Questions tagged [history]

Questions about the history of photography, including why things are the way they are today.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4
votes
3answers
293 views

How accessible is gas hypersensitisation today?

Gas hypersensitisation, as you may know, is a method which was regularly used by astrophotographers. It included baking or soaking a film in a gas mixture, with this gas oftentimes being nitrogen. ...
3
votes
1answer
267 views

Was post-exposure perspective correction ever practiced in the darkroom?

It seems like it should have been possible to achieve by adding tilt and shift movements to the enlarger lens, projecting a keystoned image of the film on the printing paper and cropping accordingly, ...
22
votes
9answers
7k views

Why did they ever make smaller than full-frame sensors?

You will occasionally encounter articles about how awesome full-frame cameras are. Lot of that is probably over-enthusiasm over a new piece of equipment or simple marketing, but it seems to me that at ...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

Is space radiation a risk for space film photography, and how is this prevented?

After seeing this question about a 135 camera being used during a space walk, I was wondering the following: It is generally known that astronauts are exposed to increased radiation, also called ...
7
votes
2answers
192 views

Why aren't tripod mounts metric?

Almost everything about cameras, lenses, sensor and film sizes are specified in metric units. So why are common tripod mounts (e.g., 1/4"-20) not metric? I'm just curious if there's an interesting ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

How was film developed in the late 1920s?

I am doing research for a story I am writing. If an investigator in the late 1920s privately needed to glimpse an image that was taken on a camera, perhaps a 35mm Leica or a Naegel, would it be ...
1
vote
0answers
58 views

What type of B&W film did Saul Leiter use?

As shown in Saul's monographs Early Black and White or In My Room. What kind of BW negative rolls did he use?
8
votes
1answer
138 views

Who were the Bauhaus photographers and what was their impact on commercial and artistic photography today?

The Bauhaus was a German art, craft, and design school which operated between the World Wars. I was recently at an exhibit of works — mostly paintings, architectural drawings, and sculpture — which ...
6
votes
2answers
290 views

What was Bob Parent's “Signature Technique,” and how is it visible in this (linked) photo?

The New York Times recently ran an article called Is This the Greatest Photo in Jazz History? (paywall (sorry), and a mildly-NSFW mural painting visible in the photo) about a famous photo, taken by ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

Is there any way to produce animation from the history steps in Lightroom?

I need a way to produce an animated GIF of what I did while developing/editing a certain photo in Lightroom. In another word, if there is any tool/workflow/plugin that record every step in my photo ...
38
votes
3answers
9k views

Why is “The Steerage” hailed “one of the greatest photographs of all time”?

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Steerage: The Steerage is a photograph taken by Alfred Stieglitz in 1907. It has been hailed as one of the greatest photographs of all time because it ...
5
votes
3answers
126 views

(How) were FoVs discussed before the 35mm became de-facto standard?

Ever since the 35mm small frame gained popularity in the mid-1900s it's well known (and perhaps lamented) the particular crop factor became a de-facto standard by late 1900s when people discussed ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What was the “revolutionary” digital camera with infinite depth of field and focus adjustment in post-processing?

A few years ago (at least 10 years I believe), I read in a magazine about a "revolutionary" camera which was able to take pictures such that from one picture you could, afterwards, choose the point ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

Were there ways to deal with distortion in the darkroom ages? [duplicate]

When people used early ultrawide angle lenses that had visible distortion, did they simply accept the fact and print it too ... or were there mitigations for things like critical architecture ...
7
votes
1answer
162 views

1960s-1990s third party lenses - why was the “lowest tier” cheaper to make?

From a retrospective, it seems that there were a couple of mid-tier makers/importers like Vivitar, Sigma, Tamron, Soligor ... and that there was a plethora of small brands (for example, one brand ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the dented wheel with holes inside the Polaroid Land Camera Model 150

While looking at the works of John Peralta, I noticed a strange camera component I never saw before inside the Polaroid Land Camera Model 150. I've repaired a few cameras in my life but I'm very ...
7
votes
3answers
980 views

What was the Group f.64, and why were they important?

