The Journey of Photography so far

As years runs into decades and generations into generations, technology keeps advancing to make life easier for man and to beautify the world. Photography seize not to be part of the development process. Everybody existing on this planet has something to do with photography because there is no how you won’t take pictures or have some old pictures of yours as they help in keeping memories.

If you really escape that, don’t tell me you haven’t relate with pictures before either as a student learning from tables and graphics or as someone trying to see the beauty of nature ranging from animals to monuments and all that, because most animals you know now, especially the wilds ones. You only know them by pictures, you have not set your eyes on many of them. This should tell you that Photography is very important.

To this end, there is a need to understand where we are coming from in the area of Photography so that we can appreciate where we are now and where we are going. This takes us back to the history of photography. We need to first understand that what projects photography is called camera. In other words, camera is the instrument that is used in producing photography.

The camera obscura and the camera lucida were used by artists to trace scenes as early as the 16th century. These early cameras did not fix an image in time; they only projected what passed through an opening in the wall of a darkened room onto a surface. In effect, the entire room was turned into a large pinhole camera. Indeed, the phrase camera obscura literally means “darkened room,” and it is after these darkened rooms that all modern cameras have been named.

French inventor, Nicéphore Niépce produced the first photography in 1826 that took a minimum of eight-hour exposure, so what you get on your device within a second once took lots of hours to be done. The process was on a polished pewter plate which is covered with a petroleum derivative called bitumen of Judea. However, this process turned out to be a dead end and Niépce began experimenting with silver compounds based on a Johann Heinrich Schultz discovery in 1724 that a silver and chalk mixture darkens when exposed to light.

Niépce, in Chalon-sur-Saône, and the artist Louis Daguerre, in Paris, refined the existing silver process in a partnership which is called daguerreotype process. In 1833 Niépce died of a stroke, leaving his notes to Daguerre. While he had no scientific background, Daguerre made two pivotal contributions to the process.

He discovered that by exposing the silver first to iodine vapour, before exposure to light, and then to mercury fumes after the photograph was taken, a latent image could be formed and made visible. By then bathing the plate in a salt bath the image could be fixed. The metal-based daguerreotype process soon had some competition from the paper-based calotype negative and salt print processes invented by William Henry Fox Talbot.

Subsequent innovations made photography easier and more versatile. New materials reduced the required camera exposure time from minutes to seconds, and eventually to a small fraction of a second; new photographic media were more economical, sensitive or convenient, including roll films for casual use by amateurs. In the mid-20th century, developments made it possible for amateurs to take pictures in natural colour as well as in black-and-white. I’m sure you can easily relate with this.

Major revolution of photography set in when computer based electronic digital cameras was introduced in 1990s. In the first ten years of the 21 century, traditional film-based photochemical methods were increasingly marginalized as the practical advantages of the new technology became widely appreciated and the image quality of moderately priced digital cameras was continually improved. Especially since cameras became a standard feature on smartphones, taking pictures (and instantly publishing them online) has become a ubiquitous everyday practice around the world.

Today, one of the most important features people look out for in a phone is the sharpness of the camera without even sometimes considering the major function of the phone which is to make and receive call.

I believe you now have a glimpse of where photography is coming from and where we are now. So definitely you should have an idea of where it is going as a user. If yes, please do not hesitate to use the comment box below to share your futuristic revolution of photography.

See you in camera.



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