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Tech in Focus: The Impact of Technology on Photography

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Photo technology has undergone a major revolution since the early days. The camera went through a long iterative process. Its earliest precursor was the ‘camera obscura’ of the fifth century B.C. Sunlight would pass through a small opening in a box and project a temporary image on a wall. The ability to capture multiple photos on a single film reel and develop them was a big step forward. Since then the internet and mobile phones with their powerful cameras have brought about a huge transformation.

From the daguerreotype to the digital camera

In 1839, Louis Daguerre introduced the daguerreotype. He would ‘fix’ images onto sheets of silver-plated copper. After short exposure, immersion in silver chloride would create a lasting image.

Between the daguerreotype and the first modern cameras, there were a number of iterations of technology. In the early days, it was costly to take photographs. Photographers would only capture very important moments on film. Today mobile phone cameras are very powerful and it’s easy for anyone to take photographs. The latest iPhone and Android cameras have some impressive features. 

Storage is always an issue with any good photographer. Our data keeps increasing with experience. Taking out an iCloud subscription is a handy solution to the storage issue and you can always access your data from any device using the internet. There are several iCloud storage plans and prices available and you will get the first 5 GB free with your iCloud account. When you purchase the paid plan, you can even add your family members who will have private access and you can share the fees with them. This will free up the data on your Mac and give you the flexibility to access this data from anywhere. You can continue taking photos and videos and worry less about the storage on your Mac or iPhone.

What changes did the camera bring?

When photographic film came onto the market in 1888, cameras started to look more like the ones we’re familiar with today. The first Kodak cameras were small and relatively affordable. How did the camera improve the industry? Before the camera, nothing could be documented visually. There was no way to photograph a historical event or document an archaeological discovery. People could also now document important events in their personal lives and preserve memories.

The introduction of digital photography

In 1995 the first digital cameras were seen in stores. Digital cameras democratized the ability to take and share high-quality photographs. Photographers could assess the quality of an image immediately after taking it and editing it. There was no longer a need for film or dark rooms to produce photographs. It was also simple to upload and share photos across the internet. 

What changes did digital technology bring?

●  Immediate viewing of photos

●  Unlimited shots

●  No storage problems

●  Easy access to printing of images

●  Photo editing

With the invention of high-end digital cameras, one of the biggest transformations was to be able to immediately view photos. If a photo isn’t to their liking, photographers can immediately take another one.

Amateurs and professional photographers can take unlimited shots. They can play around with different modes and angles and choose the best photo.

Storage of photos isn’t a problem as it is easy to transfer them from a digital phone onto a laptop, to external storage, or to the cloud.

Printing images doesn’t require a dark room, knowledge of chemicals, and an investment of a significant amount of time. Photographers now have access to many online services that will quickly print images and deliver them. 

Photographers can also make many changes to improve the digital photography effect. Using image editing tools allows them to fine-tune brightness, contrast, and saturation. They can add filters and much more.

The future of photography

Higher-resolution ones are coming out all the time. For example, Apple’s iPhone 13 was released in 2021 with a 12 mpx camera. The 2025 iPhone 17 is expected to include an upgraded 24 mpx front-facing camera (source). Today most DSLR cameras have a 24 mpx standard.

Smart cameras have powerful image sensors so they can track movement and capture photos. Photographers can then upload these photos and edit them.  

360-degree ones first came out in 1904 but have evolved a great deal since then. Today photographers can take viewers into underwater caves and to mountain tops using 360-degree cameras.

Drone photography has become more affordable for professional photographers. Drones are catching up to the sensitivities and sensor sizes of other professional cameras. They make shots possible that photographers couldn’t take in the past.

Conclusion

It’s fascinating to think that a little more than 200 years ago, photographs were still experimental. This shows just how fast technology can change. Photography technology has improved a great deal since the days of the first camera. Today digital cameras allow photographers to shoot, edit, and share photos with ease. This gives them time to focus on what they do best which is creating.

Last Updated: March 18, 2024

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