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The History of Photography Part 1 Early Beginnings 1920 We


The History of Photography Part 1 Early Beginnings 1920 We owe the name – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The History of Photography Part 1 Early Beginnings 1920 We

The History of Photography
  • Part 1
  • Early Beginnings 1920

We owe the name "Photography" to Sir John
Herschel , who first used the term in a lecture
before the Royal Society on March 14, 1839, the
year the photographic process became public. The
word is derived from the Greek words for light
and writing.
Photo History found on
The Search for More Accurate Rendering
  • Search for tools to aid in drawing
  • Foreshortening was a problem

Camera Obscura
  • The Camera Obscura (dark room) had been in
    existence for at least four hundred years. There
    is a drawing, dated 1519, of a Camera Obscura by
    Leonardo da Vinci about this same period its use
    as an aid to drawing was being advocated.

Chemistry of Photography
  • Several Means of recording light discovered
  • Robert Boyle reported that silver chloride turned
    dark under exposure.
  • Angelo Sala noticed that powdered nitrate of
    silver is blackened by the sun.
  • In 1727 Johann Heinrich Schulze discovered that
    certain liquids change color when exposed to
  • Thomas Wedgwood successfully captured images,
    but his silhouettes could not survive.

Light Made Permanent
  • The first successful picture was produced in
    June/July 1827 by Niépce, using material that
    hardened on exposure to light. This picture
    required an exposure of eight hours.

The Mirror with a Memory
  • Niépce agreed to go into partnership with Louis
    Daguerre .
  • Daguerre made images permanent by immersion in
  • The French government bought the rights to it in
    July 1839.
  • Details of the process were made public on 19
    August 1839, and Daguerre named it the

  • The Daguerreotype process was
  • Good - High quality representation
  • Expensive
  • Each picture was a once-only affair Not
  • Growing need for a means of copying pictures
    which daguerreotypes could never satisfy.

Daguerreotype Process
  • This was a positive image on a metal support.
  • The process consisted of
  • exposing copper plates to iodine, the fumes
    forming light-sensitive silver iodide. The plate
    would have to be used within an hour.
  • exposing to light - between 10 and 20 minutes,
    depending upon the light available.
  • developing the plate over mercury heated to 75
    degrees Centigrade. This caused the mercury to
    amalgamate with the silver.
  • fixing the image in a warm solution of common
    salt (later sodium sulphite was used.)
  • rinsing the plate in hot distilled water.
  • Images were left milky white
  • His first plates were 8 ½ by 6 ½

Daguerreotype Drawbacks
  • The quality of the photographs was stunning.
    However, the process had its weaknesses
  • the pictures could not be reproduced and were
    therefore unique
  • the surfaces were extremely delicate, which is
    why they are often found housed under glass in a
  • the image was reversed laterally, the sitter
    seeing himself as he did when looking at a
    mirror. (Sometimes the camera lens was equipped
    with a mirror to correct this)
  • the chemicals used (bromine and chlorine fumes
    and hot mercury) were highly toxic
  • the images were difficult to view from certain

Reactions to Photography
  • A newspaper report in the Leipzig City Advertiser
    stated "The wish to capture evanescent
    reflections is not only impossible... but the
    mere desire alone, the will to do so, is
    blasphemy. God created man in His own image, and
    no man- made machine may fix the image of God. Is
    it possible that God should have abandoned His
    eternal principles, and allowed a Frenchman... to
    give to the world an invention of the Devil?"

Reactions to Photography
  • In a book written in 1844 Marc Gaudin gives us an
    eyewitness account of the excitement with which
    the announcement of the Daguerreotype process
    five years earlier had been greeted "The
    Palace...was stormed by a swarm of the curious at
    the memorable sitting on 19 August, 1839, where
    the process was at long last divulged.
  • Although I came two hours beforehand, like many
    others I was barred from the hall (and)
    was...with the crowd for everything that happened
  • At one moment an excited man comes out he is
    surrounded, he is questioned, and he answers with
    a know-it-all air, that bitumen of Judea and
    lavender oil is the secret. Questions are
    multiplied but as he knows nothing more, we are
    reduced to talking about bitumen of Judea and
    lavender oil.
  • Soon a crowd surrounds a newcomer, more startled
    than the last. He tells us with no further
    comment that it is iodine and mercury...
  • Finally, the sitting is over, the secret
  • A few days later, opticians' shops were crowded
    with amateurs panting for daguerreotype
    apparatus, and everywhere cameras were trained on
    buildings. Everyone wanted to record the view
    from his window, and he was lucky who at first
    trial formed a silhouette of roof tops against
    the sky. He went into ecstasies over chimneys,
    counted over and over roof tiles and chimney
    bricks - in a word, the technique was so new that
    even the poorest plate gave him unspeakable

