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It has long been known that certain substances, when illuminated, undergo permanent visible changes. In the early part of the nineteenth century, these materials were sometimes used to make "photogenic drawings," for example,

by exposing them to sunlight through patterned masks. The most light-sensitive compounds are silver salts, and the photography that prospered in the second half of the nineteenth and throughout the twentieth century was based almost entirely on the use of silver halides.

Early Photography

Practical photographic processes were devised in the 1830s by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre in France and by William Henry Fox Talbot in England. In Daguerre's method, a silver iodide-coated silver plate was exposed to light in a camera, whereby the exposed silver iodide was decomposed to metallic silver and iodine. A clear image was obtained by treating the plate with mercury vapor (which amalgamated the silver) and by rinsing it in a strong salt solution to remove the remaining silver iodide. A positive image could be viewed by holding this "Daguerreotype" in oblique lighting with a dark background, so that the amalgamated silver zones appeared bright and the silver plate appeared dark.

Talbot's procedure consisted of washing paper successively in baths of saltwater and silver nitrate solution, thus depositing silver chloride in the fibers of the paper. The still wet paper was then exposed in a camera until a dark silver image appeared in the light-struck regions, and the remaining silver chloride was removed by washing with a concentrated salt solution or a sodium thiosulfate solution. By waxing or oiling the negative sheet, Talbot made the paper transparent, and then by making an exposure of diffuse light through the negative onto another sensitized sheet, he produced a positive image. An unlimited number of copies of a photograph could thus be made from any one negative.

Improvements in Talbot's Method

Both Daguerre's and Talbot's methods were inconvenient because they required long exposures in the camerasometimes as long as 60 minutes. In 1840 Talbot greatly improved his process. He found that a very short camera exposure (about 1/60 of that required to give a visible image) left an invisible "latent" image on the sensitized paper. The latent image was then "developed" into a visible image by treatment with a solution of gallic acid and silver nitrate. This modification, together with the negative/positive feature, made Talbot's process so superior that it has survived, in its general form, to the present day. The main difference between Talbot's process and modern photographic practice is that now the silver halide, in the form of approximately micron-sized crystals or "grains," is suspended in gelatin. The gelatin emulsion is coated as a thin film on glass plates or flexible sheets of plastic or paper.

Mechanism of the Photographic Process

When a photon is absorbed by a silver halide grain, an electron is ejected from a halide ion and temporarily held at some site in the crystal. A silver ion can migrate to the site and combine with the electron to form a silver atom. The atom is not stable; it can decompose back into a silver ion and a free electron. However, during its lifetime, the atom can trap a second electron if one becomes available. If this second electron remains trapped until the arrival of a second silver ion, a two-atom cluster forms. This buildup of a silver cluster can continue as long as photoelectrons are available. The smallest cluster corresponding to a stable latent image speck is believed to consist of three or four silver atoms. Specks of this size or greater on the crystal surface can catalyze the subsequent action of a developer.

Classic Processing

A common, well-established procedure for making photographic prints is as follows:

1. Exposure of the sensitive material, usually a gelatin emulsion of silver halides on a cellulose acetate film, in the camera.

2. Development in the darkroom by treating the film with a solution of organic reducing agents such as hydroquinone and N-methyl paraaminophenol. The reagents reduce to metallic silver those silver halide crystals that acquired latent-image silver clusters. The brighter the subject of a photograph, the darker is the image that forms in this development, so that one obtains a negative picture.

3."Fixing" the image so that the film will not darken on further exposure to light. This is accomplished by dissolving the undeveloped silver halide grains in a solution of sodium thiosulfate:

AgBr + 2S2032 Ag(S203)23 Br

4. Washing away the dissolved silver salts and drying the negative.

5. Printing, that is, shining diffuse light through the negative onto a sheet of sensitive photographic paper (a gelatin emulsion on paper).

6. Darkroom development of the exposed paper using developer solution much like that used in the film development step. This step produces a positive image, in which the tones are like those in the original scene.

7. Fixing, washing, and drying the print as in the analogous film processing steps.

Reversal Processing

Transparencies, or photographic prints on a transparent base, can be produced essentially as paper prints are, but with replacement of the photographic paper by photographic film. This procedure can be used for making motion picture films. However, positive transparencies are more easily prepared by reversal processing, in which the final image is formed on the same film as that used in the original exposure. Typical reversal processing is as follows:

1. Exposure of the film in the camera.

2. Development of the negative image.

3. Dissolution of the developed silver image by treatment with an oxidizing agent.

4. Exposure of the remaining silver halide to light or to a chemical fogging agent.

5. Development of the silver halide, producing a positive image.

6. Washing and drying of the film.

Reversal processing can also be accomplished using the Sabatier effect, in which the emulsion is given a brief exposure to diffuse light in the midst of development. Some emulsions, when subjected to very intense camera exposure, will yield a positive image by ordinary developmenta process referred to as overexposure solarization.

Spectral Sensitization

The silver halides are sensitive mainly to blue, violet, and ultraviolet light; hence, without sensitization, positive photographs reproduce all other colors as dark grays or blacks. However, by the addition of certain dyes to the emulsion, increased sensitivity to the other colors is obtained. Thus, "panchromatic" films, in which sensitivity is extended throughout the visible spectrum, are possible, and the resulting photographs are much more realistic than those obtained using old-fashioned red-insensitive films.

Color Photography

The sensitization of emulsions to the three primary colors (blue, green, and red) is essential to conventional color photography. A common method for producing color prints uses a film containing three superimposed layers, each sensitive to one of the three primary colors. In the initial development, the deposition of silver is accompanied by the formations of a dye color complementary to the color sensitivity of the film layer. After removal of the silver and silver halides from all three layers, the image seen through the three layers is complementary in color to that of the original scene, that is, a color negative. This negative is then used to print a positive copy onto paper with similar layered emulsions, and development proceeds analogously to that of the film.

