Ffotograffiaeth Cymru

Ffotograffiaeth Cymru

History of photography

Drawing with light

Man has always had the need surrounding him to depict reality.
From the renaissance onwards, he set the ideal for this to display reality as faithfully as possible. This one new view on how the visible world must be depicted, namely, in a flat plane, the illusion of depth display (= perspective) was taken from the Greek antiquity.
Also the principle of the camera obscura (dark room) they already knew Christ and were renaissance man back studied. Leonardo da Vinci, the great artist, inventor and scientist from that time, it already reported.
We can see the things around us because they are illuminated through the rays of the sun. Part of these rays will be
reflects in all directions. They are taken care of by our eye and forms an image on the retina. The camera obscura actually works just like our eye.
The simplest camera consists of a closed room or box with just a hole at the front. The reflected from the objects
light rays go straight through this hole and form a picture on the wall opposite. The is however turned upside down and is mirrored. You can see this phenomenon when you closed it back wall replaces with a frosted glass or sheet of paper. Because only few light beams through The picture is usually pretty dark.
By incorporating a lens, the image sharper and brighter to make and a mirror, so that it stands upright, creates one
handy drawing instrument that from the 18th century a wide application knows.
This drawing camera provides a perfect picture of reality and is therefore an ideal tool for the draftsman who is still looking for it strives to get this reality as accurate as possible on his paper.

Instead of making complicated geometrical constructions, he only has to enter the lines of it to follow the camera projected image to make a correct perspective drawing.
Owning a painted or drawn portrait was long a privilege of the nobility and the high bourgeoisie. By using all kinds of drawing tools: especially the camera obscura, but also devices for easy shrinking and engraving of the image, around 1800 it came miniature portrait also within the financial possibilities of the small citizen. There was now one unexplored terrain ready for the pioneers of photography; there was only one missing light-sensitive fabric to perpetuate the image of the camera obscura.

The inventors

The wealthy citizen had a decent upbringing in 1800 of which both the sciences such as the fine arts and also the teaching of drawing and painting techniques important part. He filled his days, retired on his estate with experiment. The chemistry in particular lent itself particularly well. It is therefore not too wonder that the light sensitivity of some substances (such as silver salts) was known to him.

Photography becomes an adult medium 1850-1880

Around 1850 photography on paper has overcome her worst childhood illnesses. Thanks to better lenses (combined lenses) and photosensitive recording material are now known exposure times from a few minutes to a large number of seconds. The photographer uses one large camera with bellows, the back wall with the frosted glass can be moved around to focus. Under a black cloth he looks at the image on the frosted glass. The recording is done by removing the cap from the lens.
The quality of the print also improves remarkably. As a negative material one steps over from paper on glass, on which a light-sensitive collodium layer is applied. In this emulsion layer are the light-sensitive silver salts glued to the glass plate in a finely divided manner. You get so much sharper and transparent negatives. The printing paper is also provided with a photosensitive emulsion layer consisting of albumin (protein). The silver salts can no longer pass through the paper be included; the image is now in a thin layer on top of the paper and therefore becomes a lot sharper.
Still, photography is still very cumbersome and only reserved for specialists. The photosensitive collodium layer still has to be moist during shooting and therefore has to be on the glass shortly before plate. After recording, it must be developed and fixed immediately.

To photograph outside, the photographer drags alongside large cameras, tripods and glasses plates also a mobile dark room. (portable development cabinet, tent, car ...)
The collodrome photography meant a remarkable improvement of the negative-positive process from Talbot. Thanks to the cheaper material and the technical improvement, photography was gone paper for the first time to displace the razor-sharp daguerreotype. The one-time and precious portrait daguerreotypes had become the status symbol of the wealthy citizen
who found an alternative to the traditional ancestral portrait gallery. It much cheaper "carte-de-visite" portrait that became a new rage in Paris in 1854, however soon mean the death blow for the daguerreotype.
An ever-broader audience was able to create an image of himself and his beloved family members to own. From fashion grill in exclusive circles this business card evolved from 1860 to mass product and remained very popular until the First World War. People collected business cards in special albums. Images of well-known personalities were even on the market for sale.
The portrait photographer had a special daylight studio with glass ceiling and lots of windows to allow as much daylight as possible. Most photographers had an artistic education behind us and switched from drawing and painting to this new medium. She built their photos just like paintings. The person portrayed posed in his best-looking clothes for a richly painted decor, the head in a neck rest for the long exposure times without moving. The photographer had all sorts of attributes from which one could make a choice to make. The portrait was therefore rather an ideal image, showing how people would like to look and usually did not respond to reality.

In addition to the cheap business card portrait whose quality was often inferior to photograph some photographers in portraits showing the character of the person portrayed speaks. They are also gems of early photo art.
The negative-positive process has the great advantage that from 1 negative many prints can to be made. This characteristic gave rise to an increasing democratization of information. Photographers made cityscapes and traveled to distant continents around it all photographing historically important monuments. Drawn and engraved images, which moreover, subjective and often wrong, were soon replaced by pasted photographs.

