Free Essay

Invention of Photography

In: Film and Music

Submitted By hudsontigs
Words 1726
Pages 7
Invention of Photography
Adam M. Bolenbaugh
DeVry University

Invention of Photography
Photography, a nineteenth century scientific invention, has like many other technical innovations of the era “dramatically altered mankind’s perception and experience of the world, “an effect that continues to this day.” The invention of photographs defines the beginning of the modern era due to the effects it had on new systems of representation including graphic design and advertising. The photograph evolved and “it was this fertile and receptive soil” of the nineteenth century which saw its serious development. From the birth of lithography to the development of chromolithography, and the new systems of representation in graphic design and advertising on billboards, posters, and in magazines, its invention next to the printed word, is still the “widest form of communication” since the beginnings of the modern era. The ability and need to create and reproduce photographs ourselves has created a virtual reality that has
Become an inescapable part of our modern era.

The invention of photography as we know it in the modern world today is one which not one person can solely be praised for as many generations have been involved in its perfection. The concept behind photography is the “camera obscure” Latin for “dark chamber”, and was a room or box with a small opening or lens in one side which was known to the ancient world as early as Aristotle and Leonardo da Vinci in the fourth century B.C. As scientific discoveries grew over thousands of years, so did the development of photography. In 1826, Frenchman Joseph Nieces’ was the first to obtain a faint photographic image, fulfilling “an ancient desire of mankind to create an imaginary world that would be as believable as the real world itself” (Museum Ludwig Cologne 1996). But it was Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre most importantly, who perfected his “daguerreotype” process to minute detail. These premature stages of photography saw painter Paul Delaroche remark, “From today, painting is dead!”

It was obvious though that photography was not just another invention. “For the first time, one could record the past not just with written words or painted pictures.” Now it could live on in the form of exact images. One could now believe in this past as if one had experienced it personally. The photographic image evolved into a collective memory. The invention of photography was “the birth of a new language” ” and gave birth to a “new kind of visual communication”, which would change graphic design and advertising forever.

Too many painters though the invention of photography was seen a somewhat of a threat as they had been until its introduction the only people who could record events, people and places in society visually. Contrary to this, many others saw the specific nature of the new medium and were greatly interested in its “usefulness as a supplier and multiplier of images.” But like the older technique, photography had to fight for recognition as a graphic art, though artists involved in both media gave proof that “there can be creative art forms, as well as inexpensive methods of illustration.”

New systems of representation in advertising and graphic design from the advent of photography advanced as printing techniques did during this industrial age. The first major development, the invention of lithography in the early nineteenth century, “allowed easier experimentation with type styles, weights and swifter production”, and became the chief means of reproducing works of art and illustrating books and magazines. Printers began to produce successful lithographs in the 1830s, by over printing separate stones. This led to a new system of advertising and graphic design especially in France as their posters were designed to stress image over text a style that created commercial persuasion. The illustrative poster led to the belief that “modern art and modern advertising were born together in the late nineteenth century.”

Further development in this use of color, and advances in “photographic adaption of images to gravure and lithographic processes”, saw a huge boom in illustrated posters in the late 1880s and 1890s. This process called chromolithography “had vast social and economic ramifications.” This new system of representations affordability meant that advertising graphics of every description, “poured from the presses in millions of impressions each year.” This only furthered the development of advertising that was modernizing due to these new systems of representation, which were becoming accessible.

Developments in the science in photography helped create “the vitality of this graphic revolution.” Chromolithography continued to be widely used “for this outpouring of Victorian popular graphics” which were beginning to be transferred onto labels and packages. Package design was chromolithographed on tin for food and tobacco products using “bright flat colors, elaborate lettering, and iconic images to create an emblematic presence for the product.” Foundries and letterpress printers also saw chromolithography as a source for new ideas because of the inspiration they found in the “uninhibited lettering.” Although this progression came into being close to the end of chromolithography’s “golden era”, label design became another system of representation which we still use today in advertising products.

