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Before we begin something, here is a little bit of theory about Photography and its history because it is important to know the origins of this practice.


Etymology of Photography

But first, what is Photography ? What is the meaning of it ?

Wiki, some help?

The word Photography was created by John Herschel et comes from two Greek words : 

  • the prefix « photo- » (φωτoς, photos : light, brightness) — « which proceeds of the light », « which uses the light » ;
  • the suffix « -graphie » (γραφειν, graphein : to paint, to draw, to write) — « which writes », « which ends in an image ».

Photography is a technic which allows to create images without the action of the hand, by the action of the light.


Thanks Wiki ! So, in some ways, Photography, it’s like painting with light. That’s pretty sweet, isn’t it ? 🙂


The beginning

There are many things which happened before you could take selfies or your food with your smartphone.

Photography is a result of many discoveries over time and since antiquity . Because, it’s been a long time since Mankind shearches to represent his surrounding on a support.

But, it is said that the first true photography was made in 1826 by  Nicéphore Niepce.

Photo taken in Nicephore Niepce’s property with a polished plate of tin covered with bitumen of Judea.

But, be aware that we talk about several exposition hours (between 8 and 10 hours)  to obtain this result. We are far from our current snapshots.

But since this time, things evolved a lot and they evolved quickly. When we think of it, it was only 200 years ago

After the successful experience of Niepce, Louis Daguerre arrived with his Daguerreotype.

Then, there was the invention of the negative, first on solid support (glass plate) then on soft support (films).

And also, photos, first in black and white, became colorized.

As time passed, Photography improved. Exposure time were reduced. Photos were more and more sharp. The processes became simpler. Automatic mechanisms appeared like autofocus or even the exposure automatic control. It was possible to interchange lenses.

Photography popularized and became more accessible.


Digital era

Computer science was more and more in lifestyles, Photography did not escape it.

And it was in 1981 that Sony launch the first digital camera , the Mavica.

A camera with a CCD sensor and a magnetic disk which allowed to save 50 color image (RGB) with a definition of 570 x 490 points (that is 280 000 pixels)

<- Photo by Morio – Wikipedia

These caracteristics might make you laught but it is where digital photography began. It was 30 years ago.

Now, we speak of tens of millions of pixels. Memory cards allow to save hundreds of photos. It is possible to take several photos in a second without any problem. ISO sensibility keep increasing and to improve in quality.

I think you understood, Photography went on in its own way since it was created and it keep going forward with new functionalities.


How it works?

We saw above, Photography is like « painting with light ». And it was like this at the beginning and it is still the same now, the principle remains the same :

  • You need a subject/scene to which you will point your lens to.
  • This lens is composed of convergent optical lenses which can guide light of your subject to your sensitized surface of your device (film or sensor)
  • And this surface, more or less sensitive, will need in consequence, more or less time to acquire an image.

A little schema of how it works. Sorry, I am a photographer, not a drawer 😉


Of course, there are several parameters which are necessary when you take a photo but don’t worry, we will see them in time.  😉

For now, it is just important to understand the global functioning. Then, we will see every parameters, one by one.

On this website, the main subject will be digital photography (the only domain which I know) but I would be glad that analog users share their experiences. Then, do not hesitate to use the comments section down below.

See you soon for a new article !

Justin, 29/05/2017

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