Applications of Early Photography

499 Words2 Pages
Early photography was used in many ways. One very popular application of photography was to replicate works of art or make it easier for artists to trace a subject. Photographic books were created, documenting botanical specimens and even portrait work. As portrait photography became popular, photographers experimented with numerous subjects one subject being the dead. Before being able to permanently record an exact photographic image artists used the camera obscura to help with their drawing. Light entered through a small hole reflecting the outside scene onto a blank wall. From there the artist was able to trace and paint over the outlined image. The camera’s perspective and proportions were a great aid to these artists. Two of the earliest books to be photographically illustrated were created by Anna Atkins and Henry Talbot. Atkin’s was a botanist who used the Cyanotype process to record different plants. These illustrations were then put into a book called British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions, and thus became the first book to be illustrated with photographs in 1843. In 1844 Talbot printed his book called, The Pencil of Nature. This was the first published book containing practical applications of photography and various essays describing how each illustration was created. Before the Daguerreotype, portraits were made by painters which took quite a while to complete. As the new invention took off portrait painters were quickly losing business and were complaining and making fun of the “camera.” Luckily for them, there careers were not over. Since the portraits being created all lacked color, painters were hired to paint the colors onto the portraits. This not only made things easier for artists, but also introduced a more life-like photograph of the subject. As the Daguerreotype became famous so did portrait photography. Richard Beard was an
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