I've heard of the "Group f.64", and know that famous photographers Ansel Adams and Edward Weston were members. What was this group and why was it significant? What about members of the group other ...
9
votes
1answer
337 views

What is the crank on the side of this lens used by David Douglas Duncan?

The NPR article David Douglas Duncan, Photographer Of Wars And Picasso, Dies At 102 notes the passing of the famous photographer and shows some beautiful photos of the artist Picasso. One photo shows ...
1
vote
1answer
143 views

Which photographer created “planet” named photos of chicken entrails?

I'm trying to remember the name of a well known photographer who photographed, among other things, chicken guts and sphincter laid out on the sidewalk. His collected photos were in an Aperture ...
6
votes
1answer
449 views

How did the calotype process produce a translucent negative image?

I'm studying calotypes and cyanotypes. Their major contribution to the development of photography was the fact that they could be easily copied. The original negative could be used to create as ...
5
votes
2answers
439 views

How can daguerreotypes be both negative and positive?

While studying the history of photography, I became interested in this property of daguerreotype. As stated by Wikipedia: "The image is on a mirror-like silver surface, normally kept under glass, ...
1
vote
2answers
183 views

Did the quality of early digital cameras vary by the type of manufacturer?

I heard that about twenty years ago, it was possible to distinguish the quality of digital cameras based on the type of manufacturer. Manufacturers of photographic cameras also made good digital ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Why were disposable flashes prominent for so long?

While reading this answer (and going down memory lane) flashcubes were mentioned. That got me thinking: Why were these disposable flashes so common? And why did it take so long for electronic flashes ...
10
votes
5answers
6k views

What is the rationale for having less than 36 frames in a single 35mm film roll?

36 frames per roll have long been the agreed upon standard. It allows for maximum amount of frames in a canister while still having some slack for safely loading the film, as one's loading technique ...
-3
votes
1answer
132 views

One photograph or two?

There are two prints of the same subject (Lorina Liddell by Lewis Carroll), but I'm not sure if I'm seeing two different prints of the very same negative or they are two similar, but distinct shots of ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What do the numbers in film formats reference?

So, there is a whole list of film formats that are referred to by numbers, and sometimes later were just called the film size. 135 is commonly referred to as 35mm/"full frame" and 120 as medium format,...
3
votes
2answers
178 views

What kind of camera and developing/printing process may Charles Jones have used?

Charles Jones was a gardener and photographer who lived from 1866-1959. His photographs of garden produce and flowers were found at an auction in 1981 and have since been acclaimed long after his ...
2
votes
2answers
650 views

Why do the people in this old photo look so… photoshopped?

I came across this picture today and think it's pretty cool: we don't have logjams like that any more. But the people in the photo look... odd. If it were a newer photo, I'd say they're photoshopped. ...
33
votes
5answers
6k views

How was photo data processed and transferred back to Earth from satellites before digital photography became commonplace?

I am looking at pictures taken by some of the first satellites and landers there were like the Viking Lander on Mars in ~1976 or even the first image of the backside of the Moon in 1959 by Luna 3 I ...
2
votes
1answer
194 views

How did wedding photographers work in the olden days?

I am very curious to know how international photographers in the olden says such as the 70's or 80's or older, work. How did they deliver albums or photographs to clients?
1
vote
2answers
140 views

I'm looking at a photo that measures a continous 20“Hx144”L; the subject matter suggests it is late 1800s or very early 1900s. Is that possible?

I'm looking at a photo of Redwood trees, that measures 20"Hx144"L continuous,no seams. It dates from the late 1800s or early 1900s. Is that possible? Who might have produced this?
6
votes
2answers
583 views

How has the dynamic range of black & white prints changed in the last 70 years?

I've recently been studying black and white photographs to learn how to understand the qualities found in the kinds of photos by Weston, Bullock etc. I've been making a point of looking at prints in ...
6
votes
3answers
673 views

What caused the decline of the German camera industry?

