History of the photography studio

History of the Photography Studio


The first photographic studios borrowed their influences and lighting techniques from painter’s studios using the primary source of light in the room from a large window or a sky-light.

These techniques have been used in photography imagery since the late 19th century

The main disadvantages between painting and photography at this time was even in the studio, a painter was able to produce colour images whereas photography was still in its infancy and only black and white images were possible.

The earliest means of managing the light artificially in the studio for photography was the use of flash powder, this was however quite dangerous compared to the modern flash bulbs. Studio flashes became available in the 1940’s and were liable to explode, it is only later on that these were replaced with tungsten bulbs and then these replaced by sunlight balanced bulbs along with continuous lighting available, though this wasn’t until the 1970’s that studio flash heads became affordable to the general studio user and photographer.

Glass plates also being replaced by celluloid film advanced further the ability to do more with lighting in the studio.

In the last 10 years a huge leap forward has happened in photography and the ability to do more in a studio with the birth and success of digital imaging instead of relying on film, along with the use of wireless transmitters allowing lights and flash heads to be placed almost anywhere in the room thus allowing more of the studio to be used as a canvas for the photographers imagination.

Below are some images of early and modern photography studios to show the difference of then and now.


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