Instant Photography

In 1947 Edwin H. Land devised a diffusion transfer process for obtaining positive paper prints rapidly in the Polaroid Land camera. The negative is developed in the presence of a solvent for silver halides, which not only develops the negative, but also dissolves the nondeveloped silver halides. The silver halides dissolved out of the negative sheet are developed into an adjacent sheet (containing nuclei for development) to give a positive image. This principle was applied to color photography in the 1960s.

Digital Photography

Silver halide-based photography is being rapidly displaced by so-called digital photography, involving special cameras that contain no film, but rather charge-coupled devices (CCDs), consisting of rectangular arrays of millions of minute light sensors. Under exposure to light, each sensor produces an electric charge, and the enormous amount of information thereby produced (charge as a function of sensor position) is stored electronically as digital data in the camera. The CCD array can be reused indefinitely, the only limitation on the number of possible exposures being the amount of information that can be stored in the camera. However, this information can be downloaded from the memory bank of the camera to a computer, and the image can later be manipulated and printed out, for example, with an ink jet printer, a laser printer, or a dye sublimation printer. The CCD arrays are monochrome devices, but when combined with color filter arrays, they provide blue, green, and red data and thus yield color pictures.

W. L. Jolly


Carroll, B. H.; Higgens, G. C.; and James, T. H. (1980). Introduction to Photographic Theory. New York: Wiley.

Coe, Brian, and Haworth-Booth, Mark (1983). A Guide to Early Photographic Processes. London: Victoria and Albert Museum.

Rosenblum, Naomi (1984). A World History of Photography. New York: Abbeville Press.

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Photography has many applications in forensic science . It is used in the first instance to photograph the crime scene. Then, photographs are taken of individual items of evidence , from fingerprints and bloodstains, to wounds on a victim's body both at the scene and during an autopsy . Specialized techniques such as microphotography and infrared photography can be extremely useful in particular settings. Forensic photography is a skilled job, for all photographs must be of high enough quality to be admissible as evidence in court.

A crime scene is always photographed as soon as possible, so there is a permanent record of the location in its original condition. This will probably occur after the preliminary survey of the scene when, ideally, nothing will have been touched or moved. Sometimes, however, the priority is to get emergency help for a victim and this may lead to some movement of objects. The photographer will take shots of these items in the place they have been moved to. Returning them to their original position would amount to disturbing the scene, which is bad practice. It is not possible to specify how many photographs will be taken for so much depends on the type and nature of scene. As a general guide, the forensic photographer will err on the side of caution and take too many pictures instead of too few.

Three types of photographs are taken, overall, mid-range, and close-up photographs. Overall photographs will be taken of the exterior and interior of the crime scene. Exterior photographs will show buildings and other major structures, roads, or paths to and from the scene, streets signs, and address numbers. If possible, aerial photographs will be taken because these give the broadest possible view of a crime scene in relation to its surroundings. Interior photographs are taken using the corners of the room as a guide. Overlapping views are taken, to ensure everything is covered. It is also important to take photographs of the common approach path, that is, the agreed route through which investigators enter and leave the scene of the crime. This comprises an access point and a focal point and is chosen so that there will be minimal disturbance of evidence. For instance, investigators would not choose a common approach path involving the perpetrator's possible entry point for fear of contaminating evidence at this location. A body, if there is one, is often the focal point of a common approach path. The photographer will also take shots of any possible routes taken by perpetrators or victims including entry or exit points.

Mid-range photographs will show items of evidence and any bodies in their immediate surroundings. Close-ups will focus on evidence like weapons, victims, footprints, and other evidence. A scale, such as a ruler, will give a guide to the size of the item of evidence. This is important because the photographs will later be enlarged to the appropriate size for comparison work, with shoeprints , for instance. Photos with and without this scale are generally taken. An L-shaped ruler that shows the length and breadth of the item is particularly useful. All photos taken must be recorded in a special photo log with the date, time, photographer, film, camera settings, and a brief description of what the photo shows. The settings of the camera must be such as to allow good illumination, filling in shadows with flash where needed. Flash can also be used to enhance detail or patterns. No extraneous objects such as investigators or their equipment should be seen in any of the photographs. The forensic photographer's scene of crime kit typically will include a 35-millimeter camera, normal, wide-angle, and close up lenses, an electronic flash with a cord, color and black-and-white film, scales or rulers, and a tripod. Photography is often supplemented by taking a video of the scene. But the still photographs are essential, because they are of higher resolution than a video film. The aim is to take examination quality photographs which can be studied back in the forensic laboratory in comparison with samples taken from suspects or from reference databases.

When it comes to photographing evidence that could easily be damaged or lost, such as fingerprints, shoeprints, tire tracks , and toolmarks, it is important to take the photographs as soon as possible. Fingerprints may need to be made visible, by exposing to laser or ultraviolet light, or by applying special powders before they can be photographed at the scene. Similarly, shoeprints may need treatment before they can be visualized, although those in mud or blood can usually be captured on film without special preparation. It is important to take photographs of shoeprints at a 90-degree angle to its surface and centered in the camera lens. This avoids distortion in the image and makes comparison with control shoeprints more reliable. Tire track photographs need to be taken both as part of a general scene photograph, so that their location can be precisely determined, and also close up, to determine the pattern detail on the tire so it can be identified. Photographs of toolmarks should at least show the location of this important source of evidence. However, even macrophotography may not reveal enough detail to allow the photographs to be used for laboratory comparison with suspect tools. Each item of evidence is photographed individually before being touched if at all possible, and several shots of each item are taken.

