The Story of the Dark Box, Invented in 1827 and Allowing the Discovery of Photography That Exists in Every Moment of Our Lives Today Photos are images in which the visible world is conveyed as it is. The photographic image is formed when the light passing through the lens falls on the sensitive surface for a specified time depending on the aperture.
The most important invention in the invention of photography is the invention of the mechanical system, the Camera Obscura. Let’s take a look at the historical development of the dark box, which has a history of almost 2500 years, and how the first photograph taken by Nicéphore Niepce was taken.
Man has tried to resist time with various methods from past to present. He sought ways not only to be immortal, but to preserve the existing reality. In the early days, embalming methods were used so that the bodies of the dead would not be harmed.
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Under the influence of art and civilization, busts and portraits began to replace embalming. With the Renaissance, the depiction of reality reached perfect dimensions, but it was not enough. Adding the “moment” to the perfect use of three dimensions in art, recording the existing reality as it is, was through Photography.
When we look at the history of photography, we first see the photograph taken by the French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niepce, posing for 8 hours from the window of his house. The recording and stabilization of this 1827 image was made possible by the discovery of light-sensitive surfaces and chemicals. But the invention of the mechanical system necessary for taking pictures, the Camera Obscura, goes back much further.
What is Camera Obscura?
Camera Obscura; A pinhole is an image generation mechanism, also known as a pinhole camera or dark box. In this mechanism, the lens in cameras is replaced by a pinhole (0.25-1 mm) wide hole. Light passes through this hole and an inverted image is formed across the hole. Camera Obscura can sometimes be a room or sometimes a small box.
The first statement about the basic working principle of the system that has survived to the present day belongs to the Chinese thinker Mo Di, who is also the founder of Mohism. B.C. Mo Di, who lived between 470 and 390 BC, discovered as a result of his experimental observations that the light passing through a small hole opened into a dark environment creates an upside down reflection of the luminous object outside.
Working principle of Camera Obscura
B.C. In the 4th century, the Greek philosopher Aristotle studied the passage of light through the colander holes to project the image of the solar eclipse onto the ground. Aristotle made sense of the optical principles of the effect of light passing through a small hole in a dark box or environment. After Aristotle, the Greek mathematician Euclid also talked about the propagation of light in a straight line from optics and made studies supporting the working principle of the Camera Obscura.
Ibn al-Haytham, the father of modern optics, who lived in the 11th century, determined that light acquires a linear quality through this mechanism. Ibn al-Haytham was the first scientist to state that the act of “seeing” occurs when the light reflected from objects enters one’s eye. At that time, scientists were already talking about the effects of light passing through the hole, but Ibn al-Haytham described for the first time that light creates an image and invented the pinhole camera. The term Camera Obscura was first used by Johannes Kepler in 1604.
In the 16th century, Leonardo Da Vinci noticed the similarity between the Camera Obscura and the human eye and benefited from this system in his work.
He did many experiments with multiple and different widths of holes on the dark box. Da Vinci and many important painters of the period used the Camera Obscura to accurately reflect the perspective in the image. Until those years, lenses began to be added to the Camera Obscura to make the image obtained by passing the light through a hole the width of a pinhead sharper. Usually the size of a room, the Camera Obscura was made smaller and more portable in 1685 by Johann Zahn.
The light passing through the lens, which replaces the human eye in the camera, creates the photograph. The recording of the time period that we cannot see and perceive with the eyes is possible thanks to photography. The last of these developments, which heralded the invention of photography, was the invention of chemicals that allow recording and stabilizing the image. In the 19th century, the first photograph was recorded when a metal plate coated with photosensitive chemicals (which is what the sensor functions today) was placed in the Camera Obscura.
According to surviving sources, the first photograph in history was taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1827. The light passing through the needle-wide hole on the mechanism for 8 hours created this image on the light-sensitive surface inside the box. With stabilizing chemicals, it was possible for the photograph to survive until today. Like many inventions in history, photography cannot be considered as the invention of only one person.