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External links[edit]

This page appears to be a magnet for inapproporate external links. Please do not add links to;

  • Collections and galleries of photographs, either free or for sale
  • Photographer communities and blog sites
  • Your own photography studio - no matter how good
  • Sites that sell cameras, photo software or any other photography paraphernalia
  • Any other commercial sites

There are hundreds of these sorts of sites on the net. If you particularly want one, type 'photography' into any search engine and take your pick.

In general Wikipedia is not a link farm and links to external commercial sites are considered spam and will be deleted.

The sort of links that should be added are links to external sites that provide useful free information that is not already available on Wikipedia. Even then, consider whether you can write an article to put the information on Wikipedia under a free license.

In the course of rooting out spam links from an anon user, I've deleted this link:
It's a commercial site, because they're selling their stuff, but they are at least running some sort of out-of-the-ordinary photography project. Someone who knows more about photography than I do might want to look at the site and see if the link is legit. JamesMLane 10:41, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I've just cleared out the External links section (again). It is quite telling that 80% of the links were commercial or of no particular value. We are now down to three links, and I was in two minds as to whether we should retain the site (its has some commercial links, but on balance has a large quanity of free information, which I believe is impartial). -- Solipsist 18:46, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)
There's no rule against linking to commercial sites. I agree that many of the links were not essential to the article, but please don't remove links simply because they're commercial sites. I replaced Luminous Landscape because it's a very informative photography site. We should also remember that this article isn't about digital photography, so traditional photography extlinks should be emphasized. Rhobite 19:12, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)
Fair enough, but also provide an explanation of why we should be interested, not just the link. As this section bloats it becomes worthless. No one is going to work their way through a long list of random links. -- Solipsist 19:51, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I agree. I put a description on the Luminous Landscape link. I also agree that PhotoPoints isn't appropriate as a link, and I've removed it again. Rhobite 19:49, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)

First colour photo[edit]

When was the first color photo shot? --Chuck Smith

I think it is 1861. James Clerk Maxwell used a color separation method to take three b/w photos through red green and blue filters. Examples of photos using this technique by Prokudin-Gorskii can be seen at -- Olof

We should mention the introduction of the film by george eastman it's an important innovation and a first step toward mass market.

If so, it needs to be noted that photographic film was coinvented, and that Kodak was sued successfully for patent infringement. David M

We need to write more about the art of photography, rather than just the technical side of it. Why? Because the art is the most interesting bit! Tom Morris

Hmm, I agree... I'll work on something. Maybe some influential artists and how they impacted photography. Casanova
Both have their place here feel free to add.


We should remove the digital references, and instead link to the Digital Imaging page. Tonsofpcs 02:04, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Removed :

" In 1802 Mr. Wedgwood recorded an experiment in the Journal of the Royal Institution of the following nature.

"A piece of paper, or other convenient material, was placed upon a frame and sponged over with a solution of nitrate of silver; it was then placed behind a painting on glass and the light traversing the painting produced a kind of copy upon the prepared paper, those parts in which the rays were least intercepted being of the darkest hues. Here, however, terminated the experiment; for although both Mr. Wedgwood and Sir Humphry Davey experimented carefully, for the purpose of endeavoring to fix the drawings thus obtained, yet the object could not be accomplished, and the whole ended in failure."

This, by their own showing, was the earliest attempt of the English savans. But this much of the principle was known to the Alchemists at an early date -- although practically produced in another way -- as the following experiment, to be found in old books, amply proves.

"Dissolve chalk in aquafortis to the consistence of milk, and add to it a strong solution of silver; keep this liquor in a glass bottle well stopped; then cutting out from a piece of paper the letters you would have appear, paste it on the decanter, and lay it in the sun's rays in such a manner that the rays may pass through the spaces cut out of the paper and fall on the surface of the liquor the part of the glass through which the rays pass will be turned black, while that under the paper remains white; but particular care must be observed that the bottle be not moved during the operation."

Had not the alchemists been so intent upon the desire to discover the far famed philosopher's stone, as to make them unmindful of the accidental dawnings of more valuable discoveries, this little experiment in chemistry might have induced them to prosecute a more thorough search into the principle, and Photogenic art would not now, as it is, be a new one.

It is even asserted that the Jugglers of India were for many ages in possession of a secret by which they were enabled, in a brief space, to copy the likeness of any individual by the action of light.

This fact, if fact it be, may account for the celebrated magic mirrors said to be possessed by these jugglers, and probable cause of their power over the people.

However, as early as 1556 the fact was established that a combination of chloride and silver, called, from its appearance, horn silver, was blackened by the sun's rays; and in the latter part of the last century Mrs. Fulhame published an experiment by which a change of color was effected in the chloride of gold by the agency of light; and gave it as her opinion that words might be written in this way.

These incidents are considered as the first steps towards the discovery of the Photogenic art.

Mr. Wedgwood's experiments can scarcely be said to be any improvement on them since he failed to bring them to practical usefulness, and his countrymen will have to be satisfied with awarding the honor of its complete adaptation to practical purposes, to MM. Niepce and Daguerre of France, and to Professors Draper, and Morse of New-York.

These gentlemen -- MM. Niepce and Daguerre -- pursued the subject simultaneously, without either, however being aware of the experiments of his colleague in science. For several years, each pursued his researches individually until chance made them acquainted, when they entered into co-partnership, and conjointly brought the art almost to perfection.

M. Niepce presented his first paper on the subject to the Royal Society in 1827, naming his discovery Heliography. What led him to the study of the principles of the art I have no means, at present, of knowing, but it was probably owing to the facts recorded by the Alchemists, Mrs. Fulhame and others, already mentioned.

But M. Daguerre, who was a celebrated dioramic painter, being desirous of employing some of the singularly changeable salts of silver to produce a peculiar class of effects in his paintings, was led to pursue an investigation which resulted in the discovery of the Daguerreotype, or Photogenic drawing on plates of copper coated with silver.

