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The Development Of Photography And Film

3376 words - 14 pages

Art critic Robert Hughes once said, “People inscribe their histories, beliefs, attitudes, desires and dreams in the images they make.” When discussing the mediums of photography and cinema, this belief of Hughes is not very hard to process and understand. Images, whether they be still or moving, can transform their audiences to places they have either never been before or which they long to return to. Images have been transporting audiences for centuries thanks to both the mediums of photography and cinema and together they gone through many changes and developments. When careful consideration is given to these two mediums, it is acceptable to say that they will forever be intertwined, ...view middle of the document...

This also holds true to the field of cinema and film.

In the world we live in today, anyone can pick up a handheld video camera and record their son’s soccer game or daughter’s school play, but to really capture the beauty of an event takes true talent. It takes the expertise of a cinematographer or director of photography as they are also known, to capture the true essence of an event and scene. Thomas Edison even once said, “By faithfully reproducing and kind or type of movement, it [cinematography] constitutes man’s most astonishing victory to date over forgetfulness. It retains and restores the things memory alone can’t recover, not to mention its auxiliary agencies: the written page, drawing photography. … Like them, cinematography prevents the things of yesterday that are useful to tomorrow’s progress from sinking into oblivion; amongst these one must count moving things, which only a few years ago were considered impossible to fix in an image” (Neale, 54). A picture, whether it be a photographed image or a filmed image is nothing when it has not been looked at with the proper eyes. When expressed through the proper lens and eye an image can really be worth a thousand words.

So the year was 1894 and the city was none other than New York City. It was then when the public caught the first glance of Thomas Edison’s Kinetoscope at work. With this invention, pictures were projected in rapid movements and created an illusion of movement, and what it now known as cinematography, motion pictures, movies or moving pictures was created. A year prior to this however, just a little ways a way in New Jersey, Edison was creating and testing his device in what is now regarded as the very first movie studio ever made. Edison respectively called his studio ‘Black Maria,’ for it was painted black inside to keep unwanted light out. Edison’s unveiling of the Kinetoscope to the public did not happen over night; instead it was the result of many years of work and many other inventions and advances before it.

The first step in the development of moving pictures can be traced back centuries; however it is the still photograph that impacted film the most. The still photograph, which was first taken in 1827 by Claude Niepce, and which later led to the development of moving pictures, was in itself made possible by the invention of the Camera Obscura. The camera obscura, just like ‘Black Maria,’ was a darkened room in the shape of a cube or box that had an opening on one side which let light in, and then produced an inverted image on the opposite wall. A picture was not taken when light was projected into the camera obscure, instead artists would trace and draw the images they saw, turn it around because the original image was inverted, and then they painted from that. After the advent of the camera obscura, Niepce took the first successful portrait of the Cardinal of Amboise with using the technique of heliography. Through this...

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