It is the art or process of producing durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation either by chemical means or by electronic means of image sensors.  What is meant by electromagnetic radiation is that it is the radiant energy released by certain electromagnetic processes such as visible light, x-rays, ultraviolent rays etc. Therefore, visible light is the type of radiation captured in photography.

Photography is derived from the Greek word “Photos” which means “light” and “graphier” which means “to draw”  

The first records of photography were taken from a Camera Obscura. 

The name photography was first mentioned by Sir. John F. W. Herschel


The idea of photography started around the 4th- 3rd century BC where a Han Chinese philosopher named Mo-TI (470-391 B.C.) made mention of the basic concept of photography. The philosopher Mo-Ti correctly asserted that the Camera Obscura image is flipped upside down because light travels in straight lines from its source. He was the founder of the Mohist School of Logic. His disciples developed this idea into a physics theory of optics.


In about (384-322 BC) the famous philosopher Aristotle, practicalized the principles Mo-Ti made mention of by observing the sun during a partial solar eclipse by observing the gaps between the leaves of a tree and the holes of a sieve. He was trying to understand why these were so but he didn’t find an answer to his questions so the problem wasn’t solved until about 2,000 years later.


Alhazen Ibn Al-Haytham (1000AD), invented the first pinhole camera (also called the camera obscura). He was able to explain why the images were upside down analyzing the rays of sunlight. He concluded that sun rays make a conic shape where they meet at the hole, forming another conic shape reverse to the first one from the hole to the opposite wall in the dark room (Camera Obscura). 


The term “Camera obscura” was first used by the German Astronomer Johannes Kepler in the early 17th Century. Camera obscura is derived from a Latin word “camera” which means chamber or room, and “obscura” which means “darkened” therefore it means the Dark Room. It is referred to as a pinhole camera. The Camera Obscura (dark room) had been in existence for at least four hundred years. There is a drawing, dated 1519, of a Camera Obscura by Leonardo da Vinci; about this same period its use as an aid to drawing was being advocated. 

The first camera obscura was the size of a room and had a small hole (opening) in one side where the light rays passed through into the camera. The rays of light travel in straight lines and change when reflected and are also partly absorbed by an object hence retaining details about the outline, color and surface of that object. The lit object reflects rays of light in all directions. The small opening in a screen only lets rays through the hole that travel directly from different points in the scene on the other side. This together forms an image of that scene when they are reflected on the surface in the camera obscura.  The outlines were then traced by the artists. 

The surroundings of the projected image have to be relatively dark for the image to be clear, so many historical camera obscura experiments were performed in literally dark rooms. The images were reversed and inverted (left to right and upside down) on a surface opposite to the opening. In other to produce a reasonable clear projected image, the lit has to be about 1/100th the distance to the screen or less. 


In the 1500s many artists, including Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, used the “camera obscura” to help them draw pictures. Also Giovanni Battista Della Porta includes a lens for the camera instead of a pinhole. This improved definition and allowed images to be sharply focused on a piece of ground glass, allowing the operator to trace a picture on a sheet of paper laid over the glass. Johannes Kepler invented a portable camera obscura called Portable ‘Tent’ Camera Obscura. 


He was born on 14th may 1771. He was the son of a potter Josiah Wedgewood.  He was known as early experimenter of photography. He was the first person to have thought of capturing real life images on the camera obscura but was then unsuccessful. His practical experiments were produced on a shadow image (photographs) that were not light fast. He was unable to fix his pictures to make them immune to the other further effects of light.  Unless kept in complete darkness, they will slowly but surely darken all over. He associated himself with painter, sculptors and others. He died on the 11th of July 1805.


He was born 7th march 1765. He was a French inventor. He is universally credited with producing the first successful photograph in June/July 1827 from a camera obscura. Unable to draw, he needed the help of his artist son to make the images. However, when in 1814 his son was drafted into the army to fight at Waterloo, he was left having to look for another way of obtaining images. Eventually he succeeded, calling his product Heliographs. He began his own experiments using paper sensitized with silver chloride. In 1826, he turned to bitumen of Judea, a kind of asphalt that hardened when exposed to light. Niepce dissolved the bitumen in lavender oil and coated a sheet of paper with the mixture. He placed the sheet in the camera and exposed it for eight hours aimed through an open window at his courtyard so the sun had time to move from east to west, appearing to Shine on both sides of the building. The light forming the image on the paper hardened the bitumen in bright areas and left it soft and soluble in the dark areas. Niepce then washed the plate with lavender oil, which removed the still-soft bitumen that hadn’t been struck by light, leaving a permanent image. His images were black and white (Crude). He made some attempts in the mid 1825 but did not succeed due to several exposure of the camera to light. He teamed up with Louis Daguerre in 1829 and handed over his notes to Luis Daguerre before he died. He died on the 5th of July 1833.