To this gentleman -- to his liberality -- are Americans indebted for the free use of his invention; and the large and increasing class of Daguerrean artists of this country should hold him in the most profound respect for it.

He was not willing that it should be confined to a few individuals who might monopolise the benefits to be derived from its practice, and shut out all chance of improvement. Like a true, noble hearted French gentleman he desired that his invention should spread freely throughout the whole world. With these views he opened negociations with the French government which were concluded most favorably to both the inventors, and France has the "glory of endowing the whole world of science and art with one of the most surprising discoveries that honor the land."

Notwithstanding this, it was patented in England and the result was what might have been expected: English pictures were far below the standard of excellence of those taken by American artists.

Calotype, the name given to one of the methods of Photogenic drawing on paper, discovered, and perfected by Mr. William Fox Talbot of England, was precisely in the same predicament, not only in that country but in the United States, Mr. Talbot being patented in both. He was a man of some wealth, I believe, but he demanded so high a price for a single right in this country, that none could be found who had the temerity to purchase.

The execution of his pictures was also inferior to those taken by the German artists, and I would remark en passant, that the Messrs. Mead exhibited at the last fair of the American Institute, (of 1848), four Calotypes, which one of the firm brought from Germany last Spring, that for beauty, depth of tone and excellence of execution surpass the finest steel engraving.

When Mr. Talbot's patent for the United States expired and our ingenious Yankee boys had the opportunity, Calotype, in their hands, entirely superseded the Daguerreotype.

It is to Professor Samuel F. B. Morse, the distinguished inventor of the Magnetic Telegraph, of New York, that we are indebted for the application of Photography, to portrait taking. He was in Paris, for the purpose of presenting to the scientific world his Electro-Magnetic Telegraph, at the time, (1838), M. Daguerre announced his splendid discovery, and its astounding results having an important bearing on the arts of design arrested his attention.

In his letter on the subject, the Professor gives the following interesting facts.

"The process was a secret, and negociations were then in progress, for the disclosure of it to the public between the French government and the distinguished discoverer. M. Daguerre had shown his results to the king, and to a few only of the distinguished savans, and by the advice of M. Arago, had determined to wait the action of the French Chambers, before showing them to any other persons.
I was exceedingly desirous of seeing them, but knew not how to approach M. Daguerre who was a stranger to me.
On mentioning my desire to Robert Walsh, Esq., our worthy Consul, he said to me; 'state that you are an American, the inventor of the Telegraph, request to see them, and invite him in turn to see the Telegraph, and I know enough of the urbanity and liberal feelings of the French, to insure you an invitation.'
I was successful in my application, and with a young friend, since deceased, the promising son of Edward Delevan, Esq., I passed a most delightful hour with M. Daguerre, and his enchanting sun-pictures. My letter containing an account of this visit, and these pictures, was the first announcement in this country of this splendid discovery."
"I may here add the singular sequel to this visit. On the succeeding day M. Daguerre paid me a visit to see the Telegraph and witness its operations.
He seemed much gratified and remained with me perhaps two hours; two melancholy hours to him, as they afterwards proved; or while he was with me, his buildings, including his diorama, his studio, his laboratory, with all the beautiful pictures I had seen the day before, were consumed by fire.
Fortunately for mankind, matter only was consumed, the soul and mind of the genius, and the process were still in existence."

On his return home, Professor Morse waited with impatience for the revelation of M. Daguerre's process, and no sooner was it published than he procured a copy of the work containing it, and at once commenced taking Daguerreotype pictures.

At first his object was solely to furnish his studio with studies from nature; but his experiments led him into a belief of the practicability of procuring portraits by the process, and he was undoubtedly the first whose attempts were attended with success. Thinking, at that time, that it was necessary to place the sitters in a very strong light, they were all taken with their eyes closed.

Others were experimenting at the same time, among them Mr. Wolcott and Prof. Draper, and Mr. Morse, with his acustomed modesty, thought that it would be difficult to say to whom is due the credit of the first Daguerreotype portrait.

At all events, Professor Morse deserves the laurel wreath, as from him originated the first of our innumerable class of Daguerreotypists; and many of his pupils have carried the manipulation to very great perfection.

"If mine were the first, other experimenters soon made better results, and if there are any who dispute that I was first, I shall have no argument with them; for I was not so anxious to be the first to produce the result, as to produce it in any way. I esteem it but the natural carrying out of the wonderful discovery, and that the credit was after all due to Daguerre. I lay no claim to any improvements."

" Seems to be rought cut and paste from the 1911 ? Ericd

Now when there is so much good material about color, perhaps the art of color photography should be split out as an article by itself. It would really have been nice to cover the early extremely beatiful 3-negative images (e.g. Prokudin-Gorskii) in a better way. -- Egil 18:49 Feb 4, 2003 (UTC)

Depth of field and depth of focus[edit]

I've read the definitions of depth of field as the range of distances in the subject field (in front of the camera) that are in focus, and of depth of focus as the range of distances in the image field (behind or in front of the film or sensor, that is, inside the camera) where the image is in focus. While the author could have meant either, I suspect he or she meant the former. If it's the latter, please feel free to revert the change without apology.

I also changed "point of focus" to "focus" because of course lenses typically have more than a point (e.g. a plane) in focus. If anyone can word it better, I'd be grateful.

Fg2 12:00, Aug 2, 2004 (UTC)

Pornographers[edit] changed pornographers to photographers in the following:

[Pornographers<=Photographers] also engouraged chemists to refine the process of making many copies cheaply, which eventually lead them back to Talbot's process.

As most early uses of imaging technology are by pornographers, isn't that the reality?

