A Beginners Guide To Photography
The term “photography” dates back to 1839 when it was used by astronomer Johann von Maedler in a German newspaper. It refers to making a recorded image on some sort of material. With most forms of photography, a lens focuses on an image and then creates a duplicate based on the light reflected in the scenery. The quality of photographic technology improves consistently. At first cameras could only reproduce an image in black and white. Later, technology to record color was developed. Now people can snap photos in high definition and save them digitally. Photography has many uses. It can be used to capture memories of a family vacation, it can be done for art, or it can be utilized for security, recording moments of potential evidence of a crime.
Cameras capture an image similar to the way the eye sees. The first cameras separated light and dark areas with a pinhole lens between them. The lighted image would appear upside down in the dark area. An artist would then trace the outline and create the “photograph.” In the 1800s, the application of light sensitive chemicals applied to paper changed photography forever. The treated paper, when exposed to light captured the image on the photographic paper. That is why early cameras didn’t have a switch or button to open the lens, they had plates the photographer pulled out to expose the image on the chemically treated paper.
- Camera Functions
- Modern Functions of Nature Photography
- Digital Cameras
- The Painting Camera
- Camera Exercises
- Camera Parts and Function
- Cameras and Photography
- The Shaping of Digital Photography
- The Digital Camera
- Before Digital Cameras
Photography has been used to record historical events, capture images for later recall, for science, for the arts and for architecture. A natural migration of photography applied to advertising and provided consumers with photos of products and lifestyles.
Scientists used to photograph the stars from observatories on earth, but this often caused problems because of having to take a picture through the Earth’s atmosphere. When telescopes such as the Hubble and Kepler were moved into orbit around the Earth outside the atmosphere, better pictures of the stars and planets have been able to be taken.
A sound form of photography is used by doctors to capture images inside the body. Artists use cameras to share their visions of the world. Photojournalists use photography to tell a story.
- Uses of Photography
- Medium Format Photography
- Digital Imaging Ethics
- Photography As Art
- Art Photography
- Cellphone Photography
- Incorporating Photography into Science Lessons
- Photography Matters as Art
- Earth Science Picture of the Day
- Pioneers of Documentary Photography
Early photography processes was the Daguerreotype. The image process used a silver-coated copper plate to hold the image. Invented in 1839 in France, the process was often referred to as the “Mirror of Nature.” Experiments continued to create a different means of taking pictures, as the consumer demand for Daguerreotype images grew.
The invention of negative film in 1887 led to storing reverse or negative images on film after photographing them. Pictures would then be printed as positive images in a dark room on photographic paper. Passing a light through the negative and exposing the photographic paper would cause the image to be stored on the paper. The paper would then be put into a chemical bath that developed the image and then placed into another chemical bath to seal the process. Photos were then washed in clear water and hung to dry. Later this process would be mechanized at photographic stores that used laboratories to develop the film and pictures.
With the invention of digital cameras, the positive images are stored on a memory chip inside the camera.
- Rediscovering Early Photo Processes
- Practicing Photo Processes
- The Wet Collodion Process
- Architectural Photos Collection
- The First Photograph
- The Daguerreotype
- The Cyanotype Process
- Print Processes
- History of Photography
- Timeline of Color Photography
Modes of production
Early pictures were captured on film rolls and then taken to a special lab for reproduction. Consumers would receive their negatives and photographs together in an envelope that had a special sleeve to hold the negatives. With the invention of computers and digital cameras, photograph storage has moved to computer discs and memory chips. Printing a digital picture at home is done using a special photographic paper for an inkjet or laser printer connected to the computer where the images are stored. Other modes of production involve the use of kiosk in a department store where the user inputs their photo disc and receives printed photographs.
- Graphic and Photographic Production
- Japenese Photography
- Digital Photograph Productioni
- Working with Photoshop
- Technical Color Guides
- Digital Photography FAQ
- Point and Shoot
- Camera Items and Definitions
- The Anthropology of Photography
- Photography Glossary
Social and Cultural Implications
Photography has played an important part capturing history or in the telling of a story. Photographers document social and cultural events so that others may be aware of issues elsewhere in the world. Photojournalists often accompany military troops to record the events that take place during wars or missions. The saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” applies when trying to capture these events for later sharing. Still or film cameras provide others with the means to understand cultural and social issues from around the world.
- Cyanonegative Photography
- Photography and Political Violence
- Social Issues and Photography
- Photography and Social Reform
- Images and Stereotypes
- Cultural Sensitivity
- Excerpt from "Camera and the Press"
- International Museum Photo Archive
- Analysis of Photo Ads in the Twenties
- Dorothea Lange
Kids can learn about the world around them through the use of a camera. Children can use the camera to capture insect life in the garden, record pictures of trips and take pictures of family members and friends. Some school science projects often call for the use of a camera. Print-on-demand books provide a great opportunity for a child to record an event or a trip and turn it into a book as a memento.