We explain and summarize the history of photography, which were the first invented devices and their main characteristics.
The history of photography spans from the 19th to the 20th centuries , but has many antecedents in earlier times. It is one of the most revolutionary technologies that man has developed. Its impact has been felt in the sciences , the arts (even creating a new one) and in historical documentation. It also gave rise to later technologies , such as cinema , among others.
The word photography comes from the Greek words phos ("light") and graphos ("written" or "engraved") , so it is a writing with light or a recording made with light.
The camera obscura is a closed space or enclosure, totally dark , in which light penetrates through an opening in one of its sides and projects an inverted image of what is happening outside. This principle was known from the time of Aristotle (around 300 years BC) or later from the Arab scholar Alhazén (around 900 AD).
The first publications on the matter in the West appeared from the 15th century , as part of the Scientific Revolution in which philosophers such as Leonardo DaVinci participated . One of his students, Cesare Cesarino was the first to publish these studies in 1521.
Based on this work, scientists such as Giovanni Battista della Porta or Gerolamo Cardano experimented with the camera obscura in 1558 . In the 16th century, the German Johann Zahn of the 16th century, developed these principles into a portable wooden apparatus , which was ready to become a camera, having had how to fix the images.
It was not until 1777 that the Swede Carl Wilhelm Scheele published his treatise on silver salts and their reaction to light . Based on these discoveries, various artists such as Giovanni “Canaletto” Canal combined photosensitive salts with the camera obscura and produced some kind of light paintings.
See Also: Characteristics Of Photography
In 1827 Niepce met Louis Daguerre and they signed a work agreement that left the latter with all the knowledge of Niepce's photographic techniques after his death in 1833. Daguerre added to the mechanism a polished silver plate , on which the images were produced. prints, thus greatly reducing exposure time.
Thus was born the daguerreotype, baptized in his name. This new technique made it possible to take portraits, and it was the best known form of photography for a long time . However, at the same time and unknown to other inventors such as Hercules Florence, Hippolythe Bayard and William Fox Talbot were studying their own methods to obtain similar impressions.
Other similar procedures that appeared in the 19th century were the calotype and ambrotype.
It consisted of pouring a varnish called collodion on a very clean and polished glass plate . The collodion was previously sensitized in silver nitrate, all exposed to the same dark chamber procedure. Once the capture was made, it was developed in ammoniacal iron sulfate .
Since 1855 this technique became the most widely used and photographers carried the implements to make it, which was cumbersome and went against the fragility of glass sheets . Finally they were displaced by the "dry plates" to the gelatin-bromide.
This technique also used glass sheets that were covered with a solution of cadmium bromide, water and gelatin sensitized with silver nitrate, and then exposed in a dark camera to the image to be captured.
With the "dry plates" it was possible to use dry materials and reduce the exposure time to a quarter of a second, something very close to the later instantaneous photography. Some of its most important manufacturers in France were the Lumière brothers, famous inventors of cinema, as well as Guilleminot et Cie and Agfa.
However, there was no way to fix the colors to the photo and generally 19th and early 20th century photographs were colored by hand, using watercolors, oils, or other pigments.
The first color photographic plate was patented in 1903 by the Lumière brothers , and brought to commercial markets in 1907 under the name Autochrome. With glass support, they were based on a grid system of points similar to the one that later had the color TV .
Color photographic film was only invented in 1935 by the Eastman Kodak company and marketed as Kodachrome (used until 2009). In 1936 Agfa's version, called Agfacolor, was here to stay.
In 1889 he invented the first flexible and transparent film, in strips of cellulose nitrate, marking a before and after in the conception of photography. From then on, the photographic roll began to be used more and more, and this was also key to the development of cinematography.
This format revolutionized the film and film industry . It consisted of a small film, in the 135 format, 35 millimeters wide, with an aspect ratio of 3: 2 and a diagonal size of about 43mm. Originally thought for the cinema, it greatly reduced the cost of manufacturing the cameras and allowed their popularization, thus giving birth to amateur photographers.
For this reason, in 1930 the flash lamp or bulb flash was invented , an initially external accessory, which used electricity to generate the discharge of light. The first flash built into a manual camera (xenon flash) appeared in the second half of the century.
Thus, it is not necessary to "scan" or digitize the images, and they can also be intervened using specialized software . As if that were not enough, digital cameras allow you to preview the photo and decide whether to keep it or take it again. They also provide us with electronic help of all kinds, such as autofocus, red-eye correction, etc.