Only a small privileged elite was mediated enough to travel. For the first time were also less fortunate to view the same images at home. Also the stereophotography became very popular during this period. Two photos from a light different
position, are mounted next to each other and viewed in a special viewer, so that each eye sees another picture. This creates a depth image. The principle is still applied in the "view master". These stereophotos did all those views from distant continents many, however, seem. Every respected civilian family therefore possessed a stereo viewer and a
collection of stereocards.


At the end of the 19th century, photography gained momentum, mainly at due to the introduction of gelatin emulsions. Negative plates are now ready for sale and ready for use new, easier-to-use camera types make their appearance.
The long exposure times and the cumbersome and time-consuming technique are major disadvantages of the collodium photography. The light sensitivity of a collide emulsion strongly decreases when drying it must therefore be placed on the glass plate by the photographer just before the shot.
Immediately after the recording must be developed and fixed. Gelatin is a good thing alternative to collodium. Not only can the emulsion be used in the dry state, she is also much more sensitive to light. Glass plates with gelatin emulsions appear from 1880 onwards pre-packaged in trade. Around 1890 also roll film with a gelatin emulsion on the market.
The printing paper is also provided with a gelatin layer, this replacing albumin. Men assembles gelatin emulsions that are also light-sensitive to artificial light, so that it becomes possible project a negative with an artificial light source and thus enlarge the image.
With the much shorter exposure times (fractions of a second) it becomes possible for the first time take snapshots. The camera no longer needs to be mounted on a tripod but can be used out of hand. The device itself becomes smaller and easier to operate.

With the new gelatine papers it is after all possible to print the image enlarged.

The well-to-do citizen could now start without a lot of professional knowledge (which used to be indispensable) photographing travel memories and family snapshots. Snapshooting became his pastime. The most had no artistic education and did not have any composition rules. A push on the button can record a lump of life. These casual snapshots, previously technically impossible, added a new and important aspect to the medium of photography.
Although initially very elitist, here again the foundation was laid for a new one mass production. The self-photographing gradually became the aim of the common man.
In addition to these emerging snapshot photographers, there were more and more mediators around 1900 people with a broad artistic interest who focused on photography. They became the first serious amateur photographers. They wanted to elevate photography to a full-fledged art form made photos inspired by paintings and drawings with impressionistic or symbolic character. They saw photography as a new technique with which they also painted and to make drawings. Special recording and printing techniques still increase the pictorial character of their photos. The ritualistic art photography grew into an international one movement, supported by a flourishing club life with international salons and publications.
This ritualism continued to live a long time in the numerous photo circles between the two world wars in which the amateur photographers had grouped. Special printing techniques were used to shape their romantic or idealistic beauty ideal.
At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century arose alongside the ordinary professional and amateur photography a new documentary photography. Some photographers made images from a strong individual motivation, intended as a social document and not because of it artistic qualities. They form the transition from the statistical realism of the 19th century to a more engaged modern reportage photography.

Photography and art

Displaying the visible reality as realistic as possible was the ideal of the 19th century artist. Still, the true-to-nature photograph was far from being regarded as a work of art. Opinions were very divided within the art world. Some artists saw in the photography is an interesting tool, but most of them fiercely resisted photography, which they declined as purely technical and without personal input.

Photographers, for their part, built their photos for a long time, just like paintings. This is not too astonishing since the first photographers, often portrait painters and engravers. Around 1900 it was the ritualists who were closest to painting and drawing. They even made it intentionally blurry photos and found special printing techniques that make the photo the view
got a drawing or a painting.
For painting, the invention of photography meant a powerful stimulus for all kinds of innovations. The painters were no longer bound to depict reality.
Photography lent itself much better and had taken over this task very quickly.
In the society disrupted by the First World War, the artists questioned everything and they were driven to the most elementary forms of representation. Experimenting with shapes and materials created the first abstract artworks.
Around 1920-30 and especially in art schools such as the Bauhaus in Germany a number of artists tried to use the medium of photography from. They rejected the classic composition rules that were adopted were of painting and searched for their own language of form.
They experimented for the first time with all kinds of things, for the painting at least, abnormal views, and made in their
images consciously use the typical possibilities of it medium photography.
At the same time the New Objectivity preached both in Europe and in America's return to the pure non-interpreting observation.
Of course, this return to the image and as sharp as possible to reality a reaction to the often intentionally out of focus and manual updated photos of ritualism.
After the Second World War, creative photography once again experienced one huge bloom. People no longer satisfied with mere mapping of reality. The expressive possibilities proper to the photographic technique itself: (contrast, grain, motion blur, photogram, double print ...) were now used to create images that one D r. O t t o S t e n t e r t, exhibition organizer and publicist therefore used the "Subjective Photography". During the 1960s, photography realized its breakthrough in the art market. The impetus was given in America but Europe followed quickly. This evolution meant liberation from the photography of her illustrative assignments. The photographer became one free creative artist, who gives form to his imagination the own feeling and ideas world.

