History of Photography Myles Simpson - Randal Macias - Nicole Vuncanon

Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham

An Arabian scientist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher, first described the principles and ideas behind the way the future Camera Obscura would work, essentially giving birth to the idea of photography.

Camera Obscura

The ideas provided by Al-Haytham were first constructed and actually invented in the 13th or 14th centuries. It allowed light in the a small hole, projecting the image from outside against an opposing wall, where the artist could lay a medium to draw, sketch, or paint on. It gave birth to more life-like images although not easily accessible.

The first photograph was captured, rather than drawn, in 1825, anywhere from 5 to 9 centuries after the Camera Obscura. This is what the 8 hour exposure by French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce produced:

Although not very detailed or interesting, people noticed the new art form

76 years later, in 1901, Eastman Kodak (Above on the left), developed the first commercially available camera, the Kodak Brownie (Below).

People could finally start producing their own meaningful art. Although available, it was a long process.

With the invention of the camera and photography, new methods of media were developed. One main method, one that has drastically changed society and the economy, is the motion picture. A Frontier that the Lumiere Brothers lead the way into.

Series of photographs were relayed in extremely quick succession to simulate motion across those images. The early, rudimentary "movies" were under a minute long and were not produced with sound until the 1920s.

Motion pictures have changed the way we see the world and how we experience it. It allows us as humans to visit the farthest and most remote corners of the Earth or even journey into fictional lands. It affects large majorities of the population considering the movie industry brought in $35.9 billion in 2013. The world as we know it would not exist without movies.

First color photo using RGB

Taken in 1861 by Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell, this image of a tartan ribbon revolutionized photography as the first color photograph. He developed it by using red, green, and blue filters on negatives and merging the three.

Dr. Peter Goldmark

Goldmark used the techniques discovered by Maxwell to revolutionize the television industry. By using the premise of three RGB plates spinning rapidly and electrically transmitting it through successive images, Goldmark helped CBS produce the first color television in 1940.

Slightly before Goldmark's television revolution, several new photography tools were reinvented, greatly improving the ability for people to express themselves.

Clockwise from top right: Exakta camera, Polaroid Corporation camera, Kodachrome color film, and Fuji Photo Film Company film.

The first single-lens reflex (SLR camera) with a mirror system and viewfinder. (Late 1930s)

Polaroid developed the first massively popular instant camera enhancing convenience. (1947)

Kodak released the first multi-layered colored film in Kodachrome. (1936)

Along with film, Fujifilm would revolutionize photography with cameras and lenses.

Although not convenient at the time (Early 19th century), view cameras provided good quality and panoramic views... which interested one particular photographer

His name was Ansel Adams

And he revolutionized landscape photography

Known for his unique, unwavering style, Ansel Adams' images are extremely detailed, sharp, and well-composed. As an environmentalist, he defended nature by revealing its true beauty to those who could not see it.

Not only did he produce beautiful images, but he was one of the first to use pictures to send a message. He was one of the first photographers to use his photographs to change the world. His pictures made society more aware of nature's glory and he showed it to the world and influenced others to protect it.

He introduced photography as a method of communicating ideas rather than just art.

And he inspired the world to follow suit.

Through his works, Ansel Adams changed photography. He influenced people to share their dreams and passions. Ansel Adams showed society how photography was a way to express oneself. In this way, photography made society more capable of showing, rather than telling, faults within itself.

While Ansel Adams was using pictures to protect the environment, photography creeped its way into the modern media and by the mid-19th century, media relied on photography. Nearly every newspaper and magazine consisted of countless photographs.

Photography became Pop Culture.

And one photographer in the 1970s fully and completely welcomed it.

Annie Leibovitz embodies pop culture

Growing up with well-developed, easy to use cameras, Annie Leibovitz grew up taking pictures and joined the team for 'Rolling Stone' magazine in 1970.

Since then, she has continued working for various pop culture magazines including Vanity Fair and Vogue alongside her work at Rolling Stone. She has also done various shoots with celebrities for movies, television shows, and music promotion. Her unique style has changed portraiture and provided the general public with the ability to look into the lives of their idols. Here are some of her best recognized works:

Many of the photographic revolutions spur from a revolutionary photographer; and that is exactly what Annie Leibovitz is. She was an emotional pioneer. She changed the way society viewed celebrities and their lives. Leibovitz's power was found in her ability to depict those seemingly superhumans into regular everyday people, with feelings that everyone feels on a day to day basis.

Annie Leibovitz is a leader in making people and society empathetic. Her photos, and those of many others, change people's view of others in order to inspire everyone to be sympathetic and kind.

Following Annie Leibovitz, photography became increasingly prominent in covering controversial topics.

In the 1970s, photojournalism started gaining recognition.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

And that is what photojournalism came to bring about. People could understand the world. Photojournalism addresses political, societal, and humane issues in hopes that people provide help or can at least understand the world better. There is controversy in photojournalism. But that controversy is what will stir society and cause change.

Don McMullin risks everything to depict these societal issues.

McMullin's masterpieces reveal the true problems with society and street strife. His photos of conflict and crisis demonstrate the issues with humanity and if these photos don't make you feel anything, I don't know what will.

Photojournalism makes people realize what they have and provides them with a basis for analysation of political and societal issues. Everyone should appreciate photojournalism for how it allows us to witness the horrors of this world without being directly involved in them.

Photography is art

and it has a story to tell and everyone should listen. Not only has photography changed over time, but so has the way we, as a society, view and appreciate it. Humans as a whole should use photography as a tool to stimulate and inspire change for the better.

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