Bloodstains are found in many different locations and patterns at crime scenes. The overall photographs will show their location and distribution, which may be significant in revealing the relative positions of the victim and perpetrator. Then the photographer takes more shots close up of the individual stains that reveal the detail needed to back up pathological analysis of the injuries inflicted. Bloodstains and blood spatter patterns on the victim's body are also photographed.

It is also important to photograph any injuries on living or dead victim. A corpse is always photographed before being moved from the scene of a crime. Full body and close-ups are taken. The place where the victim lay will also be photographed again once the body has been moved and then searched for evidence. If the victim is living, the photographer will take pictures of only the minor injuries at the scene. Serious knife wounds or gunshot injuries will generally be photographed at the hospital in the interests of getting the victim medical help as soon as possible. Photography plays an important role in an autopsy, too. The body is photographed both clothed and unclothed. Frontal and profile photographs of the face and body are important, especially if there is a question of identification . Each birthmark, tattoo, scar, and any other body mark is also photographed. Photographs are taken at each stage during the autopsy process.

Photography may be an important aid to identification of a body. Photos of the face of a corpse may be simply compared with images or descriptions of missing persons. A forensic anthropologist, who is an expert in human remains, may be able to determine whether two pictures are of the same person by analyzing their bone structure. Even though two pictures may be very different in quality and in their age, similarities or differences in certain elements of bone structure may be apparent. The investigator will superimpose the two pictures, at the same image size, and compare the eyebrow area, nasal openings, and the contours of the chin.

Special illumination techniques are often used to take photographs in particular situations. Photographs taken in infrared light can sometimes help distinguish two types of ink, which look very similar in ordinary light. This may help determine whether writing has been added to an original document. Ultraviolet illumination enhances images of injuries while laser light illumination is valuable in recording fingerprints. There is also a trend towards using digital rather than conventional photography in forensics as well as in other applications. Digital images can be readily enhanced. For instance, if a fingerprint appears on an interfering background, such as a bank note, then the background can readily be removed to make the actual evidence clearer. However, it is this very ability to manipulate which makes some courts wary of digital photographic evidence.

Good quality photographs have many uses in the investigation of a crime. They can help investigators carry out a crime scene reconstruction , where the sequence of events leading up to and occurring after the actual crime is deduced. Sometimes photographs are used to help witnesses recall more about what they saw. Photographs can be faxed and widely distributed in the media or throughout a neighborhood in the search for missing persons or suspects. Judge and jury may be presented with photographs during a trial to help them understand the nature of a crime. Sometimes a photograph of an item of evidence will even be allowed to stand in for the real thing if the actual item could not be removed from the scene of crime for some reason. Photographic techniques are advancing all the time and it is the task of the forensic photographer to make best use of these to create strong, detailed images of all the evidence pertaining to a particular crime.

see also Imaging; Photo alteration; Ultraviolet light analysis.

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photography When photography was announced to the world in 1839, almost immediately three relationships to the body were established. The most pervasive of these was its use to produce portraits and snapshots that have served as surrogates, even fetishistic tokens, of the human body. As new technologies made photography progressively cheaper throughout the nineteenth century, photographic portraiture, produced in the studios of trained technicians, worked its way down to ever lower classes of society. Photographic portraits made present to broad classes of people images of the bodies of family members who had emigrated, gone off to war, died, or otherwise absented themselves, a privilege enjoyed previously only by the rich. For the last third of the nineteenth century photographic portraits were also collected and assembled into albums as a way for the public to see the leading political, artistic, and literary figures of the day.

As a different kind of surrogate, photography itself extended the reach of the body's comprehension of the world. Doing so more insistently than did other forms of mimetic representation, photography seemed to stand in for the direct, bodily experience of the individual, its lens becoming the roving eye of the beholder. Most obviously one sees this in travel and expeditionary photographs of the nineteenth century, for which skilled professionals travelled forth from Western Europe and the eastern USA to record and bring back views of sites as various as India, the American West and the Middle East.

Finally, photography played a role in the nineteenth-century comprehension of the body itself within the emerging sciences. Ethnographers saw in photography the potential to prove theories of racial difference, using photographs showing faces and full (frequently unclothed) bodies that had been produced both for the tourist trade and specifically for ethnographic study. Early investigators of psychiatry and eugenics considered the medium an objective tool of research, finding evidence in straightforward face shots as well as those that had been manipulated. Studies of physiognomy and the emotions were illustrated with photographs of faces stimulated by electrical charges, while eugenicists sought to arrive visually at average ‘types’ by exposing a single piece of photographic paper to multiple portrait negatives, one on top of the next, so that only the most commonly held traits appeared in the final picture. Within criminology, photographic ‘mug’ shots fixed the identities of convicted criminals, while detailed pictures of ears and other body parts enabled a crude method of tracking suspects, as today fingerprints and DNA are used. Physiology was advanced by studies of motion in the 1870s and 80s, which fixed the positions the body held through the course of a variety of activities. Using light waves beyond the visible spectrum, the invention of the X-ray toward the end of the century let physicians study internal body parts.

At the end of the nineteenth century, photography's relationship to the body changed with the invention and mass marketing of George Eastman's Kodak, the first snapshot camera. The ease of use and mobility of this hand-held camera (‘you push the button; we do the rest,’ boasted the ads) made it an extension of one's own body. Already a ‘point and shoot’ camera, this early Kodak allowed individuals to take over many of the functions previously performed by professional photographers. Ever-growing masses of people could now make portraits and travel views of their own, with a camera handily carried anywhere. Within the snapshot photographs that emerged, the body itself was recorded in increasingly common and casual ways.

