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Graphics Software Science

World's First Photo 162

angkor cut-and-pastes "'The image acknowledged as the world's first photograph - taken by a French inventor in 1826 - has passed its first full-scale analysis with flying colors and is now awaiting an airtight case that will keep it safe for centuries to come, scientists said Wednesday.'" See also the first color photography.
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World's First Photo

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  • A thing to note... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <moiraNO@SPAMmodparlor.com> on Thursday June 27, 2002 @09:26AM (#3778384)
    As you see, both walls, the one showing left and the right one, are lit by the sun. Also the sky seems somewhat blurry and apears to have something one might call an 'intense twighlight'.
    That's because he exposed the "Film" over the entire day in order to actually make a picture, thus tracking every daylight condition and them changing with the path of the sun.
    This is indeed an amazing inovative feat. I would have liked to meet this guy.
  • The second link (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rfreynol ( 169522 ) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @09:28AM (#3778406)
    The second link is entirely more interesting than the initial story. The process that this Russian developed for color photographs back in the early 1900's and the fact that we can now view them is increditable.

    Beat's the hell out of Ted Turner's colorization of old movies.
  • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @09:30AM (#3778428) Homepage
    OK. I'd like to demolish my credibility before starting on this, so...
    • I don't know any references to back up what I'm saying
    • I'm basing the information on a Fortean Time's [forteantimes.com] article I read a few years ago

    Given the above, I remember reading that one possibility for the Turin Shroud was that it was an early, and I mean early, photograph. Apparently, the Turks had developed a method of photography involving canvas and I -think- silver nitrate (maybe mercury?). This was in use during the 1500s, as far as I recally the article saying.

    Now, the photography they were talking about wouldn't bear much resemblence to a camera as we would recognise it. I believe the subject had to be very still, covered in this impregnated cloth and then the light would do the rest.

    I realise this is a very sketchy post, but I'm at work right now and really am not able to spend ages chasing down the relevant information. Just chucking this one out for a bit of interest really...


  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @09:40AM (#3778491) Journal
    for a while there has been the theory that the Shroud of Turin is in fact a primitive photograph created by Renaissance Uber Geek Leonardo Da Vinci, via Camera Obscura and natural chemicals. There are other candidates as well.

    See the various links one [shroud.com], two [petech.ac.za], three [pixelworks.com.ph].

    Grain of salt not provided. This quickly wanders off into the land of wierdos, as there is also a lot of political infighting in the land of psuedo science. The Idea of the Shroud being a hoax is politically loaded.

  • by Randatola ( 527856 ) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @09:44AM (#3778521) Homepage
    Many early photographers died of horrible nervous conditions, a result of exposure to toxic chemicals used in Daguerrotype and other early photographic processes. Ambrotype and tintype, introduced in the 1850's, were faster and the chemicals involved were both cheaper and safer.
  • by fruey ( 563914 ) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @10:37AM (#3778976) Homepage Journal
    I lived in the town of birth of Niecephore Niepce for a year. The photo was taken, I believe, in a nearby village. I find it incredible that this historic piece of French, and by extension European invention, is in America. Many others are too, no doubt. Some great Daguerrotypes are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, for example. They are fascinating to look at, as they change a little based on your angle of viewing. Not quite like a holograph but a truly mind-bending experience. They are far more elegant IRL than looked at on a web page in 2D. The silver tones are fantastic compared to white and black photo paper or 72dpi greyscale.

    In fact the town (Chalon sur Saone, in Burgundy) is a quiet place with very little tourism. Should that photo be there, however, perhaps it would be taken more often for what it is - the birthplace of modern photography. There is a little Museum there (The Niepce Museum [museeniepce.com]) which is fantastically interesting. Sadly its piece de resistance is in Texas.

    Chalon sur Saone still has a big Kodak factory though. A lot of you who may have toured in Paris etc may have bought film manufactured there.

  • Lipmann Plates (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TwobyTwo ( 588727 ) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @01:06PM (#3780107)

    In my opinion, the RGB separation is not nearly as cool as the roughly contemporary work of Gabriel Lipmann. His 1891 system achieved full accurate color using no dyed materials in either the film or the viewing system (I.e. no color filters etc.)

    Lipmann turned a clear glass B&W film plate so the emulsion faced away from the lens (I.e. the light had to travel through the thickness of the light to reach the emulsion). He placed the emulsion in contact with a reflecting mercury bath. Light from the lens traveled through the emulsion twice, once on its way from the lens, and again bouncing back from the mercury mirror thus forming....standing waves through the thickness of the emulsion.

    In other words, color was recorded according in the third plane...through the thickness of the exposed material. Blue light = tightly spaced waves, red = less tight. The plate is viewed by again sandwiching against the mercury reflector, and viewing in white lite. The interference causes the colors to reappear.

    Note that these colors are 100% accurate as long as the dimensions of the emulsion are stable. Of course, the balance can change if the viewing light isn't white.

    I read about this in a Pop Photo in the 1960's, I think. One of the most beautiful pieces of scientific/photographic work I've heard of. He won a Nobel prize for this in 1908.

  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Thursday June 27, 2002 @11:20PM (#3784359) Journal
    (* No...in this theory the whole thing is meant to be a photograph. It's the light that created the effect, not actual contact. So your geometry-based objections are overcome. *)

    Since nobody knows how it was created, it cannot be (yet) called a "photograph". The 1826 photo we know came from a *lense* and we know pretty much how it was created.

    We don't know if the Shroud used lenses or anything. There has been suggestion that pigment was detected, so it appears that some artistry was involved.

    Interesting how the first photo was not a negative. His process turned white under light instead of dark.

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