Athletics (physical culture)
Athletics is a term encompassing the human competitive sports and games requiring physical skill, the systems of training that prepare athletes for competition performance. Athletic sports or contests are competitions which are based on human physical competition, demanding the qualities of stamina and skill. Athletic sports form the bulk of popular sporting activities, with other major forms including motorsports, precision sports, extreme sports and animal sports. Athletic contests, as one of the earliest types of sport, are prehistoric and comprised a significant part of the Ancient Olympic Games, along with equestrian events; the word "athletic" is derived from the Ancient Greek: άθλος meaning "contest." Athletic sports became organized in the late 19th century with the formation of organizations such as the Amateur Athletic Union in the United States and the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques in France. The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States was established in 1906 to oversee athletic sports at college-level in the United States, known as college athletics.
Athletics has gained significant importance at educational institutions. Since the Industrial Revolution, people in the developed world have adopted an sedentary lifestyle; as a result athletics now plays a significant part in providing routine physical exercise. Athletic clubs worldwide offer athletic training facilities for multitudes of games; the word athletics is derived from the Greek word "athlos", meaning "contest" or "task." The Ancient Olympic Games were born of war and featured various forms of athletics such as running, jumping and wrestling competitions. In the modern English language the term athletics has taken on two distinct meanings, its meaning in American English broadly denotes human physical sports and their respective systems of training. The other, narrower principal meaning of the word comes from British English and variants within the British Commonwealth. Gender and genetics play major roles in athletic body types. Fewer football leagues exist for women. Basketball, high jump, volleyball favor taller athletes, while gymnastics and wrestling favor shorter ones.
Long distance runners tend to be thinner, while competitive powerlifters and American football players tend to be stockier. Athletic development begins with athletic parents. Physical conditioning is a primary athletic function for competition. Most trainers utilize proven athletic principles to develop athletic qualities. While physical strength is prized over most other qualities in Western athletics, it is forbidden in the physical conditioning of T'ai chi ch'uan. Sports medicine not only treats injuries with medical procedure, but attempts to prevent problems such as trauma and overuse injuries. Sports medicine can include the use of massage, glucose testing, physical therapy, performance-enhancing drugs like caffeine and anabolic steroids. Sports nutrition is the study and practice of nutrition and diet as they relate to athletic performance, it is concerned with the type and quantity of fluid and food taken by an athlete, deals with nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and organic substances such as carbohydrates and fats.
Although an important part of many sports training regimens, it is most intensely applied in strength sports and endurance sports. Athletes first learn basic movement patterns such as running, stopping and throwing. Coaches help athletes refine these movements into sport specific skills. A skill such as high jumping can be refined into a competitive technique like the Western roll or the Fosbury Flop. An individual’s expression of a technique is called a style. Team sports develop and practice plays or strategies where players carry out specific tasks to coordinate a team effort of attack or defense. Technical training may include teaching the rules and restrictions of a sport or game. Elite athletes and teams require high-level coaching. A coach is associated only with an athlete’s technical development. Coaches may not involve sportsmanship in their program. Coaching signifies a quadrennial, ongoing mentorship for athletic development, as opposed to a clinician who might only assist for a short period of time.
Not only must coaches be able to teach technical form, but recognize and correct problems with a teams' or an athlete’s technique and conditioning. Recent advancements in video technology can provide accurate biomechanical data to optimize the form, timing and power of an athlete’s movements. Critical to a team’s or an athlete’s success is a winning attitude. Inherent in the drive to win is the ability to remain relaxed and focused under the pressure of
The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that has six strings. It is played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the finger/fingernails of one hand, while fretting with the fingers of the other hand; the sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar, or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker. The guitar is a type of chordophone, traditionally constructed from wood and strung with either gut, nylon or steel strings and distinguished from other chordophones by its construction and tuning; the modern guitar was preceded by the gittern, the vihuela, the four-course Renaissance guitar, the five-course baroque guitar, all of which contributed to the development of the modern six-string instrument. There are three main types of modern acoustic guitar: the classical guitar, the steel-string acoustic guitar, the archtop guitar, sometimes called a "jazz guitar"; the tone of an acoustic guitar is produced by the strings' vibration, amplified by the hollow body of the guitar, which acts as a resonating chamber.