Also beginning at the end of the nineteenth century, mass reproduction of photographs through new printing technologies expanded the audience for documentary and journalistic photography, which depended for its claim to veracity upon the imagined elision between the human eye and the mechanical camera (an idea manifested in the title of a play based on Christopher Isherwood's life in Berlin in the 1920s, I Am A Camera). Major examples within this genre in which the body itself figured prominently are the documentary photographs produced for the Farm Security Administration, part of the USAs efforts to ameliorate the ravages of the Depression of the 1930s, and the surrealist-inspired work of photographers working in and around Paris in the 1930s, such as Hans Bellmer.

Almost from the time of its invention, photography included the production of erotic imagery as a covert subset of its representations of the body. In the nineteenth century as well as the twentieth, such imagery often finessed the fine line between art and pornography. Nineteenth-century photographers of the (usually female) nude included among their customers both artists seeking escape from the expense and possible tedium of working from live models and a more general public seeking this imagery for its potential eroticism. In the first third of the twentieth century, many photographers (mostly male) turned to the female nude body as a subject that would align their work in this new medium with the more traditional arts.

In the decades after World War II, photography of the body within the burgeoning mass media largely reinforced gender differences the war had momentarily eased. Fashion magazines returned in their imagery to a level of elegance and fancy dress not seen since the 1920s. Advertising photography, now in its heyday, constructed safely differing roles for men and women through images in which body posture, facial expression, grooming, and dress figured prominently. In the same postwar years, photographers working outside the commercial realm made pictures in which the body revealed strains on social relationships, as the dominance of straight, white males was questioned by new roles for women, greater freedom for people of colour, and an incipient visibility for gays and lesbians.

In the 1960s photography made evident the centrality of the body to radical changes in society. While battlefield corpses had figured prominently in photographs from the American Civil War, government censors successfully ruled out any large-scale photographic representation of battle carnage until the Vietnam War, when widespread disapproval of the war propelled photographers to defy censors. Not only did journalistic pictures record the carnage brought to the body by the war in Southeast Asia and the protest against it in Europe and America, but artistic pictures seemed to reflect symbolically the psychic stress of world events on otherwise normal bodies.

In the 1970s photography and the body intersected in new ways. No longer considered a transparent record or means of abstraction, as it had been for much of its history, photography was now seen as marking the extent to which the world is mediated, coming to us already as a representation. Using photography this way, artists explored the social and cultural bases of such attributes of the body as gender, race, class, and sexual orientation. Artists used photography to document artistic performances that used the body in a very physical way to redefine experience. Feminist artists employed photography as a means to record and comment upon transformations to which they submitted their bodies.

Postmodern artists in recent decades have followed the lead of these artists of the 1970s to make photographs of the body that are explicitly political, dealing with problematic notions of sexuality and self identity. In these works bodies are embedded in society, entering clearly defined social discourses at the time of their making. Photographers show the gay male body at precisely the time that the AIDS epidemic has made consensual invisibility no longer viable. Other photographers act out assumed or fictive roles, refusing to seek any ‘true’ or ‘real’ self. Still others have explored the social dimensions of race and racism by referring back to nineteenth-century photography that sought to define racial difference, thus recycling the history of photography's involvement with the body.

John Pultz


Pultz, J. (1995). Photography and the body. Everyman Art Library, London.

See also art and the body; cinematography.

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The development of photography in Russia during the nineteenth century followed a history similar to that of other European countries. After Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot made public their methods for capturing images on light-sensitized surfaces in 1839, I. Kh. Gammel, corresponding member to the Russian Academy of Sciences, visited both inventors to learn more about their work and collected samples of daguerreotypes and calotypes for study by Russian scientists. The Academy subsequently commissioned Russian scientists to further investigate both processes. As elsewhere, Russian experimenters quickly introduced a variety of refinements to the initial processes.

Photography found immediate popular success in Russia with the establishment of daguerreotype portrait studios in the 1840s. The similarity of the photograph to the Orthodox icon (an image that is believed to be a direct and truthful record of a physical being) heightened the early reception of photography and resulted in the persistence of portraiture as a major genre in Russia. While the first generation of photographers was largely foreign, native practitioners soon appeared. Some, such as Sergei Levitsky, achieved international recognition for their role in the development of photography. A personal acquaintance of Daguerre, Levitsky established studios in both France and Russia, serving as court photographer for the Romanovs and Napoleon III. During the later nineteenth century, Russian photography became institutionalized with the establishment of journals, professional societies, and exhibitions.

While photography was initially largely rejected as an art, it became widely accepted with the emergence of Realism. Russian photographers used the camera to capture the changing social landscape that accompanied the liberation of the serfs and growing urbanization. Simultaneously, ethnographic photography became an important genre with the expansion of the Russian Empire and the opening of Central Asia. Numerous photographic albums and research projects documented the peoples, customs, landscape, and buildings of diverse parts of the Russian Empire. With the rise of Symbolism, a younger generation of pictorialist photographers rejected the photograph as document in pursuit of more aestheticizing manipulated images.

At the turn of the century, technological developments led to the appearance of popular illustrated publications and the emergence of modern press photography. The Bulla family established the first Russian photo agency; they documented such events as the Russo-Japanese War, World War I, and the 1917 Revolutions. The growing commercial availability of inexpensive cameras and products rendered photography more pervasive in Russia. However, with the commercialization of photography, Russian practitioners became increasingly dependent upon foreign equipment and materials. With the outbreak of World War I, photographers were largely cut off from their supplies, and the ensuing crisis severely limited photographic activity until the mid-1920s.

