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The first photograph was an image produced in 1826 by the French inventor Nicéphore Niépce on a polished pewter plate covered with a petroleum derivative called bitumen of Judea but for centuries images had been projected onto surfaces - artists used the camera obscura and camera lucida to trace scenes as early as the 16th century, and the optical properties of which had been described as early as the 4th Century BC by the Chinese philosopher Mozi. These early "cameras" did not fix an image, but only projected images from an opening in the wall of a darkened room onto a surface, turning the room into a large pinhole camera.

The advent of photography, from the Ancient Greek words φως phos ("light"), and γραφη graphê ("stylus", "paintbrush") or γραφω graphō (the verb, "I write/draw"), together meaning "drawing with light" or "representation by means of lines" or "drawing", has gained the interest of scientists and artists from its inception. Scientists have used photography to record and study movements, such as Eadweard Muybridge's study of human and animal locomotion (1887). Artists are equally interested in these aspects but also try to explore avenues other than the photo-mechanical representation of reality, such as the pictorialist movement. Military, police and security forces use photography for surveillance, recognition and data storage. Photography is used to preserve favorite memories and as a source of entertainment.

Selected picture

Cyanocitta cristata

A long lens allows the photographer to make an object that is far away fill the entire frame. Long focal length lenses appear to compress perspective (in fact this is a function of the relative position of the camera to the subject rather than a function of the lens), and have a very small depth of field compared to short focal lengths and so must be focused with precision. Photo Credit: mdf

Selected biography

Seyyed Morteza Avini (Persian: سید مرتضی آوینی‎; also spelled Aviny; 23 September 1947 – 9 April 1993) was an Iranian documentary filmmaker, photographer, author, and theoretician of "Islamic Cinema." He studied architecture at Tehran University in 1965. During the Iranian Revolution, Avini started his artistic career as a director of documentary films, and is considered a prominent war filmmaker. He made over 80 films on the Iran–Iraq War. According to Agnes Devictor, Avini invented original cinematography methods, depicting the esoteric side of the Iran–Iraq war in terms of Shia mystical thought. Most of his work was devoted to reflecting how bassijis perceived the war and their role in it. His most famous work is the documentary series Ravayat-e Fath (Narration of Victory), which was filmed during the Iran–Iraq War. He was killed by a landmine explosion in 1993, while filming. He was described as a Shahid (martyr) after his death, and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared him "the master of martyred literati" (Persian: سید شهیدان اهل قلم‎). The 20th day of Farvardin is entitled the day of "Islamic Revolution art" in his honor.

Did you know

  • ...that the first real zoom lens, which retained near-sharp focus while the effective focal length of the lens assembly was changed, was patented in 1902 by Clile C. Allen (U.S. Patent 696,788)?


Selected article

Kodachrome is a brand of color transparency (slide) film sold by Kodak. Kodachrome was invented by Leopold Godowsky, Jr. and Leopold Mannes. It was first sold as 16 mm movie film in 1935, and as 8 mm movie film and 135 film in 1936. Kodachrome is the oldest successfully mass-marketed color still film using a subtractive method). Kodachrome has been through many incarnations and undergone four major developing process changes over the years; the current is the K-14 process.

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Photography Topics

Concepts and Principles Photography forms Photography techniques
Camera and photography equipment Miscellaneous Photographers and photographs


Genres of photography Aerial photography | Astrophotography | Aviation photography | Candid photography | Chronophotography | Color photography | Commercial photography | Computational photography (artistic) | Digiscoping | Fashion photography | Fine art photography | Glamour photography | Infrared photography | Kirlian photography | Kite aerial photography | Macro photography | Nature photography | New Topography | Night photography | Non-nude photography | Panoramic photography | Portrait photography | Post-mortem photography | Rollout photography | Secret photography | Still life photography | Stock photography | Straight photography | Street photography | Strip aerial photography | Subminiature photography | Ultraviolet photography | Underwater photography | Vernacular photography | War photography | Wedding photography | Wildlife photography
Photographic techniques Afocal photography | Airbrush | Background light | Backlighting (lighting design) | Bracketing | Burned (image) | Chemography | Color correction | Composograph | Contre-jour | Deep focus | Double exposure | Dutch angle | Exposure compensation | Fill flash | Fill light | Framing | Hand-colouring | Harris Shutter | High dynamic range imaging | High-key lighting | Infinity cove | Kallitype | Key light | Kite aerial photography | Lenticular printing | Light painting | Manual focus | Multiple exposure | Perspective correction | Photo manipulation | Photogram | Photographic print toning | Push printing | Push processing | Rephotography | Rule of thirds | Sandwich printing | Shallow focus | Simplicity | Slit-scan photography | Stereoscopy | Stopping down | Sunny 16 rule | Three-point lighting | Tinted photograph | Zone System
Photographers Fictional photographers | Magnum photographers | Photographers by nationality | Photojournalists | Pioneers of photography | Photographic studios | Photographers by subject | Photographers who committed suicide | Stock photographers | Photographer stubs | Women photographers

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