Out task this week was to pick three events in the timeline from this week’s lesson History of Photography and write an explaining paragraph to each one.
This is a photograph taken in 1851 by Frederick Scott Archer, who was an amateur photographer from Britain. The photograph was obtained through the wet plate method also known as “collodion process”. Archer was unhappy with the photography technology of the time and this was the reason he started to study the form of photography. This new technology still required a lot of difficult steps and a considerable skill. In short there was a glass-plate coated in collodium, which made the glass light sensitive, and then was placed in a light sensitive box. Afterwards the “light cap” of the camera aka the light sensitive box was removed for several seconds so that the image would “burn” to the glass, and so the box again was sealed. Then the glass needed to be soaked in a chemical called varnish so that the image would stay on the glass permanently. At the end there is produced prints from the glass negative.
The wet plate process allowed for shorter time to capture the image but the glass needed to be soaked in collodion short time before the image was captured. Therefore this method was only used by professional photographers and mostly in studio. If they were to travel with the camera they had to bring all the chemicals and other equipment needed to capture photographs.
This photograph was the first price winner of the amateur class of Kodaks Photographic Advertising contest in 1908. George Eastman invented the Kodak camera and the first copy was sold in 1888. The camera had 100 exposures and was smaller and cheaper than any other company on the market. To get the cameras smaller the film was made of gelatin-based paper film based on the formula of the “dry plate” emulsion. Later Eastman hired the chemist Henry Reichenbach to make the flexible film that would make the cameras even smaller, this resulted in The Brownie camera, which suited both new hobbyist photographers and children with its kind price tag of $1. Eastmans company was a monopoly in many years in the USA.
This picture is the first color photography and is taken by James Clerk Maxwell. He produced this photography by taking three different pictures through red, blue and yellow filters and then afterwards combining them into one final color composite. Maxwells photography style was to mimic the eyes perception of images and the way the eye process color, based on his own theories. The reproduction of colors in images was taking a lot of time and it wasn’t until the early 20th century that color came into its own. This was achieved by Gabriel Lippman and the Sanger Shepherd Company. At the end the achievement of color photography is based on almost the same basic operations that Maxwell used – three different images created in red, green and blue.