A photograph (often shortened to photo) is an image created by light falling on a light-sensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic imager such as a CCD or a CMOS chip. Most photographs are created using a camera, which uses a lens to focus the scene's visible wavelengths of light into a reproduction of what the human eye would see. The process of creating photographs is called photography. The word "photograph" coined 1839 by Sir John Herschel and is based on the Greek φώς (phos), "light" + γραφίς (graphis), "stylus", "paintbrush" or γραφή (graphê), "representation by means of lines" or "drawing", together meaning "drawing with light".
The daguerreotype had its problems, notably the fragility of the resulting picture, and that it was a positive-only process and thus could not be re-printed. Inventors set about looking for improved processes that would be more practical. Several processes were introduced and used for a short time between Niépce's first image and the introduction of the collodion process in 1848. Collodion-based wet-glass plate negatives with prints made on albumen paper remained the preferred photographic method for some time, even after the introduction of the even more practical gelatin process in 1871. Adaptations of the gelatin process have remained the primary black-and-white photographic process to this day, differing primarily in the film material itself, originally glass and then a variety of flexible films.
Color photography is almost as old as black-and-white, with early experiments dating to John Herschel's experiments with Anthotype from 1842, and Lippmann plate from 1891. Color photography became much more popular with the introduction of Autochrome Lumière in 1903, which was replaced by Kodachrome, Ilfochrome and similar processes. For many years these processes were used almost exclusively for transparencies (in slide projectors and similar devices), but color prints became popular with the introduction of the Chromogenic negative, which is the most-used system in the C-41 process. The needs of the movie industry have also introduced a host of special-purpose systems, perhaps the most well known being the now-rare Technicolor.
Alternatively, the film is processed to invert the negative image, yielding positive transparencies. Such positive images are usually mounted in frames, called slides. Before recent advances in digital photography, transparencies were widely used by professionals due to their sharpness and accuracy of color rendition. Most photographs published in magazines were taken on color transparency film.
Originally all photographs were monochromatic, or hand-painted in color. Although methods for developing color photos were available as early as 1861, they did not become widely available until the 1940s or 50s, and even so, until the 1960s most photographs were taken in black and white. Since then, Color photography has dominated popular photography, although black and white is still used, being easier to develop than color.
Panoramic format images can be taken with cameras like the Hasselblad Xpan on standard film. Since the 1990s, panoramic photos have been available on the Advanced Photo System film. APS was developed by several of the major film manufacturers to provide a film with different formats and computerized options available, though APS panoramas were created using a mask in panorama-capable cameras, far less desirable than a true panoramic camera which achieves its effect through wider film format. APS has become less popular and is being discontinued.
The advent of the microcomputer and digital photography has led to the rise of digital prints. These prints are created from stored graphic formats such as JPEG, TIFF, and RAW. The types of printers used include inkjet printers, dye-sublimation printer, laser printers, and thermal printers. Inkjet prints are sometimes given the coined name "Giclée".
US Patent Issued to Sharp on April 16 for "Semiconductor Light-Emitting Device Having a Member in a Periphery Made of a Material Whose Color, Transparency or Adhesiveness Changes Overtime Due to Light or Heat Emission from the Emitting Element" (Japanese Inventors)
Apr 17, 2013; ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 17 -- United States Patent no. 8,421,102, issued on April 16, was assigned to Sharp K.K. (Osaka,...
Patent Issued for Semiconductor Light-Emitting Device Having a Member in a Periphery Made of a Material Whose Color, Transparency or Adhesiveness Changes Overtime Due to Light or Heat Emission from Th
May 01, 2013; By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria,...
There's Still Life in That Slide Film Yet: Response to P-Essay regarding the Demise of Slides (PSA Journal, April '03). (P-Essay)
Jul 01, 2003; The decline of slides is not new and preceded the advent of digital cameras. Contrary to Mr. Bittle's comment, most snapshooters...