Beginning of Film

The Birth of Photography - Beginning of Film & Video Production as a DOP


Cinematographer, lighting cameraman or DOP – Director of Photography, they all are under the umbrella term - CINEMATOGRAPHY.


What does DOP – Director of Photography stand for? What does it mean to be a Cinematographer?


The beginning of Film & Video Production was the birth of Photography and the foundation of every Film, TV and Video Cameraman and DOP (Director of Photography).


The Camera Obscura was the first invented camera but an exact age of it can not be set.

Its principle is so simple that even Mother Nature creates it every day:

A dark cave with a small hole in the outer rock face is all it needs for a Camera Obscura. A caveman could have a picture upside down on his wall, opposite the hole.

It would show him a very blurred image of what is happening in front of the cave.

Even Aristoteles mentioned the projection through a hole in 4th century B.C.

Later on some painters used this principle to create more creative pictures and because the projection was too much out of focus and the exposure to low, they started to implement a lens.

To this time there was no substance to capture these pictures, such as film, tapes or hard drives.

In 1727, Johann H. Schulze, a German physicist, discovers that silver salts turn dark when exposed to light.

But it took another century until the French inventor, Joseph Nicephore Niepce, produced a permanent image by coating a tin plate with asphalt emulsion and exposing the plate to light for about eight hours.

This invention is what we could call the birth of the first picture taken by a camera.

In 1878, after many other inventions such as the "dry-plate" process using an emulsion of gelatin, the British photographer Eadweard Muybridge takes the first successful photographs of motion, showing how people and animals move.

Let us call him the first DOP – Director of Photography (or cameraman?), which is in today’s film and television industry far more then just a photographer of 10-20 single pictures to get some motion.