The History of Photography

The discovery of photography cannot be attributed to one person only, but is an event that evolved through the centuries. The first true experts, Al-Kindi and Al-Hazen from Arabia, discovered the technique of photography back back in the 1400s. The first portable dark camera was built by the Austrian astronomer Johanes Keplero in 1620. Joseph Nicephore Niepce discovered that bitumen of Judea lightened when exposed to light, and he coated a a sheet of pewter with it in 1822 to produce copies of an etching of a cardinal. Louis Jacques Mand Daguerre in 1837 added to the invention of the “daguerreotype”, which was a sheet of copper with applied a thin sheet of silver which, when exposed to iodine vapours, reacted by forming silver iodide. Exposure in a dark chamber followed, where the light made the silver iodide silver again. The image was not visible until exposed to mercury vapours. A bath in a strong solution of common sale fixed the image, even though not stably.
The first photographs caused immediate interest and wonder, but in spite of this encouraging success photographs initially met with some problems when reproducing human figures because of the long exposure time, at least eight minutes, that the subject had to undergo with a resulting unnatural image. Only in 1840 with the introduction of a lens that made possible greater light and increased sensitivity of the daguerreotype, was an exposure time of just thirty seconds possible.
In 1851 Frederick Scott Archen introduced the Collodion process, which soon replaced the previous techniques. The year 1888 saw the creation of Kodak N.1. Initially, the photosensitive material was spread over paper that was replaced with a celluloid film wound on reels, the modern photographic film. Photography was black and white, and colours were made using simple shades of grey.
It was the physicist James Clerk Maxwell who demonstrated a procedure called additive in 1859, whereby it was possible to recreate colour by overlapping red, green and blue light, called additive primary colours. The film for colour negatives was created by Kodacolor in 1941.

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