The classical guitar is played as a solo instrument using a comprehensive finger-picking technique where each string is plucked individually by the player's fingers, as opposed to being strummed. The term "finger-picking" can refer to a specific tradition of folk, blues and country guitar playing in the United States; the acoustic bass guitar is a low-pitched instrument, one octave below a regular guitar. Electric guitars, introduced in the 1930s, use an amplifier and a loudspeaker that both makes the sound of the instrument loud enough for the performers and audience to hear, given that it produces an electric signal when played, that can electronically manipulate and shape the tone using an equalizer and a huge variety of electronic effects units, the most used ones being distortion and reverb. Early amplified guitars employed a hollow body, but solid wood guitars began to dominate during the 1960s and 1970s, as they are less prone to unwanted acoustic feedback "howls"; as with acoustic guitars, there are a number of types of electric guitars, including hollowbody guitars, archtop guitars and solid-body guitars, which are used in rock music.
The loud, amplified sound and sonic power of the electric guitar played through a guitar amp has played a key role in the development of blues and rock music, both as an accompaniment instrument and performing guitar solos, in many rock subgenres, notably heavy metal music and punk rock. The electric guitar has had a major influence on popular culture; the guitar is used in a wide variety of musical genres worldwide. It is recognized as a primary instrument in genres such as blues, country, folk, jota, metal, reggae, rock and many forms of pop. Before the development of the electric guitar and the use of synthetic materials, a guitar was defined as being an instrument having "a long, fretted neck, flat wooden soundboard, a flat back, most with incurved sides." The term is used to refer to a number of chordophones that were developed and used across Europe, beginning in the 12th century and in the Americas. A 3,300-year-old stone carving of a Hittite bard playing a stringed instrument is the oldest iconographic representation of a chordophone and clay plaques from Babylonia show people playing an instrument that has a strong resemblance to the guitar, indicating a possible Babylonian origin for the guitar.
The modern word guitar, its antecedents, has been applied to a wide variety of chordophones since classical times and as such causes confusion. The English word guitar, the German Gitarre, the French guitare were all adopted from the Spanish guitarra, which comes from the Andalusian Arabic قيثارة and the Latin cithara, which in turn came from the Ancient Greek κιθάρα. Which comes from the Persian word "sihtar"; this pattern of naming is visible in setar and sitar. The word "tar" at the end of all of these words is a Persian word that means "string". Many influences are cited as antecedents to the modern guitar. Although the development of the earliest "guitars" is lost in the history of medieval Spain, two instruments are cited as their most influential predecessors, the European lute and its cousin, the four-string oud. At least two instruments called "guitars" were in use in Spain by 1200: the guitarra latina and the so-called guitarra morisca; the guitarra morisca had a rounded back, wide fingerboard, several sound holes.
The guitarra Latina had a narrower neck. By the 14th century the qualifiers "moresca" or "morisca" and "latina" had been dropped, these two cordophones were referred to as guitars; the Spanish vihuela, called in Italian the "viola da mano", a guitar-like instrument of the 15th and 16th centuries, is considered to have been the single most important influence in the development of the baroque guitar. It had six courses, lute-like tuning in fourths and a guitar-like body, although early representations reveal an instrument with a cut waist, it was larger than the contemporary four-course guitars. By the 16th century, the vihuela's construction had more in common with the modern guitar, with its curved one-piece ribs, than with the viols, more like a larger version of the contemporary four-course guita
Drawing is a form of visual art in which a person uses various drawing instruments to mark paper or another two-dimensional medium. Instruments include graphite pencils and ink, various kinds of paints, inked brushes, colored pencils, charcoal, pastels, various kinds of erasers, markers and various metals. Digital drawing is the act of using a computer to draw. Common methods of digital drawing include a stylus or finger on a touchscreen device, stylus- or finger-to-touchpad, or in some cases, a mouse. There are many digital art devices. A drawing instrument releases a small amount of material onto a surface; the most common support for drawing is paper, although other materials, such as cardboard, plastic, leather and board, may be used. Temporary drawings may be made on a blackboard or whiteboard or indeed anything; the medium has been a fundamental means of public expression throughout human history. It is one of most efficient means of communicating visual ideas; the wide availability of drawing instruments makes drawing one of the most common artistic activities.
