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The Modern Photographic Process

Ultimately, the modern photographic process came about from a series of refinements and improvements on the foundations laid by William Fox Talbot. Modern PhotographyPhotography became available for the mass-market in 1901 with the introduction of the Kodak Brownie camera, and, more importantly, with the industrialisation of film processing and printing. Very little has changed in principle since then, though color film has become the standard, and automatic focus and automatic exposure. Digital recording of images is becoming increasingly prevalent, as electronic sensors become more sensitive and able to provide definition approaching chemical methods. For the enthusiast photographer processing black and white film, little has changed since the introduction of the 35mm film Leica camera in 1925.

Growth of popular photography has closely paralled the growth of telephony. The practice of both prodominately concerns communication with friends and family. In the U.S., the share of households with a camera and with a telephone was about 1% and 2%, respectively, in 1890, 44% and 35%, respectively in 1938, and 94% for both in 1995. Across this same period in the U.S., the ratio of residential telephone minutes to end-user photographs rose from 31 to 80 from 1890 to 1939, and remained roughly constant through 1995, when the ratio was 71 .Since telephone Photographic Imageconversations average about 150 words per minute, the data indicate that a picture is associated with about twelve thousand words of telephone conversation.

"A picture is worth a thousand words" is a popular English folk saying, variously described as a Chinese proverb and a saying of a famous Japanese philosopher. This saying actually arose from advertisements in a U.S. commercial media journal in the mid-1920s nevertheless, a close relationship between pictures and words in the human process of making sense seems to be an important and underappreciated aspect of human physiology and behavior.