History of Photography – World in Colors

During the late 50’s of 19th century, photography has continued its steady development. More and more people took interest in making the art of image capturing better and more specialized. Development of photography has spread across Europe and occupied the minds of physicians, chemists and doctors. In the year of 1861 Scottish scientist in the filed of mathematical physics, James Clerk – Maxwell demonstrated the first attempt of creating the color photography system. This system included three black and white photographs, each of them taken through a red, green or blue filter. The photos were turned into lantern slides and projected in registration with the same color filters. This system is known as color separation method and represents one of the most prominent discoveries in the field of photography, mostly because it pierced the way for color photography. In the same year, English photograph and inventor Thomas Sutton created the first permanent color photograph using Maxwell’s proposed method and instructions.

 

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Photo of a family in Dubrovnik from the ’30.

Photography became very popular in Europe. But, it couldn’t have effect on rest of the world, especially United States where technical revolution was on its high point. Also, many historic events just demanded to be documented and brought to public. During the period of 1861 – 1865 American photographer Mathew Brady, pioneer of daguerreotype in USA, covered the events of American Civil War. With enormous help of his staff he managed to expose 7000 negatives. These images became eternal memories of these historical events. As time passes, more and more color photography methods were discovered. In the year of 1868, pioneer of color photography in France – Louis Arthur Ducos du Hauron, publishes a book proposing a variety of methods for color photography. In the same year he patented his ideas and a year later, published them in Les couleurs en photographie, solution du problem (The colors in photography, solution of the problem). Besides many methods, new processes in photography were also discovered. In the year of 1871 Richard Leach Maddox, English photographer and physician invented the dry plate process, replacement for Adler’s Collodion process invented twenty years back. This process consisted of usage of an emulsion of gelatin and silver bromide on a glass plate. The advantages of the dry plate were obvious: photographers could use commercial dry plates off the shelf instead of having to prepare their own emulsions in a mobile darkroom. Negatives did not have to be developed immediately. Also, for the first time, cameras could be made small enough to be hand-held, or even concealed: further research created ‘fast’ exposure times, which led to ‘snapshot’ photography. This experiment also led to new ideas and innovations. In the year of 1877, English photographer began to experiment with photographic studies of motions. During the whole 70’s of 19th century, American Wild West was the place where many photographers went to work. Muybridge, who immigrated to America in the age of 20, made first images concerning motion in photography. Through time-sentenced photography he presented a motion of Leland Stanford’s horse.

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Leland Stanford’s Horse.

This clearly opened the way for further development of photography and eventually, cinematography. At the early 80’s demand for dry plates was on the rise. So, they started being commercially manufactured. In the year of 1880 George Eastman opened company called The Eastman Dry Plate Company. Seven years later, this company will develop to trademark called Eastman Kodak Company, later simple known as Kodak. Its headquarters are in Rochester, New York. A new era in color photography began with the introduction of Kodachrome film. That came along with the manufacturing of the first Kodak camera which contained 20-foot roll of paper, enough for 100 2.5-inch diameter circular pictures. Just one year later, Kodak came out with new improved camera with roll of film instead of paper. All these events led to appearance of many artistic photography works. In USA and across the globe many photo sessions, exhibitions and photography books were made. Photography has taken a major boom in its development. In the year of 1895 famous Loumière brothers made the first motion picture, called Sortie de l’usine Lumière de Lyon. Besides creating the first motion picture, Loumiere brothers invented the color plate which really got photography on the road. In 1903 they also patented a color photographic process, the Autochrome Lumière, which was launched on the market in 1907. Throughout the 20th century their cinematographic company was one of the biggest producers of photographic products. They also stayed remember as the creators of the world’s first movie poster, which advertised their cinematographic company, showing their famous comedy L’Arroseur Arrosé, filmed in 1895.

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Photo of a castle in Lichtenstein made in the late ’60 or early ’70.

Patent of Loumière brothers and Maxwell’s color separation method served their purpose until even until the 1950’s, or to the beginning of digital era in photography.

 

Милош Станковић
Miloš Stanković

Photo (2) property of http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3a45870
Photo (1,3) from actual listing on Sigedon Books and Antiques

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