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Original Nineteenth Century Photography

Jan 10

The discipline of photography saw significant change and invention during the 19th century. The photographic period began with Louis Daguerre's development of the daguerreotype in 1839, and by the end of the century, photography had established itself as an art form and a popular instrument for communication and archiving.

William Henry Fox Talbot's creation of the negative-positive process in 1840 was one of the most important advances in photography throughout the 19th century. The calotype technique made photography more widely available by enabling the production of many prints from a single negative. Calotype was enhanced by Frederick Scott Archer's creation of the wet collodion technique in 1851, which was extensively employed for landscape and portrait photography.

The development of several photographic processes, including photogravure, which enabled the reproduction of photographic pictures in printed materials, and photomontage, which entailed fusing together multiple photographs to make a single image, also occurred in the 19th century.

During the 19th century, photography was also widely employed for documentation and academic study. For instance, scientists and explorers utilized photography to record their findings in disciplines like anthropology, archaeology, and botany. The British government used photographers to capture the nation's infrastructure and industry.

Nevertheless, artistic expression also found a place alongside these scientific and documentary uses of photography, particularly as a means of displaying landscapes and portraits as well as frequently as a means of capturing individuals, places, and events that were a part of the history of the moment. Photographers like Gustave Le Gray, Julia Margaret Cameron, and William Henry Fox Talbot were renowned for producing powerful and emotive photographs that pushed the limits of the medium.

In the 19th century, photography was also employed to capture the most well-known figures in the globe, including royalty, politicians, celebrities, and international leaders. They were frequently published in periodicals, newspapers, and even on postcards, which aided in the growth of photography as a field.

The development of hand-held cameras and the usage of roll film throughout the second half of the 20th century increased the popularity of photography and made it simpler for amateur photographers to capture images. George Eastman started the Kodak corporation in 1888, and with their low-cost box cameras and tagline "You push the button, we do the rest," they further democratized photography for the general people.

Photography was assimilated into society and culture by the end of the 19th century. It transformed the way we perceive the world and still influences how we think about it now. Numerous photographs from the 19th century have been saved, and the medium is still evolving today, continuing the heritage of the era.

In conclusion, the development of the negative-positive and wet collodion processes throughout the 19th century helped make photography more widely available. These processes allowed for the production of many prints from a single negative. The development of new methods such as photogravure, photomontage, and hand-held cameras that used roll film also contributed to the growth of photography. It was also a time when photography was utilized for creative expression, portraiture, and documenting people, places, and events that were significant in the current history in addition to for documentation and scientific inquiry. Numerous photographs from the 19th century that have been saved and the continued advancement of the medium are examples of how photography's legacy is still visible today.