Day 654, Pictures make it real.

Day 654-1

For some reason I find old pictures interesting. You can see people, street views and landscapes on paintings but you never know what the artist changed, with photography you know it’s a replica of the real world. Pictures can be altered also off course but, I at least, don’t assume that when I look at a portrait for instance. With modern pictures it’s different off course, were Photoshop makes it really easy to change a picture to your liking.

Boulevard_du_Temple_by_Daguerre

This is probably one of the first pictures where you can see people, because of the exposure of several minutes most moving vehicles and people are not visible but down, in the left corner, you can see a person like shape. This picture is made by Louis Daguerre in 1838 and is called “Boulevard du Temple”. If you think about the past, especially if you go back more than a 150 years (before there were pictures), I always have trouble imagining how those people lived. You can see paintings from the rich and maybe the poor and you can read description of life in the different classes, but it is always difficult for me to interpret these stories. If I look at this picture I see houses, with windows like we have, I see a street for traffic and a footpath and what looks like a row of shop’s. This all doesn’t seem so different from what we have today, but it is 10 years before the revolutions in 1948, 32 years before the Franco-Prussian war and almost 80 years before the Russian revolution.

 

la-seine-2-1839
Seine River in Paris by an unknown photographer in 1839
image
London, Parliament Street from Trafalgar Square by M de St Croix in 1839

 

1280px-RobertCornelius

This is a self-portrait that Rober Cornelius took of himself in 1839. They assume it is the first selfie ever made with a camera in the world, it looks just like a modern selfie with a cool filter on top of it. But all the kidding aside, I think he looks like a cool guy I like to meet, he was one of the front-runners in photography and probably a nerd to and he would fit right in our modern society I think, something you don’t expect from a men who died 5 years before America went to war with Spain.

Short history of photography

The history of photography has roots in remote antiquity with the discovery of two critical principles, that of the camera obscura image projection and the fact that some substances are visibly altered by exposure to light, as discovered by observation. Apart from a very uncertain process used on the Turin Shroud there are no artifacts or descriptions that indicate that anyone even imagined capturing images with light sensitive materials before the 18th century. Around 1717 Johann Heinrich Schulze captured cut-out letters on a bottle of a light-sensitive slurry, but he apparently never thought of making the results durable. Around 1800 Thomas Wedgwood made the first View_from_the_Window_at_Le_Gras,_Joseph_Nicéphore_Niépce.jpgreliably documented, although unsuccessful attempt at capturing camera images in permanent form. His experiments did produce detailed photograms, but Wedgwood and his associateHumphry Davyfound no way to fix these images. In the mid-1820s, Nicéphore Niépce first managed to fix an image that was captured with a camera, but at least eight hours or even several days of exposure in the camera were required and the earliest results were very crude. Niépce’s associate Louis Daguerrewent on to develop the daguerreotype process, the first publicly announced and commercially viable photographic process. The daguerreotype required only minutes of exposure in the camera, and produced clear, finely detailed results. The details were introduced as a gift to the world in 1839, a date generally accepted as the birth year of practical photography  The metal-based daguerreotype process soon had some competition from the paper based calotype negative and salt print processes invented by William Henry Fox T albot. Subsequent innovations made photography easier and more versatile. New materials reduced the required camera exposure time from minutes to seconds, and eventually to a small fraction of a second; new photographic media were more economical, sensitive or convenient, including roll films for casual use by amateurs. In the mid-20th century, developments made it possible for amateurs to take pictures innatural color as well as inblack-and-white. The commercial introduction of computer-based electronic digital cameras in the 1990s soon revolutionized photography. During the first decade of the 21st century, traditional film-based photochemical methods were increasingly marginalized as the practical advantages of the new technology became widely appreciated and the image quality of moderately priced digital cameras was continually improved. Especially since cameras became a standard feature on smartphones, taking pictures (and instantly publishing them online) has become an ubiquitous everyday practice around the world.

More on Wikipedia

 

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