The fascinating world of photography

We take for granted the technological advances that have taken place in order for us to be able to take photographs of everyday events or to use the services of a Dorset luxury Wedding Photographer, but a lot of skill is required in order to take the perfect picture and years and years’ worth of research and camera trials and advancements have occurred.

Here are some facts about the history of photography that you may not be aware of:

fascinating world of photography

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The word ‘photography’ is in fact derived from Greek origins with ‘photos’ meaning light and ‘graphein’ meaning to draw. Essentially the word photography means to ‘draw with light’. This is why light is incredibly important in taking the perfect photography. Before the word was used in everyday language photographs were actually known as heliographs or sun prints. It is thought that Sir John Herschel, Hercules Florence and Johann von Maedler all used the term photography in their writings and helped to bring it into everyday speech.

Oldest photo

There are probably many old photos that have been lost into the midst of time but the oldest photograph that is still in existence today is a piece taken by Joseph Niepce in around 1826-1827. A pewter sheet that had been layered with a coat of bitumen was used in the camera. It was left to expose inside the camera for around eight hours and in order to see the photograph the plate had to be lit so that the bitumen part looked light and the metal section appeared dark. It was a very complicated process and Niepce spent time perfecting this so that the exposure time was reduced, and it became much easier to view the image that had been taken.

fascinating world of photography

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In 1861 the first colour photograph was taken by James Maxwell. He was a well known and highly respected physicist from Scotland. He captured three black and white photograph using red, green and blue filters which gave the image colour. Albeit it rather dull and unimpressive by today’s standards. Maxwell used the images during his lectures.


Camera technology has advanced dramatically since the first mages were taken and we are now able to take digital images and even selfies on the cameras located on our phones. For a full history of the camera take a look here.

Joe Hammonds

Hi, I am Joe; I am an entrepreneur, father, mentor, and adventurer passionate about life.

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