Unit 3 Overview:
The Road to Photography


This unit explores the social context that preceded the popularization of photography in 1839. This includes early optical theories, the use of linear perspective to create illusions of depth in paintings, optical devices, and the variety of photographic processes that surfaced in the 1820s and 1830s in response to a passion to make mechanically constructed images of nature fixed and permanent.

Unit Orientation from Michelle

View the 6-minute video below or click here to read the transcript.

Unit 3 Learning Objectives

  1. Discuss the relationship between the camera obscura, pinhole camera, and other pre-19th century optical devices and a modern (i.e. film-based) camera.
  2. Identify significant experiments and processes made throughout the 1820s-30s that contributed to the advancement of photography.
  3. Discuss the major contributions made by Niepce, Daguerre, Talbot and Bayard to the origins of photography.
  4. Critically analyze the historical construction of an "invention."

What's Next?

Open the "Content & Activities" folder and dig into the meat of this week's learning unit! I will be leaving "Feedback" in the VoiceThread on Friday or Saturday this week so try to comment before then to receive some extra personalized guidance from me.  Remember to follow our VoiceThread norms and listen to all comments left on each slide before leaving your own comment. Your goals are to contribute unique content to our conversations and, when possible, build off the ideas of earlier student comments (be a superstar and reference your peers' names!).