The invention of photography and its effect graphic design has had an overwhelming impact on the beginnings of the modern era. Its use in advertising brought in the later part of the nineteenth century “an overwhelming flood of imagery” and unlike before it gave advertisements “structure and meaning” which had traditionally been fulfilled by art or religion. Previously, household products and food were sold in bulk containers, as a result, consumers had not yet been aware of, or influenced by brand names. Although it is often said that during the nineteenth century that advertisements function changed from ”information to persuasion” it was also the effects of the new systems of representation which contributed to the success of early advertisers such as Pears and Cadbury. Underlying all this there were transitions in capitalism to the corporate production of “monopoly” capitalism, “and the changes in advertising were an integral part of it.”

“The field of vision” opened up by the photographers rapidly widened during the 1800s adding definition to the modern era. Many began travelling to distant countries bringing back with them “uncommon and exotic pictures.” It was the beginning of colonial expansion as they followed colonizers, Recording what they saw, and therefore learning more about the “natives” who inhabited these areas, as well as their homes, dress, and way of life. Consequently, because of their strangeness, the visual records of foreign places began undermining the assumptions by which man lived, and then also “showing them up” through the “reality” displayed in photographs.

Photography is important in defining the modern era as its power of revealing things which are invisible to the naked eye and which specialists alone had been able to perceive; and its power of confronting everyone with images of unknown people and places, of strange and thought provoking situations, of exceptional events. By steadily enlarging the field of knowledge and awareness, photography directly modified the traditional value of human experience. Till the advent of the camera people had lived narrow lives, knowing nothing about the world beyond the bounds of local experience and personal relationships. People began to see more and more of what they would never actually experience with momentous consequences, “it reduced everything to the same scale, and limited to the delineration of appearances.”

The invention of the roll film, and the first camera for the amateur market made by George Eastman founder of the Eastman Kodak Co. in 1890, was at the forefront of this industrial surge before the beginning of the modern era of the twentieth century. The invention and marketing of the Kodak brought the camera out of the studio and “it ended the reign of inevitably artificial studio portrait.” The family album now came into existence with photography as the amateur now took over “seeking out his own subjects”. This defining moment in the modern era gave rise to the family album had the effect of “promoting the sentimentality interpretation of photography.” Just as painting moved away from “descriptive realism”, so photography too became more subjective and the amateur snapshot more closely identified with the “subject and its emotional overtones.” As the photograph became accessible to the masses, “the more serious photographers began thinking of themselves as artists.” Photography therefor defined the modern era as it went into the twentieth century, as photography seemed to fulfill peoples “deeply rooted desire for realism, even as it translated this longing into the uncertain conditions of the industrial age.”

Photography has become as significant a component to our culture as it has representing it. The invention of photography during the nineteenth century gave us a new way of seeing, thinking, creating and there for a new kind of visual communication which continues to evolve today. It is those scientific discoveries which were made by Niepce and Daguerre that made photography possible, and exposed us to a “new kind” of visual communication. The consciousness of the Victorian ages and the promising industrial spirit gave way to the innovation of chromolithography, and new ways of representing and creating graphic design and advertising. It is the subsequent wide use of these mechanically reproduced images which have paved the way for modernisms mass production and mass media which we are inhabited by today.

Bajac, Q. (2002). The invention of photography. New York: Harry N. Abrams.
Surveys the early of history of photography, including the debut of the daguerreotype in 1839 in Paris, the growth of portrait studios in the mid-1800s, and the spread of the photographic image in the late 1800s.
Buckingham, A. (2004). Photography. New York: Dorling Kindersley.
Examining landmark developments in photography from the very first print in 1826 to the rapidly changing medium of the digital age, Eyewitness Photography brings the world of cameras into focus with unique insight into this changing art form.
Sandler, M. W. (1979). The story of American photography: an illustrated history for young people. Boston: Little, Brown.
This book talks about the early years of American Photography. Some of the first known famous people of American Photography.
Walker, R. J., & Walker, R. E. (1983). Exploring photography. South Holland, Ill.: Goodheart-Willcox Co..
This book explains the History of Photography with detail about several subjects. The subjects are First Practical Photograph, First Color Photography, Roll Film Introduced and Major Advancements.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

The Role Of Photography In The Civil War

...Civil War Photography Photography in the Civil War was very important. Photography was very important because it showed what happened on the battlefield and what the soldiers looked like, photography was a new invention and different types of photography were invented during the Civil War, and finally, photographers became well known and more famous. One reason that photography was important in the war was that it showed what happened on the battlefields. Sure, there are paintings of the battles, but most of the time the artists aren’t actually at the battles. Photographers are actually at the battles and sometimes on the battlefields taking the pictures. Photos are more accurate than paintings. Another reason why photography was important to the Civil War was that photography was a new invention. Photography was originally invented by Nicéphore Niépce in 1826. The most commonly photography used was wet-plate photography. That process was invented by Frederick Scott Archer ten years before the Civil War began. Wet-plate photography was a very difficult...

