Types of photographs

Non-digital photographs are produced with a two-step chemical process. In the two-step process the light-sensitive film captures a negative image (colors and lights/darks are inverted). To produce a positive image, the negative is most commonly transferred (‘printed’) onto photographic paper. Printing the negative onto transparent film stock is used to manufacture motion picture films.

Alternatively, the film is processed to invert the negative image, yielding positive transparencies. Such positive images are usually mounted in frames, called slides. Before recent advances in digital photography, transparencies were widely used by professionals because of their sharpness and accuracy of color rendition. Most photographs published in magazines were taken on color transparency film.

Originally, all photographs were monochromatic or hand-painted in color. Although methods for developing color photos were available as early as 1861, they did not become widely available until the 1940s or 50s, and even so, until the 1960s most photographs were taken in black and white. Since then, color photography has dominated popular photography, although black and white is still used, being easier to develop than color.

Panoramic format images can be taken with cameras like the Hasselblad Xpan on standard film. Since the 1990s, panoramic photos have been available on the Advanced Photo System (APS) film. APS was developed by several of the major film manufacturers to provide a film with different formats and computerized options available, though APS panoramas were created using a mask in panorama-capable cameras, far less desirable than a true panoramic camera, which achieves its effect through a wider film format. APS has become less popular and is being discontinued.

The advent of the microcomputer and digital photography has led to the rise of digital prints. These prints are created from stored graphic formats such as JPEG, TIFF, and RAW. The types of printers used include inkjet printers, dye-sublimation printer, laser printers, and thermal printers. Inkjet prints are sometimes given the coined name “Giclée”.

The web has been a popular medium for storing and sharing photos ever since the first photograph was published on the web by Tim Berners-Lee in 1992 (an image of the CERN house band Les Horribles Cernettes). Today popular sites such as Flickr, Picasa, PhotoBucket and 500px are used by millions of people to share their pictures.

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