Student or Learner
I need help editing this and need tips. My english teacher gave me a C- and a chance to bring up my grade. He also said that this is a report not an essay and should make it more dialectic, personal and exploratory. Please help
How does a camera capture an image? This question came about to me when I was watching an old Japanese movie that took place in 1878 during the Meiji era. The main cast traveled from Tokyo to Yokohama by train. Once they arrived there, they used the money they were awarded for saving the train from bandits to take a photo to take home. I wasn't sure what year Western customs reached Japan but one of the characters in the movie was told that if a camera captures and image of you, it will take 5 years from your soul, or something in that matter. The character and his group ended up taking a picture anyway and it was an old brown and gray kind of photograph. Then it hit me, how is it possible that technology from that long ago was able to capture an image just like the human eye can? If I know that, then I can at least know the basis of camera technology now such as how is it possible to capture a video of things. After that I looked through my drawer and remembered that I had an old disposable camera so I decide to look what was inside it. I thought I could learn more things if I took it apart but I didn't, instead I find myself with all these little bolts, small lens, and tiny parts of a camera. More questions were produced in my thoughts such as, how is it possible that these little things are able to capture so much? I also wondered how the person to invent the camera know what kind of tools and equipment to use (despite trial and error.)
The first hint of my research led to the examination of the word “photography.” Like the word photosynthesis “light making,” photograph comes from the Greek word photo meaning “light” and graphein meaning “to draw” (about.com, 2009.) In analysis of the word, you think photograph would be “to draw light” which was my first thought that came to mind when I first learned of this word. But why light? How does one draw light? Which then comes to my next point in my research.
Much to my surprise, the first photograph was made in 1814 by a French inventor named Joseph Nicephore Niepce, a lot earlier than the year the movie I watched took place. The photo was black and white, had a strong lighting. Compared to the kinds of digital photos that even cell phones can capture now, the photo Niepce captured eventually faded.(Midley, 2007.) A few names for the process of capturing a photo were named heliographs by Niepce, or sun prints, because his camera used light to draw the picture. Hence, photograph (about.com, 2007.)
Joseph Nicephore Niepce was the first person to capture an image, however, in 1829, the first person to invent the “first practical process of photography” was Louis Daguerre, who partnered with Niepce, using his process and improving it more. After ten years of experimenting, Daguerre developed a technique called dageurreotype, naming it after himself since Niepce passed away in the years between. According to about.com:
“Daguerre's process 'fixed' the images onto a sheet of silver-plated copper. He polished the silver and coated it in iodine, creating a surface that was sensitive to light. Then, he put the plate in a camera and exposed it for a few minutes. After the image was painted by light, Daguerre bathed the plate in a solution of silver chloride. This process created a lasting image, one that would not change if exposed to light.”
Other techniques such as tintypes, discovered by Hamilton Smith, involved a tiny sheet of iron as the basis for light-sensitive material, making a positive image. However, the following techniques were different in the process, but similar in results (black and white photographs.) To me, finding different techniques to perform a task are good discoveries, however, if you still have the same results as other techniques, then it really does not make any difference overall.
Then in the early 1940s, new types of photo capturing device were brought to the markets. This device was able to produce dye-coupled colors. The first permanent colour photograph was taken by James Clerk Maxwell in 1861, working with Thomas Sutton. This discovery to me is the most precious one I acknowledge because as a painter who uses photograph, there would be nothing to paint without a reference of a still photograph with daily movements in them.
There are many cameras out there, but I think I’ll try to explain the interior of a nineteenth century camera and how it captures an image. There are many types of capturing devices, one in particular being called SLR, or single-lens reflex. The lens are located at the front of the camera, and appears as lucid glass, and is usually in the shape of a circle or square, the lens are usually located in the center position of the camera if looking at it from a second person view. Sometimes it can be off-centered. Like the name suggest, there is only one lens used both for viewing and capturing and image. The lighter the room is, the better the photo will be. Now we can finally get into the actual word photograph, meaning to “to draw light.” Just like ourselves, we can see things better when the light is on. If the setting is too dark, then we can hardly make out any figures. The camera is no different. For example, if the lens are pointed at the ball, the light bouncing off the ball will be collected into the pentaprism, located in the interior of the camera somewhere, and back to the base of the camera in the place where the chemical reaction will take place. Just like a human brain, the image captured in our eyes is sent to the base of the brain known as the occipital lobe.
If the scenery of the image is a little dark, you could use what is called a flash. Which produces more light. This invention is quite marvelous, because it literally reflects the image of capturing light, by adding more light to make a picture more clear. However, if the lens is in a position to capture too much light, in contrast with a dark place, you’ll mainly capture too much light and the scene will look like it is just like a blank page white, with little or no figures.
With that in mind, the use of cameras has definitely benefited many lives as well as the media. With the use of this technology, memories can be captured and be shared in quantities. In fact, the video camera, a camera that captures frames/second has been ideal for making movies, one of the biggest selling ideas in the media. So with that in mind, I can finally understand why technology back then was able to capture images despite it being less technological compared to now. The idea was really simple compared to now, and because of that discovery, I was able to watch that movie.