photography

Robert Cornelius shoots the very first Selfie

Robert Cornelius shoots the very first Selfie

On March 1, 1809, American photographic pioneer and business man Robert Cornelius was born. He is credited of making the very first selfie in the U.S. With his own knowledge of chemistry and metallurgy, Cornelius attempted to perfect the daguerreotype. As we all know, ‘selfies’ have become really popular in the past years. There is even this project called selfiecity, “investigating the style of selfies in five cities across the world” with some pretty…
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John Mercer and the Cotton Mercerisation

John Mercer and the Cotton Mercerisation

On February 21, 1791, English dye and fabric chemist John Mercer was born. He invented the mercerisation process for treating cotton which is still in use today and was a pioneer in colour photography. John Mercer grew up in Lancashire, England. He entered the textile industry as a bobbin-winder when he was still a boy. The art of dyeing came to Mercer’s interest approximately at the age of 16. He set up a dye…
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Frederic Eugene Ives and the Halftone Printing Process

Frederic Eugene Ives and the Halftone Printing Process

On February 17, 1856, American photographer and inventor Frederic Eugene Ives was born. He is probably best known for his invention of the halftone process, a method of reproducing photographs on a printing press. In 1881, he was the first to make a three-colour print from halftone blocks. Further inventions in photography and color printing yielded 70 patents. Born near Litchfield, Connecticut, Ives after receiving a public school education apprenticed as a young…
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Oskar Barnack – the Father of 35mm Photography

Oskar Barnack – the Father of 35mm Photography

Oskar Barnack (1879-1936) 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…
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The Unfortunate Inventions of Charles Cros

The Unfortunate Inventions of Charles Cros

Charles Cros (1842-1888) 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. Émile-Hortensius-Charles Cros was born in Fabrezan, Aude, France, 35km to the East of Carcassonne.…
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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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Adolf Furtwängler and Photographic Archeology

Adolf Furtwängler and Photographic Archeology

Adolf Furtwängler (1853 – 1907) 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 grew up in a very educated family. His father was…
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You Press the Button and We Do the Rest – George Eastman revolutionized Photography

You Press the Button and We Do the Rest – George Eastman revolutionized Photography

On May 5, 1885, George Eastman filed a patent for a “Roll Holder for Photographic Films“, which was the first film in roll form to prove practicable. Based on his newly invented roll film and a rather simple camera for that film, he established the Eastman Kodak Company, in Rochester, New York. It was one of the first firms to mass-produce standardized photography equipment. Ok, please hold on before you are writing…
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Recovering the Lost Lunar Photographs

Recovering the Lost Lunar Photographs

Maybe you remember that we had an article on the very first image of the Earth taken from abroad?[1] It was an image taken in 1966 by one of the Lunar Orbiter space probes, which had the task of taking closeup pictures of the lunar surface to find a well suited landing spot for the upcoming Apollo Moon missions. Well, you might wonder, how these photographs came back to Earth. Well, the…
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Fizeau, Foucault and Astronomical Photography

Fizeau, Foucault and Astronomical Photography

On April 2, 1845, Armand Hippolyte Louis Fizeau and Jean Bernard Léon Foucault manage to make the very first photography of the Sun. Thereby, they both initiate astronomical photography. From a previous blog post you may remember Léon Foucault’s Pendulum.[4] The instrument was used to proof Earth’s rotation in the 1850s and counts to one of Foucault’s biggest scientific achievements. But let’s start a little bit earlier. Leon Foucault was born on September…
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