent the camera to Kodak to process the film. Kitty Kramer, the first Kodak Girl, shown using a Kodak camera in 1890. $25 is still a lot today…but back then…this was the equivalent of $2,140. Even still…this was VERY appealing to many more people than previously possible. Slide 20c
  • 62. Slide 20d
  • 63. Flexible film on transparent film 1887 Hannibal Goodwin patented the first flexible roll film on a transparent base. Although George Eastman developed the first flexible film for the Kodak, it was on paper. The transparent base by Goodwin was superior for it’s clarity and ability to render sharp pictures. Slide 21
  • 64. Edison – introduced movies 1889 Thomas Alva Edison introduced motion pictures. The first cameras were hand cranked. A person would pull the film through a camera that was taking pictures through a rotating shutter, providing about 12 frames per second. This is why the early pictures were so jumpy…especially compared to today cameras that capture ___ frames per second. Have you seen one of the earliest video clips ever discovered? Slide 22
  • 65. Geico Commercial No of course not…movies did NOT exist prior to April 15, 1865. Slide 22a
  • 66. Slide 22b
  • 67. First 35mm Camera 1924 Oscar Barnack developed the first 35mm still camera, the Leica. The first 35mm miniature camera available commercially. It’s small size and large opening lenses allowed for candids and portraits to be taken where previously not possible or allowed. Even today, the brand name Leica is considered to be one of the finest cameras you can buy. It is to photography like the Rolls Royce is to the automobile. Slide 23
  • 68. Leica still TOP camera Only $17k… but hurry…only 50 were made.
  • 69. Flash Photography 1930’s Dr. Harold Edgerton (1903-1990) invented the high speed Stroboscope (flash). Edgerton is considered to be one of the 15 most influential inventors of the 20th Century and is most known for his flash photography work with pictures such as a bullet through an apple…or the famous milk drop. The stroboscope made rapid motion stop in time. Slide 24
  • 70. Slide 24a
  • 71. Slide 24b
  • 72. Flash Photography Older methods to light a scene with a flash were quite dangerous as they literally ignited flammable material that flared up very brightly in a flash of light. People standing in front of a flash were sometimes burned by flying debris. Flash bulbs were made that contained a flammable filament to quickly ignite a gas inside of the bulb providing a burst of light. Before the electronic flash, bulbs could only be used once. Slide 24c
  • 73. Flash powder is a pyrotechnic composition, a mixture of oxidizer and metallic fuel which burns quickly and if confined will produce a loud report. It is widely used in theatrical pyrotechnics and fireworks (firecrackers), and was once used for flashes in photography. Slide 24d
  • 74. This was neat because when you advanced the film, it rotated the flash cube. This was an improvement over the previous one bulb at a time shot. Slide 24e
  • 75. Flash Bar You could get 4-5 flashes…then flip the bar over for another 4-5. Slide 24f
  • 76. Slide 24g
  • 77. Rear Curtain Sync Flash Flash goes off at the END of a long exposure. Slide 24h
  • 78. Rear Curtain Sync Flash Flash goes off at the END of a long exposure. Slide 24i
  • 79. Slide 24j
  • 80. Slide Film 1935 Eastman Kodak Company introduced Kodachrome, the first color transparency (positive) film…aka Slide Film. This is known as SLIDE film…and more many years was the only way to have your work published in a magazine. Until VERY recently, some publishers still required slides…although most are now accepting digital files…as long as they are VERY high resolution. Slide 25
  • 81. Slide Film Slide 25a
  • 82. Slides were the Premier way To show you work to an audience And to have your work printed in magazines But it was difficult to get a print from Slide 25b
  • 83. Example of 35mm scanner • Minolta DualScan IV • Scans slides or film Slide 25c
  • 84. Negative film 1942 Eastman Kodak Company introduced Kodacolor, the first color reversal (negative) film. This film is very similar to the film used in modern film cameras. The image is recorded as a negative image…that is then converted to a positive when the picture is printed. Slide 26
  • 85. Negative film Slide 26 a
  • 86. Color Pictures Slide 26 b
  • 87. Polaroid Cameras 1947 Dr. Edward Land developed the first camera for instant pictures. (Polaroid Land camera) Polaroid cameras provided a way to see how a picture might turn out and were very important in certain situations where it would be useful to see a picture right away. Pictures are still very expensive. Polaroid (the company) has struggled to stay in business in recent years. Polaroid is now making digital cameras…right along with Kodak. Slide 27
  • 88. Slide 27a
  • 89. Polaroid Cameras Slide 27b This was VERY novel…in that you could take a picture…and WHAMO…there it is! The picture contains a chemical pack that is burst open and spread out over the print emulsion to begin the processing. The emulsion is soft when first out of the camera and can be smudged. The emulsion can also be lifted and transferred to other surfaces, like cups.
  • 90. Slide 27b2
  • 91. Polaroid Cameras This model was unique because it offered flash. Polaroid has been a big part of our history and hard to match even with fancy digital wizardry. Unfortunately, it was always kind of expensive at $1 a shot. Eventually Polaroid went out of business a few years ago. Slide 27c
  • 92. Polaroid Cameras This one came with a an electronic flash. Slide 27d
  • 93. Polaroid Fun Crazy Grandma video
  • 94. Videography Yes, videography is a word. It is what video technicians at Ch 6, 12, and 4 call themselves. ☺ And now we have instant movies through the magic of videography. In 180+ years (1830-2010), exposure has gone from 8 hours for 1 picture, to 2000 pictures in 1 second. Video is 30 fps. Slide 28
  • 95. Digital Photography Digital adds yet another dimension to the evolution of photography, especially with Cell Phone Cameras. The cameras are essentially the same. The difference is instead of a piece of film, there is a digital sensor that captures the light. Slide 29
  • 96. Resources War/New/Originals2/index.html Slide 30