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Quiz about Photography History
Quiz about Photography History

Photography History Trivia Quiz


Ten questions on the very early history of photography for you. Smile for the birdie.

A multiple-choice quiz by Creedy. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
Creedy
Time
3 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
366,085
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Easy
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
1877
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Mikeytrout44 (9/10), jackseleven (8/10), Wanderess (8/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Astonishingly so, mankind began to show an interest in photography as long ago as 500 BC. What type of camera was described by several far sighted men at that time? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Almost 1,000 years later, there is a record of another mathematician, from the Byzantine era this time, using a form of a camera obscura in his work. What was the advance from the pinhole camera to the camera obscura? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Ibn al-Haytham (965-1040) experimented further on the science of optics. Of what ethnicity was he? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. By the mid 13th century, one Albertus Magnus, a Catholic Bishop and scholar, discovered which substance which would later prove to be essential in photography? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Another 400 years down the track saw the German born Georg Fabricius discovering silver chloride. Regarding photography, for which purpose is silver chloride used? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. The next big step forward was in 1566 when the Italian Daniel Barbaro discovered a diaphragm. Is it true that on a camera, this is a function that reduces light passing into the camera?


Question 7 of 10
7. Which great mind of the 15-16th century showed mother nature at work by demonstrating a natural camera obscura? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. The first success at displaying images, without having to use the camera obscura to do so, came with which father of a famous English potter? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. In 1838, who took the first confirmed photograph of a person? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Regarding the above question, France did an amazing thing with this inventor's discovery. The government of that country agreed to pay him a pension in exchange for the rights to his invention. What did that country's government do with his invention then? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Astonishingly so, mankind began to show an interest in photography as long ago as 500 BC. What type of camera was described by several far sighted men at that time?

Answer: Pinhole camera

A pinhole camera has no lens but a small hole on one side of a box that is otherwise completely light proof. When pointed towards an image of some sort, the light from this image is reflected upside down on the opposite side of the box to the pinhole. Now here we are in the 21st century and I still can't figure out how that works.

This miraculous (to me) discovery was noted by the Chinese philosopher Mo Di, and by the Greek mathematical experts, Euclid and Aristotle, in 500 and 400 BC.
2. Almost 1,000 years later, there is a record of another mathematician, from the Byzantine era this time, using a form of a camera obscura in his work. What was the advance from the pinhole camera to the camera obscura?

Answer: It projected images onto a wall

The camera obscura allowed the light into the dark box in the same fashion as the pinhole camera, but this time, the image seen therein could be reflected back up onto a wall for an audience to see. The inclusion of mirrors within the box allowed the upside down image to be projected on the wall the right way up.

This method of photography was used by Anthemius of Tralles (474-558) in his work. The smaller the pinhole, the sharper the image became. So simple, yet so astonishing.
3. Ibn al-Haytham (965-1040) experimented further on the science of optics. Of what ethnicity was he?

Answer: Arab

This brilliant man was a polymath who worked extensively in an amazing range of fields. These included geometry, perception, mathematics and physics among others. He wrote many detailed works on same and became known throughout Europe at that time as Ptolemy II.

He theorised that light was reflected from any visual body in any straight line and from any angle. He experimented on this theory using lenses, mirrors and reflections, and, almost as a side thought, he described thoroughly how this worked with his detailed description and analysis of the camera obscura.

The puzzling thing is why the camera as we know it today didn't come into use far earlier than it eventually did.
4. By the mid 13th century, one Albertus Magnus, a Catholic Bishop and scholar, discovered which substance which would later prove to be essential in photography?

Answer: Silver nitrate

Scholar, philosopher and Catholic priest, Albertus Magnus, lived from approximately 1193 until 1280. His reputation was vast and he has often been described as the greatest German philosopher of the Middle Age. He not only read and studied science deeply, he put it into practice with his many experiments, and by making detailed notes of same in all that he did. Unfortunately these experiments, which included alchemy, gave him a bit of a reputation, in a superstitious uneducated world, of dabbling in witchcraft. He managed to survive these dangerous murmurings and lived to be a ripe old age.