Photography for everyone

Between the two world wars, it was photographing for the ordinary man (and woman!) finally possible. Already in 1888 the American felt George Eastman's high demand for an affordable small handy camera that way simply worked that he could be served by everyone. He brought the first Kodak on the market that looked like a box and therefore box camera was named. The slogan: "You press the button, the rest we do" fully catered to the demand from the general public. The film reel was placed by the seller and taken out and by developed him.
Although the box camera was meant for everyone, the first was copies still unaffordable for the common man. Pass between
the two world wars, then European constructors as well to produce box camera, was photographing for an average working-class family with this simple camera reality. The box camera remained popular for a long time and only disappeared from the
market around 1960 when there was a new generation of extremely simple and inexpensive cameras popped up.
The period between the two world wars was also marked by a rapid rise of the illustrated press. As a result, more and more photographic images came within reach everyone and photos could be distributed at a much larger circulation. Always better
printing techniques, but also faster transport and communication options ensured the breakthrough of reportage photography.
A number of new, handy, but high-quality cameras came on the market: the one-eyed and two-eyed reflex camera and the 35mm camera. They became the weapon of the new reportage photographer. He now had to deliver illustrations of articles in daily and weekly newspapers.
Especially carefully selecting that piece of reality and waiting for the moment that it best reflects a particular situation became the main characteristic of the reportage photographer. The biggest societal impact probably captured reportage photography in the years after the second world war. A shocked conscience and the growing awareness that war and peace, poverty and wealth are international data, interest in it sharpened the course of armed conflicts (Korea, Vietnam ...), the living conditions of the us surrounding peoples and the magic of foreign cultures. However, television images form on this
an increasingly competitive competition for photography.
Fashion photography became an independent genre. With fashion recordings or portraits of vedets the world of film and theater, the photographer stands for the assignment abstract concepts such as youth to depict elegance or eroticism. The emphasis here is on making the visual appeal attractive  illusion desired by the client.

Photography NOW

Photography can no longer be ignored from our society. We are daily inundated with images that came into being in a camera. After all, photography is also at the basis of film and television. Especially the documentary character of a photograph is important here. The possibility to freeze a piece of reality and within a minimum of time before the eyes of a large one to make the audience appear so self-evident that we are no longer here wonder how that image came about. The increasingly advanced automation of the photographic industry and the increasingly quick communication possibilities contribute to this.

It is very important that we approach this image information with a critical eye realizing that a so-called objective picture of reality is only the limited particle reality is that the creator found the most relevant to illustrate a particular event. The so
self-evident objectivity of a photograph is often very misleading. Our opinion on a situation is strongly determined by the vision and the position of the photographer. Especially in advertising we strongly taken the nose. We are presented with a reality that became special created to appeal to us so that we become almost unconsciously convinced of something
need it.
The ability to make colored images still greatly enhances the realistic character of a photo. What in the beginning of this century only as a scientific experiment existence was commonplace since the 1950s. Although the quality and especially the shelf life the ordinary man switched over very quickly from the early color photographs from black and white to color photography.
Also in reportage photography more and more color is used. Here black and white remains always important because of the much cheaper printing process. Black and white photos are still being made made almost exclusively by photographers and amateurs who develop their recordings themselves and print. They consciously opt for black-and-white images because of their typical expressiveness.

Other photographers use the color element in their work.

Even as an artist, the photographer is somewhere between the most objective report of the reality displaying his vision on this reality and staging one's own reality working. Some edit their photos in the DOKA or paint them afterwards so that
there is an alienation of the photographed image. The different art directions overlap each other more and more. Painted pictures, collages, montages and installations are works of art in which different disciplines were used. From many forms of contemporary art (eg Performance, happening, land art ...) is the only photo report or videotape what remains of the artwork. Specialized companies are increasingly responsible for developing and printing our products holiday and family snapshots.
Around 1960 the direct-ready system of polaroid became popular. A special camera and film deliver a direct positive image within seconds. The secret lies in a film that consists of two layers: a negative film and a positive paper. There is a capsule between both layers developer. When the film is pulled out of the camera after exposure, this capsule breaks open and the developer spreads over the paper so that imaging occurs. Although the In the meantime, the quality of the polaroid photos has improved considerably, so the film remains rather expensive, especially professional photographers use the advantage to immediately get the result of their admission to see.

Self-photographing is now extremely easy and the possibilities of our automatic cameras are constantly increasing. The instamatic and pockets that followed the box camera in the 1960s still had limited possibilities and often yielded less good results.

Thanks to the electronics, which in recent years also in camera construction made its entry we now have a handy and compact small change device that automatically measures and adjusts the light flashes when necessary.

A failed photo has now become almost impossible. We can devote all our attention to it this way possible visualization of our subject. But that is precisely the ART! (source)

Ffotograffiaeth Cymru