After the October Revolution, Russian photography followed a unique path due to the ideological imperatives of the Soviet regime. The Bolsheviks quickly recognized the propaganda potential of photography and nationalized the photographic industry. During the civil war, special committees collected historical photographs, documented contemporary events, and produced photopropaganda. In the early 1920s, Russian modernist artists, such as Alexander Rodchenko, experimented with the technique of photomontage, the assembly of photographic fragments into larger compositions. With the growing politicization of art, photomontage and photography soon became important media for the creation of ideological images. The 1920s also witnessed the foundation of the Soviet illustrated mass press. Despite a shortage of experienced photojournalists, the development of the illustrated press cultivated a new generation of Soviet photographers. Mikhail Koltsov, editor of the popular magazine Ogonek, laid the groundwork for modern photojournalism in the Soviet Union by establishing national and international mechanisms for the production, distribution, and preservation of photographic material. Koltsov actively promoted photographic education and the further development of both amateur and professional Soviet photography through the magazine Sovetskoye foto.

During the First Five-Year Plan, creative debates emerged between modernist photographers and professional Soviet photojournalists. While both groups shunned aestheticizing pictorialist approaches and were ideologically committed to the development of uniquely Soviet photography, differences arose concerning creative methods, especially the relative priority to be given to the form versus content of the Soviet photograph. These debates stimulated the further development of Soviet documentary photography. The illustrated magazine USSR in Construction (SSSR na stroike; 19301941, 1949) was an important venue for Soviet documentary photography. Published in Russian, English, French, and German editions, it featured the work of top photographers and photomontage artists. Like the nineteenth-century ethnographic albums, USSR in Construction presented the impact of Soviet industrialization and modernization in diverse parts of the USSR in film-like photographic essays. As the 1930s progressed, official Soviet photography became increasingly lackluster and formulaic. Published photographs were subjected to extensive retouching and manipulationnot for creative ends, but for the falsification of reality and history. An abrupt change took place during World War II, when Soviet photojournalists equipped with 35-millimeter cameras produced spontaneous images that captured the terrors and triumphs of war.

Soviet amateur photography flourished in the late 1920s with numerous worker photography circles. Amateur activity was stimulated by the development of the Soviet photography industry and the introduction of the first domestic camera in 1930. Later that decade, however, government regulations increasingly restricted the activity of amateur photographers, and the number of circles quickly diminished. The material hardships of the war years further compounded this situation, practically bringing amateur photographic activity to a standstill. With independent activity severely circumscribed, Soviet photography was essentially limited to the carefully controlled area of professional photojournalism.

During the Thaw of the late 1950s, the appearance of new amateur groups led to the cultivation of a new generation of photographers engaged in social photography that captured everyday life. Their activity, however, was largely underground. By the 1970s, photography played an important role in Soviet nonconformist and conceptual art. Artists such as Boris Mikhailov appropriated and manipulated photographic imagery in a radical critique of photography's claims to truth. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many photographic publications and industrial enterprises gradually disappeared. While professional practitioners quickly adapted to the new market system and creative photographers achieved international renown, the main area of activity was consumer snapshot photography, which flourished in Russia with the return of foreign photographic firms.

See also: censorship; nationalism in the arts


Elliott, David, ed. (1992). Photography in Russia, 18401940. London: Thames and Hudson.

King, David. (1997). The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Photographs and Art in Stalin's Russia. New York: Metropolitan Books.

Sartori, Rosalind. (1987). "The Soviet Union." In A History of Photography: Social and Cultural Perspectives, ed. Jean-Claude Lemagny and André Rouillé. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Shudakov, Grigory (1983). Pioneers of Soviet Photography. New York: Thames and Hudson.

USSR in Construction. (19301941, 1949). Moscow: Gosizdat.

Walker, Joseph, et al. (1991). Photo Manifesto: Contemporary Photography in the USSR. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang.

Erika Wolf

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The digital imaging technologies commonly used today evolved from technologies created by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the early 1960s. Government scientists were looking for a way to transmit imaging data more accurately from outer space to Earth. The analog (wave) technologies used at the time were prone to degradation during transmission. The scientists devised a way to digitize the images taken by satellites and rocket mounted cameras. By turning the analog transmission into a digital code, the scientists solved the problems of image degradation. The imaging data could be sent long distances without a loss of quality, thus rendering a more accurate view of distant galactic sights.

The newly invented digital technologies were too expensive for the general public, but they were commonly used by governments, scientists, and corporations for topographic , atmospheric, military, medical, and astronomic purposes. The invention of the microchip, a small yet powerful processor, in the early 1980s enabled the creation of smaller, more affordable digital imaging equipment and the personal computer for the home and small business. The first commercial digital camera appeared in 1981 with the release of the Sony Mavica.

Most digital cameras look similar to and share many common functions of 35mm cameras. Digital cameras have lenses, bodies, and flashes along with controls for focus and zoom like traditional cameras. Several manufacturers created a digital back that integrated existing analog cameras with the new digital technologies. Digital backs are mounted onto the back of analog cameras. The sensory mechanism of the digital back takes the place of the film and fits into position on the same plane as the film.

Unlike their film-based predecessors, digital cameras use disks instead of film for storage, and they often have controls for image playback, in-camera special effects, and image editing. These special digital controls enable the photographer to access the picture instantly and decide upon the quality of the image. The image can then either be saved or deleted. These editing functions are enabled by the digital camera's memory (RAM).

The most fundamental difference between digital and analog photography is the way an image is captured. Film-based photographic systems use light sensitive materials, usually a silver halide , to record physically the impression of light bouncing off a subject. A digital camera converts the light bouncing off the subject into a mathematical model that can be read and reconstructed to approximate the original scene.

An image is transformed from analog to digital in the camera using an electronic grid of chips that sense, map, and quantify light. The information from the grid is then sent and converted to digital code by processors. The digital camera's lens projects an analog image onto the grid, and each small square of the grid records the intensity, color, and location of the light. The unit of measure for digital pieces of information is a pixel . The color information is established using three filters: red, green, and blue. The camera does not sense color; it measures the gradations of intensity between the three filters. The processor then converts the information into a code. The light striking each pixel is given a numeric value: 0 for true black through 255 for true white. The numeric value then becomes part of the binary number system (bit code), a code of 0s and 1s eight bits long. This code is what a computer reads, processes, and reconstructs as a photographic image.

