Interesting facts on Photography in the 1900’s – Cameras

From the very inception the Kodak Idea has been—make photography so simple that anybody can take good pictures.

Simpler cameras, simpler processes have followed each other with almost startling rapidity. But the Kodak Company has not been satisfied with merely making mechanical and chemical improvements; it has assumed the responsibility of educating people in picture-taking. The very first Kodak, way back in 1888, was accompanied by a so-called “manual” that did more than merely explain the operation of the mechanical features of the camera. It showed how the pictures should be taken, how (and how not) to photograph a tall building, how to photograph a small child—told about the length of exposures in different kinds of light, both indoors and out. It was really a primary hand-book of photography.

From that day on, every piece of Kodak apparatus, every amateur product of the Company has been accompanied by the most concise instructions, instructions that were also constructive because they not only told the beginner what to do but why he was to do it. Even in the Kodak [Pg 4]advertising matter as much space is given up to telling people how to make pictures as in telling them why they should buy Kodak goods. Booklets in large editions, giving instructions in practically every phase of amateur photography have been and still are distributed without charge. Photography has not merely been made simpler, it has been explained to all who are interested.

Vest Pocket Kodak

The extraordinary popularity of the Vest Pocket Kodak is due, not alone to its compactness—it is so flat and smooth and small that it will readily slip into a vest pocket—but also to the excellent quality of its pictures, whether printed by contact or enlarged.

In fact, this little camera in itself is so very desirable and of such general utility, that we furnish it with several different types of equipment to meet any demand.

The Vest Pocket Kodak

For average photography, the camera fitted with Kodak Ball Bearing shutter and tested meniscus achromatic lens is amply efficient, for it will make excellent pictures under ordinary conditions.

For those who want the microscopic definition of the anastigmat, we offer the Vest Pocket Kodak, this year, fitted with the new Kodak Anastigmat lens. This lens works at f. 8, it is fully corrected, and made of the first quality of Jena glass. This makes a most desirable outfit at a surprisingly low price for a piece of anastigmat equipment.

Then for those who want not only the absolute sharpness and flatness of field but the maximum speed as well, we offer the camera fitted with Zeiss Kodak Anastigmat lens.

The appearance of the Vest Pocket Kodak is so suggestive of quality, that it makes an ideal camera for gift purposes on holidays, birthdays, at graduation time, and such occasions. For these purposes, we have devised the Kodak Gift Case shown in the illustration. The Vest Pocket Kodak, in this case, is fitted with Kodak Anastigmat lens. The carrying case is of imported satin finish leather, in a shade of soft brown that is in perfect harmony with the deep blue of the handsome silk-lined container. The whole outfit possesses quality and richness that will appeal to the most fastidious.

The Vest Pocket Kodak with any equipment is always ready for action. It is only necessary to pull out the front to its full extent, and the camera is in focus for objects at any distance. The shutter is automatic, and a convenient reversible finder, for composing the view in either horizontal or vertical position, is provided.

Another feature is the extreme simplicity in loading—nothing trappy or fussy about it. Indeed, the operation of the camera is simple in every detail, nothing in the way of simplicity or efficiency having been sacrificed in order to reduce the size.

For rectangular pictures, 1⅝ × 2½ inches. Capacity, 8 exposures without reloading. Size of Kodak, 1 × 2⅜ × 4¾ inches. Weight, 9 ounces. Lens, regular, meniscus achromatic, 3-inch focus. Special, Zeiss Kodak Anastigmat f. 6.9, or Kodak Anastigmat f. 8. Shutter, Kodak Ball Bearing No. 0. Brilliant reversible finder. All-metal body, black enamel finish, and black leather bellows.

No. 1A Kodak Junior

In this new model is offered the advantages of low cost, with Kodak efficiency, which we have seen in the No. 1 Kodak Junior, in a camera made upon the same principle for 2½ × 4¼ pictures.

