Explore the evolution of photography from its beginnings and over the centuries.
Camera Obscura is the first camera in history. It was not exactly a device but a system that comprised of a dark chamber with a hole in a wall. The light from objects outside the box was projected onto the opposite wall to create the image. Interestingly, you can find this concept documented in ancient Greek and Chinese literature thousands of years before the creation of Camera Obscura. Giambattista della Porta, an Italian scientist, is the first to demonstrate the use of Obscura and a lens in the 16th century.
Joseph Nicéphore Niepce was an inventor from Charlon-sur-Saône near Paris. He is considered the father of photography. Around 1826, the amateur inventor used a Camera Obscura and a pewter plate to create the first photograph. He named it the “View from the Window at Le Gras”, as it captured a view outside from his country estate’s window. It took 8 hours of exposure to produce this photo.
Sir John Herschel coined the term photography. The term has its roots in the Greek words ‘fos’ and ‘grafo’, meaning ‘light’ and ‘to write’, respectively. In 1839, he created the first glass negative. During this time, the process became much simpler and quicker. However, it was still a long way from widespread public adoption.
During this time photography was often used as part of the work by painters; most of the applications revolved around portraits of individuals or families. Eastman Kodak’s easy-to-use cameras were reliable and began to be used widely in 1888. Kodak Brownie is the first commercial camera that became available to the masses in 1900.
Louis Ducos du Hauron and Charles Cros were two French inventors who developed multiple colour photography methods and patented them in 1862. Still, it took almost half a century more for a practical colour plate to become commercially available. The first colour photo was that of a tartan ribbon captured by James Clerk Maxwell, a physicist, in 1861.
It was in 1907 when photographers could find the first easy-to-use colour plate available in the market. The concept used a screen of filters that filtered RGB light to develop a negative and reversing it to produce a positive. The modern photo development technology is a version of this process.
There are other exciting improvements that most people do not know about in the field of photography.