He was born on 18th November, 1787. He was an artist and a photographer and also known as ROMANTIC PAINTER. He had been searching a means to capture fleeting images in the camera obscura. He formed a partnership with Joseph Nichopore Niēpce in 1829 where they had been working on the same problem. Daguerre experimented with photographing camera images directly unto a mirror-like silver surface plate, fumed with iodine vapour which reacted with silver to form a coating silver iodide. He made an important discovery by accident. In 1835, he put an exposed plate in his chemical cupboard, and some days later found, to his surprise, that the latent image had developed. Daguerre eventually concluded that this was due to the presence of mercury vapour from a broken thermometer. This important discovery that a latent image could be developed made it possible to reduce the exposure time from Niepce’s eight hours to thirty minutes. 

Though he now knew how to produce an image, it was not until 1837 that he was able to fix them and stop further reaction to light. He used a strong hot solution of common salts served to sterilize or fix the image by removing the remaining silver iodide This new process he called a Daguerreotype. 

The Daguerreotype was a remarkably detailed, one of a kind photographic image on a highly polished silver plated sheet of copper, sensitized with iodine vapours developed in mercury fumes and stabilised or fixed with salt water. The Daguerreotypes were usually in portraits. The images were not sitting on the surface of the metal but appeared to be floating in space and these pictures could not be reproduced and were therefore unique. 

Daguerre advertised his process and the French Government Bought the right to the process from him and gave it free to the world. From the day the announcement was made of this new discovery, the process came to be used widely. The claim was made that the daguerreotype “requires no knowledge of drawing….” and that “anyone may succeed… and perform as well as the author of the invention.”  Daguerre died in 1851. 


He was born in 11th February 1800. He was a British scientist. In June 1840, Talbot announced a technique which became the basis of modern photography and called it “calotype” (Greek for “beautiful picture”). The calotype process used the chemical development of a latent image to greatly reduce the exposure needed to and complete the Daugerotype Process. The process involved soaking paper with sodium chloride solution and drying in sodium nitrate solution in other to increase light sensitivity. He developed negatives using iodine coats and printed the positives by simple printing. The imperfections of the paper reduced the quality of the final print therefore the Calotypes did not have the sharp definition of daguerreotypes. The process itself took longer, as it required two stages (making the negative and then the positive).

The process was seen as a positive attribute for portrait because it softened the appearance of human face. 

In 1842 he received the Rumford Medal of Royal Society for his photographic discovery. In 1844 Fox Talbot opened a photography establishment in Reading in order to mass produce prints.

He died on the 17th of September 1877. 


He was born on 12th July 1854. He was an American Innovator and entrepreneur who founded the Eastman Kodak company in Rochester in New York which had a slogan “You Press the Button We Do the Rest’’. George Eastman is remembered for having made photography accessible to all. 

In 1844 he introduced flexible transparent roll film. The film could take a maximum of 100 pictures all in a circular form. This roll film brought about the motion picture film. The pictures taken had a diameter of 65 millimetres.

The Kodak was one of the first to produce standardized equipment by introducing the box camera incorporating roll film. The entire camera had to be posted to the factory if a customer wanted the picture taken to be developed. The film was then processed and the camera re-loaded and returned to the user, the charge for this being £2.2s (£2.10).

He invented the dry plate process in 1880. 

From the age of 76 onwards, Eastman was becoming increasingly ill. Eventually, having settled his affairs, he took his own life. Next to his body was a note which said simply “To my friends, my work is done – why wait?” He died on the 14th of march 1932.



This was a positive image on a metal support introduced by Luis Daguerre in 1837.

The Daguerreotype was the first successful photographic process. The process consisted of:

Exposing copper plates to iodine, the fumes forming light-sensitive silver iodide. The plate would have to be used within an hour. 

Exposing to light – between 10 and 30 minutes, depending upon the light available. 

Developing the plate over mercury heated to 75 degrees Centigrade. This caused the mercury to amalgamate with the silver. 

Fixing the image in a warm solution of common salt (later sodium sulphite was used.) 

Rinsing the plate in hot distilled water.
The quality of the daguerreotype photographs was stunning. However, the process had its weaknesses: 

The pictures could not be reproduced and were therefore unique

The surfaces were extremely delicate, which is why they are often found housed under glass in a case.

The image was reversed laterally, the sitter seeing himself as he did when looking at a mirror. (Sometimes the camera lens was equipped with a mirror to correct this)

The chemicals used (bromine and chlorine fumes and hot mercury) were highly toxic.

The images were difficult to view from certain angles.


The Calotype was a positive/negative process introduced in 1841 by Fox Talbot. 

The process consisted of:

Brushing a piece of paper with weak salt solution and allowing It to dry.

 Then brushing it with a weak silver nitrate solution and allowing It to dry making silver chloride in the paper and adding gallic acid.

