Thursday, January 19, 2012

The History of Photography

Photography and professional camera equipment has quite a long and rich history, one that I could write an entire book about. But in today's blog post I won't bore you with an overly detailed history lesson. Instead, let's touch upon the most important, and the most interesting and noteworthy, points along photography's timeline.

Photography began with the pinhole camera, but it wasn't the camera we have grown to love today full of circuitry and senors. During the Middle Ages, Alhazen invented the first pinhole camera, although the laws that apply to it were first noticed by Aristotle around 330 BC. Known as camera obscura, a pinhole is used to project an image upside-down on a viewing surface.

The first permanent image didn't arrive until 1827 by a man named Joseph Nicephore Niepce. Using a camera obscura, Niepce placed an engraving onto a metal plate, coated in bitumen, and exposed it to light. The white areas of the engraving permitted the light to react with the chemicals on the plate. Gradually an image appeared. The process however, took 8 hours and soon faded.


Taking what he learned from Niepce, Louis Daguerre spent over a decade shortening the photography process. In 1839 he was able to fix the images onto a sheet of silver-plated copper. After exposing it for a few minutes, the image would be "painted" by light on the plate. Silver chloride created a lasting image.

A few experiments and inventions later, we finally come to 1889 when George Eastman invented a flexible, unbreakable film --the film we know today. Or rather the film we knew. It was this invention that made cameras a mass-produced item. It was also what developed movie films, although it was highly flammable and dangerous --but that was improved upon over time.

1905 saw the birth of 35mm cameras thanks to Oskar Barnack. He realized you could reduce the film negatives and enlarge the photographs after they were exposed. And we can pay homage to Steven Sasson for giving us the first digital camera in 1975. It took a long time and a lot of brilliant minds to get where we are today. Now you can easily find all your professional photography equipment here at Super Digital City.


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