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A Short History Of The Camera - The Movies Begin
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A Short History Of the Camera  -  The Movies Begin

The invention of roll film has done far more than bring more versatility and efficiency to the camera. It spawned another great epoch in the history of the camera very soon after Kodak was founded. The age of the silvered screen and the cinema had begun. Camera! Roll ‘em! Action!

In this article, we will peek at what folks had before roll film. We will briefly explore the progression of movie-making throughout history.

Moving Picture Techniques Before the Advent of the Roll Film

Sometime during prehistoric times, man discovered that a string of pictures containing a sequence of shots taken of a moving subject, reproduces the effect of that movement when the string is run at the right speed on a specialized disk or cylinder.

Cave drawings in France apparent show attempts of early artists trying to depict motion in a single drawing. It is not known whether the drawing was actually botched when the artist changed his mind about the position of the animal's legs he was drawing...or could have been an actual attempt at depicting an actual running animal superimposed on the same painting.

A 5,200-year old clay bowl found in Iran sports five images in succession, of goat jumping up to reach fruit in a tree to his right. Upon running the eyes across the scenes, the animation effect can be noted.

12 hundred years later, we find an Egyptian tomb with several lines of painted "shots" of a wrestling match in progress. Men were not only adept at using a medium to replicate his visual experiences in still imagery, but also taking them and making them move as in nature, experiencing early on, the very basic tenets of animation as used today.

The Rise of the Movie Camera & Other Offshoots

The earliest animations were painted depictions of movement but more advanced methods came with the use of the magic lantern and was an important step making the invention of roll film possible.

Film quickly replaced the Victorian-age zoetrope-type instruments being used for entertainment during that time. The photographic representation of animation took the art to entirely new levels.

The movie camera and movie projector were developed at the dawn of roll film. Having had a long row of still images that were shot in quick succession, the unexposed film inside the camera was advanced with a special mechanism geared to taking shots at the proper film and shutter speeds.

The movie projector began as a box with an eyepiece patrons would use to view the film rolling inside. These projectors were set up in a parlour, much like strip joint or adult novelty stores (of all places) still use this method today but with our technology. Patrons inserted coins to view the movies.

The Latter 20th Century Developments of the Movie Camera

The term, “cinema” refers primarily to photographic movie-making, but it technically refers to any collection of imagery, regardless of the medium it is on, so long as they move in such a way as to produce playback action movie media.

In the 1970s, magnetic tape (alas, the VHS video cassette, followed by the laser disk, DVD technology and finally, the computer. The latter would all but replace roll film as digital technology takes over, giving rise to today’s fast-moving sports cameras and other video wonders.

In Recap of the Above:

  • For many years we have delved into the realm of animation as is readily shown in early art. It is as old, or older than the earliest uses of the camera obscura.
  • Most of the concepts involving animation were already known and in use by our prehistoric ancestors. The same is true for the camera obscura effect.
  • A number of inventions using specially-designed disks and cylinders make for 19th-century entertainment. These mediums had sequenced drawings or paintings on them which was looped upon itself, forming a seamless repeat animation.
  • Both the movie camera and movie projector were invented and perfected at about the same time and very soon after roll film itself came into existence. These gave rise to the earliest movie houses where patrons would view clips through an eyepiece.
  • Further developments include the television, VCR/VCPs, video disks, DVD and computer, which all had their place in motion picture development, and in the history of the camera.

Today’s video industry and the fine selection of high-tech, extreme-action high-definition cameras available, all lend their existence to the utilization of some of the earliest-known natural occurrences marveled by man.


Street Talk

SALONI  

wow! amazing!!! camera is truly a boon to humanity. also how you wrote the article was absolutely cool,i loved the composition.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I never appreciated the camera like I do now since I've been doing these articles on its history. Thanks for your encouraging reply!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Very nice article Daniel!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks David!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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