In addition to its more artistic forms, drawing is used in commercial illustration, architecture and technical drawing. A quick, freehand drawing not intended as a finished work, is sometimes called a sketch. An artist who practices or works in technical drawing may be called a drafter, draftsman or a draughtsman. Drawing is one of the oldest forms of human expression within the visual arts, it is concerned with the marking of lines and areas of tone onto paper/other material, where the accurate representation of the visual world is expressed upon a plane surface. Traditional drawings were monochrome, or at least had little colour, while modern colored-pencil drawings may approach or cross a boundary between drawing and painting. In Western terminology, drawing is distinct from painting though similar media are employed in both tasks. Dry media associated with drawing, such as chalk, may be used in pastel paintings. Drawing may be done with a liquid medium, applied with pens. Similar supports can serve both: painting involves the application of liquid paint onto prepared canvas or panels, but sometimes an underdrawing is drawn first on that same support.
Drawing is exploratory, with considerable emphasis on observation, problem-solving and composition. Drawing is regularly used in preparation for a painting, further obfuscating their distinction. Drawings created. There are several categories of drawing, including figure drawing, cartooning and freehand. There are many drawing methods, such as line drawing, shading, the surrealist method of entopic graphomania, tracing. A quick, unrefined drawing may be called a sketch. In fields outside art, technical drawings or plans of buildings, machinery and other things are called "drawings" when they have been transferred to another medium by printing. Drawing is one of the oldest forms of human expression, with evidence for its existence preceding that of written communication, it is believed that drawing was used as a specialised form of communication before the invention of the written language, demonstrated by the production of cave and rock paintings around 30,000 years ago. These drawings, known as pictograms, depicted abstract concepts.
The sketches and paintings produced by Neolithic times were stylised and simplified in to symbol systems and into early writing systems. Before the widespread availability of paper, 12th-century monks in European monasteries used intricate drawings to prepare illustrated, illuminated manuscripts on vellum and parchment. Drawing has been used extensively in the field of science, as a method of discovery and explanation. In 1609, astronomer Galileo Galilei explained the changing phases of the moon through his observational telescopic drawings. In 1924, geophysicist Alfred Wegener used illustrations to visually demonstrate the origin of the continents. Drawing is used to express one's creativity, therefore has been prominent in the world of art. Throughout much of history, drawing was regarded as the foundation for artistic practice. Artists used and reused wooden tablets for the production of their drawings. Following the widespread availability of paper in the 14th century, the use of drawing in the arts increased.
At this point, drawing was used as a tool for thought and investigation, acting as a study medium whilst artists were preparing for their final pieces of work. The Renaissance brought about a great sophistication in drawing techniques, enabling artists to represent things more realistically than before, revealing an interest in geometry and philosophy; the invention of the first available form of photography led to a shift in the hierarchy of the arts. Photography offered an alternative to drawing as a method for representing visual phenomena, traditional drawing practice was given less emphasis as an essential skill for artists so in Western society. Drawing became significant as an art form around the late 15th century, with artists and master engravers such as Albrecht Dürer and Martin Schongauer, the first Northern engraver known by name. Schongauer came from Alsac
Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course in as few strokes as possible. Golf, unlike most ball games and does not utilize a standardized playing area, coping with the varied terrains encountered on different courses is a key part of the game; the game at the usual level is played on a course with an arranged progression of 18 holes, though recreational courses can be smaller having 9 holes. Each hole on the course must contain a tee box to start from, a putting green containing the actual hole or cup 4 1⁄4 inches in diameter. There are other standard forms of terrain in between, such as the fairway, rough and various hazards but each hole on a course is unique in its specific layout and arrangement. Golf is played for the lowest number of strokes by an individual, known as stroke play, or the lowest score on the most individual holes in a complete round by an individual or team, known as match play. Stroke play is the most seen format at all levels, but most at the elite level.
