The Origin of Digital Photography

Digitization has made things very handy nowadays, with photography a very easy to achieve attempt. People around are found to be sporting looks for selfies, continuous shutter clicks as someone finds the guest of honor in a gathering, or posts to quench the forever thirst of social media addiction, whichever way it goes. Things were not so easy few decades back, when analogue cameras restricted the shutter counts, and also prevented an instant preview. So, there has been a huge development indeed. Today, will talk about the origin point, where it all started from.


Its believed that the first concept of camera, or precisely a Dark Room was Obscura. Though this Camera Obscura neither had lens, nor was used to click photographs. It was a box with just a small hole, which used to create an inverted image inside the wall of the box. It seems, this methodology has been adopted by many painters of 18th century to paint life size portraits.



It was only in 1800, the idea of capturing the image came up, and Thomas Wedgwood made the first reliable document, however, it was unsuccessful. The first successful attempt was made by Nicephore Niepce in 1827 with the image “View from the Window at Le Gras”. The photograph took an exposure time of 8 hours.



Due to this long hour of exposure, Niepce’s result was crude, with lot of grans, and the irregular shadow due to changing position of the Sun. Later, Niepce’s associate Louise Daguerre developed the daguerreotype process, the first publicly announced photographic process, which required only minutes of exposure in the camera and produced clear, finely detailed results. It was commercially introduced in 1839, a date generally accepted as the birth year of practical photography. Daguerre treated a silver-plated sheet of copper with iodine vapor to give it a coating of light-sensitive silver iodide. After exposure in the camera, the image was developed by mercury vapor and fixed with a strong solution of ordinary salt (sodium chloride). Just within a year, Henry Fox Talbot perfected a different process, the calotype, in 1840. Lot of experiments were carried out on utilization of dry plates within 1850 and 1880.


In 1885, George Eastman started manufacturing paper film, and his first camera Kodak was offered for sale to public in 1888, with the caption “You press the button, we do the rest”. In 1900, he introduced Brownie, with the ability to snapshot, and movie filming.

The development curve shoot up high thereafter, with TLR, SLR, Instant Cameras, Analogue Electronic Cameras, and true Digital Cameras. So if we calculate as per History, we have 178 years of Photography, but the dedication for today’s stand has a long story and lot of hardships invested.

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