Reactions to Photography
  • Mushrooming of photographic establishments
  • A mere handful in the mid 1840s
  • The number had grown to 66 in 1855
  • Establishments grew to 147 two years later
  • In London, a favorite venue was Regent Street
    where, in the peak in the mid 'sixties there were
    no less than forty-two photographic
  • In America the growth was just as dramatic in
    1850 there were 77 photographic galleries in New
    York alone.
  • The demand for photographs was such that Charles
    Baudelaire (1826-1867), a well known poet of the
    period and a critic of the medium, commented
    "our squalid society has rushed, Narcissus to a
    man, to gloat at its trivial image on a scrap of

  • Completely different process than the
  • Was invented by William Henry Fox Talbot
  • the idea of photography came to Talbot
    (1800-1877) while on holiday at Lake Como in
    Italy, using the Camera obscura and the Camera
    Lucida as aids to drawing.
  • He wrote "How charming it would be if it were
    possible to cause these natural images to imprint
    themselves durably and remain fixed on the
  • His paper to the Royal Society of London, dated
    31 January 1839, actually precedes the paper by
  • it was entitled "Some account of the Art of
    Photogenic drawing, or the process by which
    natural objects may be made to delineate
    themselves without the aid of the artist's

Calotype the First Negative
  • The earliest paper negative was produced in
    August 1835
  • Depicts the now famous window at Lacock Abbey,
    Talbots home.
  • The negative is small (1" square), and poor in
    quality, compared with the striking images
    produced by the Daguerreotype process.
  • This is a print from that negative.

The Pencil of Nature
  • By 1844 Talbot was able to bring out a
    photographically illustrated book entitled "The
    Pencil of nature.
  • Contained 24 plates
  • Was the first book with photographs to be
    published commercially

The Pencil of Nature
  • Photograph of the boulevards at Paris page 2
    from The Pencil of Nature by William Henry Fox
    Talbot London 1844

Calotype Process
  • The Calotype was a positive/negative process
    introduced in 1841
  • A piece of paper was brushed with weak salt
    solution and dried.
  • It was then brushed with a weak silver nitrate
    solution and dried, making silver chloride in the
  • This made it sensitive to light, and the paper
    was now ready for exposure.
  • Exposure might take half an hour, giving a
    print-out image.
  • It was fixed in strong salt solution - potassium
    iodide of hypo.
  • To make a print, the negative was placed on top
    of more photo paper, laid flat in a glass frame,
    and allowed to develop in sunlight.

The Latent Image
  • In 1842 Fox Talbot discovered that if he added
    gallic acid, the paper became more sensitive to
    light, and it was no longer necessary to expose
    until the image became visible.
  • With further treatment of gallic acid and silver
    nitrate, the latent image would be developed.
  • Because of this exposure times were reduced

Calotype Drawbacks
  • The Calotype process was not as popular as its
    rival one, the Daguerreotype. There were various
    reasons for this
  • its popularity was to a great extent arrested by
    patent restrictions
  • the materials were less sensitive to light,
    therefore requiring longer exposures
  • the imperfections of the paper reduced the
    quality of the final print Calotypes did not
    have the sharp definition of daguerreotypes.
  • the process itself took longer, as it required
    two stages (making the negative and then the
  • the prints tended to fade.
  • One might also suggest that the fact paper was
    used as a negative lessened the detail of the
    picture, though from an artistic point of view
    some would regard this as a desirable feature.

Calotype Advantages
  • The calotype also had its advantages compared
    with the daguerreotype
  • it provided the means of making an unlimited
    number of prints from one negative
  • retouching could be done on either negative or
  • prints on paper were easier to examine, and far
    less delicate
  • the calotype had warmer tones.
  • When the Collodion process was introduced in
    1851, the calotype became obsolete.
  • However, the negative-positive process was one
    day to become the photographic standard, which is
    still used today.

William Henry Fox Talbot Calotype, 6-3/8" x
8-1/4" The Footman October 14, 1840 The
earliest photograph of a human figure on paper.
Progress of Photography
  • Progress in this new art was slow in England,
    compared with other countries. Both Daguerre and
    Fox Talbot were partly responsible, the former
    for having rather slyly placed a patent on his
    invention whilst the French government had made
    it freely available to the world, the latter for
    his law-suits in connection with his patents.