The modern game of golf originated in 15th century Scotland. The 18-hole round was created at the Old Course at St Andrews in 1764. Golf's first major, the world's oldest tournament in existence, is The Open Championship known as the British Open, first played in 1860 in Ayrshire, Scotland; this is one of the four major championships in men's professional golf, the other three being played in the United States: The Masters, the U. S. Open, the PGA Championship. While the modern game of golf originated in 15th-century Scotland, the game's ancient origins are unclear and much debated; some historians trace the sport back to the Roman game of paganica, in which participants used a bent stick to hit a stuffed leather ball. One theory asserts that paganica spread throughout Europe as the Romans conquered most of the continent, during the first century BC, evolved into the modern game. Others cite chuiwan as the progenitor, a Chinese game played between the eighth and fourteenth centuries. A Ming Dynasty scroll dating back to 1368 entitled "The Autumn Banquet" shows a member of the Chinese Imperial court swinging what appears to be a golf club at a small ball with the aim of sinking it into a hole.
The game is thought to have been introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages. Another early game that resembled modern golf was known as chambot in France; the Persian game chaugán is another possible ancient origin. In addition, kolven was played annually in Loenen, beginning in 1297, to commemorate the capture of the assassin of Floris V, a year earlier; the modern game originated in Scotland, where the first written record of golf is James II's banning of the game in 1457, as an unwelcome distraction to learning archery. James IV lifted the ban in 1502 when he became a golfer himself, with golf clubs first recorded in 1503–1504: "For golf clubbes and balles to the King that he playit with". To many golfers, the Old Course at St Andrews, a links course dating to before 1574, is considered to be a site of pilgrimage. In 1764, the standard 18-hole golf course was created at St Andrews when members modified the course from 22 to 18 holes. Golf is documented as being played on Musselburgh Links, East Lothian, Scotland as early as 2 March 1672, certified as the oldest golf course in the world by Guinness World Records.
The oldest surviving rules of golf were compiled in March 1744 for the Company of Gentlemen Golfers renamed The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, played at Leith, Scotland. The world's oldest golf tournament in existence, golf's first major, is The Open Championship, first played on 17 October 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club, in Ayrshire, with Scottish golfers winning the earliest majors. Two Scotsmen from Dunfermline, John Reid and Robert Lockhart, first demonstrated golf in the U. S. by setting up a hole in an orchard in 1888, with Reid setting up America's first golf club the same year, Saint Andrew's Golf Club in Yonkers, New York. A golf course consists of either 9 or 18 holes, each with a teeing ground, set off by two markers showing the bounds of the legal tee area, fairway and other hazards, the putting green surrounded by the fringe with the pin and cup; the levels of grass are varied to increase difficulty, or to allow for putting in the case of the green. While many holes are designed with a direct line-of-sight from the teeing area to the green, some holes may bend either to the left or to the right.