This made it sensitive to light, and the paper was now ready for exposure. 

This might take half an hour, giving a print-out image.

To make a print, the negative was placed on top of more photo paper, laid flat in a glass frame, and allowed to develop in sunlight. 

It was fixed in strong salt solution – potassium iodide of hypo.

The Calotype process had the following advantages and disadvantages:

The materials were less sensitive to light, therefore requiring longer exposures.

The imperfections of the paper reduced the quality of the final print; Calotypes did not have the sharp definition of daguerreotypes. 

The process itself took longer, as it required two stages (making the negative and then the positive)

The prints tended to fade. 

 It provided the means of making an unlimited number of prints from one negative

Retouching could be done on either negative or print

Prints on paper were easier to examine, and far less delicate

The calotype had warmer tones.


Photography evolved with time even as knowledge was acquired and experiments were made. Improvements were made on the photographic processes and advancements were made to the camera obscura. This enhanced and gave other photographers the opportunity to work and exploit the world of photography.

Frederick Scott Archer

Frederick Scott Archer was born in England. The son of a butcher, he lost his parents at a young age and was brought up by distant relatives and friends. He was known as the inventor of the first practical photographic process to be both sharp and easily reproducible.

He began working as a sculptor, and set up a studio where he created busts of well-known people. In 1847, he began using photography as an aid in his work, and soon began devoting all his time to the new art. Frederick Archer trained in the calotype process, but he was unsatisfied with the texture and unevenness of the paper negative. He experimented with a variety of solutions and surfaces, and in 1849 made a breakthrough when he coated a glass plate with a collodion solution and exposed the plate while it was still wet. In 1852 he published A Manual of the Collodion Photographic Process. Images created using the collodion wet plate process were sharp like the daguerreotype, easily reproducible like the calotype, and enabled photographers to dramatically reduce exposure times. The process led to a rapid expansion in all areas of photography. He also made significant contributions in optics and camera design, and patented several of his inventions. However, Archer died before he could reap any benefits from them, and he died in poverty in 1857.
Hermann Wilhelm Vogel
Born on the 26th of March, 1834, Vogel was a German photo chemist and photographer. From 1879 he was a professor at Technical University of Berlin, where he introduced photography as a field of study. Vogel’s discovery of dye sensitization in 1873 was the turning point contribution to the progress of photography. His discovery of dye sensitizers resulted in the introduction of orthochromatic film, which was sensitive to all colors, even the notoriously problematic red end of the spectrum. This made photography much more useful to science, allowed a more satisfactory rendering of colored subjects into black-and-white, and brought actual color photography into the realm of the practical. He died on the 17th of December, 1898.



Wet Plate Process

It was created by Fredrick Scott Archer an amateur photographer in Britain in 1851.

It was introduced while the daguerreotype was in process.

Photographs used panes of glass coated with chemicals solution as the negative.

It captured wider variety of settings and subjects of any other.

It was the earliest and most popular system

It was accidentally discovered by Fredrick 

The plate was in a brown colour 

The process involves adding soluble iodine to a solution of collodion and coating a glass plate with the mixture.in a dark room the plate is immersed into a solution of silver nitrate to form silver iodide.

It was the hardest photograph to master.
Dry Plate Process

It is also known as the gelatin process.

It was invented by Dr Richard L. Maddox in 1871.

In 1879 he introduced the first dry plate which was then established.

The Gallatin emulsion is sensitive to emulsion but not sensitive to light.

With much of the complete chemistry work the new process simplified the wok of photographers allowing them to expand their business.

The dry plate was coated with bromide together with the gelatin emulsion.

It was stored until exposure and can be brought back to the dark at a leisure time.

It had a very large advantage to that of the wet plate it was colourless at the same time grainless.

Evolution of Camera.

In the first year of the 20th century, 1901 George Eastman capitalized on his own technology and created the Brownie. This new camera was the first one that had the capability of taking snapshots and it was small enough to be convenient for camera owners to carry around with them. As a result of its popularity, affordability and small size, the Brownie was the preferred camera that families could take with them on vacations and special occasions to create memories that would last a lifetime. The Brownie was so popular that it continued to be produced and marketed well into the 1960s. In 1914, Oskar Barnack experimented with 35mm film that was used to create movies and films. His goal was to create a 35mm film that could be used in cameras to create still pictures rather than motion pictures. Though he began this technology in 1914, the troubles that occurred with the onset of World War I made further advancements impossible for the next several years. Twenty years later, the Kodak Company began working on this technology and made several advancements that made it more convenient for average consumers to use. The Retina I by the Kodak Company was cheaper than other models with similar technology, but it was still more expensive than other mass produced cameras of the era.

