- Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes

Digital Photography History

By:   •  Term Paper  •  3,615 Words  •  January 24, 2009  •  1,670 Views

Page 1 of 15

Essay title: Digital Photography History


What is digital photography?

Digital photography is a form of photography that utilizes digital technology to make images of subjects. Until the advent of such technology, photography used photographic film to create images which could be made visible by photographic processing. By contrast, digital photographs can be displayed, printed, stored, manipulated, transmitted, and archived using digital and computer techniques, without chemical processing. Using the information I have managed to gather from the internet and other sources I will present the history of digital photography, analyse digital camera and explain how to use it. I will also present advantages and disadvantages of using digital camera and explain some of the scientific terms in the glossary.

Brief history of photography

The begining

CAMERA OBSCURA - 1490. Leonardo da Vinci wrote the first detailed description of camera obscura in his Atlantic Codex, a 1,286 page collection of drawings and writings. The principle of camera obscura involves punching a hole in a dark box and putting a piece of light-sensitive material on the other side thereby providing a photograph. The first picture of a pinhole camera obscura is a drawing by Gemma Frisus' De Radio, an astronomer (above photo on the left). He used the pinhole in his darkened room to study the solar eclipse of 1544.

FIRST PERMANENT CAMERA PHOTOGRAPHS - 1825-26. Photographic history has recently been rewritten following the discovery of what is now considered to be the world's oldest photograph. The image, a reproduction of a 17th century Dutch print, predates by one year Frenchman Nicéphore Niépce's previous heliogravure of the view from his window at Le Gras, regarded until now as the earliest surviving photographic image.

In the early 1800s, Joseph Nicephore Niepce experimented with lithography at his home near Chalon, France. Nicephore explored light-sensitive varnishes, trying to find a coating that would record drawings after exposure to light. In 1816, he took photos using a camera and paper sensitized with silver chloride. He had some success, but was dissatisfied because the images were reversed (negatives) and could not be made permanent. He had tried to produce a positive print, but was unable to do so. He did find that nitric acid helped to preserve images for a while, but would not prevent eventual fading. Niepce's breakthrough came in 1822 when he made a permanent image using a camera obscura. After exposing coated pewter plates to a camera image, he used the vapors from heated iodine crystals to darken the silver and heighten contrast. The method would later inspire Louis Daguerre's successful mercury vapor development process. Within a few years the two inventors would become partners. Niepce was able to produce a copy of an engraving by passing light through the original photo onto a piece of glass coated with bitumen of Judea, a type of asphalt. Light hardens bitumen of Judea, so when Niepce washed the plate with solvent only the unexposed portions were removed, leaving a permanent image on the plate. He named this process "heliography" or sun-writing. He made numerous heliographs during the next several years and continued his attempts to produce a permanent camera image. In 1825, he was successful.

The first image is a reproduction of a 17th century Dutch engraving showing a man leading a horse. The photograph was sold at Sotheby's in Paris on March 21, 2002, to the French National Library for $443,000 (£330,000). The Niépce correspondence that accompanied the print gave a step-by-step account of how Niépce made his discovery. The print is the only surviving testament to Niépce's achievement in the summer of 1825 using light alone to make a plate from which an image could be printed.

The world's second oldest known permanent camera image, bitumen on pewter, is a view taken from Niepce's second floor window. The exposure took approximately eight hours. The third image was reportedly also made in 1826.

FIRST PRODUCTION CAMERA - 1839. Daguerrotype cameras of 1839 produced by Giroux in Paris. They weighed 120 pounds each and cost 400 Francs (about $50). See the George Eastman Photography Collections Online for much additional information concerning this camera as well as excellent photos and detailed information regarding many other early cameras.

PHOTOGRAPHY – 1850. The complete photographist's kit as found in an 1850 catalog ("Kit" in this case would mean a horse-drawn wagon!). "No. 10.—Estimate for a complete Daguerreotype Apparatus, suitable for the professional photographist, consisting of a large-sized camera and

Continue for 14 more pages »  •  Join now to read essay Digital Photography History and other term papers or research documents
Download as (for upgraded members)
Citation Generator

(2009, 01). Digital Photography History. Retrieved 01, 2009, from

"Digital Photography History" 01 2009. 2009. 01 2009 <>.

"Digital Photography History.", 01 2009. Web. 01 2009. <>.

"Digital Photography History." 01, 2009. Accessed 01, 2009.