History of Photography

Essay by Lycan_existenzHigh School, 11th gradeD+, July 2004

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The term camera comes from the Latin word " Camera Obscura" meaning "darkroom" or "dark chamber". The first people to use this equipment were British scientists Thomas Wedgewood and Sir Humphry Davy. They used it to record photographic images. Certain chemicals were known to be light sensitive, such as silver nitrate and silver chloride. The first known people to produce photographic images were French physicist Joeseph Nice`phore Nie`pce and French painter Louis Jaques Mande` Daguerre. The reason that their photographs aren't around today is that the silver plates gradually darkened obliterating the image.the earliest photos on record were made by French physicist Joeseph Nice`phore Nie`pce and were called heliographs and were first made in 1827.

The French painter that used silver plates was Louis Jaques Mande` Daguerre and he did this in 1831.

· Take silver plates and coat with a light sensitive layer of Silver iodine

· Expose the plates for Several Minutes

· Use mercury drops to develop a positive photographic image

In 1851 British sculptor and photographer Frederick Scott archer introduced wet plate collodion.

His method differed from what was used before in a few ways. Firstly the Collodion was used in place of Albumin. Secondly the plates had to be exposed and developed while wet and you needed to have a dark room close at hand in order to prepare the plates. The American Civil war was the great event that was documented with thousands of photographs. The principle photographer was Mathew B. Brady. The drawbacks to using this process would be portability, danger of shooting in a war zone/ battlefield. Having to have the plates wet before exposure and after meant you only had a limited amount of time to get them developed. This would mean that you could only photograph things that...