The large file size of digital images often makes them hard to process and transmit. To reduce the file size, digital camera images are often converted and stored as JPEG files. JPEGs are a standardized, compressed file type. Through compression and standardization, file sizes are reduced and made more convenient to store and transmit. They are also formatted in a uniform way that makes digital imaging with personal computers more feasible.

Digital cameras for personal use often have relatively poor image quality and small file sizes. A common resolution for a digital photograph is 72 dpi (dots per inch) with pixel dimensions of 640 480. To determine the measurements of a digital image, divide the dimensions (the number of pixels) by the resolution (the number of pixels in an inch). The standard resolution for computer screen based images, like the ones on web pages, is 72 dpi. Digital cameras with higher resolution are available, but because of their expense, they are used mainly for professional or scientific purposes.

The proliferation of digital photography is tied to advances in personal computers and business applications. Many people have taken up digital photography because of the expansion of affordable personal computers into the home. A computer set up for digital imaging often includes a color monitor, a color printer, a disk drive (compatible with the camera's), a program for image editing, a negative scanner, and a flatbed scanner.

Flatbed scanners have a flat glass bed where an image can be placed, scanned, digitized, and opened in a computer program. The scanner contains a laser-equipped carriage; the laser goes over the length of the bed, scanning the image line by line. The laser beam then reflects information back to the sensors, which convert the information much like a digital camera. A negative scanner works similarly but comes with a guide for the insertion of negatives and transparencies. A drum scanner is used for high quality, professional scanning. With drum scanners the image is placed inside a cylinder that rotates at high speeds while the laser tracks across the image.

Scanners come with software for limited editing in the scanning phase. The image scanned can commonly be adjusted for scale, media, contrast, and color balance. The scanned image is then usually opened in a more sophisticated program. The measure of scanner quality is the bit depth. Digital imaging software uses interpolation to scale images. Interpolation is a method for resampling images to adjust scale. The intensity and value of a group of pixels is established, then that group of pixels is transformed into one pixel with an average value. Extreme shifts in the scale of digital images can result in the loss of image quality; over-interpolation can create blurry, jagged, or pixilated images.

Once loaded on the computer's storage drive, and opened in an image editing program, digital photographs become easily manageable. Images can be edited, montaged, distorted, or completely fabricated while retaining the believability of traditional photographs. Many image-editing programs allow the user to adjust the scale, color balance, contrast, and levels of an image. More complicated programs allow the user to manipulate the image further by adding special effects, filters, and text, copying and pasting other images, painting and drawing, and converting file types. The most common editing program is Adobe PhotoShop, which has become the standard in publishing, design, and academia. Once digital images are edited with the computer, they can be printed, sent via e-mail attachment, opened in other programs, or used to create web pages.

see also Art; Desktop Publishing; Fashion Design; Journalism; World Wide Web.

Jim Fike


Aaland, Mikkel. Digital Photography. New York: Random House, 1992.

Breslow, Norman. Basic Digital Photography. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1992.

Busch, David M. Digital Photography. New York: MIS Press, 1995.

Horenstein, Henry, and Hart Russell. Photography. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2001.

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315. Photography

See also 23. ART ; 159. FILMS

1. the measurement of the intensity of radiation with a recording actinometer, usually by the photochemical effect.
2. the calculation of suitable exposure times in photography through the use of a recording actinometer. actinographic, adj.
a form of photography used to record astronomical phenomena.
1. a photographic process in which pictures are produced in one color or shades of one color by the use of a carbon pigment. Also called autotypy .
2. the picture so created.
the art of making colored photographs.
the art or principles of making motion pictures. cinematic, adj.
the art or technique of motion-picture photography. cinematographer, cinematographist, n. cinematographic, adj.
1. a photographic plate made with a gelatin film, capable of highly detailed reproductions.
2. the process of making such a plate.
3. the picture made with such a plate.
a blueprint.
an obsolete form of photography in which images were produced on chemically treated plates of metal or glass. daguerreotypic, daguerreotypical, adj. daguerreotypist, n.
an optical device for measuring the density of a photographic negative.
an apparatus for electrically transmitting pictures. electrograph, n. electrographic, adj.
1. an early photographic process in which a positive image was taken directly on a thin plate of sensitized iron or tin.
2. the picture produced by this method. Also called stannotype, tintype .
a form of photography for examining the interior of the stomach by introducing a small camera into it.
the art or process of producing natural color photographic prints; color photography. heliochrome, n. heliochromic, adj.
the practice of making phototypes.
the process of making pictures by printing directly from gelatin film that has been exposed under a negative and fixed with chrome alum.
a technique for producing a three-dimensional photographic representation, recorded on film by a reflected laser beam of a subject illuminated by part of the same laser beam.
an optical device similar to a stereoscope in which a photograph is greatly magnified and the effect of perspective is deepened.
an instrument for recording and reproducing the illusion of motion by means of a series of photographs.
an instrument for photographing clouds.
the quality or condition of being sensitive to all colors, as certain types of photographic film. panchromatic, adj.
the use of photography as an aid to book description.
a biography related mostly or entirely through photographs.
the process or production of color photographs; color photography. Cf. heliochromy .
1. a camera for recording motion by a series of photographs taken at brief intervals.
2. the photograph so produced.
3. a camera that records the exact time of the event it is photographing by exposing a moving sensitized plate to the tracing of a thin beam of light synchronized with the event.
a photoplay or dramatic narrative illustrated with or related through photographs.
photogravure or the process of engraving by means of photography. photoglyphic, adj.
the use of photography for surveying or map-making. Cf. phototopography.
1. a form of photoengraving in which the photograph is reproduced on an intaglio surface and then transferred to paper.
2. the photograph produced by this process.
a form of journalism in which photographs play a more important part than written copy. photojournalist, n.
the process of making lithographs produced by photoengraving. Cf. photogravure . photolithographer, n. photolithographic, adj.
the process of taking photographs through a microscope. Also called photomicroscopy . photomicrograph, n.
surveying or map-making by means of photography. Cf. photogrammetry. phototopographic, phototopographical, adj.
the art or technique of making photographic plates. phototypic, adj.
1. a photographic process in which a platinum salt is used in place of the more usual silver salts to produce a more permanent print.
2. a photographic print so made.
a photograph produced on film by the radioactive rays from the object being photographed. Also called autoradiograph . radioautographic, adj. radioautography, n.
the technique of producing images on photographic film by the action of x rays or other radioactive materials. Also called scotography . radiograph, n.
the process or technique of transmitting and receiving photographs by radio.
a collective term for all kinds of processes used for the facsimile reproduction of documents or books.
roentgenography, röntgenography
x-ray photography.
radiography. See also 342. RADIATION . scotograph, n.
a device for determining the sensitivity of film. sensitometiy, n. sensitometric, adj.
the technique of using a spectrograph, an optical device for breaking light down into a spectrum and recording the results photographically. spectrographic, adj.
a photograph of the sun made using monochromatic light.
1. the art or process of photographing distant objects by using a telephoto lens or a telescope with a camera.
2. electrography. telephotographic, adj.
an apparatus combining a telescope and the camera lucida, used for producing images of distant objects on a screen.
time lapse photography
the motion-picture photography of a slow and continuous process, as the sprouting of a seed, especially by exposing one frame at a time at regular intervals.
x-ray photography of a thin cross section of tissue.
a stereoscopic process involving two superimposed images polarized at 90° to each other and viewed through polarizing glasses for a three-dimensional effect. vectograph, n. vectographic, adj.
1. an early photographic process in which a relief image on gelatin is used to produce an intaglio impression on a lead or other soft metal plate from which prints are then made in a press.
2. the picture produced by this process.

