Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Camera and Photography - A Brief History

In ancient times, technological advances were not supported by science, but nomadic people were still curious and wanted to capture images of animals, trees, men and women, etc., but they had no means to do that.  All they could do was to sketch and paint the things they liked on rocks.  These rock paintings are mainly consisted of animals like bison, deer, goats and human hand prints and found all over the world and oldest known rock paintings are approximately 40,000 years old and found near Santander, Spain.  So, it is obviously clear that the process of capturing images started a long time ago.  However, it is very difficult to say who invented the camera.  In actuality, it was not invented by a single person.  Through the centuries, many scientists and philosophers used different methods to capture images.  According to the history, camera obscura is considered as forerunner of camera.  This camera obscura was used by Greek mathematician in his experiment in 6th century.  It was a dark box in which light was entered through a pinhole forming an image on paper.  A muslim scientist, Ibn al-Haytham, first used the basic concept of camera and wrote about it in his book “Book of Optics (Arabic name Kitab al-Manazir) in 1021 and he used a pinhole or lens to focus an image on a surface.  The camera obscura was later used by Joseph Nicephore Niepce, a retired French army officer, and made the world's first true photograph of a scene in 1826.

A 32,000-year-old painting.
Grotte Chauvet, France
This is the world's first photograph
and is called View from the Window at Le Gras,
taken by Joseph Nicephore Niepce in 1826.

This is the first photograph of moon,
taken by John William in 1839.

This is the first view of Earth
taken by a spacecraft from the vicinity of the Moon
on August 23, 1966