This is one of the most popular amateur sizes, the proportion being unusually pleasing for landscapes, street scenes, and the like, in the horizontal position, and admirably adapted for portraiture when used vertically.

With its strikingly thin, compact form, its reliable equipment and its low cost, the No. 1A Kodak Junior is sure to please anyone who prefers pictures of this size.

This model will accommodate the regular twelve exposure Kodak N. C. Film cartridges, and thus offers the daylight-all-the-way feature of all Kodaks.

The shutter is the Kodak Ball Bearing with cable release, which works not only for bulb and time exposures, but has variable indicated speeds of 1/25, 1/50 and 1/100 second. The leaves, opening in the shape of a star, admit the greatest possible amount of light, for a between-the-lens shutter, at each exposure.

The camera is furnished with either meniscus achromatic or rapid rectilinear lens. In both cases the lens is carefully tested and must conform to the high Kodak standard before it is allowed to go on the camera.

Simplicity marks this camera in every respect. It is made with the new style back—unusually easy to remove for loading and unloading. It has an automatic focusing lock, which permits the camera to be brought to focus quickly for objects at any distance. The finder is of the new collapsible type; it is reversible, and two tripod sockets are furnished, so that the camera may be easily used in either the vertical or horizontal position.

So compact that it will readily slip into the pocket, this camera offers that high standard of efficiency which is inseparable from the Kodak idea. The back and bed are made of aluminum, the covering is genuine leather, and metal parts are finished in nickel and black enamel.

Kodak Junior

Firtst types of Cameras

Different Shutters used



An effect often caused by a camera’s built-in flash. The flashlight reflects from the retina of

the subjects’ eyes and gives them a bright red colour. It can be reduced or corrected in-camera, or at the post-processing stage.



Rear-curtain sync

Rear-curtain sync

Flash features found on some D-SLRs and flashguns that synchronizes the flash output when the second shutter curtain is about to close. Usually, the flash fires at the point where the first shutter is fully open. The facility gives more natural-looking images when using flash in conjunction with slow shutter speeds.


The ABC of Photography – Z

The ABC of Photography – Z


Stands for Zeiss Alpha – a range of Sony lenses designed by Carl Zeiss.

Zone system

The Zone system is a systematic technique for calculating the best possible film exposure and development. It was formulated in around 1940 by photographers Ansel Adams (1902-84) and Fred Archer (1889-1963).



A lens with a variable angle of view. On a zoom lens, the focal length can be changed while the focus remains the same.

Zoom ratio

The relationship between the shortest and longest focal length setting of a zoom lens. For example, a 14-42mm lens has a zoom ratio of 3:1, or 3x; a 50– 500mm lens has a zoom ratio of 10:1, or 10x.

Sources:  Pixabay, NASA,Wikipedia, Susan Wingfield Lamar High School


The ABC of Photography – Y

The ABC of Photography – Y


Yellow filter

In film photography, yellow filters were often used by black-and-white landscape photographers to darken a blue sky and brighten the landscape.


Yevonde, Madame

Madame Yevonde (1893-1975) popularized the use of colour in portrait photography in the early 1930s. She’s most famous for her studio portraits of the mid-1930s that made creative use of costumes and props.


Sources:  Pixabay, NASA, Wikipedia, Susan Wingfield Lamar High School


The ABC of Photography – X

The ABC of Photography – X



Stands for extra-low dispersion, the glass used in some Tamron lenses to reduce chromatic aberration.


Stands for an extensible metadata platform. A labeling technology used by a number of image-editing programs, including the Photoshop family. It records information about a file and is usually embedded within the file itself. With raw files, the XMP information is recorded separately.


Stands for extra refractive, a type of glass used in Tamron lenses. It can bend light at wider angles than normal glass, helping to make the overall size of the lens smaller.

