Introduction

Both words in the phrase digital photography denote an activity that is important, magical, and powerful.

In the early days, about 150 years ago, photographs were created using now-arcane chemical techniques such as the daguerreotype, albumen, and wet collodion processes. Photography was a worldwide sensation: you could create lifelike images without drawing or painting by hand. The wordphotography, which comes from Greek and literally means to paint with light, reflects this early perception of the magic and miracle of photography.

As the twentieth century progressed, black-and-white photography was dominated by silver halide chemistry. Photographers made exposures on film, and worked in darkrooms lit by soulful red lights to expose film negatives to the silver halide grains in photographic paper.

Eventually the color photographic film chemistries and technologies we are familiar with today emerged. But whatever the processes, one thing did not change: Photography is the dominant way we learn about and perceive our world, our history, and ourselves

The magic is still there. With digital photography, it is more magical, and more fun, than ever.

Technologic innovation continued. Silver halide was not the end of the line. The industrial age turned to the digital age, and the twentieth century faded. Computers came of age. No longer a chicken in every pot, satisfaction was guaranteed by a PC, a MAC, an IPod, and, yes, a digital camera in every home

Make no mistake, access to ...

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