Early Photography


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Professor McAdams's lecture about the invention of photography and early photojournalism

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  • Early Photography

    1. 1. Early Photography Presentation by Mindy McAdams Week 9.1 / MMC 2265
    2. 2. The Inventors <ul><li>1826: Nicéphore Niépce produces the first permanent photograph, in France </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The image exposure required 8 hours </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1839: Louis Daguerre invents the daguerreotype </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Image exposed directly onto a polished silver surface (copper plate) with a chemical coating </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A “direct positive” process — there is no negative from which copies can be produced </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of different chemical coatings later resulted in shorter exposure times </li></ul></ul>Source: Wikipedia
    3. 3. Image by Louis Daguerre, 1837 : Still Life
    4. 4. Daguerreotypes <ul><li>Also sometimes called tintypes or Ambrotypes </li></ul><ul><li>All these are photographic images, typically stored in a folding leather case </li></ul><ul><li>All used a process that produced pictures without negatives </li></ul>
    5. 5. Daguerreotypes (2) <ul><li>The daguerreotype , invented first, was also the first commercially successful photographic process </li></ul><ul><li>Brought portraits to the masses </li></ul><ul><li>By the 1850s, a photo cost only 50 cents </li></ul><ul><li>Portrait painters went out of business! </li></ul>
    6. 6. Library of Congress. [rbpe20200600] ( source )
    7. 7. Portrait of a Seated Child with Hands Crossed, 1850s . J. Paul Getty Museum [ JPGM84.XT.1582.18 ]
    8. 8. Daguerre taught his process to Samuel Morse in Paris in 1839 . Morse took it to the U.S. and taught it to paying students in the 1840s. Thousands of photographers opened shops or traveled to rural areas and knocked on doors. Source: http:// www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/roadshow/speak/dtype.html
    9. 9. Spreading like wildfire … <ul><li>In one year ( 1855 ) in Massachusetts, 403,626 daguerreotypes were taken </li></ul><ul><li>A New York photo gallery advertised that it produced 300 to 1,000 portraits per day </li></ul><ul><li>The subject of the photo had to sit still for at least 30 seconds, not blinking </li></ul><ul><li>The mortality rate (especially infant mortality) drove people to be photographed </li></ul>Source: The History of Photography, by Beaumont Newhall, 1982
    10. 10. Drawbacks <ul><li>The daguerreotype was hard to duplicate </li></ul><ul><li>It was fragile, so had to be kept inside a case or frame </li></ul><ul><li>By 1864, the once popular profession of “daguerreotypist” had almost disappeared in America </li></ul><ul><li>What replaced the daguerreotype? </li></ul>
    11. 11. Calotypes <ul><li>William Talbot experimented with photography before Daguerre, but Daguerre showed his early pictures first </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1841: Talbot publicized his new calotype process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A calotype produced a negative </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You could make numerous positive prints from one negative </li></ul><ul><li>For a while, Talbot was charging photographers a fat annual fee to use his patented process </li></ul>Source: Wikipedia
    12. 12. Freedom to Photograph <ul><li>Talbot’s lawsuit against another photographer, Martin Laroche, had a mixed result for Talbot: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>His patent rights were upheld </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But the court ruled that Laroche, using a similar process, was not infringing on Talbot’s patent </li></ul></ul><ul><li>As a result, Talbot did not renew his patent </li></ul><ul><li>1855: The patent expired </li></ul>
    13. 13. Glass Plates <ul><li>Both the daguerreotype and the calotype were made obsolete by collodion (1851) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A viscous solution that dries to a waterproof surface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applied to glass plates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used in conjunction with a dip of silver nitrate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A wet plate process that required rapid processing in the field </li></ul><ul><li>This process ruled photography until 1880 </li></ul>Source: The History of Photography, by Beaumont Newhall, 1982
    14. 14. 1880 – 1890 <ul><li>A photographer could not make a living shooting news until the collodion process was replaced </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gelatin dry plate process: 1880 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In 1890, it became commercially feasible to reproduce photographs in newspapers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The halftone block allows for transitions of tone (grayscale) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Advances in both photography and printing </li></ul>
    15. 15. A few examples of early photojournalism
    16. 16. The Crimean War, 1855 . Roger Fenton, photojournalist http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/coll/251_fen.html
    17. 17. Robert E. Lee, 1865 . Mathew Brady, photojournalist http:// memory.loc.gov/ammem/cwphtml/cwphome.html
    18. 18. Cuban volunteers, Spanish-American War, 1898 . Gilson Willets, photojournalist http://www.floridamemory.com/OnlineClassroom/PhotoAlbum/n041306.cfm
    19. 19. Russo-Japanese War, 1904–05 , photojournalist unknown http://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/21f/21f.027j/asia_rising/ar_core_01.html
    20. 20. Russo-Japanese War, 1904–05 , photojournalist unknown http://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/21f/21f.027j/asia_rising/ar_core_01.html
    21. 21. Early Photography Presentation by Mindy McAdams University of Florida