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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But the word photography could be heard even in 1839. Many historians suppose that this term was first used by an Englishman John Frederick William Herschel on March 14, 1839. But there is another version dating back to February 25, 1839. According to it, it was an astronomer from Berlin Johann Heinrich von Madler who was the first to use this term. Photography was in for a long way of development.

In 1861 an English physicist James Clerk Maxwell (1831 – 1879) got the first color photograph. It was a really significant event. It was a great challenge and responsibility to speak about color photography at the time when getting even an ordinary black-and-white image was a grand problem. In order to produce indubitable evidence of his trichromatic theory, a photograph of a tartan ribbon on the black velvet was taken.

He arranged for three photographs of a tartan ribbon to be taken in broad daylight. These three negatives were exposed respectively through a transparent flat dish with bright-green, bright-blue and bright-red liquid. Then the three negatives were printed on glass plates.

On 17 May 1861, James Clerk Maxwell gave a lecture on color at the Royal Institution in London, during which he projected through red, green and blue colored filters three photographs of a tartan ribbon taken through the same filters. This first-ever color photograph was a surprisingly faithful reproduction of the original.

This is by no means the final stage in the development and formation of photography as one of the most popular visual arts.

We now live in the epoch of digital technologies. The method of getting an image has changed dramatically. A digital camera, a computer, a printer, a scanner – they all have become indispensable in photography. But the history of discoveries hasn´t finished yet…

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The TINTYPE (1856-1930, approx.} or ferrotype process is similar to the daguerreotype and ambrotype, since it is an image formed directly on a sheet of metal (a positive) instead of glass. The plate was coated with collodion and sensitized just before use. The tintype was invented by Adolphe Alexandre Martin in 1853 and it was cheaper compared to the ambrotype. Photographers usually worked outside at fairs, carnivals etc. and as the support of the tintype is resilient and does not need drying, instant photographs can be produced only a few minutes after taking the photograph. It became instantly popular in the United States, though it was also widely used by street photographers in Great Britain.

STEREOGRAPH consists of two nearly identical photographs, paired to produce the illusion of a single three-dimensional image, viewed through a stereoscope. The principle of stereoscopic vision was discovered by Sir Charles Wheatstone in 1832. Later, in 1841, the first stereoscopic photograph was produced.

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