This is called a "dogleg", in reference to a dog's knee. The hole is called a "dogleg left" if the hole angles leftwards and "dogleg right" if it bends right. Sometimes, a hole's direction may bend twice. A regular golf course consists of 18 holes, but nine-hole courses are common and can be played twice through for a full round of 18 holes. Early Scottish golf courses were laid out on links land, soil-covered sand dunes directly inland from beaches; this gave rise to the term "golf links" applied to seaside courses and those built on sandy soil inland. The first 18-hole golf course in the United States was on a sheep farm in Downers Grove, Illinois, in 1892; the course is still there today. Every round of golf is based on playing a number of holes in a given order. A "round" consists of 18 holes that are played in the order determined by the course layout; each hole is played once in the round on a standard course of 18 holes. The game can be played by any number of people, although a typ
American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves; the offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, otherwise they turn over the football to the defense. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal; the team with the most points at the end of a game wins. American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sports of association football and rugby football; the first match of American football was played on November 6, 1869, between two college teams and Princeton, under rules based on the association football rules of the time.
During the latter half of the 1870s, colleges playing association football switched to the Rugby Union code, which allowed carrying the ball. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, the line of scrimmage, eleven-player teams, the concept of downs; the sport is related to Canadian football, which evolved parallel and contemporary to the American game, most of the features that distinguish American football from rugby and soccer are present in Canadian football. American football as a whole is the most popular sport in the United States; the most popular forms of the game are professional and college football, with the other major levels being high school and youth football. As of 2012, nearly 1.1 million high school athletes and 70,000 college athletes play the sport in the United States annually all of them men, with a few exceptions. The National Football League, the most popular American football league, has the highest average attendance of any professional sports league in the world.
In the United States, American Football is called "football". The terms "gridiron" or "American football" are favored in English-speaking countries where other codes of football are popular, such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia. American football evolved from the sports of rugby football. Rugby football, like American football, is a sport where two competing teams vie for control of a ball, which can be kicked through a set of goalposts or run into the opponent's goal area to score points. What is considered to be the first American football game was played on November 6, 1869, between Rutgers and Princeton, two college teams; the game was played between two teams of 25 players each and used a round ball that could not be picked up or carried. It could, however, be kicked or batted with the feet, head or sides, with the ultimate goal being to advance it into the opponent's goal. Rutgers won the game 6 goals to 4. Collegiate play continued for several years in which matches were played using the rules of the host school.
Representatives of Yale, Columbia and Rutgers met on October 19, 1873 to create a standard set of rules for all schools to adhere to. Teams were set at 20 players each, fields of 400 by 250 feet were specified. Harvard abstained from the conference, as they favored a rugby-style game that allowed running with the ball. After playing McGill University using both Canadian and American rules, the Harvard players preferred the Canadian style having only 11 men on the field, running the ball without having to be chased by an opponent, the forward pass and using an oblong instead of a round ball. An 1875 Harvard–Yale game played under rugby-style rules was observed by two impressed Princeton athletes; these players introduced the sport to Princeton, a feat the Professional Football Researchers Association compared to "selling refrigerators to Eskimos." Princeton, Harvard and Columbia agreed to intercollegiate play using a form of rugby union rules with a modified scoring system. These schools formed the Intercollegiate Football Association, although Yale did not join until 1879.
Yale player Walter Camp, now regarded as the "Father of American Football", secured rule changes in 1880 that reduced the size of each team from 15 to 11 players and instituted the snap to replace the chaotic and inconsistent scrum. The introduction of the snap resulted in unexpected consequences. Prior to the snap, the strategy had been to punt. However, a group of Princeton players realized that, as the snap was uncontested, they now could hold the ball indefinitely to prevent their opponent from scoring. In 1881, both teams in a game between Yale-Princeton used this strategy to maintain their undefeated records; each team held the ball. This "block game" proved unpopular with the spectators and fans of both teams. A rule change was necessary to prevent this strategy from taking hold, a reversion to the scrum was considered. However, Camp proposed a rule in 1882 that limited each team to three downs, or tackles, to adva
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Photography is the art and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film. It is employed in many fields of science and business, as well as its more direct uses for art and video production, recreational purposes and mass communication. A lens is used to focus the light reflected or emitted from objects into a real image on the light-sensitive surface inside a camera during a timed exposure. With an electronic image sensor, this produces an electrical charge at each pixel, electronically processed and stored in a digital image file for subsequent display or processing; the result with photographic emulsion is an invisible latent image, chemically "developed" into a visible image, either negative or positive depending on the purpose of the photographic material and the method of processing. A negative image on film is traditionally used to photographically create a positive image on a paper base, known as a print, either by using an enlarger or by contact printing.
