Q1 – Pick three events in the timeline for the history of photography. Find photographs and wright a paragraph for each event.
Dry plate negatives and handheld cameras
This maid photography much easier and portable then earlier. Before you had to pour wet collodion(silver flammable, syrupy solution of pyroxylin) and silver nitrate onto a glassplate before before putting it inside a camera.
By mixing it with gelatin you got a dry plate that was ready for use on demand. It removed the need for a portable darkroom and you could wait for weeks before developing it instead of having to develop it right after being exposed to light.
Flexible roll film
Peter Houston invented the first roll film camera and his younger brother invented the first holders for flexible film. They got it patented and licensed it to George Eastman, for him to use in Kodak’s box camera. In 1889 George Eastman bought the patent for $5000.
A spool of film is put in one side of the camera and dragged/pulled across to another identical take up spool for the exposed images. When the entire film roll was exposed, the spool would become the take up spool for the next film roll.
Since the 1930s, color film has been available, but due to expense of color film compared to black and white and the challenges with using it with indoor lightning it was not widespread amongst amateurs at first.
Kodak launched Kodachrome slides, the first commercially available color prints. The following year they introduced Kodacolor film, a negative image that showed light and dark reversed but also complementary colors, making the process of prints simpler and cheaper.
In the 1960s it was still more expensive, but more widespread than earlier.
Q2 – Write a short “think piece” about a photograph.
You are free to select any image you would like to write about, as long as the photograph was taken during the 19th century. Examine the photograph carefully and write about what you see and what the photograph makes you think about.
I chose an 1877 color photographic print on paper by Louis Ducos du Hauron, the foremost early French pioneer of color photography.
What does the photograph tell me about the photographer?
He likes the city, managed to take a picture from a place above the city center. He’s probably urban living.
What does it tell me about the subject of the image?
It’s a big city with a church, a river that runs trough it and it’s close to sea. It looks lika a big city since I can spot buildings far of in the horizon.
Does the technical quality of the image help or hinder the success of the photograph?
The photograph is put together by overlapping yellow, cyan and red transparent layers. For it’s time this is a revolution within color photography. At the same time by using red instead of magenta(todays color system for print isCMYK) it gives me a feeling of traveling back in time. My expectations of such an old photograph are far lower than this and that’s what’s sparking the feeling of time travel in me.
Where did the photographer stand when she or he took the picture?
The picture was taken fram a hill, overlooking the city.
How does her or his camera position or angel affect the outcome of the image?
The composition of the photograph is balanced evenly with 1/3 showing the sky, 1/3 showing the city and 1/3 showing the nature close by. There are many subjects in this image and it gives a great overview of the city. A nice touch is that the line the river makes starts in the bottom roght corner and ends where the top part of the bottom 1/3 of the image ends.