Words: 485 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Arts 125

...Annotated Bibliography Arts/125 Annotated Bibliography Leonardo, da Vinci. (2012). A painter, sculpture architect, engineer, and inventor. Born in Vinci, Italy on April 15, 1452 and died May 02, 1519 at the age of 67. Even though, Da Vinci was well known for the two most popular pieces of art the “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper, he had innovative ideas for inventions decades before they were introduced by other inventors. For example, he sketched a blueprint of a man with a parachute in 1485, then applied to use by Sébastien Lenormand who was the first to jump using a parachute in 1783 from top of a tower in France. Edison, A. T. (2012). Inventor of incandescent lighting that played a role in photography and theater. Born in Milan, Ohio on February 11, 1847 and died October 18, 1931 at age 84. Edison was looked upon as one of the most creative inventors in history. He was home schooled by his mother due to the fact teachers claimed he was a difficult student that could not pay attention in class. Edison had a passion for learning so he fulfilled his hunger by reading a variety of books in return he developed a self-learning system that made him who he became. At age 12 he became an entrepreneur by creating his own newspaper that he sold on the trains. He then perfected the light bulb by making it more reliable and lasted longer than before. 1879 invented the electric incandescent lamp; by 1881 The Savory Theater in London was using incandescent lighting. Stage......

Words: 1362 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Arts 125 Week 3 Annotated Bib

...Annotated Bibliography Leonardo, da Vinci. (2012). A painter, sculpture architect, engineer, and inventor. Born in Vinci, Italy on April 15, 1452 and died May 02, 1519 at the age of 67. Even though, Da Vinci was well known for the two most popular pieces of art the “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper, he had innovative ideas for inventions decades before they were introduced by other inventors. For example, he sketched a blueprint of a man with a parachute in 1485, then applied to use by Sébastien Lenormand who was the first to jump using a parachute in 1783 from top of a tower in France. Edison, A. T. (2012). Inventor of incandescent lighting that played a role in photography and theater. Born in Milan, Ohio on February 11, 1847 and died October 18, 1931 at age 84. Edison was looked upon as one of the most creative inventors in history. He was home schooled by his mother due to the fact teachers claimed he was a difficult student that could not pay attention in class. Edison had a passion for learning so he fulfilled his hunger by reading a variety of books in return he developed a self-learning system that made him who he became. At age 12 he became an entrepreneur by creating his own newspaper that he sold on the trains. He then perfected the light bulb by making it more reliable and lasted longer than before. 1879 invented the electric incandescent lamp; by 1881 The Savory Theater in London was using incandescent lighting. Stage lighting became design of true art. He...

Words: 1358 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

The Still Photography as Literature in the 21st Century Using Ty Bello's Photoshots

...LECTURER: DR. OFURE AITO THE STILL PHOTOGRAPHY AS LITERATURE IN THE 21ST CENTURY USING TY BELLO’S WORKS Introduction “Art is about collecting experiences and expressing them. For me music and photography are similar art forms. I collect experiences, stir them in myself and express it in my own language. Just like my photography, music is my language.” Ty Bello Today people live in a visually intensive society and a world of spectacular and exciting images. They are bombarded with an orderly and continuously stream of visual stimulation from all manner of media every day. They see mediated images more often than they read words. Images sell everything. This paper offers an analytical framework for understanding how still photography is Literature in the 21st Century, using TY Bello’s still pictures. According to Aristotle, “There can be no words without images”. The world is surrounded with mediated images in such a way that has never been witnessed in the history of mass communication. Every era has expressed itself in its own way since the beginning. Antiquity was the time of legends, epics and mythical narratives. During the sovereignty of this era, meaning was constructed with ‘the word’ and its peculiar rules. Though the permanency of ‘writing’ as opposed to the fleeting character of the word has grown to be the symbol of authority and power, literary narrative which was developed together with the Enlightenment and the invention of printing process have......

