Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Kodak Moment

April 6th is the anniversary of  the first camera being sold 
for every day use in 1889, thanks to George Eastman.

photo from

Of course, the camera had been around in other forms before then.
Most of them were out-sized, however,
including the daguerreotype camera  Matthew Brady and his corps of photographers
used to photograph events during the Civil War.
This included the 1862 Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee, 
where two of my relatives fought for the Union,
and which incidentally marks its anniversary today, April 6th also.

This is one of the most unusual daguerreotype photos I've seen.
Not the customary image of the time. 
Photo from

But some sources go beyond Daguerre's invention in 1839,
all the way to 1000AD and the invention of the camera obscura
by Muslim mathematician and astronomer Ibn Al-Haytham, "Alhazen."

Alhazen image from

And the source credits Aristotle who observed in 330 BCE
that sun shining through a square hole would produce a round image.
(This I think I'd like to try to see what he means.)

As with many inventions, everyone involved deserves credit
since one inventor learns from those who come before.
But I'm glad we have cameras.
They allow us to photograph one another 
and the wonders of spring.
Like this photo of blue flowers with their 4 heart-shaped petals
and golden yellow centers.

photo from

 And it's nice to know who to thank  
for allowing us to catch the light.

No comments: