Thomas Sutton (photographer)

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Thomas Sutton
Bornc.1819
Died19 March 1875(1875-03-19) (aged 55–56)
Occupation
  • Photographer
  • author
  • inventor
The first permanent colour photograph, taken by Sutton in 1861 using the method proposed by James Clerk Maxwell Tartan Ribbon.jpg
The first permanent colour photograph, taken by Sutton in 1861 using the method proposed by James Clerk Maxwell

Thomas Sutton (1819 – 19 March 1875, in Kensington [1] [2] ) was an English photographer, author, and inventor.

Life

Thomas Sutton went to school in Newington Butts and studied architecture for four years before studying at Caius College, Cambridge graduating in 1846 as the 29th wrangler. [3] He opened a photographic studio in Jersey the following year under the patronage of Prince Albert. [4] In 1855 he set up a photographic company in Jersey with business partner Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard that produced prints from calotype negatives.[ citation needed ] The following year, Sutton and Blanquart-Evrard founded the journal Photographic Notes, which Sutton edited for eleven years. A prolific author, Sutton wrote a number of books on the subject of photography, including the Dictionary of Photography in 1858.

In 1859, Sutton developed the earliest panoramic camera with a wide-angle lens. The lens consisted of a glass sphere filled with water, which projected an image onto a curved plate. The camera was capable of capturing an image in a 120 degree arc. [4]

In 1861, Sutton created the first single lens reflex camera.

Sutton was the photographer for James Clerk Maxwell's pioneering 1861 demonstration of colour photography. In a practical trial of a thought-experiment Maxwell had published in 1855, Sutton took three separate black-and-white photographs of a multicoloured ribbon, one through a blue filter, one through a green filter, and one through a red filter. Using three projectors equipped with similar filters, the three photographs were projected superimposed on a screen. The additive primaries variously blended to reproduce a gamut of colour. The photographic materials available to Sutton were mainly sensitive to blue light, barely sensitive to green and practically insensitive to red, so the result was only a partial success. Forty years later, adequately panchromatic plates and films had made excellent colour reproduction possible by this method, as demonstrated by the work of Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky. The principle of reproducing a full range of colour by three-colour analysis and synthesis is based on the nature of human colour vision and underlies nearly all practical chemical and electronic colour imaging technologies. Sutton's ribbon image is sometimes called the first colour photograph. There were, in fact, earlier and possibly better colour photographs made by experimenters who used a completely different, more purely chemical process, but the colours rapidly faded when exposed to light for viewing. Sutton's photographs preserved the colour information in black-and-white silver images containing no actual colouring matter, so they are very light-fast and durable and the set may reasonably be described as the first permanent colour photograph.

Sutton also worked on the development of dry photographic plates.

Related Research Articles

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Photography is the art, application, and practice of creating durable images by recording light, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film. It is employed in many fields of science, manufacturing, and business, as well as its more direct uses for art, film and video production, recreational purposes, hobby, and mass communication.

Photograph Image created by light falling on a light-sensitive surface

A photograph is an image created by light falling on a photosensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic image sensor, such as a CCD or a CMOS chip. Most photographs are now created using a smartphone/camera, which uses a lens to focus the scene's visible wavelengths of light into a reproduction of what the human eye would see. The process and practice of creating such images is called photography.

Camera Optical device for recording images

A camera is an optical instrument that captures a visual image. At a basic level, cameras consist of sealed boxes, with a small hole that allows light through to capture an image on a light-sensitive surface. Cameras have various mechanisms to control how the light falls onto the light-sensitive surface. Lenses focus the light entering the camera. The aperture can be narrowed or widened. A shutter mechanism determines the amount of time the photosensitive surface is exposed to light.

The following list comprises significant milestones in the development of photography technology.

Daguerreotype Photographic process

Daguerreotype was the first publicly available photographic process; it was widely used during the 1840s and 1850s. "Daguerreotype" also refers to an image created through this process.

Astrophotography Astronomical imaging

Astrophotography, also known as astronomical imaging, is the photography or imaging of astronomical objects, celestial events, or areas of the night sky. The first photograph of an astronomical object was taken in 1840, but it was not until the late 19th century that advances in technology allowed for detailed stellar photography. Besides being able to record the details of extended objects such as the Moon, Sun, and planets, modern astrophotography has the ability to image objects invisible to the human eye such as dim stars, nebulae, and galaxies. This is done by long time exposure since both film and digital cameras can accumulate and sum photons over these long periods of time.

Additive color Model for predicting color created by mixing visible light

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Autochrome Lumière

The Autochrome Lumière was an early color photography process patented in 1903 by the Lumière brothers in France and first marketed in 1907. Autochrome was an additive color "mosaic screen plate" process. It was the principal color photography process in use before the advent of subtractive color film in the mid-1930s.

Panoramic photography is a technique of photography, using specialized equipment or software, that captures images with horizontally elongated fields of view. It is sometimes known as wide format photography. The term has also been applied to a photograph that is cropped to a relatively wide aspect ratio, like the familiar letterbox format in wide-screen video.

Albumen print Photographic process

The albumen print, also called albumen silver print, was published in January 1847 by Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard, and was the first commercially exploitable method of producing a photographic print on a paper base from a negative. It used the albumen found in egg whites to bind the photographic chemicals to the paper and became the dominant form of photographic positives from 1855 to the start of the 20th century, with a peak in the 1860-90 period. During the mid-19th century, the carte de visite became one of the more popular uses of the albumen method. In the 19th century, E. & H. T. Anthony & Company were the largest makers and distributors of the Albumen photographic prints and paper in the United States.

Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky Russian chemist and photographer (1863–1944)

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Color photography is photography that uses media capable of capturing and reproducing colors. By contrast, black-and-white or gray-monochrome photography records only a single channel of luminance (brightness) and uses media capable only of showing shades of gray.

Enlarger

An enlarger is a specialized transparency projector used to produce photographic prints from film or glass negatives, or from transparencies.

Infrared photography Near-infrared imaging

In infrared photography, the film or image sensor used is sensitive to infrared light. The part of the spectrum used is referred to as near-infrared to distinguish it from far-infrared, which is the domain of thermal imaging. Wavelengths used for photography range from about 700 nm to about 900 nm. Film is usually sensitive to visible light too, so an infrared-passing filter is used; this lets infrared (IR) light pass through to the camera, but blocks all or most of the visible light spectrum.

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Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard

Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard was a French inventor, photographer and photo publisher. Being a cloth merchant by trade, in the 1840s he developed interest in photography and focused on technical and economical issues of mass production of photo prints.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to photography:

Photographic film Film used by film (analog) cameras

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Farnham Maxwell-Lyte

Farnham Maxwell-Lyte FRSC was an English chemist and the pioneer of a number of techniques in photographic processing. As a photographer he is known for his views of the French Pyrenees.

Adolf Miethe

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References

  1. "Thomas Sutton - Historic Camera History Librarium". historiccamera.com.
  2. "Biography: Thomas Sutton". victorianresearch.org.
  3. "Sutton, Thomas (STN842T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  4. 1 2 Thomas Sutton Panoramic Camera Lens