Leonard G. 21:06, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Add: You are right, but the definition of pornographer has changed over the last century. "Erotic postcard-ists" is a bit clumsy though :)

Photography as an art form[edit]

Most of this is tangled junk. We need a concise history of the initial struggle against painting, Pictorialism, the long struggle to 'enter the museums' in the US, and then the 1990s take-up of photography by artists. 1st Jan 2005.

Then write it for us!! - Adrian Pingstone 10:41, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I think the cable car picture is too lame for this page. It really doesn't seem to add anything to the text, which is also still very much geared towards digital photography.

-- 15:55, 31 October 2005 (UTC) rm53 I think the German site is so much better here than the English version, maybe native English writers (I am not although I can read English) should have a look at it (if they can read German).

Photography and telephone silliness[edit]

The "photography and the telephone" section doesn't seem sufficiently valuable to be in Wikipedia. I think I'll make it a separate page and link to it if no one objects. Really, I think it should be deleted altogether, but I won't do that unless others agree.

No objection to either alternative Fg2 06:04, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)

More on external links[edit]

I inserted links to two sites with extremely valuable educational and technical information NOT AVAILABLE ON WIKIPEDIA. The sites happen to be run by people who also sell photographs. Deleting all such links as "spam" will only weaken this page. I have re-instated the links. Before deleting them again, please take the time to look at what they point to.

The policy page reads:

Wikipedia articles are not:

  1. Mere collections of external links. Of course, there's nothing wrong with adding both lists of content-relevant links and on-line references you used in writing an article.

Having a list of links to informative photography-related sites (even if the also have commercial content) seems perfectly appropriate at the bottom of the photography article. - (comment by   05:14, 20 Apr 2005)

Thanks for discussing the links in question, and yes I did look over the sites concerned - not just the linked page, but their top level home pages too. Now I would agree these sites are better than some of the links people have been adding, but I still don't think they are that relevant to this page. Ask yourself, 'would most of the general readers of this page want to follow this link'.
Links that connect to external sites containing information 'not available on Wikipedia' is part of the problem. Often times, we would prefer that information to be put into articles on Wikipedia.
You might also read the advice at Wikipedia:Contributing FAQ#Is it OK to link to other sites.
The Ken Rockwell site is a site promoting the work of one photographer which also has several articles on technique. But it covers much of the same ground as the Luminious Landscapes site. I think one external link to general photography articles is enough.
The David Kachel Webzine primarily has articles about the Zone system. There is an argument to connect to this site from the Zone system page, but I don't think it is particularly relevant from the general Photography page.
However, it would be best if other editors, gave an opinion too. -- Solipsist 07:10, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I am not opposed to putting the Kachel link on the Zone system page (and probably also pages on film and paper developing). I will check out the luminous landscape page and compare it to Rockwell.

Please don't use anything from Ken Rockwell's site. There is a huge amount of erroneous information, luminoius landscape is far more trustworthy! HEADProductions 01:11, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Self Reference under "See Also": Photographer --> Photography[edit]

I am a Wiki newbie, but assume this self reference is not valid.

Should we create a "Photographer" stub, or remove "Photographer" from the "See Also" list?

Good catch! I removed it. Feel free to create a new article and add the link into Photography. Thanks! Fg2 12:35, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

inline external links[edit]

I have deleted a whole section from the page because it firstly, contains too many inline external links, including horifically, using it to replace internal links for articles we already have, just to shamelessly plug their website. Secondly, some of it concerned some non-notable art critics or photographers with their essays, and if this is contested, I think the section would have to be reworded, in any case. -- Elle vécut heureusement toujours dorénavant (Be eudaimonic!) 23:55, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

digital and digital vs film[edit]

These have been very nice edits. I've been learning alot along the way, too. Kd4ttc

Me too. & Thanks. Was your Cristmas present a film, or digital camera? Mine was digital :-)
Pulled out my old Canon AE-1. I was thinking about going digital, but an 8 MP camera like the Canon 20D plus lens would put me back $1,500. I thought film was still for me. Then I went to Walgreens and got the scanned images. Only scanned at 1200 dpi. I was a little disappointed. Then I eMailed to Kodak. They only scan at 1000 dpi! So while film is still a high resolution tool, it is treated as just a medium to get 4x6 prints. It is really bad. No longer is the paper exposed optically, which would preserve the sharpness. Now the negatives are scanned, then printed. Big surprise. The loss of real photo labs is doing more to kill the quality of film. With the mediocre results of current film processing digital looks better since the pixels are retained. But of course, everyone is now running around with an expensive film scanner in their hands, so to speak. But the physics of imaging is really fascinating. Like most things, when you write (and get refereed) you learn more. Steve Kd4ttc By the way, get the sig -> Kd4ttc with three ~ marks in a row, and get the sig and time stamp -> Kd4ttc 02:34, 6 January 2006 (UTC) with four ~ marks in a row.

You're right I experienced the same disapointement. You can ask for 6Mpixels (2400dpi) scans in many labs but I find them too expensive. The way to go is to buy a film scanner, you can get decent 24Mpixels scans with a 250$ device. This make film still competitive, especially if you home process B&W film Ericd 01:13, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

There are still Pro color labs around, see: Fefer Color.Tstrobaugh 21:34, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

digital vs film[edit]

The information in this part of the article is erroneous and quite biased towards film. As a professional photographer I have been involved in many tests where film and digital resolution has been compared. As you can imagine, this is quite important to know in my line of work. The conclusion that I and my colleagues always came to was that somewhere around 6 megapixels 35mm film and digital are even. The 8, 10, 13 & 16.7 megapixel cameras without a doubt out-resolve 35mm film. This can be easily confirmed with a simple google search (please look for articles with photo examples such as this one: ) The claims of 19 megapixel and 30 megapixel are quite a bit off the mark. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Headproductions (talkcontribs)

