In this essay I am going to explore how film and digital photography differ from each other and whether or not if one of them is better than the other.
History of Photography
Modern photography was invented by two Frenchman, Joseph Niepce and Louis Daguerre. It was in 1827 that Niepce took, what we know of, the first photography. (The film had to be exposed to the scene for seven hours, whereas today we can do the same as the click of a button.) Niepce’s partner, Louis Daguerre made further improvements to the technology of taking photographs and since 1839 photography became available to everyone who wanted to try it. Photography literally means ‘drawing with light’. ‘Photo’ means ‘light’. ‘graphy’ stands for ‘graphic’ which means drawing. The word was first used by the scientist, Sir John Herschel in 1839.
Film photography has two important components; one is the camera and the other is the film. In 1889, George Eastman invented film with a base that was flexible, unbreakable and could be rolled. In the early 1940s, commercially viable colour films were brought to the market. These films used the modern technology of dye-coupled colours in which a chemical process connects the three dye layers together to create an apparent colour image.
The film is taken out of its container on complete darkness. As the film has a layer of light sensitive chemical on it, the chemical is given a wash with certain other chemicals. This helps in bringing out the picture on the film because the effects of all the chemicals are washed away and the image on the film is fixed and made visible to the eye. Now the image on the film is in the form of a negative, meaning the dark areas appear light and the light areas appear dark. Light is then shown through the negative film on to a photographic paper that is sensitive to light. This paper is also given a chemical wash, creating the final picture.