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Camera Victorian Eyewitness A History of Photography: 1826-1913

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Have you ever assumed the picture is that of a side-profile camera?” asks CornwallLive. “Well, it turns out it shows something completely different.” The baseboard was hinged so that when the two standards were pushed together it could be folded up behind the rear standard. As well as making the camera more portable it provided protection for the focusing screen.

Fortunately, among the people who instantly accepted the false claim without question, some resisted the nonsense. Camera bellows may be somewhat unusual these days, but companies such as Intrepid Camera, which is based in Brighton, UK, still make large-format view cameras with bellows. Patent disputes and blurrier images meant that the Calotype was never as successful as its French counterpart. However, Talbot remained an important figure in the history of cameras. He continued experimenting with chemical processes and eventually developed the early techniques required to create multiple prints from a single negative (as well as progressing our understanding of the physics of light itself). What was the first camera? The common method of joining boards (e.g. on a lens panel or baseboard) was to use a loose tongue (fig. 14). Metal Work

Photography Developed into A Business

See more calotypes from the exhibition in our collections search. How did photography become cheaper? Where the front standard moves along rails, but remains attached, it could be pushed to the rear and hinged forward onto the baseboard (fig. 71).

American entrepreneur George Eastman created the first camera that used a single roll of paper (and then celluloid) film, called “The Kodak” in 1888. Though technically a mirror image of the world it captured, Daguerreotypes produced positive images, unlike the “negatives” of Niepce. While the first daguerreotypes required long exposure times, technological advances decreased this period within a few years so that the camera could even be used to create family portraits. Above: The Ladder, Plate XIV from Talbot’s Pencil of Nature, the first book to be illustrated with photographs. Salt print from a calotype negative. A daguerreotype is a single reversed image, made as a direct positive onto a silvered copper plate. Its reflective surface is an easy way to tell the difference between a daguerreotype and an early photograph taken using a different technique. The image is made of a combination of silver and mercury, resting on that plate. It is extremely vulnerable to damage, and can easily be brushed off, even after being ‘fixed’. Because they were so fragile, they were usually protected with a cover-glass and held in small leather-bound cases as treasured objects, in many ways similar to miniature painted portraits.

When Ernst Leitz took over the directorship of the Optical Institute in 1869, the German engineer was only 27. The institute made its money selling lenses, primarily in the form of microscopes and telescopes. David Brewster’s lenticular stereoscope was developed by a number of manufacturers hoping to benefit from the huge demand for the images. Hundreds of thousands of stereoscopic images were sold in a major craze which reached every middle-class Victorian drawing-room. Special cameras were developed to make the images, and a variety of viewers produced to keep up with demand. Portraits, scenery, comedic scenes and images of far flung places were all particularly popular. However, Leitz had been trained in watchmaking and other small engineering projects. He was a leader who believed success came from designing the next technology and encouraged his employees to experiment more often. In 1879, the company changed names to reflect its new director. The company moved to binoculars and more complex microscopes soon after.

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