6 megapixel certainly is fine for 4 by 6 prints. The high megapixel resolution of film is documented on a number of web sites. A complicating factor, of course, is that all images are taken in the context of a system. That is, lens and exposure have effects on the result. The website that you pointed to really discusses resolution obtained by scanning film. The true measure of system resolution for film work is to print using optical techniques using what seems quaint nowadays - a photographic enlarger. A factor that is missing in this discussion is that for getting maximal quality from film you need good darkroom technique as well. I think the sense to film part of this article conveys is that there are a number of technical considerations that still mean that film has it's place, and that in terms of resolution the humble (but technologically sophisticated) films commonly available, really are pretty remarkable in what they do with a little plastic, gelatin, and other chemicals. Digital cameras are really great tools. A lot of people, though, are still waiting for price to go down on digital cameras before making the move. The interesting thing I look forward to seeing is where film will be used in say 10 years. The price performance of digital then should be attractive to almost everyone and infrastructure for film may be quite limited. Maybe even the disposable camera market will go digital with the way low end digital has come along. Kd4ttc 19:39, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I have seen quite a large number of photos reproduced in various ways including traditional darkroom photographic process and 35mm film can't compete with digital files above the 6 megapixel mark. The "6 megapixel certainly is fine for 4 x 6 prints" comment is also misleading, I have seen many 4, 6 & 8 megapixel files reproduced as magazine spreads (11"x17") and they were always sharper and better looking than film. This comes from real world experience in the past 12 years of being involved in digital imaging. In the beginning I held the belief that digital would take a long time to match the quality of 35mm film, but I was wrong. One could argue about the 6 megapixel DSLR cameras, but once you shoot 8 megapixel and higher the superiority of digital is very obvious in any printed medium. All this is based on empirical evidence over 12 years in professional photography. HEADProductions 21:44, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

This is an interesting perspective. It is so nice when knowledgeable profesionals come into Wikipedia. I am planning to go to digital probably in 3 or 4 years. I shoot as a hobbyist so cannot justify big expenses on this, but I know what good quality looks like, and a lower quality result just is irritating to me. I learned photography years ago suing my dad's Contax SLR which, in retrospect, must have been a pretty high quality camera. I'm looking for a quality level that I would get with a Canon 20D and an L series lens or one of the better prime or zoom Canon lenses. The reviews at show stunning images. Are magazines going digital in the workflow? There are measurements that show in resolution measures of line pairs per inch film ought to be better in a number of circumstances than 4, 6, or 8 megapixel bodies. However, if the magazines are digital in workflow then the scanning issues may be limiting in film. Of course, the lenses are big issue. Do you think that the lenses that professionals use (for example, those in the Canon L series) are giving the spectacular photos from digital cameras the pros use? What I have learned about image quality from web based reviews on the technical aspects seems to show that the better lenses are more important than I had previously appreciated. Of course, if the lens will only let the system get to 200 line pairs per inch the higher resolution of the film will not contribute to further quality. Kd4ttc 22:51, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Headproductions, why don't you tell us exactly what your experience was. You're supplying lots of opinion and ego, but not much detail. At the moment your argument isn't too convincing with no detail and the "12 years in professional photography" claim could mean anything. You don't have to name names or give us your resumé, but for all we know you could have simply been the photographer for a small rural newspaper. So, what films, cameras, and lenses did you use and what was used to scan the film? Imroy 23:20, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
If he gets a few published photos a year in any magazine with coated paper it's good enough for me. ;-) Kd4ttc 23:36, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes I do have a strong opinion (no ego – just a desire to share information) because there is so much misinformation and confusion on this subject and as a frequent wikipedia user I was disappointed to see it here. My professional photography experience began when I stared working Ray Reiss Photography, a commercial photo studio in Chicago. Ray decided to publish a book on pottery and to do all the prepress in house (this was 1994). This is where I gained a lot of post production and digital imaging/color management knowledge. I was the production manager and processed all the files for Red Wing Art Pottery by Ray Reiss. At this point digital cameras were low resolution (Kodak DCS460 was to come next year) so the book was shot on Kodak transparency film and scanned. Buy the time we were putting together the second book we had the Kodak DCS460, a 6 megapixel $36,000 camera, and Red Wing Art Pottery 2 was shot digitally. I have also worked in at least a dozen other commercial studios in the past 12 years ( – just to name a few). Before digital photography I had experiance with 35mm, medium format, 4x5 and 8x10 film. In the past I personally owned the Canon D30 (3mp), Canon D60 (6mp) and the Canon 1Ds (11.3mp) and currently own and use the Canon 1Ds Mark II (16.7mp) (my lenses are 24-70mm f2.8 L, 70-200mm f2.8 IS L & 35mm f1.4 L). At the various studios I have worked for I've shot with all the Kodak (including the 14N) and Canon DSLRs. My large format digital camera experience includes Phase One, Imacon, Megavision & Leaf. I have tested the Canon D60, Canon 1D Mark II, Canon 1Ds & Canon 1Ds Mark II against Ilford PANF 50 & Fuji Provia 100F ultra fine grain. The film was scanned on a Heidelberg Tango drum scanner. The resulting files were test printed on Epson inkjet printers, sent to 4 color (CMYK) sheetfed press & exposed onto photo paper using DeVere Digital Enlarger. We needed to do this in order to convince ourselves and our clients. The 6mp files were close to film but by the time the Canon 1Ds Mark II (16.7mp) was available there was no contest. The 16.7mp Canon compares very favorably with 2 1/4 film! ( and ) Please let me know if I can answer any other questions. HEADProductions 00:56, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Hey, Head! Nice to have you here! There is a user page that is about you that you can create at User:Headproductions. It is fair game to put a link to your studio there as well as biographical stuff. Look around at a few user pages. They are a nice way to introduce yourselves to others. Your photography experience is quite valuable here. I note the lenses you used were L series. One question that would arise is the appearance of images shot with an L series lens on a very high resolution color and then sent to process as film, versus the film scanned and sent to process. I am not surprosed about 6mp not quite what was needed for quality. At 16.7 mp, sure that is professional grade. It is interesting now with prosumer cameras in the 8 to 12 mp size. One of the veatures of Wikipedia is that it strives not to represent reality accurately, but to report what is published about subjects with a neutral point of view. Therefore one wants to have articles that are verifiable. I was one of many contributors to the section digital and film, and all the points that I raised were from web sites with technical bents. Of course, as a google searcher I suffer selection bias. Your value around here regarding photography is to spot when a research course went off into some area that may have been from a quirky set of references. What I HAVE learned is that image resolution is surprisingly complex, that it depends on the lens and sensor (film or CCD), is dependent on software at many points from the source to display, and is very process dependent. I think if you look at that section imagining that you are a point and shooter who wants to know more that it is not way off. I think there was a bias in the writing that the idea that film is dead is premature. Certainly most pro's need to be digital, and the price point was hit some time ago. I do know a local portrait photographer that still uses film for the benefit of the look he gets and the exposure latitude it affords. His prints to 36 by 70 inch for a number of his clients, starting with medium format and larger format film. He did my business portrait digital, though, as it was speed to result rather than nuance in my pretty face. Anyway, please edit along. I know I had refs for the numbers that are in the article. The importance of process affecting usable resolution may be the place where the article needs a reality check. One thing the article could use would be a graph of price versus time for the various mp sizes. Kd4ttc 01:40, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Hi! In my previous post I was talking about film price also, but the only point I wanted to make was actually the same Headproductions made, that is really a pitty to see such an important wikipedia article as Photography being biased when it comes to comparing film and digital. If some reader with few knowledge about photography reads this section, I'm pretty sure she / he will say, shooting film is still much better in every way than shooting digital, which is, let's all agree, not! Lintu 23:19, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Is there some reason there needs to be an endless war between those who think film is better and those who think digital is better? It's a false dichotomy; each has it's strong and weak points. Film does some things better. Digital does other things better. This all makes no more sense than someone saying that a 105 mm lens is inherently better than a 135mm. Sure, for some purposes. I thought this was supposed to be a factual and encyclopedic article and related discussion, not a fan site. Enumerate the facts and let the readers come to their own conclusions.--1p2o3i 18:27, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

