Photography is the technique of capturing pictures (capturing light) on a light sensitive recorder such as a film or a sensor. The word comes from French, “photographie”, which is related to the Greek word “phos” referring to the idea of “drawing with light”. Modern photography was encouraged by the developing of cameras; the camera is a device that uses an image sensor or a photographic film as a sensitive medium. The film itself can be the recording support but a digital card or magnetic memory can also be used.
Modern cameras have replaced the film with an image sensor (a light-sensitive electronic item), the resulted photo is stored on an electronic platform but it can be easily printed on paper or film. Many characteristics of the camera itself can influence the photo quality, the focal length, the type of lens, the filters and the scrims can all have a word in the quality of your photos. Most modern cameras are designed to automatically adjust advanced settings helping a beginner a lot. Moreover, advanced users can look through the camera menus and make custom settings that fit their purposes best. Photography has become more and more a hobby and an art in the same time.
Photography gained the attention of scientists from its very beginning, the possibility to record research steps or stages as part of experiments fascinated everyone. Military and police forces started to use photography for surveillance, data storage and recognition of criminal suspects. Nowadays, not even commercial advertising would exist without photos. All these are actually based on the idea that a photo contains very complex information details much larger than any description.
Photography goes back in history to 1826 when the first image was produced by the French scientist Nicephore Niepce. This first picture took about eight long hours to expose, and afterwards, in 1839 the first glass negative appeared. In 1884 George Eastman discovered the film technology which would replace the photographic plates used until then.
In those days all photography was monochrome (black and white) and even after the appearance of color films black and white photos ruled for another several decades because of their low cost. At present monochrome photography remains just an art form and only nostalgics or artists use it. Though color photography started in the 1800s it took about 60 years for the technological advances to allow permanent color photos to be taken, and the first to have succeeded was James Clerk Maxwell in 1861. The first color picture was taken using three color filters that would enable the photographer to recreate a color image in a dark room.