The Photography Portal

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The first photograph was an image produced in 1826 by the French inventor Nicéphore Niépce on a polished pewter plate covered with a petroleum derivative called bitumen of Judea but for centuries images had been projected onto surfaces – artists used the camera obscura and camera lucida to trace scenes as early as the 16th century. These early “cameras” did not fix an image, but only projected images from an opening in the wall of a darkened room onto a surface, turning the room into a large pinhole camera.

The advent of photography, from the Ancient Greek words φως phos (“light”), and γραφη graphê (“stylus”, “paintbrush”) or γραφω graphō (the verb, “I write/draw”), together meaning “drawing with light” or “representation by means of lines” or “drawing”, has gained the interest of scientists and artists from its inception. Scientists have used photography to record and study movements, such as Eadweard Muybridge‘s study of human and animal locomotion (1887). Artists are equally interested in these aspects but also try to explore avenues other than the photo-mechanical representation of reality, such as the pictorialist movement. Military, police and security forces use photography for surveillance, recognition and data storage. Photography is used to preserve favorite memories and as a source of entertainment.

Selected picture

Chelonia mydas (green sea turtle)

Underwater photography typically requires equipment to house photographic gear in order to prevent damage to electrical, optical, and mechanical components, as well as distortions caused by water changing the optical properties of the photographic lens. Shown is a photograph of a green sea turtle, taken in Hawaii