The History And Evolution Of Spy And Investigative Photography By Ralph Thomas

I find cameras and their history quite fascinating and as a collector of spy and subminiature cameras, I thought I would share with you the history and evolution of such cameras and investigative photography. When you get to the actual samples of the cameras in this article, you can click on the links to see bigger images and get more information about them. When you are in the Texas area, be sure to plan on stopping in at the Spy Exchange And Security Center showroom to see our PI Vintage Spy And Private-Eye Museum rooms where you can see these cameras and much more in person.

Investigative and evidence photography has gone through three basic evolutions. The first one was daguerreotype photography which was the first photography. The second evolution was film photography. The third evolution is digital photography which we are in today.

Starting in the 16th century, artists learned how to project images onto surfaces. However, it was not until the 1820’s that photography was invented. In the summer of 1826, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce took the world’s first photograph from a second story window utilizing pewter plates in France. He didn’t announce his discovery publicly until 1839, another ten years. Before there was photography as we know it today, there was daguerreotype photography.

The World’s First Photograph

Daguerreotype photography was really the first successful photo process. It caught on like wild fire in the late 1830’s and early 1840’s. Daguerreotype photography was done with copper plates that were coated with iodine which produced light sensitive silver iodide. Once made, plates had to be used within about a hour or they were no good. Exposure to light for several minutes was needed to obtain a proper exposure. One had to stand very still for a long time in order to obtain a Daguerreotype photo. If one moved around, you would generally get a blurred image. Take a look of the photograph below. Lincoln’s face is a little blurred. That’s likely because his head moved just a little during the several minute process it took to expose this photo.

This Daguerreotype image of Allan Pinkerton, President Lincoln, and Maj. Gen.
John A. McClernand; Antietam, Md. September-October 1862 has been very well
preserved and greatly enhanced from the original Daguerreotype. There are not
many like the quality of this. Most Daguerreotype photos fad over a few years
and tend to have a very shiny mirror appearance to them. Some fad so bad, the
images in the photo almost disappear or become so faint, they are hard to view
with the naked eye. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

About securityteknews
Ralph Thomas is author of over 32 books on various aspects of conducting investigations, founder and director of The National Association Of Investigative Specialists,CEO of Thomas Investigative Publications, Inc, The Spy Exchange And Security Center and SpyTek Wholesale Imports. Thomas is a member of the Executive Security Council of Griffith Colson Intelligence Service, a private intelligence agency. Thomas's latest project is NAIStv on the Griffith Media TV Network. He has also developed A Native American Store in Georgetown Texas called Tribal Impressions. You can review his person home page off of:

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