I am very interested in the history of cameras. Unfortunately there seems to be very limited resources on it. Recently I have been trying to determine how and why the German camera industry lost out ...
3
votes
1answer
245 views

What is the precise model and background of this Kodak Six-20 camera with bellows?

I got this camera from my grand-mother who was French. I have been trying to identify it, although there seems to be a large amount of cameras from the same era that Kodak manufactured and that all ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Why do so many old cameras have camera lenses made in Japan?

I'm browsing what the world has to offer me when I want to buy old (circa ’70s or ’80s) camera, e.g., a Canon EX Auto QL. And I've noticed that most of them have camera lenses made in Japan. Was Japan ...
33
votes
5answers
7k views

How does Kelvin for color temperature relate to Kelvin for actual temperature?

Color doesn't have actual temperature. Try putting a blue square and a red square up on your monitor and hold a thermometer against both regions. If you find that there's a difference, you're doing it ...
18
votes
2answers
5k views

Why is it called “macrofocus” and not “microfocus”?

Typically, when referring to an image of a small object, or just something small, the prefix 'micro' is used. For instance, a tool to look at tiny objects in clear focus is a microscope. A device that ...
5
votes
1answer
425 views

What are the differences between Photgravure, Daguerreotypes, tintypes, circuit etching, et al?

Coming off the heels of: Photogravure: What is it?. I saw the first question and found it interesting and looked at the wikipedia article and noticed it said that it predated Daguerreotypes. I also ...
4
votes
2answers
207 views

How were negatives backed up prior to the availability of inexpensive scanners?

Prior to scanners becoming a commodity, how did photographers make duplicates\backups of their negatives? For example, if a wedding photographer's shop burned down, how did they recover? Or was it a ...
5
votes
1answer
683 views

Who is the photographer of this black and white photo of two female nudes standing over a pile of clothes?

A print was given to a friend long time ago and he vaguely remembers that he was told the artist was German. I feel like I have seen it somewhere before. I have tried searching by the below image in ...
11
votes
1answer
776 views

Which cameras were used prior to Apollo 11?

Which cameras were used on the missions prior to Apollo 11 ? I know that the moon landings used Hasselblad medium format.
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Why eye-controlled focus is gone?

I tried to google, but only semi-decent answer was that ECF didn't work for some and was a nightmare for support group. But are there any reasons modern Canons (or other major camera-makers) lack eye-...
6
votes
2answers
457 views

Who was the first to introduce a beauty dish?

Who and when first introduced or used a beauty dish? Also known as a softlight reflector. There's a lot of articles on the net on how to use a beauty dish, and on how it is important for fashion and ...
40
votes
2answers
19k views

How were photographs printed in newspapers in 1929?

This is an advert from 1929 I am curious as how this and other similar things were printed back then. How were the images printed on the advert? Seems to me like this wasn't possible back then! Can ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does “bulb” mode usually rely on holding the shutter button?

Why does bulb mode usually require holding down the shutter button to keep the shutter open? It seems very impractical considering that the camera is more likely to shake when it is being touched. I ...
1
vote
1answer
748 views

How can a Gossen Sixtomat light meter work without electricity?

I owned an old Gossen Sixtomat and I am wondering if there is a battery cell or not in this device. If there is no battery I am wondering how this could work without energy. I know some materials ...
8
votes
2answers
228 views

Who shaped portraiture pre 1960, and how?

Preamble Ansel Adams was an astounding photographer who influenced many aspiring landscape photographers and became a household name amongst photographers. However he seldom stepped out of his ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

Why is “fine art” photography predominantly in B&W?

I've done a lot of reading on this to try and find the answer myself, but have not been successful. I've seen many definitions of "fine art" in the web, wikipedia, etc. I've read about the historical ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

How has the price of a roll of film developed over the last few decades?

How has the price of a (typical/common) roll of film changed over the last few decades? I am trying to get an impression whether film is getting more expensive (and if so, how much) as a result of ...
12
votes
3answers
782 views

Did film photography have lens correction counterparts?

Were there ever any tools to correct for lens distortion in the film-only era? I'm thinking a device that contained a lens system that you could alter, or a soft workable lens that you could fine tune,...