Archive for the 'Camera Oscura' Category

21
Jul
07

Fox Talbot

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William Henry Fox Talbot, Chess Players, 1840

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17
Jul
07

Color Photography

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First color image, Maxwell, 1861

Although color photography was explored throughout the 19th century, initial experiments in color could not fix the photograph and prevent the color from fading. Moreover until the 1870s the emulsions available were not sensitive to red or green light.

The first permanent color photo, an additive projected image of a tartan ribbon, was taken in 1861 by the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell.[7] Several patentable methods for producing images (by either additive or subtractive methods, see below) were devised from 1862 on by two French inventors (working independently), Louis Ducos du Hauron and Charles Cros.[8] Practical methods to sensitize silver halide film to green and then orange light were discovered in 1873 and 1884 by Hermann W. Vogel (full sensitivity to red light was not achieved until the early years of the 20th century).

The first fully practical color plate, Autochrome, did not reach the market until 1907. It was based on a screen-plate method, the screen (of filters) being made using dyed dots of potato starch. The screen lets filtered red, green or blue light through each grain to a photographic emulsion in contact with it. The plate is then developed to a negative, and reversed to a positive, which when viewed through the screen restores colors approximating the original.

Other systems of color photography included that used by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, which involved three separate monochrome exposures (‘separation negatives’) of a still scene through red, green, and blue filters. These required a special machine to display, but the results are impressive even by modern standards. His collection of glass plates was purchased from his heirs by the Library of Congress in 1948, and is now available in digital format.


17
Jul
07

Timeline of photography technology

 

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17
Jul
07

Family portrait in late 19th century.

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An example of a late 19th century family portrait. Note the custom of mourning the dead in a family photo during that era. A shrine to a deceased child is visible in the background. Also, two of the female members are dressed in black; a contemporary mourning tradition. (c. 1894)

17
Jul
07

Portrait Photography

The goal of portrait photography is to capture the likeness of a person or a small group of people, typically in a flattering manner. Like other types of portraiture, the focus of photograph is the person’s face, although the entire body and the background may be included. Many people enjoy having professionally made family portraits to hang in their homes, or special portraits to commemorate certain events, such as graduations or weddings.

Portrait photography has been around since the invention and popularization of the camera, and is a cheaper and often more accessible method than portrait painting, which had been used by distinguished figures before the use of the camera. The popularity of the daguerreotype in the middle of the 19th century was due in large part to the demand for inexpensive portraiture. Studios sprang up in cities around the world, some cranking out more than 500 plates a day. The style of these early works reflected the technical challenges associated with 30-second exposure times and the painterly aesthetic of the time. Subjects were generally seated against plain backgrounds and lit with the soft light of an overhead window and whatever else could be reflected with mirrors. As the equipment became more advanced, the ability to capture images with short exposure times gave photographer more creative freedom and thus created new styles of portrait photography. Contemporary portrait photographers strive not only to capture a person’s likeness, but also the person’s mood and thoughts in an instant in time.

17
Jul
07

Popularization – Portraiture of the middle classes during the Industrial Revolution

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A photographer appears to be photographing himself in a 19th-century photographic studio. (c. 1893)

The daguerreotype proved popular in responding to the demand for portraiture emerging from the middle classes during the Industrial Revolution. This demand, that could not be met in volume and in cost by oil painting, added to the push for the development of photography. By 1851 a broadside by daguerreotypist Augustus Washington was advertising prices ranging from 50 cents to $10. However, daguerreotypes were fragile and difficult to copy. Photographers encouraged chemists to refine the process of making many copies cheaply, which eventually led them back to Talbot’s process.

Ultimately, the modern photographic process came about from a series of refinements and improvements in the first 20 years. In 1884 George Eastman, of Rochester, New York, developed dry gel on paper, or film, to replace the photographic plate so that a photographer no longer needed to carry boxes of plates and toxic chemicals around. In July of 1888 Eastman’s Kodak camera went on the market with the slogan “You press the button, we do the rest”. Now anyone could take a photograph and leave the complex parts of the process to others, and photography became available for the mass-market in 1901 with the introduction of the Kodak Brownie.

In the twentieth century, photography developed rapidly as a commercial service. End-user supplies of photographic equipment accounted for only about 20 percent of industry revenue. For the modern enthusiast photographer processing black and white film, little has changed since the introduction of the 35mm film Leica camera in 1925.

16
Jul
07

What is the Industrial Revolution?

300px-maquina_vapor_watt_etsiim.jpgThe Industrial Revolution was a major shift of technological, socioeconomic, and cultural conditions that occurred in the late 18th century and early 19th century in some Western countries. It began in Britain and spread throughout the world, a process that continues as industrialisation. The onset of the Industrial Revolution marked a major turning point in human social history, comparable to the invention of farming or the rise of the first city-states; almost every aspect of daily life and human society is, eventually, in some way influenced.