photography

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) and a founder of the New York University School of Medicine. John William Draper – Early Years John William Draper was…
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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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Frederick Scott Archer and the Collodion Process

Frederick Scott Archer and the Collodion Process

On May 2 1857, British sculptor and photographic pioneer Frederick Scott Archer passed away. Frederick Scott Archer invented the photographic collodion process which preceded the modern gelatin emulsion. The complex process required the photographic material to be coated, sensitized, exposed and developed within the span of about fifteen minutes, necessitating a portable darkroom for use in the field. Frederick Scott Archer’s Way to Photography Frederick Scott Archer was born in 1813 in…
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Real Fantasies – The Photography of Edward Steichen

Real Fantasies – The Photography of Edward Steichen

On March 27, 1879, Luxembourgish American photographer, painter and curator Edward Jean Steichen was born. His were the photographs that most frequently appeared in Alfred Stieglitz‘s groundbreaking magazine Camera Work during its publication from 1903 to 1917.[1] “When I devoted myself to photography, it was my desire to see it recognized as art. Today I wouldn’t give a damn for that goal. The photographer’s job is to explain people to people and…
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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. Background John Mercer John Mercer grew up in Lancashire, England. He entered the textile industry as a bobbin-winder when he was still a boy. His father died in 1802, and the family were left very poor. John moved about…
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The First Image from Abroad – Earth Rising and Lunar Orbiter 1

The First Image from Abroad – Earth Rising and Lunar Orbiter 1

On August 23, 1966, the space probe Lunar Orbiter 1 sent the very first images of the earth rising above the moon‘s surface back to earth. Lunar Orbiter 1 was part of the Lunar Orbiter program started in the 1960’s in preparation to the Apollo moon landing. The project consisted of five unmanned spacecrafts, equally built to take pictures of the moon. The purpose was to find a safe landing place for…
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Étienne-Jules Marey and the Chronophotographic Gun

Étienne-Jules Marey and the Chronophotographic Gun

On May 15, 1904, French scientist, physiologist and chronophotographer Étienne-Jules Marey passed away. Marey’s work was significant in the development of cardiology, physical instrumentation, aviation, cinematography and the science of laboratory photography. He is widely considered to be a pioneer of photography and an influential pioneer of the history of cinema. Étienne-Jules Marey – Early Years Étienne-Jules Marey was born on March 5, 1830 in Beaune, Côte-d’Or, France. In 1838 he visited the…
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Eugène Atget’s Old Paris

Eugène Atget’s Old Paris

On February 12, 1857, French photographer Eugène Atget was born. A pioneer of documentary photography, Atget is noted for his determination to document all of the architecture and street scenes of Paris before their disappearance to modernization. An inspiration for the surrealists and other artists, his genius was only recognized by a handful of young artists in the last two years of his life, and he did not live to see the…
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How Richard Leach Maddox revolutionized Photography

How Richard Leach Maddox revolutionized Photography

On August 4, 1816, English photographer and physician Richard Leach Maddox was born. Maddox is best known for his invention lightweight gelatin negative plates for photography in 1871, which enabled photographers to use commercial dry plates off the shelf instead of having to prepare their own emulsions in a mobile darkroom. Also, for the first time, cameras could be made small enough to be hand-held. How to Work with a Microscope In…
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Alfred Stieglitz and Photography as Art

Alfred Stieglitz and Photography as Art

On July 13, 1946, American photographer and modern art promoter Alfred Stieglitz passed away. Stieglitz was instrumental over his fifty-year career in making photography an accepted art form. In addition to his photography, Stieglitz was known for the New York art galleries that he ran in the early part of the 20th century, where he introduced many avant-garde European artists to the U.S. Sparking the Enthusiasm for Photography Alfred Stieglitz, born in…
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