Words: 7914 - Pages: 32

Free Essay

Through the Lens: a Different Perspective

...glistening silver button on my camera thinking, “Is this how I want this moment to be remembered?” Through the eyes of many, a camera is just a tool that you point at an object to take a picture; to a photographer, it is so much more. According to, the definition of photography is, “The process of producing images on a sensitized surface by the action of light.” However, there is one point that this simple definition fails to state, and that is photography is used to capture a single moment in time, in one frame. A single picture can tell a multitude of stories, and can hold countless memories. Whether done as a profession, a hobby, or a creative outlet, the art of photography can appeal to everyone in the world. Known as a “camera obscura,” the first elements of photography were shown in 384 BC when Mo-Ti, a Chinese philosopher, created the device (Camera Obscura History). The physics behind his invention was that when a lighted area was separated from a dark area with only a pinhole opening between them, it created an inverted image of the lighted area. This technology was further improved by inserting a lens to create a clearer picture (History of Photography). Since then, the art of photography has continued to evolve. Many photographers still rely on natural lighting in their pictures, however today photographers choose to use digital photo editing with programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Light Room. These great advances in technology and the......

Words: 2698 - Pages: 11

Free Essay


...Chapter 2 summary Speaking from personal experience, I believe prior experience weighs high on the spectrum. Personally, I’ve learned the how’s and do’s of starting and operating my own business by witnessing and getting involved in my father’s business. I can’t help but compare that experience with working a 40 hour job and I feel that the reward pays dividends. Another aspect that I consider to be imperative to most businesses is social forces and advances in technology. I have a photography business and my goal is to be able to do photography full time. A majority of my business is the result of Facebook and Google. When I ask customers how they found me, it’s usually that I’m located near them and they enjoy my photography or they came across my photography on Facebook and they enjoyed my work. On the other hand, my father is a baby boomer and can’t keep up with technology. He was always tech savy and was a know-it-all but not so much these days. I question the opportunity cost of technology these days. Tech businesses seem to be developing so fast that it seems like an entrepreneur in that field has to develop the business and then patent it (intellectual property) because if they were to wait then someone else would have already developed it. I believe creativity and insight to be very important on the spectrum as well. Take my personal business for instance. If you googled photographer, the screen would light up with little red dots. So where’s the competitive......

Words: 1024 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Digital Photography

...Module 1: Digital Photography Critical Analysis Digital Photography 1. Introduction A sailor planting a wet one on a nurse, Man walking on the moon, a student standing up to a line of tanks, and the horrifying moment a plane crashed into a skyscraper. Figure 1 –"V-J Day, Times Square, 1945", a.k.a. "The Kiss" “Man on the Moon, Apollo 11, 1969” "Tiananmen Square, China, 1989" “9/11 Attacks, New York City, 2001” All of these iconic images from history would be nothing but memories without the invention of photography. The power of photography has allowed us to see distant places, events before our lifetime, people from foreign lands and tragedies including war; all through the view of a lens. In just under 200 years, photography has transformed the world we live in enabling us to see not only beyond the boundaries of time and location but also beyond the range of human vision through macro, infrared and high-speed photography. Figure 2 – High Speed Photography, Bullet shot through an apple   1   Module 1: Digital Photography Critical Analysis Photography has changed a lot since its inception, what once was a painstakingly slow process involving specialized equipment and chemicals has become a revolutionary digital medium accessible by virtually anyone. 2. A Brief History of Cameras While the founding ideas behind what would become photography date back as far as the ancient Romans, the real history of cameras starts in the 17th century.......

Words: 2916 - Pages: 12

Free Essay

Electronic and Digital Media

...creating yet another major, unifying influence in American society” (Vivian, 2011) During the early days television and radio programs were used for advertising, news as well as entertainment. The early exposer helped to inform and entertain the mid-1900s family as they began tuning in to their favorite television shows and radio broadcast. This sense of informed unity began to change with the introduction of cable television in the 1970s. This became an alternative to the local broadcasting and gave the public many different options and programing choices. (Vivian, 2011) This allowed for a specific audience to be targeted in both entertainment and other venues. The creation of satellite broadcasting changed the world once again with the invention of nationwide programming. In the early...

