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Photography is a relatively young art, and unlike many others it finds its origins in scientific experimentation as well as artistic ambition. Photography is the art of making a lasting image out of lights and shadows—a way to capture a moment in time.

The principles behind the photographic process actually date back to ancient China and Greece, when mathematicians and philosophers explored the principles of optics and even the notion of the pinhole camera and the camera obscura.

The camera obscura, a box with a hole in it that allows light to travel through to create an image on a surface on the other side, was described by Leonardo Da Vinci, and used by renaissance painters to aid in the creation of their paintings and drawings. As artists and scientists sought a way to make this image permanent, photography was invented.
The first permanent image was captured by Frenchman Nicéphore Niépce, of the view outside his window, in 1827. Niepce’s partner Louis Daguerre. He refined the method so that it took minutes instead of hours, and this allowed him to capture the first image of a human. He called his product a “Daguerreotype,” and made his research public. Once Englishman Henry Fox Talbot heard of Daguerre’s process, he published his own discoveries, which included a transparent negative from which many prints could be made.

Over the course of time we’ve seen color photography, digital photography, photography as art, photojournalism, wedding photography, pet photography, street photography, vernacular photography, moving photography and just about anything else you can think of.

Of course the simplicity of photography has progressed to the stage where it seems everyone has a camera in his or her pocket at all times. We no longer need to wait for the exposure and development of the film. But in its essence, photography is still the means to capture a moment.