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Daguerreotypes. First developed by Louis Daguerre in France, daguerreotype technology came to New York in 1839, in the wake of the economic Panic of 1837. In the spring of 1840 Alexander Wolcott, an inventor and dentist, teamed with the chemist John Johnson to open the worlds first commercial photographic portrait studio in New York City, but it was Robert Cornelius of Philadelphia who proved that daguerreotype portraiture was commercially viable. Cornelius experimented with the new technology and managed to achieve successful and reliable exposure in under a minute. At the same time Cornelius actively encouraged important Philadelphians to have their portraits made at his studio. The perceived moral benefits of viewing portraits of the great and the good would help to legitimatize photography in America as an art form.

Brady. Mathew Brady, best known for his Civil War photography, established his first gallery in New York in 1844, and in 1850 he published the Gallery of Illustrious Americans, a semimonthly series distributed across the country. Each one of the twelve installments contained a lithographic reproduction of a photographic portrait of an eminent American man, along with a biographical sketch. The subjects of the portraits were presidents, senators, generals, and cultural figures, and the distribution of these pictures was seen as providing an important service to the public and to the reputation of the nation as well as to Bradys own reputation as an artist. As Bradys business boomed, his gallery, adjoining P. T. Barnums American Museum, became a kind of museum in itself. Brady decorated with reproductions of portraits of the great men and women he had photographed. Bradys gallery and the Brady system of marketing helped make photography a popular and fashionable way of making likenesses for ordinary people. Gradually the tradition of itinerant portrait painters, or limners, gave way to a new tradition of itinerant photographers. By providing Americans with an increasingly inexpensive way of making portraits of themselves, photography became an essentially democratic art and an important part of nineteenth-century popular culture.

Art Form. The greater accuracy offered by photography made many people wonder whether photography was an art. Since the machine appeared to do the actual work of image-making, it was unclear whether the photographer was really an artist. Painter Rembrandt Peale accused photographers of lacking the skill, taste, mind, and judgment that the portrait painter necessarily brought into play when painting a subjects portrait. Photographers, on the other hand, claimed that they were artists who understood the exterior surfaces of a persons face and body as signs or expressions of inner truths. In Nathaniel Hawthornes novel The House of the Seven Gables (1851), young Holgrave, a daguerreotypist, proclaimed: I make pictures out of sunshine, and in response to his listeners protest that most of the figures in daguerreotypes looked unamiable, he replied: Most of my likenesses do look unamiable; but the very sufficient reason, I fancy, is, because the originals are so. There is a wonderful insight in heavens broad and simple sunshine. While we give it credit only for depicting the merest surface, it actually brings out the secret character with a; truth that no painter would ever venture upon, even could he detect it. There is at least no flattery in my humble line of art.

Science. The idea that a photograph could reveal inner character traits also suggested that a photographer could, theoretically, be able to read a face or a body in order to determine a persons hidden vices. In 1846 Brady took photos of penitentiary inmates for the newly formed New York Police Department to help them read criminal heads and faces and learn how to distinguish a criminal from a law-abiding citizen. In this sense photography seemed to take on a scientific purpose similar to the science of phrenology, which claimed that character could be read by feeling the bumps on a persons head. The poet Walt Whitman used a daguerreotype image of himself on the title page of Leaves of Grass when it was first published in 1855 as a way of identifying himself with the text and connecting his physical reality as a man with the products of his mind. As the volume went through several editions, Whitman used a more up-to-date photograph in each edition; during his lifetime readers thus watched Whitman change physically and grow older with each edition.


