The Influence of Eastman Kodak Company on Photography

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It is considered that photography only became widely available to the public when the Kodak Eastman Company introduced the box shaped Brownie Camera in 1900. (Baker, n.p.) Its features became more refined since its original placing on the market; one of the reasons why it has become considered the birth of public photography is because of the processing. Using a similar image capture system, the brownie exposed the light to a 120mm roll of film, which could be wound round, meaning six photographs could be taken before the slides needed removing. The first Brownie used a six-exposure cartridge that Kodak processed for the photographer. (, n.d.) Realistically, the armature photographers did not need to understand darkroom processes, they could simply use capture the subjects, and send it to be developed. The cameras were relatively affordable, targeting many different markets, which is apparent from their advertisements. Figure 2 Is an advertisement from for the Eastman Kodak Company’s Brownie Camera; It states in bold lettering “Operated by any school boy or girl” which emphasis how it was targeted for amateur use.

Figure 2. Eastman Kodak Company Advertisement (Undated)

Leica introduced a small format 35mm camera in 1925. This smaller machine revolutionized the way photographers could transport the camera, as they could photograph discretely in all situations. (, n.p.) Leica are considered a premium brand camera, well built and precise ensuring the images they create are quality. Leica, who are still a camera maker, have photographic galleries in Frankfurt, Los Angles, New York, Salzburg and Tokyo, alternating exhibitions of work that the Magnum Photographers captured. But from here, the 3...

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... qualities, and focal ranges, meaning the camera could calculate the appropriate settings, which before, were a educated and process.

Mary Price commented in her 1994 novel The Photograph: A Strange, Confined Space that the image is a product of the photographer. The photographer taking every kind of decision into consideration to formulate the outcome, she writes;

“The camera may be thought of as a comparable to the eye. The difference is that the camera is not more than an eye. It does not think. Any connection with judging, choosing, arranging, including, excluding, and snapping has to be with the photographer.” (Price;1994.4)

In many ways, the camera is an eye, they both gather information, which is then determined into a visual image by other components. She confidently states that the camera cannot think, making it only the photographer’s work.

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