Silver nitrate is an inorganic compound which is the honoured ancestor of many silver compounds used today. It was extensively used in photography. Magnus discovered, in his dabblings, that when he separated particles of gold and silver from each other, by dissolving the silver, a solution of silver nitrate, which blackened the skin and captured light, was the result. Silver nitrate is used for various other functions today as well.
5. Another 400 years down the track saw the German born Georg Fabricius discovering silver chloride. Regarding photography, for which purpose is silver chloride used?

Answer: To make photographic paper and images

Photo prints are created when paper, treated with the silver chloride, allows photographic images, known as latent images, to appear on that paper. A latent image is one in which an almost invisible representation of the picture taken develops on the photographic film.

This image is transparent until treated with photographic developer. George Fabricius (1516-1571) was a German poet and historian. Much of his life's work and writings centred around these skills and that of archaeology, but along the way he found time to discover silver chloride, quite possibly in an effort to capture images of his work.
6. The next big step forward was in 1566 when the Italian Daniel Barbaro discovered a diaphragm. Is it true that on a camera, this is a function that reduces light passing into the camera?

Answer: Yes

The role of the diaphragm in photography is to stop any excess light passing into the camera until the aperture is opened. This is likened to the human eye. An aperture is to a diaphragm as a pupil is to an iris. The aperture is at the centre of the diaphragm. Early in the history of photography, different lenses had to be inserted into the camera to perform this function. Today however, the same job is done by moving blades within the camera.

The Italian cleric, Daniel Barbaro (1513-1570) discovered its use while working on one of his academic works on perspectives for artists.

This work deals, in part, with using a lens for the camera obscura.
7. Which great mind of the 15-16th century showed mother nature at work by demonstrating a natural camera obscura?

Answer: Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo lived from 1452-1519. He also was a polymath - painter, sculptor, mathematician, architect, musician, engineer, and with a host of other astonishing skills. He demonstrated the use of nature's camera obscura with his observations of dark caves overlooking valleys full of sunlight below.

He showed that a hole in the wall of such a cave allowed enough light through to project an upside image on paper.
8. The first success at displaying images, without having to use the camera obscura to do so, came with which father of a famous English potter?

Answer: Thomas Wedgwood III

Thomas Wedgwood III was an English Potter who lived from 1685 until 1739. He was the father of the famous English potter Josiah Wedgwood who founded the Wedgwood Company which manufactured mass produced pottery during the Industrial Age. Thomas came up with the idea of catching images of various objects, usually paintings, on leather.

He did this by using silver salts. He did not however find a way to permanently fix those reproductions so that they could be displayed under normal light. When doing so, they turned black - and so they could only be viewed by going into a darkened room. Still, it was a very important step forward.
9. In 1838, who took the first confirmed photograph of a person?

Answer: Louis Daguerre

Louis Daguerre (1787-1851) enabled our past to be permanently recorded from that time on. That's a pretty amazing advance, isn't it? This Frenchman took early attempts at photography by French inventor Nicephore Niepce (1765-1833) and worked on them stubbornly until he had perfected the means to capture a subject in film after only ten minutes of that subject posing. Prior to this it had taken several hours to capture anything on film.

The first known "still" photograph of anything in the world was by Niepce.

This a was "A View from the Window at Le Gras" taken by him, circa 1826. It had taken hours to catch on film. Daguerre's process was vastly shorter, and his photographs became known as daguerreotypes, but even with the ten minutes posing time for the camera, this explains why the earliest photographs of our ancestors show them, not smiling, but staring stolidly into the lens of the camera. That, and they probably had bad teeth - but try smiling fixedly for ten minutes at a camera without moving a muscle on your face.

It's downright uncomfortable. (I just tried smiling in that manner for ten minutes at my little grandson. He started to cry)
10. Regarding the above question, France did an amazing thing with this inventor's discovery. The government of that country agreed to pay him a pension in exchange for the rights to his invention. What did that country's government do with his invention then?

Answer: Released it to the world as a gift from France

That, you must agree, is a really remarkable and generous thing to do. I must stop criticising the French for killing and eating harmless frogs and snails. But the rest, as they say, is history. The world of photography and instantly reproduced photographs was just a step around the corner. Who knows what other advances await the world.
Source: Author Creedy

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor WesleyCrusher before going online.
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