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Photography And Photo Albums

Apr 13, 2008
Humans have always favored the visual media. From cave paintings to monumental sculpture, mankind has sought ways to recreate the images of the world around him and through art, the things of his imagination. Art is however, a subjective form of expression and all such early images, no matter how carefully crafted, were not true representations. This began to change in the nineteenth century as the photographic process began to be developed.

Photography is the process whereby a light sensitive chemically treated surface was exposed to light through a focusing lens. The exposed "film" could then be processed with other chemicals to permanently stain the unlit areas so an image would appear.

The process has continually improved to the point that now photographs can be taken directly to a digital format through the use of a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) chip or a Charge Coupled Device (CCD).

Historically, the photograph (light picture) was first produced by the Frenchman, Joseph Nicphore Nipce in 1826 with the use of silver and chalk as a substrate. The idea of capturing live images propelled the inventiveness of others. Louis Daguerre brought photography to the next level with his use of specially treated metal plates being used instead of glass. While the image was delicate and could degrade over time, the daguerreotype set an impressive standard for photographic imaging.

The next great developments in photography occurred in the mid eighteen hundreds in the process of finding the right types of paper and chemical mixes. The collodion process used a glass plate negative that could transfer the image to albumen paper. The gelatin process of photography appeared in 1871 and is still the most often used process for black and white photography.

While color photography has been possible ever since the process was created, the efficiency of color reproduction lagged behind black and white image making. It was not until 1903 that Autochrome Lumire was revealed to the public. With the right direction in research finally discovered, the Autochrome was soon replaced by the more effective Kodachrome. As these systems became for accurate in their color representation and ease of processing, color photography has become the state of the art and over 95% of all photographs taken in the world today are done with color.

Photographs are no longer exclusively limited to photographic paper. The early etching process and them the lithographic printing process developed ways to break the varying shades of gray into dot patterns that allowed photographs to be reproduced quickly and effectively. Newspapers quickly took up this ability and have made photojournalism a distinguished profession. It is through them that we see a picture can truly be worth a thousand written words.

Motion picture photography has added another dimension to the photographic repertoire. By exposing a series of still pictures and replaying them at speed, the image so projected gives the illusion of movement. The movie industry has been a prime source of improved photographic development ever since it began.

Now that computers have emerged as the most powerful source of information on the planet, photography has evolved to take full advantage of the digital age. There are more digital cameras now than there are analog cameras. Imaging programs can modify and enhance existing photographs for greater details or artistic effects.

Digital photographs do not even need to be printed but can be saved in image files on computer hard drives or Compact Disks and viewed on screen. Color jet and laser printers can produce a hard copy of your photograph that is almost indistinguishable from a chemically treated photograph.
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