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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Creative Spot by Zita Perera Subasinghe

Photography, the Story

 The oldest surviving photograph

Photography is the process of using light or other electromagnetic radiation to capture an image of a subject in front of the observer and recording it in a device using lenses and any other focussing method so that the record of the image is cast on a surface impregnated or painted with a light sensitive substance and where the image which can be fixed and duplicated for the purpose of preserving it for the future and also for spreading the message to others for information and entertainment.

Photography: The word photo came from Greek phos to mean light and graphy the art of ‘drawing’ with light. It is both a science and an art.

History: Long before modern photography, Chinese philosopher Mo Ti (also written Mozi) in and Greek mathematicians Aristotle and Euclid described a pinhole camera in the 5th Century BC [1]. But it was not until 6th Century AD that the Byzantine mathematician Anthemius of Tralles used a type of camera obscura in his experiments using the observation that some substances are visibly altered by exposure to light. Initially nobody thought of bringing these two phenomena together until around 1800, when Thomas Wedgwood made the first reliably documented although unsuccessful attempt. In the mid-1820s, Nicéphore Niépce succeeded, but several days of exposure in the camera were required and earliest results were very crude.

Niépce's associate Louis Daguerre went on to develop the daguerreotype process, the first publicly announced photographic process, which required only minutes of exposure in the camera and produced clear, finely detailed results. It was commercially introduced in 1839, date generally accepted as the birth year of practical photography.[2]

Metal-based daguerreotype process soon had some competition from the paper-based collotypenegative and salt print processes invented by William Henry Fox Talbot.

Subsequent innovations reduced the required camera exposure time from minutes to seconds and eventually to a small fraction of a second.

Introduction of new photographic media which were more economical, sensitive or convenient, including roll films was the next advance. This enabled its casual use by amateurs. It was now made possible to take pictures in natural colour as well as in black and white.

The commercial introduction of computer-based electronic digital cameras in the 1990s soon revolutionized photography. As a result traditional film-based photochemical methods were increasingly marginalized and image quality of moderately priced digital cameras was continually improved.

You’ll find below two good examples of how old photos of get-togethers of Batch’62 bring back memories. Talking about it alone wouldn’t be the same!

Sent by Zita PereraSubasinghe
with technical help from Mahendra Gonsalkorale.


(2)The BBC radio, Wikipedia, and other Internet sites


  1. I found this most interesting. The longer Iive, the more I realise how much we take what we now have, for granted. Imagine a life without electricity, flushing toilets, motor care, aeroplanes, telephones, mobile phones, computers, the internet, wifi, democratic elections, clothing, footwear, vaccination, antibiotics, photography... the list goes on and on and on! I challenge those people who talk about the "good old days". As a famous politician said to the people of England, "you never had it so good"

    The discerning amongst you may notice something slightly odd about Zita's colour group photo, on the extreme left. There was a big artefact in her photo which I "photoshopped" and it doesnot look too bad now!

    I hope much more of you will figure in the much awaited 2017 group photo.

  2. Zita,
    Thank you for all the historical facts about photography, and now most of us are taking photos with our phones! In the color photo of our batch, I spotted Ganesh and Priya sitting on the ground (right side), between Srianee and Sriani. We will miss them when we get together in March.

  3. Yes Zita, we do miss those departed. That was the last time I met Ganesh And Priya and heard the rendition of "One day at time" by you know who!! That was my last visit to a Reunion as I missed the one in 2012. Hope I could make the one in 2017.. Insha-allah.
    I wonder who is that "big blob" on the extreme right of picture with a moustache and beard??
    We had a great time there.
    Keep well.

  4. Zita
    Thank you for the story told so elegantly.

  5. I know that Zita hasn't commented as her computer is on the blink and the new one hasn't appeared yet. She'll be back!