Birth of Photography1837 by Louis M. Daguerre invented the first practical process of photography To take the first portraits, the subject had to sit dead still for twenty minutes. The subject’s neck was clamped in a vise hidden from the camera’s sight. Daguerreotypes were wildly popular.
War photography • Matthew Brady 1823-96 brought home the horrors of the Civil War • Wagonload of camera equipment became a target • It took 3 minutes to make an impression • Confined to pictures of posed soldiers, camp pictures, corpses • The new medium claimed to be a mirror with a memory
Documentary Photography • Jacob Riis (1849-1914) was a New York police reporter • He invaded robber’s hangouts, sweatshops, and squalid conditions • His graphic images led to the 1st legislation to reform housing codes and labor laws
Portrait Photography • Nadar did portraits of artistic figures of Paris in 1853 • He posed figures and used dramatic lighting for photographs • This photo is of Sarah Bernhardt 1859, showing her in a dramatic sweep of drapery
Art Photography • Julia Cameron (1815-79) wanted to capture ideal beauty • She was the first to have lenses built for a soft-focus effect in her sentimental pictures
Photography’s impact • The art of painting miniature portraits was doomed • Daguerreotypes could be ready in 15 minutes for 12 cents • Some painters proclaimed “From this day, painting is dead.” • Painters who did painstakingly detailed scenes were threatened
Some artists viewed photography as helpful • Delacroix used them as studies for hard- to- hold poses • Some painters used photos for portraits instead of long sittings • Bierstadt used photos for his panoramic landscapes • Degas used photos for unusual poses and unconventional compositions • Within 3 generations after the invention of photography, painters abandoned the image for abstraction • Photographers insisted their craft was more than snapping a picture, but fine art in itself • The camera excelled at reproducing images realistically but photographers aspired to imitate painting • Photographers manipulated the mechanically produced images by retouching the negative, painting the prints, superimposing the negatives