The Dawning of the Photographic Era

Meanwhile, the dream to permanently record images was also birthed in the mind of William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–1877). In October of 1933, Talbot visited Lake Como in Italy, making sketches of the breathtaking scenery using a camera obscura. The camera obscura (from the Latin for “dark chamber” or “dark room”) used by Talbot, “resembles a modern reflex camera. A lens at one end of the box throws an image to a mirror at the other end placed at forty-five degrees. The mirror in turn refl ects the image onto a ground glass screen which forms the top of the box” writes Beaumont Newhall. Talbot could then place a translucent paper over the ground glass and sketch the scenery visually by hand, using a pencil.


Spiral Nebula Photographic Plate Royal Astronomical Society Potassium Bichromate Ferric Oxalate 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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