The Long And Interesting History of The Camera

The photo camera’s ancestors, both the obscura and pinhole cameras, can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Chinese. The first individual to write down the concepts of camera obscura was the Chinese writer Mozi, who resided during the Han dynasty (approximately 468–about 391 BC).

Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle also wrote in his book, Problems, his musings about the phenomenon, asking why the sun appeared circular through a small opening, such as through a window.

The Obscura and Pinhole Cameras

So, what’s an obscura? This fundamental concept is a natural optical phenomenon in which a picture is projected across a gap on a ground opposite the opening on one hand of a wall— or screen. The projection arising is upside down. A word created in the 16th century, camera obscura, also relates to a cabinet, shed or space set up for such phenomena.

The only distinction between a camera obscura and a camera pinhole is that a camera obscura utilizes a lens, whereas a camera pinhole is a similar tool, but with an accessible gap. During the 17th and 18th centuries, this technology picked up steam when painters used relatively similar equipment to assist they were then able to trace on sketching projects. The only problem with this sytem is that there was obviously no way to maintain the pictures long term apart from tracing.

The Invention of The Modern Camera

Enters into play the next move on the journey to the contemporary photographic camera. While early camera obscura instruments occupied complete spaces, the innovations of the 17th century led to portable devices, and perhaps the very beginnings of the mobile tech we have today, whether we use it for making calls or playing

Further advances, such as the creation of the magic lantern, advanced further with more feasible projection, but still didn’t allow people to capture stills for any period of time.

German author Johann Zahn, a light specialist, wrote widely about camera obscura, magic lantern, glasses and telescopes. He suggested a design for the first reflex camera handheld in 1685. It would take another 150 years before his invention became a reality.

French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce is commonly recognized as the creator of photography. He created the first partly effective photograph on paper covered with silver chloride using a homemade camera in 1816. Although this photograph no longer exists, letters to his sibling from Niépce provide proof of a good photograph. Niépce is also the first surviving photographer in history, and his first picture can be found today in the University of Texas-Austin’s permanent collection. It is a scene from his window in Burgundy dating back to 1826 or 1827.

All this makes Niépce the inventor of the first functional camera commonly adopted.

The French inventor was able to create one-of-a-kind pictures that could be replicated using a method he called heliography.

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