Fundamentals of Photographic Theory

Fundamentals of Photographic Theory

Fundamentals of Photographic Theory

Fundamentals of Photographic Theory

Excerpt

The science of photography can be divided into several separate, though somewhat interdependent, branches, each of which can be assigned to a special field of chemistry or physics. Thus, the preparation of the light-sensitive layer is essentially a colloidal chemical operation. The action of light upon this sensitive layer is a photochemical process involving secondary physical and chemical processes. The method of transforming the light impression into a visible image is chemical in nature. Finally, the problem of evaluating the photographic image in terms of the light which initiated its formation and the light whyich enables it to be seen is essentially a problem of physics and psychophysics.

The purpose of the present book is to give a general account of the theory of the photographic process, based on the fundamental chemical and physical concepts. A basic knowledge of physics and physical chemistry is presupposed, but a specialist's knowledge in these fields is not required. The historical development of the theory of the photographic process and detailed references to original literature have been avoided for the most part. This procedure, we believe, will permit the general reader to follow the argument with greater economy of space and thought. The reader who desires greater detail on any branch of the subject will find ample material in the general references given at the end of each chapter.

Some omissions require explanation. Only the photographic process which involves the use of silver salts is considered here. This is by far the most important process. The sensitive materials which do not involve the use of silver salts are used only for special purposes, and a satisfactory treatment of the theory involved would require an expenditure of space out of all proportion to their relative importance. No attempt is made to consider the theory of lens design or of camera construction. These are separate subjects. Although they are of considerable importance to the practice of picture making, they do not belong to the science of the photo-

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