Before the advent of light

The history of AFFORDABLE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY begins with the dream of a machine capable of creating images, of directly capturing what the eye sees.

This dream has gone through many stages of development, from the handprints found in Paleolithic caves to the technique of creating a profile portrait by tracing a shadow. However, the most significant harbinger of photography was the advent of the camera obscura. It can be a completely darkened room or a box (depending on the design), where light enters through a small hole, and a projection of what is outside appears on the surface opposite this hole. Such devices were known even before our era, they were used by the scientists of the Arab world and the Greeks. Gradually, the room shrank in size, and in the 17th century it was already a small box, but the word “chamber” (that is, “room”) was preserved and, as we can see, still lives on. Baroque artists actively used this device, which by that time had received a significant technical addition: the hole was equipped with a lens, and behind it there was a mirror and frosted glass, allowing the artist not only to see the image, but also to easily trace its outline.

Such a camera was convenient to use and allowed artists to create unexpected optical effects. Today’s viewer, looking at paintings by, say, Vermeer or Canaletto, easily perceives the visual aberrations characteristic of a wide-angle lens (we constantly see such distortions in our own pictures taken with a smartphone), and contemporaries of painters examined these unusual compositions with interest, and only those versed in optics understood how this effect came about.

In the XVIII-XIX centuries, the camera obscura was used quite widely, primarily by those painters who needed to save time while working on the landscape. However, the dream of capturing reality to the end accurately and automatically has not yet been achieved.