photography

Thomas Wedgwood – possibly the First Photographer

Thomas Wedgwood – possibly the First Photographer

On May 14, 1771, early experimenter in the field of photography Thomas Wedgwood was born. He is the first person known to have thought of creating impermanent pictures by capturing camera images on material coated with a light-sensitive chemical. His practical experiments yielded only shadow image photograms that were not light-fast, but his conceptual breakthrough and partial success have led some historians to call him “the first photographer”. Thomas Wedgwood – Early…
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Henry Draper and his Passion for Astronomy

Henry Draper and his Passion for Astronomy

On March 7, 1837, American physiologist and amateur astronomer Henry Draper was born. He is best known today as a pioneer of astrophotography. After his death, the Henry Draper Catalog of stellar spectra as well the Henry Draper medal is named after him. Henry Draper – Early Years Henry Draper was the son of John William Draper,[6] a doctor, chemist, and professor at New York University. He was known for his interest in…
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Man Ray and The Dadaistic Art of Photography

Man Ray and The Dadaistic Art of Photography

On August 27, 1890, American modernist artist and photographer Emmanuel Radnitzky was born, better known as Man Ray. A significant contributor to the Dadaist and Surrealist movement, Man Ray produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known for his photography, and he was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. “I have been accused of being a joker. But the most successful…
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Gabriel Lippmann and the Invention of Colour Photography

Gabriel Lippmann and the Invention of Colour Photography

On August 16, 1845, Franco-Luxembourgish physicist and Nobel Laureate Gabriel Lippmann was born. He is best known for for his method of reproducing colors photographically based on the phenomenon of interference. Gabriel Lippmann, Early Years Gabriel Lippmann was the son of a Luxembourg Jewish family. His father, Isaïe managed the family glove-making business at the former convent in Bonnevoie. In 1848, the family moved to Paris where Lippmann was initially tutored by his mother, Miriam Rose (Lévy), before attending…
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John William Draper – Chemist and Photo Pioneer

John William Draper – Chemist and Photo Pioneer

On May 5, 1811, American philosopher, physician, chemist, historian and photographer John William Draper was born. He is credited with producing the first clear photograph of a female face (1839–40) and the first detailed photograph of the Moon (1840). He was also the first president of the American Chemical Society (1876–77) [14] and a founder of the New York University School of Medicine. John William Draper – Early Years John William Draper…
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Anna Atkins – Botanist and Photographer

Anna Atkins – Botanist and Photographer

On March 16, 1799, English botanist and photographer Anna Atkins was born. She is often considered the first person to publish a book illustrated with photographic images. Morover, she is also considered by some for being the first woman to create a photograph. “The difficulty of making accurate drawings of objects so minute as many of the Algae and Confervae has induced me to avail myself of Sir John Herschel’s beautiful process…
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The National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society

On January 27, 1888, the National Geographic Society, one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world, is founded in the Cosmos Club, a private club then located on Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. You might not be aware of it, but several of our past articles already are related to the National Geographic Society, as the society always has supported and funded research projects as well as prominent…
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Oskar Barnack – the Father of 35mm Photography

Oskar Barnack – the Father of 35mm Photography

On November 1, 1879, German optical engineer, precision mechanic, and industrial designer Oskar Barnack was born. He is often referred to as the father of 35 mm photography for his invention of the first miniature commercially successful camera, the Leica. In the age of digital photography, something like 35 mm film might seem like some forgotten relict. But, it really was a revolution that brought photography too the masses – in the…
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The Unfortunate Inventions of Charles Cros

The Unfortunate Inventions of Charles Cros

On October 1, 1842, French poet and inventor Charles Cros was born. He developed various improved methods of photography including an early color photo process. He also invented improvements in telegraph and paleophone technology. But lacking financial resources, he was unable to patent his devices before Thomas Edison and others developed the idea and started production. From the Telegraph to Color Photography Émile-Hortensius-Charles Cros was born in Fabrezan, Aude, France, 35km to the…
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Adolf Furtwängler and Photographic Archeology

Adolf Furtwängler and Photographic Archeology

On June 30, 1853, German archaeologist and historian Adolf Furtwängler was born. He revolutionized archeological science with his use of photography for documentation. His use of photography in research supplanted the use of drawings because a camera gives objective reproduction with more accuracy, which enabled fragments to be scrutinized, even when they were miles apart. Adolf Furtwängler Background Adolf Furtwängler grew up in a very educated family. His father was a classical…
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