How a Camera Works

Alastair Williams
Dec 4, 2020 · 7 min read

The camera is the beating heart of photography. This is the device where the magic happens — where light is captured and imprisoned, by chemical or electrical means. If you want to master photography, the camera is the essential place to start.

A Rolleiflex 3.5 camera, from the 1950s. Photo by Ardi Evans on Unsplash

There are many different types of camera. All essentially capture light, but, since the invention of the first photographic devices more than 150 years ago, countless different techniques…