Analyzing Cameras Part 1

The past weeks we’ve dealt with product design (example chairs) and graphic design (example print media). This time we learned about the historical and technological development of cameras. As usual the students were overwhelmed with an enormous choice of objects to work with:

all cameras

This is how it looked like 🙂

In this first session we only discussed the history and development of the camera (and what this meant for photography). The professor introduced to us how the process of taking pictures technically changed starting with the camera obscura:

camera obscura

This is it: The camera obscura!

I’m not going to describe everything in detail since there is enough technical know-how on the Internet already! But here are some general points to sum up our findings:

  • cameras were initially invented in Europe and developed over time with some great additional inventions in the USA (Kodak, Polaroid) and Japan (Nikon)
  • new chemical processing methods emerged reducing camera size and prices making photography an everyday experience for many
  • analog cameras (including the camera obscura) are still perfectly able to take pictures (provided the mechanics are working and the chemicals and lab equipment are available) whereas digital technology is developing so fast that some cameras have become useless over a time period of  only one decade

Oh, and some spillovers paved the way for nowadays very popular 3D-effect in movies/photos:


Here is one of the earliest stereoscopes ever. The 3D-effect is nonetheless impressive!

Part 2 follows (and then it’s time for the exams for me!!!)