While many companies were trying to create better technology for their cameras, a new type of camera jetted onto the scene in 1948. The Polaroid was an instant camera that attracted many consumers because of its instant gratification capabilities. People could take a picture with the Polaroid camera and have their photo in a matter of minutes. Even though it was more expensive than the other cameras of the time, it was still one of the biggest selling models because people enjoyed having their pictures just moments after taking them. It was a novelty at first, but it soon became a luxury that many people had to have. Even today, the Polaroid camera is one of the bestselling models in the camera industry because of its affordable price and instant capabilities. 

Today, cameras have evolved from the room-size camera obscura to the tiniest micro spy camera. We have cameras on the streets (C.C.T cameras), cameras that fly (camera Drones) and cameras on smart phones etc. Different brands and companies are active in manufacturing of camera; these include,









Panasonic etc. 

Examples of cameras


Parts of A Camera

1. Lens 

The lens is one of the most vital parts of a camera. The light enters through the lens, and this is where the photo process begins. Lenses can be either fixed permanently to the body or interchangeable. They can also vary in focal length, aperture, and other details.

2. Viewfinder 

The viewfinder can be found on all DSLRs and some models of digital compacts. On DSLRs, it will be the main visual source for image-taking, but many of today’s digital compacts have replaced the typical viewfinder with an LCD screen. 

3. Body 

The body is the main portion of the camera, and bodies can be a number of different shapes and sizes. DSLRs tend to be larger bodied and a bit heavier, while there are other consumer cameras that are a conveniently smaller size and even able to fit into a pocket.

4. Shutter Release 

The shutter release button is the mechanism that “releases” the shutter and therefore enables the ability to capture the image. The length of time the shutter is left open or “exposed” is determined by the shutter speed.

5. Aperture

The aperture affects the image’s exposure by changing the diameter of the lens opening, which controls the amount of light reaching the image sensor. Some digital compacts will have a fixed aperture lens, but most of today’s compact cameras have at least a small aperture range. This range will be expressed in f/stops. For DSLRs, the lens will vary on f/stop limits, but it is usually easily defined by reading the side of the lens.  There will be a set of numbers stating the f/stop or f/stop range, ex: f/2.8 or f/3.5-5.6. This will be your lowest settings available with that lens.

6. Image Sensor 

The image sensor converts the optical image to an electronic signal, which is then sent to your memory card. There are two main types of image sensors that are used in most digital cameras: CMOS and CCD. Both forms of the sensor accomplish the same task, but each has a different method of performance.

7. Memory Card 

The memory card stores all of the image information, and they range in size and speed capacity. The main types of memory cards available are CF and SD cards, and cameras vary on which type that they require.

8. LCD Screen

The LCD screen is found on the back of the body and can vary in size. On digital compact cameras, the LCD has typically begun to replace the viewfinder completely. On DSLRs, the LCD is mainly for viewing photos after shooting, but some cameras do have a “live mode” as well.

9. Flash

The on-board flash will be available on all cameras except some professional grade DSLRs. It can sometimes be useful to provide a bit of extra light during dim, low light situations.

10. User Controls

The controls on each camera will vary depending on the model and type. Your basic digital compacts may only have auto settings that can be used for different environments, while a DSLR will have numerous controls for auto and manual shooting along with custom settings. 
Positive and Negative Effects of Photography

Photography has come a long way to help the society as a whole and some of the benefits of photography are as follows:

Keeping Records



Job avenues 


Changes structure of society 
In as much as he photography has made an impact on the society, it has some Negative implications which include: 


Less privacy 


Contact to toxic and harmful chemicals. 
Potential Photographic Careers

Commercial photography (Products, Advertising and Marketing imaging

Portrait and Family photography

Wedding photography

Pet, Animal and Wildlife photography

Police, Law Enforcement and Criminal Forensic Imaging photography

Baby and Child photography

Newspaper and Magazine photojournalism

Architectural and Real Estate photography

Glamour and Boudoir photography

Photographic Education

Fashion and Modelling photography

Digital Photo Editing, Photo Retouching and Repair

Special Effects (F/X) photography

Art photography

Nature and Outdoor photography

Scientific photography and Educational Imaging specialist

Photographic Artists, Technicians and Assistant

Marine and Underwater photography and Film specialist

Aerial photography

Medical photography (including Micro and Macro photography)

Travel photography

Culinary Arts and Food photography

Museum Document and Archive photography (Google digitizing books)

Sports and Adventure photography

War Correspondent / Photographer

Stock photography

Catalogue photograph

Photography has evolved tremendously to the extent that it is now common to the world. It has paved way for a whole lot of opportunities which tends to support the needs of man from today to tomorrow.


Manuella Kafui Adwoa Agbeko

Frederick Twum Agyei

Elijah Makafui Amavih

Ernest Nimako – Boateng

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Benjamin Ofori Asare

Amtul Wahab Ainooson

Sarfo Nana Gyesi

Daniella Owusu Afriyie 

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