  • Talbot's negative was on paper
  • When printed the imperfections of the paper were
    printed alongside with the image
  • Several experimented with glass as a basis for
  • The problem was to make the silver solution stick
    to the shiny surface of the glass
  • In 1848 a cousin of Nicephore Niépce, Abel Niépce
    de Saint-Victor, perfected a process.
  • He coated a glass plate with white of egg
  • Sensitized it with potassium iodide
  • And washed it with an acid solution of silver
  • This new ( albumen ) process made for very fine
    detail and much higher quality.
  • It was very slow
  • Photographs produced on this substance were
    architecture and landscapes
  • Portraiture was simply not possible.

Albumen Prints
  • Blanquart-Evrard's contribution to photographer
    was the application of albumen to the problem of
    making prints on paper.
  • Prints that had greater depth and contrast than
    the old salted paper
  • They had greater intensity to the image
  • Greater sharpness
  • In a good albumen print the shadows show a
    greater transparency
  • By the end of the 1850s most had gone over
    completely to albumen paper.
  • The first factory made albumen paper appeared in
    1854 in Germany, and Dresden later became the
    world centre for its production.
  • Large factories was using six million eggs a year
    to coat its paper.

Albumen Prints
  • In 1851 a new era in photography was introduced
    by Frederick Scott Archer, who introduced the
    Collodion process.
  • This process was much faster than conventional
    methods, reducing exposure times to two or three
  • The collodion process required that the coating,
    exposure and development of the image should be
    done while the plate was still wet.
  • The wet collodion process, though in its time a
    great step forward, required a considerable
    amount of equipment on location.
  • There were various attempts to preserve exposed
    plates in wet collodion, for development at a
    more convenient time and place, but these
    preservatives lessened the sensitivity of the

  • The collodion process had several advantages
  • being more sensitive to light than the calotype
    process, it reduced the exposure times
    drastically - to as little as two or three
    seconds. This opened up a new dimension for
    photographers, who up till then had generally to
    portray very still scenes or people.
  • because a glass base was used, the images were
    sharper than with a calotype.
  • because the process was never patented,
    photography became far more widely used.
  • the price of a paper print was about a tenth of
    that of a daguerreotype.

Collodion Drawbacks
  • The process was by no means an easy one.
  • First, the collodion had to be spread carefully
    over the entire plate.
  • The plate then had to be sensitized, exposed and
    developed while the plate was still wet the
    sensitivity dropped once the collodion had dried.
    It is often known as the wet plate collodion
    process for this reason.
  • The process was labor-intensive enough in a
    studio's darkroom, but quite a feat if one wanted
    to do some photography on location.
  • Some took complete darkroom tents.
  • Fenton took a caravan
  • It is no mere coincidence that many photographs
    taken in this period happened to be near rivers
    or streams!
  • At this time there were no enlargements, so if
    one wanted large prints there was no alternative
    but to carry very large cameras.
  • It is such limitations of the process that make
    the work of people like the Bisson brothers,
    Fenton, and others so remarkable.
  • The safety factor.
  • The collodion mixture was not only inflammable
    but highly explosive.
  • It is reported that several photographers
    demolished their darkrooms and homes, some even
    losing their lives, as a result of careless
    handling of the photographic chemicals.

Dry Plate
  • The next major step forward came in 1871, when
    Dr. Richard Maddox discovered a way of using
    Gelatin (which had been discovered only a few
    years before) instead of glass as a basis for the
    photographic plate.
  • Dry plates could be developed much more quickly
    than with any previous technique.
  • Initially it was very insensitive compared with
    existing processes, but it was refined to the
    extent that the idea of factory-made photographic
    material was now becoming possible.
  • Dry plates are sheets of glass coated with a
    gelatin emulsion containing light sensitive
    silver salts, more properly called
    gelatino-bromide plates.

