From the Cold War: The Evolution of the Modern Digital Camera

history-digital-camera

The history of the digital camera is much older than most would expect.  With roots going way back into the dark days of the Cold War, a fascinating series of innovations have led to the creation of technology we take for granted in our everyday lives.

For instance, did you know that the first cell phone photo was shared in 1997 or that the first digital camera prototype was developed as far back at 1975 or that the basic plans that launched the CCD sensor were developed in under one hour in 1969?

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Documenting War: Matthew Brady on the American Battlefield

While the American Civil War was not the first armed conflict to be photographed, it was by far the most bloody and gruesome up to that point. Considered by many to be the father of photojournalism, Matthew Brady was a studio photographer in New York who began cashing in at the outbreak of the war by specifically marketing portraits to families whose sons were leaving with no guarantee of returning home.

"Havoc". Effect of a 32lb. shell from the 2nd. Mass. Heavy Artillery, Fredericksburg,Va.

“Havoc”. Effect of a 32lb. shell from the 2nd. Mass. Heavy Artillery, Fredericksburg,Va.

Eventually, Brady secured permission from President Lincoln himself to travel to the battlefields with the express purpose of documenting the conflict. Armed with a wet-plate camera and portable darkroom, he set out to immortalize the realities of a war that not only shaped the course of American history but, de facto, the course of modern history. Brady’s exhibits and galleries, often filled with graphic images of rotting corpses on the battlefield, brought the realities of war to the home front for the mostly-untouched North. [Read more…]