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he History of Photograph

But Before then

Camera Obscura
First mentioned in the writings of Chinese
philosopher Mozi between 470 and 390 BCE.
But named by Johannes Keppler in 1604
Roughly translated as dark room.
Relied on the principle that light, when
reflected, travels in straight lines.
Light enters a dark room or enclosed box from
a small hole, and casts an image against the
opposite wall.
Refracted light maintains its colour and detail,
but is cast upside-down.

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura
The addition of the lens
Mid 1500s
Giambattista della Porta replaced the hole with an
old mans lenticular
Greatly focused the image.

Early models were very large

Often a whole room, or a tent.
Until the eighteenth century when Robert Boyle and
Robert Hooke developed smaller, portable models.

Used by artists, and for public entertainment.

And after that

product of a number of small technological

Thomas Wedgewood
Sometimes considered the father of
First person to experiment with light sensitive

Thomas Wedgewood


Image Photogram. Mid

Humphrey Davy
Collaborated with Thomas Wedgewood
Noted in 1802 that hed found chemicals so sensitive to light that
even dim rays from a camera obscura would leave an imprint.
Ultimately a failure he never found a way to fix images

Joseph Nicephore Niepce

French Lithographer experimented with photography
Found a partial solution to the problem in 1826
Credited with the worlds first ever permanent
It took eight hours and could only capture that which stood
perfectly still.
The images were still grainy and unclear.

View From the Window at Le Gras 1826. Joseph

Louis Daguerre
Parisian artist, collaborated with
Wanted to find a way to
instantly capture subjects.
Discovered thiosulfate in 1837.
Began taking and exhibiting
what he called heliographs.
His pictures soon became
known as daguerreotypes.
Write this down now. Remember
it. Learn to spell it.

People found early photography utterly terrifying

At first we did not dare look long on at the images he
(Daguerre) produced. We were frightened by the clarity of
these men, imagining that these small, indeed, tiny, faces,
fixed on a plate, could turn back and look at us. Charles
Dauthendey c.1850

A radical new way of presenting the world in

The idea caught on very quickly:
Dissemination of cameras made possible by Louis Daguerre
giving his invention to the world.
Camera studies began to appear in cities around the globe

At this point in time, photography was

primarily artistic
Little focus on its practical applications