The magic of capturing the smile of a beloved, the blending hues of a sunset, the expression on a baby’s face, sends thrills of anticipation to people of every culture,of every age.What was considered a miracle two hundred years ago now casually blends into one’s every day activities.The
invention of the simple black box in France started an industry that has evolved as fast as the technology required for any new-age product.
Cameras now come in price ranges that allow you to even throw them away after taking one roll of pictures.They also come in the most complex, computerized packages that only the richest pros consider purchasing. Although the original concept of the camera began to be developed around the
1830s, it wasn’t until around the 1900s that more people could afford to buy one or have the film developed or have their picture taken professionally. By the 1930s and 1940s, cameras acquired a permanent niche in the hearts of the average person. Since then thousands of brands and models
have appeared, only to be replaced with the newest technology of the day.
In order to focus more precisely, the earlier camera had a bellows, allowing the distance from the lens to the film to be adjusted. The greatest fear of those owning the bellows-style camera was an accidental, fine pin-hole that allowed unwanted light in.Being opened and closed hundreds of times
tended to create cracks in the corners where they folded. The leaky bellows problem ruined many a picture, to the sorrow of the photographer.
Features the photographers wanted, and after a while received, were film on a roll rather than having to use a plate. Next came film stop mechanisms so that winding the film to the next spot became more accurate. Features that kept one from making double exposures delighted many
photographers. Adding flash in such a way that it was actually usable surged the sale of cameras forward.
Just as the movies were originally silent movies and only came in black and white, the first still cameras only used black and white film. The two industries moved forward on parallel paths. Once color film technology existed for one, the other quickly adapted its products. Colored slides and
slide projectors became favorites for taking those vacation pictures and showing them to friends. It wasn’t long before a regular homeowner could make a color movie of the kids. When sound was added to the movie theaters, the movie fan began adding sound to the home movies. That home movie film was sent to a professional developer for processing.
The speed of technological inventions increased. Along with computers in every home came the age of the Video Camcorder and the Digital Camera. Instant pictures! Instant movies. No developing necessary. Everything happens with instant playback!
One aspect of the camera industry hasn’t changed over the years: the thrill, the magic, of capturing a moment in time,to be treasured and shared with the world.Cameras have reduced the size of the planet in our mind’s eye and fostered understanding among the different cultures and races of the world. This is a camera’s most priceless quality and gift.