In February 1832 Congress offered sculptor Horatio Greenough a commission to sculpt a full-length marble statue of George Washington to be placed in the capital rotunda. In 1841 the enormous statue was completed and set up in the capital. Audience responses to the statue were mixed, at best. Greenough had based the statue on his vision of the legendary ivory and gold image of Zeus, created in the fifth century B.C. by Phidias and one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. In spite of the efforts of Greenoughs friends and supporters to explain and defend the sculptors vision, Americans had other ideas about the statue. One newspaper critic compared it to a Hindu god, and another called it Georgy-porgy. In April 1844 a former mayor of New York wrote in his diary that it looks like a great Herculean, warrior-like Venus of the Bath; a grand martial Magog, undressed, with a huge napkin lying across his lap and covering his lower extremities, and he preparing to perform his ablutions is in the act of consigning his sword to the care of the attendant until he shall come out of the bath. In 1847 the statue was removed from the rotunda and placed on the capital grounds, where it suffered from rain, snow, and soot; eventually it was removed to the Smithsonian Institution, where it now resides.

Source: Wayne Craven, Sculpture in America (New York: Crowell, 1968).


Martha Sandelweiss, ed., Photography in Nineteenth-Century America (New York: Abrams, 1991);

Alan Trachtenberg, Reading American Photography: Images as History, Mathew Brady to Walker Evans (New York: Hill & Wang, 1989).

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photography. In an age of film, television, and holiday snapshots, it is hard to remember that until comparatively recently people had little idea what their rulers or celebrities looked like, nor much impression of foreign parts, save for the odd painting or engraving. Some rulers turned this to advantage. The Tudors gave much thought to the public image their portraits presented and Elizabeth ordered the destruction of unflattering reproductions. Occasionally the situation produced embarrassment. Rushing to meet his new bride, Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII complained that she was not at all like Holbein's portrait and that he would not go through with the marriage were it not for offending her brother.

The origins of modern photography are to be found in the camera obscura (darkened room), described in the 16th cent., in which a shaft of light produced an inverted image. This could be improved if a lens was used and the inversion corrected by a mirror. The problem was to capture and reproduce the image. The German physicist Schulze demonstrated in 1727 that a mixture of chalk, nitric acid, and silver could retain an image. Thomas Wedgwood, son of the potter, experimented in the early 19th cent., but his pictures faded on exposure to light. In 1837 the French painter Daguerre produced a photograph of part of his studio and exhibited it in Paris in 1839. But since the exposure time was protracted, daguerreotype was unsuitable at first for portraits, nor could it be reproduced. Fox Talbot had already begun his own experiments at Lacock abbey in Wiltshire, using a negative, and on hearing of Daguerre's work arranged a public demonstration the same month at the Royal Institution in London. His technique was called calotype (beautiful image). By the 1850s photography was a commercial success. We have no photographs of Melbourne or Sir Robert Peel but several of Prince Albert and Palmerston. Two early and celebrated portraits are of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, taken by Robert Howlett in 1857, and of Alice Liddell (the original ‘Alice’) by Charles Dodgson in 1859. Roger Fenton's photographs from the Crimea, reproduced in the Illustrated London News, gave readers their first impressions of the scenes of war, followed in America in the 1860s by pictures of the Civil War. The census of 1851 showed that already 51 persons gave their occupations as photographers: by 1901 there were more than 17,000. At the end of the 19th cent. newspapers regularly carried photographs and the Kodak No. 1 box camera, marketed from 1888 by George Eastman, catered for the amateur photographer. The development in the 1900s of the cinema and the spread of television just before and after the Second World War meant a breadth of visual experience never known to people before.

J. A. Cannon

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photography Process of obtaining a permanent image of an object, either in black-and-white or in colour, on treated paper or film. A camera is used to expose a film to an image of the object to be photographed, for a set time. In black-and-white photography, the film is covered on one side with an emulsion containing a silver halide (silver bromide or silver chloride). The silver compound is exposed, so that it reduces easily to metallic silver when treated with a developer. The action of the developer is to produce a black deposit of metallic silver particles on those parts of the film that were exposed to light, thus providing a ‘negative’ image. After fixing in ‘hypo’ (thiosulphate) and washing, the negative can be printed by placing it over a piece of sensitized paper and exposing it to light so that the silver salts in the paper are affected in the same way as those in the original film. The dark portions of the negative let through the least light, and the image on the paper is reversed back to a positive. Colour photography works on a similar, but more complex, process. Newer digital cameras have a built-in computer to record electronic images without using film. Incoming light is converted into electrical charges that may contain millions of photosensitive dots. Digital images are easily stored on computers. See also Daguerre, Louis Jacques Mandé; Talbot, William Henry Fox; individual photographers

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pho·tog·ra·phy / fəˈtägrəfē/ • n. the art or practice of taking and processing photographs.

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PHOTOGRAPHY. SeeArt: Photography .

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photographydaffy, taffy •Amalfi •Cavafy, Gaddafi •Effie •beefy, Fifi, leafy •cliffy, iffy, jiffy, Liffey, niffy, sniffy, spiffy, squiffy, stiffy, whiffy •salsify •coffee, toffee •wharfie •Sophie, strophe, trophy •Dufy, goofy, Sufi •fluffy, huffy, puffy, roughie, roughy, scruffy, snuffy, stuffy, toughie •comfy • atrophy •anastrophe, catastrophe •calligraphy, epigraphy, tachygraphy •dystrophy, epistrophe •autobiography, bibliography, biography, cardiography, cartography, chirography, choreography, chromatography, cinematography, cosmography, cryptography, demography, discography, filmography, geography, hagiography, historiography, hydrography, iconography, lexicography, lithography, oceanography, orthography, palaeography (US paleography), photography, pornography, radiography, reprography, stenography, topography, typography •apostrophe •gymnosophy, philosophy, theosophy •furphy, murphy, scurfy, surfy, turfy

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