Dry Plate
  • The introduction of the dry-plate process marked
    a turning point.
  • No longer did one need the cumbersome wet-plates
  • No longer was a darkroom tent needed.
  • One was very near the day that pictures could be
    taken without the photographer needing any
    specialized knowledge.
  • Within a couple of years, suitable emulsions were
    on sale for photographers to coat their own glass
    plates, but it was only in 1878 it became
    possible to buy plates ready for use
  • They became popular in 1880
  • Most photographs after this date were taken on
    Dry Plates until photographic films came into

  • Stereoscopic, or 3D photography, works because it
    is able to recreate the illusion of depth. Human
    eyes are set about two-and-a-half inches apart,
    so each eye sees an image slightly differently.
    If one takes two separate photographs that same
    distance apart, with a suitable viewer it is
    possible to recreate that illusion of depth.
  • The stereoscope took off in a big way when Queen
    Victoria and Prince Albert observed one at the
    exhibition at the Crystal Palace, and Brewster
    presented her with a stereoscope made by Duboscq.
    This signaled the beginning of a huge trade in
    stereoscopes and images it is estimated that by
    the mid eighteen-fifties over a million homes
    owned one. One of the most successful salesmen of
    stereoscopic cards was George Nottage, later Lord
    Mayor of London, his catalogues listing over one
    hundred thousand views.

  • The most common process for making stereoscopic
    cards was the Albumen one, daguerreotype images
    being very rare.
  • The London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company
    came into being in 1850 and continued for some
    seventy years. Their output was colossal they
    listed over a hundred thousand stereo photographs
    in their 1858 catalogue. In general they tended
    to be views, plus some portraits of comic scenes.

Photography for the Masses
  • Celluloid had been invented in the early
    eighteen-sixties, and John Carbutt persuaded a
    manufacturer to produce very thin celluloid as a
    backing for sensitive material. George Eastman is
    particularly remembered for introducing flexible
    film in 1884. Four years later he introduced the
    box camera, and photography could now reach a
    much greater number of people.

George Eastman
  • In 1880 George Eastman, age 24, sets up Eastman
    Dry Plate Company in Rochester, New York. First
    half-tone photograph appears in a daily
    newspaper, the New York Graphic.
  • On March 14, 1932, George Eastman, aged 77,
    writes suicide note -- "My work is done. Why
    wait? -- and shoots himself.

  • 1888 First Kodak camera, containing a 20-foot
    roll of paper, enough for 100 2.5-inch diameter
    circular pictures.
  • 1889 Improved Kodak camera with roll of film
    instead of paper.
  • 1900 Kodak Brownie box roll-film camera

Photo Secessionalists
  • 1902 Alfred Stieglitz organizes "Photo
    Secessionist" show in New York City

  • 1907 first commercial color film, the Autochrome
    plates, manufactured by Lumiere brothers in

Modern Film
  • 1914 Oscar Barnack, employed by German
    microscope manufacturer Leitz, develops camera
    using the modern 24x36mm frame and sprocketed
    35mm movie film.

  • 1917 Nippon Kogaku K.K., which will eventually
    become Nikon, established in Tokyo.
  • 1924 Leitz markets a derivative of Barnack's
    camera commercially as the "Leica", the first
    high quality 35mm camera.

Medium Format Film
  • 1928 Albert Renger-Patzsch publishes The World
    is Beautiful, close-ups emphasizing the form of
    natural and man-made objects Rollei introduces
    the Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex producing a 6x6
    cm image on rollfilm.

Strobe Lighting
  • 1931 development of strobe photography by Harold
    ("Doc") Edgerton at MIT

Group f/64
  • 1932 inception of Technicolor for movies, where
    three black and white negatives were made in the
    same camera under different filters Ansel Adams,
    Imogen Cunningham, Willard Van Dyke, Edward
    Weston, et al, form Group f/64 dedicated to
    "straight photographic thought and production".
    Henri Cartier-Bresson buys a Leica and begins a
    60-year career photographing people

  • 1934 Fuji Photo Film founded. By 1938, Fuji is
    making cameras and lenses in addition to film.

  • 1948 Hasselblad in Sweden offers its first
    medium-format SLR for commercial sale Pentax in
    Japan introduces the automatic diaphragm

  • 1949 East German Zeiss develops the Contax S,
    first SLR with an unreversed image in a
    pentaprism viewfinder

  • 1963 first color instant film developed by
    Polaroid Instamatic released by Kodak first
    purpose-built underwater introduced, the Nikonos
  • 1972 110-format cameras introduced by Kodak with
    a 13x17mm frame
  • 1973 C-41 color negative process introduced,
    replacing C-22

Films (continued)
  • 1983 Kodak introduces disk camera, using an
    8x11mm frame (the same as in the Minox spy

  • 1985 Minolta markets the world's first autofocus
    SLR system (called "Maxxum" in the US)
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