Adolescent digital photo technology

Lacock Abbey was the home of William Fox Talbot the inventor of the negative / positive process of picture making. Fox Talbot invented the Calotype based on paper negatives in 1835. He was not the first to get an image on paper, the Daguerreotype invented in 1826 was a positive / positive process hence each picture was unique and could not be repeated or replicated. Fox Talbot was helped by Sir John Herschel who had invented a way of fixing the fugitive silver image on the paper with Hyposulphite of soda – Hypo.

This negative / positive chemical process was the basis of silver photography from around 1851 when the wet glass plate method was invented until the advent of the digital revolution. Negatives were made on glass plates of various sizes until 1889 when Celluloid medium format negative roll film was introduced.

Photography became democratized in 1900 with introduction of the $5 (a weeks wages) Kodak Box Brownie. As a slight aside Kodak introduced Kodachrome in 1936 and the C41 colour negative process was introduced in 1941. Kodak invented the first digital camera in 1975. Kodak sold the first 0.6mp digital compact cameras in 1995. Nikon introduced the first Dslr the D1 a 2.6mp camera in 1999. Kodak filed for bankruptcy in the US in 2011.

I hope the history lesson has been useful to demonstrate that digital photography is still very adolescent in terms of its development. Where will digital photo technology be in 50 years?

Back in March I went to Lacock Abbey with a friend of mine Duncan McEwan a tour leader with Light and Land where we saw an exhibition of the photographic work of George Bernard Shaw the English Playwright.

The feature picture of this post is the first to be processed in Lightroom 4.

A big hello to all the new followers of my little blog.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2012

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