Photography is a visual medium that provides documentation, communication and understanding of the world. It was first invented in the 19th century and has been the leading documenting medium for over two hundred years.
Photographs are found in nearly every aspect of modern life. They are used in advertising, magazines, television, and the internet. Some photographers pose subjects, others capture candid moments. Most photographs record holidays, celebrations, and events.
The word “photography” originates from Greek graphe meaning “drawing.” During the Renaissance, painters discovered the camera obscura, a dark room where light from an illuminated subject can be recorded. This invention gave basic technology for photography.
In the early 19th century, photographers began to explore color photography. Experiments required extremely long exposures, however. Thomas Sutton took the first color photograph in 1861.
In 1855, James Clerk Maxwell suggested a three-color separation principle that provided three basic channels for color images. A transparent print of an image could be projected through similar color filters.
After the introduction of this technology, a new form of photography called the Daguerreotype was developed. The image produced by the process was clearer and more visible. Eventually, other inventors tested their own methods of taking photos.
Today, most people use digital cameras to take their photos. Digital cameras are electronic image sensors that produce an electrical charge at each pixel. When the image is processed digitally, the charges are stored in a digital image file. These images are then printed on paper or displayed on a computer screen or television.