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Chapter 1 - History of Photography

Chapter 1
History of Photography
• the word photography derives from the Greek words
• phōs (genitive: phōtós) light
• gráphein, to write
• drawing with light
• Photography - several techniques discoveries
• Chinese Philosopher - Mo Ti
describe about
• Greek Mathematician – Aristotle & Euclid
Pin Hole Camera
Anthemius of Tralles – use camera obscura in his experiment
Ibn al-Haytham – studied and mastered the camera obscura and pin hole camera
Albertus Magnus – discover silver nitrate
Georges Fabricius – silver chloride
Pin Hole Camera
• A simple camera without lens & a single small aperture
• Light-proof box with a small hole in one side
• Projected inverted image
• The smaller the hole = the sharper the image
• Image = dim
• Shutter – manually operated
• Common use - Solargraphy
• A path taken by the sun across the sky
• A photo by Justin Quinnell – sun trails over
Clifton Suspension Bridge
• A single six month exposure
• Securely fixed in a single position
Pin Hole Camera Construction
• You can do it by yourself
• What you need?
• Light-tight box with pinhole in one end
• A piece of film or photographic paper taped
at the other end.
• A flap of cupboard with a tape hinge – shutter
An example of a 20 minute pinhole exposure
Camera Obscura
• optical device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen.
• It is used in drawing and for entertainment,
• One of the inventions that led to photography.
• A pin hole idea
Camera Obscura
Cameras obscurae from the Paris Musee des Arts Metiers
Camera Obscura
Freestanding room-sized camera obscura outside Hanes Art Center at
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Camera Obscura
Image seen in the camara obscura of Foredown Tower, Portslade, Sussex, England
Early History – Chemical Photography
1826 – The first permanent photograph – later accidently destroyed
French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce
Polished pewter plate covered with a petroleum derivative called bitumen of Judea
Bitumen hardens with exposure to light
The unhardened material - washed away
The metal plate polished
Coated with ink and impressed upon paper – A print!
Color Process
• Explored throughout 19th Century – projected temporarily images
• Until 1870 – emulsions available – not sensitive to red or green light
• The first color photo – 1861 – Scottish physicist - James Clerk Maxwell. – Tartan Ribbon
Color Photography
• Processes - use light-sensitive chemicals or electronic sensors to record color
information at the time of exposure.
• Analyzing the spectrum of colors into three channels of information
• Red, Green and Blue
• Imitation of the way the normal human eye senses color.
• Mixing together various proportions of red, green and blue light
• RGB color - video displays, digital projectors and some historical photographic
• Dyes or pigments to remove various proportions of the red, green and blue which
are present in white light . CMY color - prints on paper and transparencies on film
• Black-and-white (monochrome) photography - a single channel - luminance (brightness)
The Camera
• A device that records/stores images.
• Still photographs or moving images such as videos or movies.
• Consists of an enclosed hollow with an opening (aperture) at one end for light to enter
• A recording or viewing surface for capturing the light at the other end.
• Lens positioned in front of the camera's opening to gather the incoming light and focus
all or part of the image on the recording surface.
• 20th century cameras used photographic film as a recording surface
• Modern ones use an electronic camera sensor.
• The still camera - one photo each – press the shutter button.
• Movie camera continuously takes 24 film frames per second
Types of Camera
• Classified according to the following features:
• Sensor - digital, 35mm film, 120 film, APS film, other roll film, cut film...) and size
• Viewing system (external finder, electronic finder)
• Rigidity of the body (rigid, swiveling lens, telescopic tube, folding, monorail..)
• Focusing system (autofocus, rangefinder focusing, manual reflex focusing..)
• Lens attachment (interchangeable lens, non interchangeable zoom lens, fixed lens)
• Metering system: metering sensor and metering modes.
Common Camera Types
• Point-and-Shoot
• Rangefinder
• Viewfinder
• Box
• Folding
• Subminiature
• View Camera
• Pinhole Camera
I’m Done !
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