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Sunday, 24 November 2013


Joseph Nicéphore Niépce produced the earliest surviving photograph on a pewter plate in 1826.

The British polymath William Talbot, inventor of one of the earliest cameras was inspired by his inability to draw. He described one of his sketches as "melancholy to behold", wishing for a way to fix on paper the fleeting photographic images that had been observed for centuries using camera obscura.

It was Talbot who invented the negative/positive process, helping photography to pass from novelty into ubiquity.

To have your picture taken by the very first camera you would have had to sit still for 8 hours.

The word “camera” originally meant a judicial or legislative chamber. Its modern use came from “camera obscura” a darkened room or box used as a pinhole camera.

The photographic single-lens reflex camera (SLR) was invented in 1861 by Thomas Sutton, a photography author and camera inventor who ran a photography related company together with Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard on Jersey. Only a few of his SLR's were made.

George Eastman registered the trademark Kodak and received a patent for his roll film camera on September 4, 1888.

George Eastman hated having his picture taken.

The Brownie box camera, introduced by Eastman Kodak, sold for $1.00 in 1900. The camera's 6-exposure film sold for 15 cents.

The Brownie box camera captured the imagination of Edwardian England, with over half of the first-year sales of 100,000 made in the UK. Queen Alexandra was among the early adopters and the photo albums she compiled of friends and family are still in Windsor Castle today.

The Reverend Hannibal Goodwin, the inventor of celluloid photographic film was an Episcopal priest at the House of Prayer in Newark, New Jersey. He was motivated to search for a non-breakable, and clear substance on which he could place the images he utilized in his Biblical teachings. On May 2, 1887, the Reverend Goodwin filed his patent for a method of making transparent, flexible roll film out of nitrocellulose film base, but the patent was not granted until September 13, 1888.  In the meantime, George Eastman had already started production of roll-film using his own process.

Goodwin's transparent, flexible roll film was used in Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope, an early machine for viewing animation.

At the turn of the 20th century, people said "prunes" instead of "cheese" for the camera because a small mouth was considered beautiful.

Edwin Land demonstrated the first "instant camera", the Polaroid Land Camera, to a meeting of the Optical Society of America on February 21, 1947 in New York City. Land was inspired by his daughter, Jennifer, who asked why she had to wait so long to see her holiday snaps.

The first instant Polaroid cameras went on sale in a Boston department store for $89.75 ($900 in today’s money) on November 26, 1948. All 57 had sold by the end of the day.

Kodak engineer Steven Sasson built the first digital camera in 1975. It resembled a toaster.

The first photo Sasson took with his digital camera was of a female lab assistant. It boasted just 0.01 megapixels and took almost a minute to record and display.

Digital cameras have outsold cameras using film since 2003.

When glass breaks, the cracks move faster than 3,000 miles per hour. To photograph the event, a camera must shoot at a millionth of a second.

Wearing yellow makes you look bigger on camera; green, smaller.

Camera shutter speed "B" stands for bulb.

The CIA has made a disk camera that is as big as a quarter. This gadget can take many pictures at a time when the disk is opened.

Sources Independent 3/11/07, Radio Times 14-20th Apr 2007, Daily Express

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