History of Photography

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The History of, and Impact of, Photography on our World

Photography is a process frequently used in areas of media, art, and science as well as practical everyday use. It is used to inform society of different issues, used to document a wide range of things and is used to capture everyday memories for the years to come. It is used everywhere in today's society and through technology has advanced tremendously since its beginnings.

The earliest cameras were simple devices that did not capture an image but merely projected an image onto a surface. It was basically a large pinhole camera in the form of a darkened room or booth. These were used by artists as early as the 16th century. These were known as Camera Obscuras. They then improved this method by replacing the pinhole with a telescope lens. By the 17th century they even made this system portable in the form of sedan chairs. In 1727 the first photo-sensitive compound was discovered completely by accident by Professor J. Schulze. The mixture consisted chalk, nitric acid, and silver in a flask; and the professor noticed that the side of the flask exposed to sunlight, darkened. (Tom Ang:2001)After that many significant events happened that resulted in the cameras we have today. These include Nicéphore Niépce merging the Camera Obscura with photosensitive paper in 1816 and then creating a permanent image in 1826. This image was exposed for eight hours and the lens was facing the window of his estate in central France. In 1829 Niepce paired up with Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre to improve on the current techniques used. Daguerre's most important discovery came two years after the death of his partner in 1835. He discovered silver iodine was more sensitive to the light and needed much less exposure time to create a fixed image. And then in 1837 he figured out a way stop the image darkening over time. He washed the remaining silver iodine away...
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