The Dictionary Of Photography

A True Historic Record Of The Art & Practice Of Photography 100 Years Ago.

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Camera and Camera Stand
was much used as an aid in sketching before the invention of photography.
Camera and Camera Stand. The old term, camera obscura, is now shortened into camera, excepting in a few cases where an old style tent-camera is used as an exhibition at a sea-side or holiday resort. Every form of camera now used is actually a dark chamber or box into which the image of external objects may be projected by means of a lens or other image-forming device. In the pre-photographic days portable camera obscuras were made, by means of which the images of external objects were projected upon a sheet of white paper, and the outlines traced by means of a pencil. The first photographic camera of Nicephore Niepce, appears to have been constructed about the year a.d. 1816, and in a letter written during this year he describes it as " a sort of artificial eye consisting of a square box fitted with an adjustable tube containing a lens." Certain cameras are described, under appropriate headings, as Detective or Hand Camera, Cylindrograph, Cyclograph, Panoramic Camera, Animals Photographing, and Automatic Photo-graphy ; while matters of importance relating to the camera are similarly dealt with under suitable headings - as, for example, Focussing Screen, Lens, or View Finder.
To describe the many forms of camera and support which have been introduced is impracticable, but in a few short notes we briefly indicate the characteristics of a few representative forms. The camera obscura in the sixteenth century appears to have been literally a dark room in which spectators were taken in order to see wonders of image forming by a lens, and it would seem that one of the first persons to construct and use a portable form of camera was the illustrious Kepler. General Waterhouse has pointed out that Kepler, in his Diofttrice, published in 1611, very clearly explains the principle of the telephotographic lens ; i.e.., the use of a back concave for obtaining a larger image than would otherwise have been produced, and in a published letter of Sir Henry Wootton to Lord Bacon, there is an account of a visit to Kepler, at Lintz, Wootton says : - " In this man's study I was much taken with the draught of a landscape on a piece of paper, methought masterly done; whereof inquiring the author, he (Kepler), betrayed by a smile it was himself, adding that he had done it