Sources:  Pixabay, NASA,Wikipedia, Susan Wingfield Lamar High School


The ABC of Photography – W

The ABC of Photography – W



An element embedded in a digital image, such as a name or symbol, to show ownership and prevent images being used without the copyright owner’s permission. Weston, Edward (Edward Weston (1886-1958) was one of the major American fine-art photographers of the 20th century. His aim was, he said, to “make the commonplace unusual.” His photographs were clear and detailed representations of landscapes, portraits, nudes, and, most famously, still-life subjects such as seashells and peppers.

White balance

The digital camera system that sets the colour temperature for the scene being photographed. This can be set automatically, with the system attempting to set the colour so that it looks normal to the human eye. Most D-SLRs also offer a wide selection of manual white balance settings – where the WB can be set from a reference source (such as a piece of white card), or to a particular Kelvin value, or to a lighting type (such as sunny daylight or tungsten bulb lighting).

Wide-angle lens

A lens with a focal length shorter than the ‘normal’ lens (that is, the lens that gives the most true-to-life field of view) for a given format. In the 35mm format, focal lengths from 35mm to 24mm are considered wide-angle, while lenses from 21mm to 14mm are generally described as ultra-wide-angle.

Wratten number

A code for labeling optical filters, named after the inventor Frederick Wratten (1840-1926). Each separate colour has a number (orange filters, for example, have the number 81) and some have letters to indicate the strength of the filter (an 81EF is much stronger than an 81A, for example).

Sources:  Pixabay, NASA,Wikipedia, Susan Wingfield Lamar High School


The ABC of Photography – V

The ABC of Photography – V


Variable contrast

A type of photographic printing paper that, in the wet darkroom, allows a range of contrast grades to be produced by changing the colour of the filter in the enlarger head.


Stands for vibration compensation, the name of the optical camera shake-reduction system on some Tamron lenses.



A slider is available in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop that enables you to increase the saturation of colours. It doesn’t increase saturation universally – it concentrates on colours that are not saturated already, with a more limited effect on colours that are already intense. This often leads to a more visually pleasing result.

View camera

A large-format film camera that uses sheet film. Depending on the camera design, film sizes can range from 5×4 inches to 20×24 inches. All view cameras have a front standard with a lens mount and a rear standard with a film holder and ground glass screen for focusing. Both standards can be moved backward and forwards and at different angles to alter perspective, focus, and depth of field. They are connected by a flexible and extendable bellow. View cameras can be used with digital backs instead of film.


Darkening of the corners of an image. This appearance is often deliberately created to highlight a subject in the center of the image and can be applied by digitally burning in corners. It’s also commonly seen in images taken with toy cameras such as the Holga. If vignetting is unintended, it’s usually due to lens fall-off, and can be corrected using post-processing software.


Stands for vibration reduction, Nikon’s name for its image-stabilization system.

Sources:  Pixabay, NASA, Wikipedia, Susan Wingfield Lamar High School


The ABC of Photography – U

The ABC of Photography – U



Stands for ultra-low dispersion, a type of glass used in Canon lenses to reduce chromatic aberration in the image.


An umbrella is used in a studio to reflect and diffuse light from a flash unit, creating a softer and more even light. The most common types are the white shoot-through umbrella, which is used between the flash and the subject, or the black umbrella with reflective silver or white underside that bounces flashlight back on to the subject.


An insufficient exposure for the subject to retain all the shadow details so that darker areas become black or almost black. The greater the under-exposure, the darker the image. This may be a conscious choice for artistic reasons.

Underwater housing

A sealed container specifically made to protect particular cameras from damage in underwater photography, and that allows controls to be accessed and operated as normal.

Unsharp Mask

One of the most popular Photoshop tools for increasing sharpness in a digital image. It gets its curious name from a traditional print process, where a soft-focus negative is sandwiched with the sharp original in order to increase edge contrast.

USB 3.0

The third version of the Universal Serial Bus standard for connection and communication between computer peripherals (including digital cameras and printers) and personal computers. It was released in 2008 and was further updated to USB 3.1 in 2013.