film price[edit]

Dear all, I read all the comments about flim vs digital. I got here because I read the Film vs. Digital section from this article, and couldn't really believe what I was reading. I also strongly agree with Headproductions, the editor of the webpage he cited,, is really an authority in the field, so what's in this section of the article can really be considered history. And 8MP SLR bodies become more and more available, at lower and lower prices. Most importantly we have the consider the price of the film, which increases exponentially with film size increase (expensive for 120mm roll film, and very expensive for 4x5 and higher). Lintu 12:13, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

I can't really say anything about But film prices increase exponentially with size? WTF?
I live near a semi-rural Australian city (Bathurst) and there's not much choice in town, so online is much better source for me. Here's two eBay "buy it now" auctions. Same seller (not affiliated btw), same film (Fujifilm Provia 400F), in 35mm and 120:
  1. [1] $109 for 10 rolls, 36 exposures each. 36 * 24 * 36 * 10 = 311 040 mm2, or 2854 mm2/$
  2. [2] $64 for 10 rolls, 72cm long. 56 * 720 * 10 = 403 200 mm2, or 6300 mm2/$
I don't know about you, but it looks like 120 film is cheaper, both outright and per area! The only downsize is the number of exposures. Even 6x4.5 (the smallest 120 frame) only gives 15 or 16 exposures per roll. But that's still not exponentuilly more expensive. I can't seem to find any sheet (4x5) film at the moment. I'm sure I've seen it on eBay before... Imroy 13:58, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm dubious about a statement that film cost increases exponentialy with size. A quick scan of a couple of sites I use to buy photograpic supplies shows a sheet of 8x10" BW film runs very roughly $2 to $3. A sheet of 8x10" film is approximately the area of a 36 exposure roll of 35mm film. Sounds to me that the cost increases roughly proportionate to an increase in film size. 16:07 Sept 3 2006

I'm new to this so please forgive me if my question isn't correct but... is there any attempt to write the Wikipedia articles so that the information doesn't become obsolete very quickly? I ask this in regards to comparing the cost of film and digital cameras. Prices on technology items are changing quite rapidly. Some film stocks are being discontinued. Both of these trends are likely to continue and are well documented in other places. Might it be a good idea to not include volatile information in the articles we write? I'm not sure. I'm just throwing this into the mix as something to consider. - Rshaver 08:54, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

There is the Wikipedia:Avoid statements that will date quickly guideline in the manual of style. It sets out some things to avoid. But generally, Wikipedia is open to editing by anyone and everyone. If someone notices information that is out of date they can simply edit it. Remember that Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia. --Imroy 12:03, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Solarisation, Solarization and the Sabtier Effect[edit]

There are three articles deal with pseudo-solarisation: Solarisation, Solarization and the Sabatier Effect. All three are essentially dealing with the same topic, although interestingly none deal with true Solarisation. I am proposing that all be merged into Solarisation (I have an 1898 reference which uses this term) with re-directs for the others. Any views ? Melancholia 17:03, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Sounds reasonable. Nice to see someon interested in wet work. I corrected the spelling of Sabatier Effect. Kd4ttc 18:34, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

f-number and aperture diameter[edit]

I have edited the article slightly to remove the common misconception that the f-number is equal to the ratio of the focal length to the aperture diameter. It is not. The f-number is equal to the ratio of the focal length to the diameter of the entrance pupil of the lens. The latter is proportional to the diameter of the aperture. It is true that doubling the f-number halves the diameter of the aperture but it is not true that the aperture diameter is equal to the focal length divided by the f-number.--Srleffler 04:32, 14 February 2006 (UTC)


I'm going to organize some pages like this one, camera and science of photography. I would be glad seeing your comments and feedback.

