How celluloid film works

“The imaging layers contain sub-micron sized grains of silver-halide crystals that act as the photon detectors. These crystals are the heart of photographic film. They undergo a photochemical reaction when they are exposed to various forms of electromagnetic radiation — light. In addition to visible light, the silver-halide grains can be sensitized to infrared radiation.”

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/film3.htm

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