Words: 697 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

An Analysis of Early Cinema

...An Analysis of Early Cinema Movies play a very important role in our daily life. From the invention of first motion-picture camera in 1891 to the development of the concept of continuity editing, there were many films made. I have watched 15 of these early films and got to know some filmmakers at that time, found out their distributions and photography techniques. These films can be divided chronologically, the earliest films in the period from 1891 to 1895, like Edison Kinetoscope Record of a Sneeze; films in the late 1900s, such as Wash Day in Mexico, and developed films at the beginning of 20th century, like Life Rescue at Long Branch. This study will focus on the characteristics of patterns, contrast of different films and the evolution of early cinema. It can be said that Thomas Alva Edison invented the kinetoscope involuntarily. He meant to provide a visual accompaniment for his phonograph, however, with the improvement done by Dickson, the viewing machine, or kinetoscope, emerged. Edison attempted to design a machine that can make images and sounds synchronized and recorded simultaneously. But, synchronization proved impossible and kinetoscope films seldom have sound. As the first motion-picture camera, the kinetoscope represents the big progress in the field of cinema, and it obviously has many advances. First, it used perforated film to accomplish the synchronization of camera and projector. Second, the frames were held intermittently.......

Words: 1168 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Technology in Japan

...World provided many innovations for Japan. The arrival of the ‘peeping box’ is one of them. Those innovations were modified when they came into Japan because there were cultural differences. Usually the names of the foreign inventions were adapted to the Japan and their technical specifications also changed due to the fact that the Japanese’s use of them different from the others. When ‘peeping box’ became known in Japan, its name did not stay the same for the Japanese too. Timon Screech gives a clear example in his book: “The VOC register goes on the note that the Japanese referred to the novel box as a gocracqbaco, presumably gokuraku-bako, or ‘paradise box’ (119). Apart from optics there are also more serious subjects taken from the Western world; “In the latter half of Tokugawa period learning of Western natural science and medicine through Dutch books spread Emül 2 among intelligent samurai and merchants (Uchida).” The superiority of the Western countries did not last forever. After the Second World War, there has been great development in technology and science in Japan. Today most of the innovative ‘products’ come from Japan. I used the word ‘product’ because the way technology is made is mostly about money. In the history these kind of inventions were...

Words: 564 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Kodak and white to color photography more successfully than the shift from chemical to digital photography? Kodak’s leadership during B&W photography age came from marketing and relationships with retailers. Customers preferred Kodak to other manufactures, some of which who had better products even, because they were satisfied with Kodak’s offerings and didn't feel the need to pay for enhanced products. The low cost cameras fueled Kodak’s growth and profits which helped the company significantly in being able to invest in R&D to develop color film. This was a relatively easy shift for Kodak, compared to its competitors who were not able to make similar investments in R&D. Despite Kodak’s efforts in transforming it into a high-tech company, by expanding markets, re-thinking product development, investing heavily on research and forming alliances with computer executives in the 1990’s, under Fisher’s leadership, Kodak was unable to change the culture of the company from its razor-blade, low cost model. While Kodak’s core business of film faced no competition, they were late entrants in the digital space. Their efforts in trying to do too much was unsuccessful in shifting from chemical to digital photography. 2. Which companies have benefited most from the shift to digital photography over the past 10 years? Over the past 10 years, companies such as Sony, Canon, Nikon, Fuji and Leica have benefited the most from shifting to digital photography. Also,......