1. I've created to new headlines: "photography types" and "photography styles" and moved previous content to them.

2. I've merged the terminology section to the related sections in the page.

3. I will do more in future :) --Neshatian 12:12, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

4. Current topics in See also are not related to their content at all. I've created a new topic called "Concepts and princples". I'll move related items there. --Neshatian 09:41, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

I see this article as problematic in that it has issues of scope and scale, (as well as errors in fact and embarassing spelling errors.) It needs to approach the topic with a consistent broad scope and level of detail. I would "vote" that an article purporting to be and entry point to all "Photography" should just explain the huge topic in broadest terns and leave finer grained detail to linked articles.

It seems the major photo articles like this one could be stronger if they hit just high points of photography in general, and did not digress into lengthy, minute and obscure detail. Fine grained detail belongs elsewhere.

I am too new at wiki editing to do the wholesale re-organization and restructuring of a major "top level" article like this one, but I am hoping someone more "senior" will wade in and clean up.

There are hard to explain omissions - no links to or mention of artificial lighting and it's techniques - no mention of cinematography as a photographic process/product - no mention of studio photography other than historic portrait studios - no mention of advertising photography - no professional photography - scant attention to the central role of photography and allied imaging technologies in science - no mention of photography as a subset of the huge area called imaging. CG 12/17/06

Under the heading Photography Types - if color photography is deeled a type of photography, then BW needs a significant space of its own.--1p2o3i 18:39, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

The heading Photography Styles might better be retitled: Uses of Photography, since it describes the various ways photography gets used like journalisic vs commercial vs advertising vs portrait. It does not pertain to the esthetic styles used.--1p2o3i 18:39, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Need better photo[edit]

The photo captioned "A example of composition in golden ratio." is not a good example fo anything - except "don't point a camera at the sun." Can't we find a replacement. Rmhermen 00:39, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Add Smithsonian link?[edit]

Hello! I am a writer for the Smithsonian's Center for Education, which publishes Smithsonian in Your Classroom, a magazine for teachers. An online version of a recent issue on the history of photography is available for free download at this address:

The issue, titled "Every Picture Has a Story," uses pictures from the Smithsonian's collections to show the development of the technology through the nineteenth century.

If you think the audience would find this valuable, I wish to invite you to include it as an external link. We would be most grateful.

Thank you so much for your attention.

Consider it done. Velela 12:55, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Future of formats?[edit]

I've just added a short paragraph to the Photography#Archiving section about the RAW formats. I was just wondering what other people think about the future of various image file formats.

In my opinion, JPEG is probably pretty safe for a good while. It's a pretty good format, it's well understood, and has had a lot written about it. Most importantly, it has been implemented countless times, including the Open source libjpeg and many hardware implementations. Adding to that, you have the millions of photos currently being snapped by people all around the world, which I'm sure will ensure the future readability of JPEG for a good while. Who would make a device or software application that deals with photos, but doesn't read JPEG's?

The RAW image formats though are in a different boat. For a start, there's several of them. So even if the total number of photos recorded in any 'raw' format was comparable to the number of JPEG photos, each format only has a fraction of the total market. So it's possible that one or more of the less-popular 'raw' formats will not be readable in the future, and all the photos in that format will be essentially lost. Several manufacturers are even pig-headed enough to deliberately attempt vendor lock-in using encryption and/or patents on parts of data in the file. Unless the manufacturers open up about their file formats, I can see this becoming a real disaster for photographers with countless photos in 'raw' formats. Yes, I know a lot has been reverse-engineered, but my understanding is that a lot is still unknown. And there's also the legal aspect of using 'cracks' and other reverse-engineered information. For example, encrypted white-balance data in Nikon's NEF format.

Imroy 13:22, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

More on Digital versus film[edit]

I had some issues with some of the claims made in the Photography#Price sub-section.

  • About digital: Where prints are desired, they need only be made of good photographs
I can do that with film as well, if I wanted. But getting a set of 6x4 prints is pretty cheap, it's what everybody gets anyway. It's only impractical if you're taking *a lot* of photos. It all costs the same now too, see my last point.
  • About film: It should be noted that there is no chance to review photographs before printing with film cameras so all photos taken must be printed before knowing anything about the quality of the final photograph.
Someone's mistaking prints and processing. I can get a roll of film *processed* and then pop it into a scanner without getting prints made. In fact, I'm looking at exactly this scenario for some slide film I recently got. (Getting the individual frames mounted in slide carriers is expensive and unnecessary for my intentions - digital manipulation).
  • Again about digital: There is considerable additional expense required to produce prints using computer printers as the cost of the special papers and inks, and of the special printers, computers and softwares must be included
I think doesn't know how modern film labs work. It's now a unified digital workflow - the film is processed, then scanned and printed digitally. If you want digital prints, it's printed with the same equipment. Same with enlargements or other modifications to either a film or digital image. Do a Google search for 'Fuji Frontier' some time.

I've removed the first and last sentences, and adjusted the second.

Imroy 18:41, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Why was it TAKEN OFF?!?!?!?!?!?!!?[edit]

I made an exelent full length edition in the name of pornography that was unbiased, etc.. and the person who took it off did not even tell me why they did? If this is offensive to you, I am sorry, but WIKI means free....


Please respond —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24681012 (talkcontribs)

Monochromatic Films[edit]

The section on Popularity mentions that black and white film is unchanged (as is its processing) since the 1950s. This is not true: monochromatic films which are now available use the same processing technique as color films (and thus can be processed at any local cheap film developer). These "monochromatic" films are also showing up in grocery stores and other locations that normally carry only the most popular items, suggesting that monochromatic films are surging in popularity.

