Photography using an early magnesium flash

Photography using an early magnesium flash

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Camera lighting. Engraving of an early demonstra- tion of photography using burning magnesium as a light source. Magnesium is a metal which burns with a bright, white light. The possibility of using it for illumination in photography was known in 1859 but the price of the metal was prohibitive because it was so rare. In the 1860s the price dropped to about twice the price of silver and began to be used by photographers. In 1864 the first portrait using magnesium light was made. Image of a demonstration at the Birmingham meeting of the British Association in 1865. The camera being used is a pistolgraph, a pioneering minia- ture camera designed by Thomas Skaife in 1856.

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Keywords: camera, early magnesium, early photogr, flash, historical, history of science, magnesium flash, photo, photographic, photography, photos

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