Stands for ultrasonic silent drive, Tamron’s fast, quiet AF motor.


Stands for ultrasonic motor, a fast, low-noise autofocus motor used by some Canon lenses.

UV filter

An optical filter that absorbs ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It can be used to improve visibility and quality in a mountain and maritime landscapes. Many use them to protect the front of the lens.

Sources:  Pixabay, NASA, Wikipedia, Susan Wingfield Lamar High School


The ABC of Photography – T

The ABC of Photography – T



Table-top photography

Images of small objects or a miniature scene arranged on a tabletop.


A supplementary lens used between a primary lens and the camera body to increase the focal length range of the primary lens. For example, a 1.4 teleconverter on a 200mm lens will increase the focal length to 280mm but causes a corresponding reduction in the maximum aperture size.


A term generally used to describe any long-focus lens (in 35mm photography, a lens with a focal length of 85mm upwards). However, telephoto technically refers to a long-focus lens in which the physical length of the lens is shorter than its focal length, a design feat achieved by its internal lens assembly.

Terabyte (TB)

Unit for measuring computer memory or disk storage capacity, which is roughly equivalent to 1,000 gigabytes. TFT (thin-film transistor) High-quality colour LCD technology, widely used for rear displays on digital cameras.


A small, low-resolution version of a larger image. It’s often used in image management applications such as Adobe Bridge and Organizer to make it easier and faster to search through and preview your photo collection. The small representations of each layer in the Layers panel in Photoshop and similar software are also referred to as thumbnails.

Three-quarters lighting

Used in portraiture, this style of lighting is created by placing a light at approximately 45 degrees from each side of the centre line of the face. It lights three-quarters of the face, leaving a shadow area along the side opposite to the light that gives the face depth and volume.

TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)

Digital image format used to record files with maximum available detail. Files can be large, although this can be reduced using lossless compression.


The technique where pictures are taken of the same subject at regular intervals. Some time-lapse photographers record an event that takes place over a long period of time, such as a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis.


Stands for twin-lens reflex. A TLR camera has two lenses of the same focal length; one is used for taking the picture while the other provides the image for the waist-level viewfinder, seen via a 45-degree mirror. The two lenses are connected so that focusing is the same on both lenses.


Short form for ‘photographer’.

Tone mapping

A technique used in image processing to reduce the range of tonal values in a high dynamic range image, so it looks more natural when shown on a computer monitor or in print.


Changing the colour of a black-and-white print or digital image. In traditional photography, black-and-white prints are usually toned using chemicals to change the metallic silver in the print emulsion to a silver compound. This happens in sepia and selenium toning. Other processes, such as platinum and gold toning, are known as metal-replacement toners. Similar effects can be produced in digital images using post-processing techniques.

Toy camera

An inexpensive and easy-to-use film camera, such as the Holga, Lubitel, Lomo LC-A and Diana. Their lens quality and general build lead to vignetting, image blur, distortion, and light leaks, but many photographers enjoy incorporating these flaws into their images for artistic effect.


A Photoshop tool used to scale, rotate, reduce, enlarge, distort, or change the perspective of a layer, selection, or shape.

Travel photography

A genre of photography that concentrates on documenting the landscape, people, culture, and customs of a country.


Three-legged camera support.


Tripod bush

Threaded socket found on the base of cameras, used for attaching tripods and other accessories.


Tilt-shift electronic – Canon’s range of perspective control lenses.

(See PC-E.)


(through the lens) metering An exposure metering system in which the intensity of light is measured through the camera lens.

Tungsten lighting

A type of bulb lighting that has a warm colour temperature of between 2,600 and 3,500K.


Tv (time value)

Abbreviation used for shutter priority on some cameras.

Sources:  Pixabay, NASA,Wikipedia, Susan Wingfield Lamar High School