I'd've put this in the text, except I can't exactly back much of that up. Anyone else?  DavidDouthitt  (Talk) 17:00, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

These films are mentioned in C-41 process#Use with black-and-white films. You might want to mention these cheap films there. BTW, exactly what section are you refering to? I can see the Photography#Popularization section, but cannot find any mention "that black and white film is unchanged (as is its processing) since the 1950s". The last year I see mentioned is 1901. --Imroy 21:18, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Its also worth checking out Chromogenic where these films are specifically dealt with. Velela 09:26, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

I would note that the asserion that "For the enthusiast photographer processing black and white film, little has changed since the introduction of the 35mm film Leica camera in 1925. " is only in the broadest sense correct. There has been enormous change - in detail - in every decade since before that time. A few milestones I would note: ever better speed to grain ratios - and ever faster BW film, better spectral sensitization - the move from blue sensitive only to orthochromatic - then panchromatic - then further, availability of infrared sensitized films, ever improving chemistry right up to current times leading to low toxic and mostly non toxic BW materials in current wide availability, better grain structure technology; T-Grain and similar, more consistent film products, better printing papers for much of the era (although recently that is in bad decline), multicontrast papers and similar. So, while the basic drill is still meter, focus, shoot, develop, stop, fix wash etc, much has changed within that routine.--1p2o3i 19:01, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Black and white photographs are...[edit]

The caption "Black and White photographs are often aesthetically pleasing" under Photography as an Art Form doesn't really belong. This is an opinion that doesn't really say anything significant about black and white photography.

Black and White Photographs..[edit]

I don't see why there isn't a section on black and white photography. The picture is really the only mention of this important form.


The cable car photo in the "Digital photography" section is awful. It doesn't serve as a good example of the possibilities of digital manipulation, as the same effect could easily have been achieved with collage. The sketch of Niépce's photo is also amateurish and entirely unnecessary. The sub-headings under "Photography types" ("Color photography", "Digital photography", and "Digital versus film") make little sense. And why is so much of this article devoted to silly banter about film vs. digital? Perhaps that should be a separate article. This entire page is of surprisingly low quality. Killick 00:58, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Well the cable car photo has been here for quite a while and was good for its time, but I agree we have a lot more images now and could probably find something better. I suspect the sketch of Niépce's photo was from an exhibition about the photo and so probably has some historic significance, but it is not clear what that is. As to your other points I would tend to agree, the article could do with a spruce up and a bit of a rewrite. -- Solipsist 09:12, 13 October 2006 (UTC)


Is this article limited to still photorgaphy on purpose? Shouldn't there be a section about motion pictures/cinematography? I see that there is an article about Cinematography. At least there should be a link to that article. - Rshaver 09:07, 10 November 2006 (UTC)


The article for photography should have great photos because this is what the whole article is about. The current photos are nothing special and some of them are here for reasons I do not understand. For instance, under the digital vs. film header, the picture of the airplane landing is pointless, and looks very bad. As said before, the cablecar picture is also useless. It also seems that there is no reason to keep the picture of the sketch of the first picture because no one can seem to find any reason that it is here. If some sort of list can be created that has the pictures that are vital to this article, then editors could begin to look for top-of-the-line pictures for the article that needs them the most.

One of the easiest pictures that could be fixed is the digital pictures example. While right now we have a low-res picture, there are many gorgeous pictures that demonstrate the abilities of digital technology for manipulating images. Regards, Gphototalk 01:05, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Maybe these could replace the cable car:

Before: Pomegranate.jpg After: Pomegranate02 edit.jpg

The photo of the sketch of the place where the first picture was taken is probably there to show what the place actually looked like, but the quality of the photo is so bad that it does not help at all, so is it alright if I remove it? Regards, Gphototalk 13:23, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm OK with that. SteveHopson 17:53, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

The following text is still in the article even though the cable car is no longer there. Do we want to change it to refer to the pomegranates, or cut it altogether?

Many photojournalists have declared they will not crop their pictures, or are forbidden from combining elements of multiple photos to make "illustrations," passing them as real photographs (for example, the photo above of the two men on the cable car).

Geoffreynham 00:17, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

I'd cut the parenthetical statement, not make it refer to the new photo. SteveHopson 00:31, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

"Analog photography"[edit]

Hi, I note that someone has created the article "Analog photography". Is this a common or valid expression?

Fourohfour 12:51, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Evolution of modern process?[edit]

In the Social History: Popularization section it says "Ultimately, the modern photographic process came about from a series of refinements and improvements in the first 20 years." The first 20 years of what? Could someone supply a date range in the article?

Wildfire1961 13:15, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Comparison of analog vs digital is so weak[edit]

Comparison of analog vs digital is so weak in this article and should either be rewritten or deleted. Everything in it is so far fetched .ISO vs megapixel is really not the major factor, Kodak has even same rated ISO films with diffrent lines. 14:51, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

The section makes your points, that ISO is not the sole factor, and that ISO does not have a fixed relationship with resolution. You will have to be much more specific or make very careful edits. Wholesale deletion of the section is not appropriate. Consider registering with an ID and using proper edit summaries and the Wikipedia standard ways of working to achieve success cooperatively. Hu 14:59, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

The sources cited for the explaination of the megapixel equivalency of traditional film (and it is called traditional, not analogue becuase what we are talking about is one of many analogue incarnations) are questionable. Anyone who has printed in a darkroom knows that 35mm film, even at iso 400, can produce acceptable prints at up to 16x20"- that is to say that the grain only just begins to intrude on the quality of the image at that size. In comparison, a 4 MP camera, as the writer suggests, can produce at maximum a 5x9" image before pixellation becomes an issue. My largest complaint about digital photography is that so few people bother to familiarize themselves with methods of printing and the small set of numbers that tell you what is posible with an image. For the vast majority of printers (unless you are making digital c prints with a letjet and "analogue" RA-4 paper), minimun resolution is 300dpi- for my example of a 4 MP image, I calculated an image 2600 x 1500 pixels @ 300 dpi. In comparison, a 16x20" image is 6000 x 4800 pixels. This is 28.8 MP. No such single capture digital camera exists. In comparison to that, 4x5 film is 13.3 times the size of 35mm, so we're talking about the equivalent of 384 MP, which will yield a print of the same quality in the ballpark of 16x22 feet.

