This site does not represent the views of

Bear with us while we get this organized. This site does not represent the views of Send submissions to Send tips to if they are not posted there, wait a while & send them to Take care, Stay Awesome.

Friday, January 28, 2011

SlothShots! 1: A little bit of History

"A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words."

- Ansel Adams

"Above all, I craved to seize the whole essence, in the confines of one single photograph, of some situation that was in the process of unrolling itself before my eyes."

- Henri Cartier-Bresson

The quotes above are from two of the most renowned photographers in the world. I will be showcasing some of their work in future post but for know I wanted to post those quotes because to me they sum up photography better than I ever could. Photography has many meanings; to a mom it captures the memories, and the stories she will tell to others, in the future; To an artist it’s a vehicle to communicate the story the mom might tell but without the mom being there. So where do I start on a subject that has only been around for 200 years but has had many advances and voices to guide it to what it is today? I’m not sure. Let's start from the beginning!

Many scientists attempted to create photographs but failed on one aspect, making the picture stay once it was developed.

The first photograph ever is by a man named Niepce. It has an exposure time of 8 hours! 8 hours!

Niepce meet Louis Daguerre and both of them worked together on further developing photography. Sadly Niepce died four years into their partnership but that didn’t stop Daguerre. He developed a method of coating plates with chemical in order to make an exposure, then being able to use salt to make the image permanent. Daguerre being the humble man that he was named this type of photograph the Daguerreotype.

(Pictured Left: Abe Lincoln, 1846 / Pictured Right: Edgar Allan Poe, 1848)

Daguerreotypes were very popular with a lot of famous people wanting to get their picture taken. It often took 20 to 30 minutes for the picture to be taken. Could you imagine sitting still that long?! No! Well they didn’t have to; the subjects were strapped to chairs by their arms and legs. Their heads were also affixed, by a machine that looked like a masochist dream torture machine but what they got out of it was a unique object in that there was only one and it was a completely faithful reproduction of the person and it cam in a cool case!

(Pictured: John Brown, Taken circa 1846-47)

[The library of congress has a big collection of preserved daguerreotypes, a small collection some of them can be found here: . Also the George Eastman House Museum has some daguerreotypes but also a huge sample of different eras of photography here:]

Other methods also utilized during this time. No one method was ubiquitous and most of the different methods were concurrent. Collodian Process, Wet Collodian Process, Albumen Process and Ambrotypes were other popular types of photographic capture

(Pictured: Town Hall, Dunedin 1879)

Then came George Eastman and revolutionized the game completely. Eastman created and introduced flexible film in 1884. Eastman’s constant experimentation led to compact cameras, easily available 35mm and many other things that are still in use today. [Edit: I just realized I didn't follow up on this but that is because I will have an in depth post on the many contributions made by George Eastman in the future.]

Another notable person that worked around this time is Eadweard Muybridge. Muybridge was interested in capturing the mechanical processes of motion. When the pictures were viewed in quick succession the subject became a fluid scene.

(Eadweard Muybridge, The Horse in Motion, 1878)

[There are a ton of Eadweard Muybridge motion pictures online, I didn’t find one main source but most of them come up on google image search by just searching “Eadweard Muybridge.”]

Here are some pictures that I found while researching that I really enjoyed.

(Unknown Artist, “Loew Bridge, New York”, 1867-1868, Collodian Process)

(Left: Unknown Artist, Venice Italy, Albumen Print / Right: Southworth & Hawes, “Unidentified Woman”,1852, Daguerreotype)

(Southworth & Hawes, “Lawrence Lot, Mount Auburn Cemetery”, 1853, Daguerrotype)

(Francis Frith, “The Hypaethral Temple, Philae”, 1857, Painted Albumen Print)

Thank you for reading this! I hope you guys found this post to be an educational and entertaining journey through the world of photography! Future post will be more varied. Each post will showcase 10 pictures including one of my own. Some post may be critical evaluations of cohesive portfolios; some may focus on a particular artist, style, format, color, nationality, location or year. Some posts may just be contemporary pictures of recent events.

Oh and here is one of my own.

Thank you for reading,



  1. Also anyone is encouraged to post any of their favorite pictures that pertain to the topic at hand or suggest topics for the week!

  2. This is an excellent addition to the MOBFD universe. Thank you, Slothy. I love photography and I enjoyed this immensely.

  3. I'd love to see a brief history of photoshop, maybe 3d pics too? idk i'm an idiot.

  4. Sloth, this is really great. Thanks. Also, I like your photos.

  5. Great photo at the end. Very informative post!

  6. I have nothing of substance to add about photography, but I'm happy to add my voice to the chorus that this post is awesome. Informative and entertaining! Not that anyone cares, but the Abe Lincoln picture is my favorite.

  7. Actually Chris a post on Stereoscopic images would be cool
    but it would probably focus more on different technologies
    scientist tried to employ to make flat images spring to life...
    3D isn't just a recent obsession did you know that the
    first 3D image was created in 1838?

  8. I have a book of 3D images from the Civil War. It's pretty nifty.