history of
photography

People have been dreaming of photography since early times. It seemed a miracle to be able to reflect and to preserve what the eyes can see with the help of the sunlight rather than with the help of the pencil or the brush.

It's surprising but photography appeared practically due to the enthusiasm of self-taught people and without the participation of official science.

Only after many years had passed, did the miracle to stop the moment become available to all.

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History of photography

But before that the photography was to be born… A long history of discoveries had preceded this greatest invention.

Even in 350 B.C. the Greek thinker Aristotel knew that in a dark room with a small hole one could see through it the outside objects reflected on the opposite wall. The camera obscura (in Latin camera obscura means a dark room) was the first device used to project and copy pictures. For a long time painters used it to draw sketches from life, engineers used it to make a plan of the countryside, scientists used the camera obscura to watch an eclipse of the sun. Gradually the camera obscura was altered: a lens was put into it, the image with the help of a mirror was projected on a frosted glass plate. It was a kind of a prototype of a photographic camera to be. Despite the fact that it was possible using the camera obscura to draw an optical picture on paper or just watch it, the problem how to ´fix´ the image on paper in an easier way wasn´t solved yet.

The most remarkable success in inventing photography belongs to two Frenchmen and an Englishman: Niepce, Daguerre and Talbot.

Joseph Nicephore Niepce (1765 – 1833) was a military engineer and an inventor. He studied and experimented with many light-sensitive compounds trying to permanently record and fix an image. As historians say, he managed to do it in 1822. But the first successful permanent print to survive "drawn" with light was an image of an urban landscape produced in 1826 with the help of the camera obscura. To get this image Nicephore Niepce coated a metal plate with a solution of asphalt in lavender oil. Asphalt is not sensitive to light. However, the picture took eight hours to expose. The sun had lit the both sides of the building he was taking a picture of from the window of his workroom at his Saint-Loup-de-Varennes country house, Le Gras. The image was of very low quality, and hence, the landscape was hardly seen. Niepce called this print heliography – drawn by the sun. It was 8 by 6 inches in size. This way, the first ever photographic fixation of an image belongs to Niepce.

View from the Window at Le Gras, c. 1826

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The DAGUERREOTYPE
(original French: daguerréotype; 1839-1870, approx.) is an early type of photograph, developed by Louis Daguerre, in which the image was exposed directly onto a mirror-polished surface of silver bearing a coating of silver halide particles deposited by iodine vapor. As a result, on the mirror-polished surface there appeared a layer of photo-sensitive silver iodide. After that the latent image on the plate of silver iodide was "developed" and made visible by exposure to mercury vapor. To fix the image permanently Daguerre used a hot solution of table salt, later he started using a solution of hyposulphite.

A PINHOLE CAMERA, also known as camera obscura, or "dark chamber", is a simple optical imaging device in the shape of a closed box or chamber. In one of its sides there is a small hole which creates an image of the outside space on the opposite side of the box. The image is upside-down, as in a conventional camera with a lens. This type of photography is called Solargraphy.

Preserve your family photos forever


What a reverential feeling is to look at our old family photos! Our old tattered photo albums keep the dearest photos of our closest and most beloved people. These pages of family history contained in a photo album represent a visual genealogical tale of generations + [more tips]