Also, as already said by others, ISO v MP is not the only factor (I do think it is the major factor, besides range of tones). A scanned chrome (color positive film, the 35mm version is slide film when mounted) can hold up without pixellation beyond these sizes (I have seen this firsthand). This is pretty much a direct comparison between film and digital even with a mediating factor (the film scanner), and film still will blow digital out of the water for many many years to come. I suggest that the comparison of 35mm film to a 4 MP camera be deleted.

My qualifications: I'm a professional Photoshop Guru, I've worked in a professional photo lab both on the film and digital side, and I shoot film. Juicifer451 23:11, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

There's no direct comparison possible, don't compare apples with bananas. 02:33, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

This section has merit, your attempt at wholesale deletion is not going to make it go away. Feel free to improve and correct it. The debate has relevance now, but perhaps in 5 years time when digital photography is ubiquitous then the section will be redundant. Feel free to come back and delete it then. LittleOldMe 11:20, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

OK, I did what I could, feel free to correct. But honestly I think this makes a lot of contradictory text now which just "fills" the already too big article. 01:47, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I reverted again. I really don't understand what you edit did besides deleting some of the text that you wanted gone. The text that you added over the deleted section made no sense; I do not know what "lines" are, and the rest of the passage was not clear. I do not even understand your argument for the dletion of the section. To me it makes sense and helps very much to compare the resolution of film to digital. --Gphototalk 02:57, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Gphoto: I talk about the "material sensivity" here, Some films go up to 4,000 lines/mm, if you search on Google for ISO and Lines you should find a lot of information on this. PS. Maybe you guys should go in the dark room more often to see that you can actually produce very large prints from negatives way over 30 MP, even with a 35 mm film. So if the lines of a film are not considered in comparison of your Megapixel vs camera the whole paragraph is useless. Not to mention that most cameras only shot in 8 bit JPEG. How much resolution in your imagination a chemical film can get? Please explain me how you measure it, if not in lines of the material. DPI won't do it in this case. 03:15, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

The article also says, Slow, fine-grained 35mm films with speeds of ISO 50 to 100 have estimated megapixel equivalents of 8 to 16 megapixels. . There is a very huge diffrence between 8 and (the double) 16 megepixels. Its very far fetched and should be deleted. 03:53, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Maybe you could explain what lines are in the article. Also, between ISO 50 is half the speed of ISO 100, just as 8 MP is half of 16MP. The various ISO speeds refer to the amount and size of the particle of light-sensitive dye in the film, and so when the ISO speed increase the amount of particles decreases so that the particle size can increase. It does not seem very far-fetched to me. Also, if we are merely talking about resolution, then the range of light that the picture can hold does not really matter, but could be added in another section that compare the range of light that film can capture against the various digital formats. --Gphototalk 13:54, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree with user on this issue. Gphoto, please don't mix film speed with megapixels, Especially if you consider that most digital SLR's can go over ISO 1600 but that won't increase the size that you can print your photos on (this is neither the case for analog photos). In short, ISO Sensivity is not related to the final print resolution you could get from your analog photos in a lab. I checked other language articles (French, German) and they don't make this kind of comparison. I guess its because it really doesn't tell anything. This article is being voted on right now for Improvement, hopefully this will clean up some of those issues. Personally I think analog and digital exist as two photo technologies and we should only point out the advantages/disadvantages of each cause there are already so many diffrences in cameras itself (analog and digital). ISO is not the mother of all things, neither are megapixels.Engerim 16:03, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I accept. The concensus is against me. Please make the section do what it needs to to not be a comparison of ISO versus MP. I did find the comparison of film against digital interesting though, so could you leave some if it in there? Regards, --Gphototalk 16:08, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

P.S. The rest of the article could use some work too, so maybe you could fix it up? Thanks, --Gphototalk 16:10, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Edit war[edit]

This has gone on too long. I now look at the article and find references to the long gone Cable Car photo because the editors here are more concerned with a petty edit war than in crafting a readable article. I've reverted the last edit because it is now too difficult to ferret out the orphan text. Just stop here! Work out some language you can both agree to and then insert it into the article. Please consider that the article is more important than your ego and stop the unnecessary and destructive back and forth editing. SteveHopson 03:16, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, with your little edit you also reverted my last changes. I included your changes in the last revision. 03:18, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Why would you do that? You knowingly put the same bad information right back into the article. Your edits are not helpful and now can be seen as vandalism. SteveHopson 04:20, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
You are kidding right? I just have to read the revision history to see who is adding text without mentioning it in his editing summary, you say you revert the reference to the cable car but you removed unrelated text in another part of the article. Why you modifed the "Digital versus film" paragraph? I never touched to that. 05:48, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Last section[edit]

The last section of this article, which is on photography as an art form and such needs to be moved to a place of prominence, since it fairly important and is a core part of photography's long-lasting part of society. It also needs some work, but if we can get it moved before and if it is the WP:AID weekly feature, it will get some working-on. --Gphototalk 03:11, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Change to the Introduction?[edit]

There have been many improvements apropos the film vs digital issue, but the intro still seems biased, and badly worded to boot. "Photography is the process of making pictures by means of the action of capturing light on a film." This doesn't fit with the following sentences which do mention digital methods. How about "Photography is the process of capturing light by mechanical means." Of course, this means that any electrial circuit that includes an LDR is a camera, but it does seem better than what is there at the moment.

The second sentence of the paragraph mentions both emitted light and reflected light. Do cameras not also pick up refracted light? I suppose I'm sounding picky but it is a pretty important topic and the place people will head to to learn about all things photography, so I just want it to be as good as possible. --badge 21:47, 26 December 2006 (UTC)