The Camera – Katie Brooks Boone

By August 30, 2013 Sciences No Comments

Katie Brooks Boone
Physics
Mr. Carrell
May 16, 2013

The camera was seen in earliest form as the “camera obscura.” The idea for this “dark chamber” was first recorded by an ancient Chinese philosopher named Mo Ti who discovered that focused images can be created when light passes through a small hole and into a dark area. The inverted image created by this light would translate to a picture. Other ancient philosophers also studied this idea by viewing solar eclipses through a pinhole to create a sharper image of the sun. Eventually, the idea of observing projected images was done in a dark room with a pinhole on the opposite wall, hence the name “camera obscura.”

Around a century later, the camera obscura became a portable drawing device for copying projected image. And in an effort to more permanently preserve these images, many experiments were done with various light exposures to automatically create detailed copies of the projected image. Over time the portable camera became more efficient and it became possible to photograph images with exposure to a light-sensitive material. In 1826 Joseph Nicephore Niepce made the first permanent photograph with a sliding wooden box camera. As time progressed, the method of exposure in portable cameras became much quicker and more accurate. More light-sensitive photographic materials were used to create clear images, and mechanical shutter devices were incorporated to allow shorter and more accurate timed exposures. In the 1920s, the electronic video tube was invented which allowed further development of a projected image. This device converted optical images into electrical signals. And naturally, more efficient models were created and new digital forms of photography quickly replaced the old film-based cameras.

Today camera’s are used every day by millions of people who do not think twice about the number of megapixels in their iphone camera. But the invention of the camera has made an unfathomable impact on the culture we live in. Newspapers, magazines, and books all are heavily supplied with pictures taken by thousands of high-tech cameras that we easily take for granted. Without it, society would lack the ability to preserve beautiful images that will last for a lifetime.

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