Words: 438 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Cpa Kodak

...Case 1 – Kodak Idendity Industry, Product segments and Value chain The industry is Global photography industry. In the case mentioned that Kodak is a major multinational organisation, was listed on the New York Exchange TEMPLES Factor Issues Nature of impact (+/=/-) Assessment of impact (H/M/L) Technology • Digital technology made the growth of digital photography + H Economic • Impact of recession on consumer spending - M Market • Changing purchasing traditional camera to digital camera • Price competition to gain market share • Market share of photography product declined due to digital photography - - - H H H Society • Change in consumer purchase from traditional photograph to digital photography - H 5Q-Pursued strategy Business Strategy using 5Q approach Examples of how Kodak has been pursuing the corporate strategy Growth-Yes Withdraw: US Subsidiaries filed voluntary petitionfor Chapter 11 business reorganisation to enable Kodak bolster liquidity and sell off non-strategic intellectual property, so that 1) Kodak can focus on its most valuable business units. 2) The process will allow Kodak to continue normal business operation while it attempts to emerge a profitable a sustainable enterprise 3) The Bankruptcy was a step in the transformation in order to build the strong possible foundation for the Kodak of the future. Product Camera, film but focus on printers (consumer and commercial......

Words: 648 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Digital Photography

...HOW DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY HAS CHANGED THE INDUSTRY 1/25/2011 Communications in Leadership, Professor Maria Asealage William L. Gilliard III Table of Contents Introduction2 Technology Advances in Photography2 Digital Photography Hardware3 Benefits to End Consumers4 Conclusion4 Bibliography5 I. Introduction The following report titled How Digital Photography Has Changed the Industry will cover the technology advances that have revolutionized the photography industry, the various types of hardware that are now used take photographic images in a digital format, and the impact and benefits of these technology advances to the end consumer. The photography industry has evolved from the traditional use of film throughout the 20th century, to an advanced technology of using digital photography in the 21st century that has transformed the medium in which images are taken, processed, stored and cataloged for both personal and professional use. II. Technology Advances in Photography In the early years, traditional photographs were taken by professional photographers using conventional cameras which used film to create the images which were made visible by a technique called photographic processing. This process used chemicals and special processing techniques that professional photographers learn by taken specialized training classes. As technology in photography began to advance the industry, the creation of the old Polaroid instant camera provided......

Words: 882 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay


...Table of Contents Introduction 1 Influence 2 The Camera 3 Invention & the Early Years 3 The 20th Century & Lead up to the Digital Era 5 The Digital Era 6 Product Life Cycle 9 Innovation 11 Patents 13 Marketing 14 Market Analysis 14 Difference in the Marketing Mix 4P’s and 7P’s 15 Product 16 Price 18 Why Nikon P500? 18 Promotion, Place and Diffusion 20 Influence on Society 20 UPS and Nikon 21 Conclusion & Future Outlook 22 References 23 Appendix 25 Introduction The purpose of this paper is to show the writer’s choice in choosing, the product, the camera and the effects of Marketing, Design and Innovation of the Camera. Influence From the onset of this course, the writer was told to choose a product that has influenced the writer’s life; the only item would and has been the Camera. As a child the writer has always been intrigued by the ideas of a story, a story that little words but great impact. These short stories can only be told through pictures, through the technology of the camera. As the wise ones say, “A picture paint a thousand words." The camera allows for the indulgence of the writer’s greatest pastime and hobby. The camera allows for a unique view of the world, a view of one’s perspective of the one’s world. Behind the lens give reveals the beauty of the life, the beauty of a first kiss, the beauty of the first valentine, the beauty of true love, the beauty of a first born and his first step. Behind the...

Words: 5619 - Pages: 23

Premium Essay

Comm 225 Wk 2 Paper

...Electronic and Digital Media Industry Paper Com/225 September 23, 2013 Role of Electronic and Digital Media In this paper I will discuss the role of technology in electronic and digital media. . I will give historical and contemporary roles of media in society and describe how the chemical and electronic technology of photography, recording, and transmission has advanced from the initial discovery to the present day. I will also describe how mass media uses these technological innovations, analyze how the development of digital technology has affected the content, distribution, and style of electronic media and finally discuss how it has evolved overtime and made each and every one of us dependent on them. Historical and contemporary roles of media in society Technology plays a very important role in electronic and digital media and it is forever evolving. Digital and electronic media today is readily available with the invention of the Internet. The introduction of the Internet into the society’s everyday lives have brought about a convenience that has simplify the process in which we retrieve answers to questions. Society has grown dependent on electronic products, spending less time with people and more time on the Internet. Prior to the introduction of Internet; people would have to go to the local library to research to retrieve the answer to questions. People would also participate in......

Words: 889 - Pages: 4