When I received my Nikon Z 9 in late December, I was a bit anxious. Would it live up to the hype? Was it going to be the camera that Nikon had promised (and many Nikon users had been waiting for)? Right away that first day my concerns were put to rest, and over the course of the following week, the more I learned, the more I liked it. That resulted in a long, mostly glowing, blog post. And as I continue to use it, I continue to be impressed. That got me thinking about this digital photography journey I’ve been on for the last 25 years. It’s gone from ugly to awesome.
Regardless of one’s beliefs in spirits or the afterlife, we’d all like to feel a connection to those we’ve lost. In the mid-1800s, one of those connections was through the form of photography, thanks to photographer William H. Mulmer, an amateur photographer based in Boston who claimed to actually be able to photograph ghosts.
During the American Civil War, belief in spiritualism grew. People believed that through the use of a medium one could contact their dearly departed. So being able to capture them with a camera didn’t seem that far-fetched to many people at the time – including Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of assassinated American president, Abraham Lincoln.
Since its initial inception and those first crude attempts at recording an image in a permanent form, photography has seen some huge developments. New technology over the years has allowed us to capture things never previously possible. And the pace at which it’s developed in just the last decade or two is pretty mindblowing when you think about it.
But how has it evolved over the years? What were its defining moments? This thoughtful video from the auction house, Christie’s and presented by Darius Himes, takes us on a journey through time to discover how photography has changed and the history in not just technical ability but also how photography as an artform itself has changed.
Polaroid was the first manufacturer of instant cameras and film. They were so popular that we tend to call every instant camera “a Polaroid” even today. However, the company went from an industry giant to bankruptcy but then raised from the ashes. In this video from Business Insider, learn more about the exciting history of the world’s best-known instant camera brand.
This post is dedicated to a very helpful yet often-overlooked photographic accessory. After scouring the web, at this point, I have only been able to find few brief entries dedicated to those devices, so I hope my writing will be found helpful by inquisitive minds interested in the history of photo equipment.
Tintypes Made Using Focusing Loupes as Lenses is a companion post to this one. Capturing images in this exact manner is something that to my knowledge has not been done before, though of course, I am always ready to be proven otherwise.
In 2019, Tamara Lanier sued Harvard University claiming that she was the rightful owner of daguerreotypes of an enslaved father and daughter. A Massachusetts judge has dismissed her claim, ruling that it’s Harvard that should own the images after all.
If you’ve always wanted to watch a cartoon about camera history, you’ve come to the right place: here’s a North Korean cartoon that teaches children camera history. It’s actually a combination of cartoon and studio footage, and it’s is cute, encouraging, and informative. But at the same time, it’s odd and full of moments that will make you scratch your head – and this is why you won’t be able to stop watching.
In 1976 while rummaging through an attic of Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology in search of old museum publications, editorial assistant Lorna Condon opened a drawer in a wooden cabinet. Inside, she found a number of flat leather cases which contained a series of daguerreotypes of partially and fully nude Black people. Names were handwritten on paper labels identifying 7 individuals: Alfred, Delia, Drama, Fassena, Jack, Jem, and Renty with assumed ethnicities and occupations. The daguerreotypes represented some of the earliest known images of slaves in the U.S.
In this video, Vox brings another example of a historic image that was most likely staged. It’s Roger Fenton’s Valley of the Shadow of Death taken in 1855 during the Crimean War. Two versions of the image caused a lot of questions and controversy, and film director Errol Morris was determined to figure it out.