Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(775 words)

1. Concept and early technologies

Photography (from Greek phos, “light,” and gráphein, “write, draw”) is a technique that uses a lens to fix an image generated by the action of light chemically on a photosensitive coating to produce a permanent image.

The knowledge, use, and further development of the camera obscura (Latin, “dark chamber”) since antiquity and the discovery of the photosensitivity of various silver salts in the early 18th century – including the work of the Germ…

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Stempel, Barbara, “Photography”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 21 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025541>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721

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