By the summer of that year, 1826, Niepce was ready. In the window of his upper-story workroom at his Saint-Loup-de-Varennes country house, Le Gras, he set up a camera obscura, placed within it a polished pewter plate coated with bitumen of Judea (an asphalt derivative of petroleum), and uncapped the lens. After at least a day-long exposure of eight hours, the plate was removed and the latent image of the view from the window was rendered visible by washing it with a mixture of oil of lavender and white petroleum which dissolved away the parts of the bitumen which had not been hardened by light. The result was the permanent direct positive picture you see here -- a one-of-a-kind photograph on pewter. It renders a view of the outbuildings, courtyard, trees and landscape as seen from that upstairs window.
From 1984 onwards the Silver Institute and PMIA published estimates of how many physical photos the world was snapping each year (silver halide being an important chemical in film). Year after year these numbers grew, as more people took more photos - the 20th century was the golden age of analog photography peaking at an amazing 85 billion physical photos in 2000 -- an incredible 2,500 photos per second. At the dawn of the new millennium a new technology (that Kodak itself invented) was reshaping the whole industry - the digital photo. When the first few hundred thousand digital cameras shipped in 1997 their memory was strictly limited (in fact cameras like the Sony Mavica took floppy disks!). Digital cameras are now ubiquitous - it is estimated that 2.5 billion people in the world today have a digital camera. If the average person snaps 150 photos this year that would be a staggering 375 billion photos. That might sound implausible but this year people will upload over 70 billion photos to Facebook, suggesting around 20% of all photos this year will end up there. Already Facebook’s photo collection has a staggering 140 billion photos, that’s over 10,000 times larger than the Library of Congress.... -- 1000memories
Posted by gerardvanderleun at October 2, 2012 5:58 PM