The word "photography" was created from the Greek roots φωτός, genitive of φῶς, "light" and γραφή "representation by means of lines" or "drawing", together meaning "drawing with light". Several people may have coined the same new term from these roots independently. Hercules Florence, a French painter and inventor living in Campinas, used the French form of the word, photographie, in private notes which a Brazilian historian believes were written in 1834; this claim is reported but has never been independently confirmed as beyond reasonable doubt. The German newspaper Vossische Zeitung of 25 February 1839 contained an article entitled Photographie, discussing several priority claims – Henry Fox Talbot's – regarding Daguerre's claim of invention; the article is the earliest known occurrence of the word in public print. It was signed "J. M.", believed to have been Berlin astronomer Johann von Maedler. The inventors Nicéphore Niépce, Henry Fox Talbot and Louis Daguerre seem not to have known or used the word "photography", but referred to their processes as "Heliography", "Photogenic Drawing"/"Talbotype"/"Calotype" and "Daguerreotype".
Photography is the result of combining several technical discoveries, relating to seeing an image and capturing the image. The discovery of the camera obscura that provides an image of a scene dates back to ancient China. Greek mathematicians Aristotle and Euclid independently described a pinhole camera in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE. In the 6th century CE, Byzantine mathematician Anthemius of Tralles used a type of camera obscura in his experiments; the Arab physicist Ibn al-Haytham invented a camera obscura and pinhole camera. Leonardo da Vinci mentions natural camera obscura that are formed by dark caves on the edge of a sunlit valley. A hole in the cave wall will act as a pinhole camera and project a laterally reversed, upside down image on a piece of paper. Renaissance painters used the camera obscura which, in fact, gives the optical rendering in color that dominates Western Art, it is a box with a hole in it which allows light to go through and create an image onto the piece of paper.
The birth of photography was concerned with inventing means to capture and keep the image produced by the camera obscura. Albertus Magnus discovered silver nitrate, Georg Fabricius discovered silver chloride, the techniques described in Ibn al-Haytham's Book of Optics are capable of producing primitive photographs using medieval materials. Daniele Barbaro described a diaphragm in 1566. Wilhelm Homberg described how light darkened some chemicals in 1694; the fiction book Giphantie, published in 1760, by French author Tiphaigne de la Roche, described what can be interpreted as photography. Around the year 1800, British inventor Thomas Wedgwood made the first known attempt to capture the image in a camera obscura by means of a light-sensitive substance, he used paper or white leather treated with silver nitrate. Although he succeeded in capturing the shadows of objects placed on the surface in direct sunlight, made shadow copies of paintings on glass, it was reported in 1802 that "the images formed by means of a camera obscura have been found too faint to produce, in any moderate time, an effect upon the nitrate of silver."
The shadow images darkened all over. The first permanent photoetching was an image produced in 1822 by the French inventor Nicéphore Niépce, but it was destroyed in a attempt to make prints from it. Niépce was successful again in 1825. In 1826 or 1827, he made the View from the Window at Le Gras, the earliest surviving photograph from nature; because Niépce's camera photographs required an long exposure, he sought to improve his bitumen process or replace it with one, more practical. In partnership with Louis Daguerre, he worked out post-exposure processing methods that produced visually superior results and replaced the bitumen with a more light-sensitive resin, but hours of exposure in the camera were still required. With an eye to eventual commercial exploitation, the partners opted for total secrecy. Niépce died in 1833 and Daguerre redirected the experiments toward the light-sensitive silver halides, which Niépce had abandoned many years earlier because of his inability to make the images he captured with them light-fast and permanent.