“A beautiful sunset. You are sitting with your friends on the banks of a calm river as you observe the sun gliding down the horizon. You and your friends are laughing but the chatter of the birds overpowers the sound of your laughs. Now you want to preserve this memory , this evening of fun and serenity. You want this day to be imprinted upon your mind forever and ever.”
This evolution of photos, from camera obscura to modern day phone cameras, is one epic tale of human imagination and invention.
In the 21st century, the act of capturing a picture is as easy as waking up in the morning. A photograph is only a click away. But the science and history of cameras go back a long time and make up for a very interesting read.
A NEW LENS TO LOOK AT THE WORLD
Can you guess when the idea of capturing an image first started going around?
It all started when a Chinese philosopher Mozi described a principle that we now call “Camera Obscura”. Camera obscura is a dark room with a very small opening for light to enter. Due to the small hole, the image formed within the dark room is inverted and smaller than the original object. These works of Mozi have been traced back to 470-391 BC. Following up the works of Mozi, an Arab physicist, Ibn-Al-Haytham(965-1040 AD) produced correct, scientific explanations of the camera obscura phenomenon. After several optics experiments, Ibn-Al-Haytham is credited with the invention of the pinhole camera which was the beginning of the science of cameras.
The camera obscura was widely used since the 16th century to trace images for paintings and sketches.
But before the world could start clicking pictures instantly, there was a long wait. In fact some centuries elapsed while the scientists and inventors were experimenting with lights and lenses. The works of Ibn-Al-Haytham deeply influenced many Europeans . Johann Heinrich Shulze, a German scientist, realized in 1727 that some salts darkened when exposed to sunlight. Following this discovery, Carl Wilhelm Sheele came up with the use of Silver Chloride for capturing images.
Years later, we would have the first ever permanent photograph taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1825 from his window in France This marked the beginning of a new era, a new lens to look at our beautiful world.
PEEK INTO THE PAST
For this section we procured some of the first ever photos taken! In the times when instagram and snapchat filtered photos are so popular, these precious photographs take us back to the ‘good, old days’.
- Photograph of Louis Daguerre- the inventor of Daguerreotype photos
MODERN CAMERAS AND A WORLD OF PIXELS
Taking a picture in the initial days was a cumbersome task. It took 15-20 minutes of exposure for the image to be captured properly. Today a picture is only a click away. This evolution of photos, from camera obscura to modern day phone cameras, is one epic tale of human imagination and invention.
From Daguerreotype photographs slowly our world was getting ready to be captured on film. In 1885 , George Eastman manufactured paper film . He sold the first ever commercial camera, Kodak, in 1888. This revolutionised the camera market and Kodak became a huge company over the next century .
With Kodak cameras, photographs became more and more popular and accessible to common people. But what changed the art of clicking pictures completely was the digital camera. In 1975, Steven Stasson invented the first self-contained digital camera while working for Kodak. This had a resolution of 0.01 megapixels! Since then many big players came into the field like Nikon, Fujifilms, Toshiba and Panasonic for manufacturing memory cards, experimenting for a more efficient camera and overall improving the quality of pictures. And thus began the digitalizing of memories and moments and we have come a long, long way.
Today most phones have an inbuilt camera. In fact , there are some phone cameras that have a resolution up to 108 mega pixels , which is 10000 times greater than the first digital camera! That is the kind of revolution we are talking about.
In the end we would say , on a beautiful sunset with your friends, capturing with cameras is only a click away. It is a huge leap from the times when photographs were a costly and time-consuming affair. This is the story of cameras, capturing their journey from pin holes to films to our daily lives.