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Where did it all start!

Where did it all start? This is the first photo ever taken. It was taken by Joseph Niepce somewhere in the 1700's.
first photo taken by joseph niepce
Cameras were invented many hundreds of years before photographic film or recoding media was brought onto the scene. The question is why? Why would someone build a camera if there was no such thing as photographic film and, similarly, no way of using it to produce a photographic image? For us today it doesn't make sense at all.
The first camera in the world was not invented with photography in mind!! Now it seems really strange. Let's look into it.
camera obscuraThe first Camera was called Camera Obscura. In Latin it means "Room" and "Dark". With some people the words Room and Dark will ring a bell. In the film days we were using a Dark Room to manipulate and develop film.

Camera Obscura was invented by the Chinese philosopher Mo-Ti. 5th Century BC. That is really far back in history.
It was used for artistic purposes as early as the 1200's. Leonardo DaVinci was one of the first people to use it in the 1500's. Now some of you will wonder what he was doing with a "Camera".
camera obscuraThe camera obscura, in its simplest form, was a light-tight box or small room built for the purpose of allowing light in through a tiny pinhole. This early version of a camera projected an image through a pinhole (or later on, through a lens) onto the back inside wall. The artist would then trace the image on a "cloth", paper or canvas.

This was a well-guarded secret! It save the artist a lot of time and it helps to accurate perspective in drawings. Like painting over a photograph! Cheat?? It was an artistic tool.

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