|A camera that changed the way we recorded memories!|
The very first photograph has its roots in the early 1800's, when a French inventor by the name of Joseph Nicephore Niepce produced the first photographic image using a device called a camera obscura. Niepce used a polished pewter plate covered with Bitumen of Judea, and found that Bitumen would quickly harden when exposed to sunlight. When the pewter plate was placed into a solvent, a print image would gradually appear, but it required eight hours of exposure, only to later disappear. This beginning of modern photography had a long way to go before surpassing into the digital realm of today. (Source: History of Photography, Pinhole Cameras to The Daguerreotype, Mary Bellis, About.com Guide)
By the end of the 1820's, French inventor Louis Daguerre had teamed up with Niepce to improve the process that Niepce had developed. After ten years of experimentation and Niepce's death, Daguerre found a more reliable and effective method of capturing a photographic image. Daguerre named his new process after himself, The Daguerreotype. This new process used a polished sheet of silver-plated copper, covered in iodine. He found that the iodine was very sensitive to the sun and discovered that it only took a few minutes for the image to expose. This was a great leap, compared to the eight hours it took Niepce to get an image. After the image was painted by sunlight on the plate, Daguerre soaked the plate in a solution of silver chloride. This created a lasting image that would not change or disappear when exposed to light. This process was late sold to the French government by Daguerre and Niepce's son in 1839. By 1850, The Daguerreotype took off and gained in popularity as there were over seventy Daguerreotype Studios in New York City alone. (Source: History of Photography, Pinhole Cameras to The Daguerreotype, Mary Bellis, About.com Guide)
The first box camera was produced by George Eastman in 1886, but it was way too costly. By 1900 he had created the first flexible film that could be loaded in daylight and marketed it in an affordable box camera for the masses, known as the Brownie Camera. It was an instant success. The camera was $1.00 and a reel of film (6 exposures) cost just fifteen cents. Touted as being able to be operated by any school boy or girl, in 1900 the Eastman Kodak Company sold over 250,000 Brownie cameras to the American public.
Photography has come a long way. Today, there are more photographers than ever! Digital cameras and cameras built into most every mobile phone device now allow billions of us around the world to capture trillions of our memories. Then with nearly the speed of light, share and connect to others using these pictures! As we continue to move forward with technology, we are limited only by our imaginations, as to where the future will carry us in the world of photo. Holographic three dimensional images recorded with a single blink of an eye! You know, the real Flash Gordon kind of stuff! Far fetched? Well, given how rapidly photography has come in such a short time, it maybe not that far off!