The History of Photography

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

Photography is used in everyday life, whether you’re snapping a selfie or an image for Snapchat Streaks, or if you’re a professional photographer, taking photos for a living. Let’s take a look at how far this artistic and scientific technology has developed over the years.

500 BC - Aristotle discovered that he could create a reversed image of the sun on the ground by passing sunlight through a pinhole. This would later be known as the camera obscura.

1521 - Cesare Cesarino, a student of Da Vinci, published the first description of the camera obscura. Unfortunately it wasn’t widely read.

1558 - Giovanni Battista Della Porta published his book, Magiae Naturalis (Natural Magic), where he described the process for assembling the camera obscura. Della Porta suggested that artists could project scenes from nature on a piece of paper to assist in the rendering of their works.

1604 - The term ‘photograph’ was first coined by Johannes Kepler as a description of a drawing with light.

1717 - Johann Heinrich Schulze showed that a solution of silver nitrate darkens when exposed to light.

1827 - The First Photograph

1827 - The first ever photograph was taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, a French inventor. It took him eight hours to snap the photo, using a camera obscura and focusing it onto a pewter plate.

1839 - The daguerreotype was invented by Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre. The daguerreotype was a process of creating a highly detailed image onto a sheet of copper plated with a thin coat of silver. After light exposure, the plate was developed over hot mercury until an image appeared

1887 - Henry Fox Talbot’s method of spreading a gelatine emulsion on paper (1835) and John Herschel’s way of fixing an image recorded by silver halides (1939) were first manufactured together to produce a photographic celluloid film roll.

1888 - George Eastman used this new roll of film to invent to first Kodak camera.

1890 - The first motion camera, the Kinetograph was released by William Dickson

1913 - A development engineer, Oskar Barnack, created a compact 35mm to use 35mm film for still photography as opposed to motion picture.

Pentax - Image from Pexels

1957 - The first eye-level viewing SLR camera with an instant return mirror was introduced. This was known as the Pentax.

1975 - The first known digitally recorded images were created in a Kodak lab.

2000 - The samsung SCH-V200 was one of the first phones was a built-in camera.

2008 - Panasonic released the first commercially marketed mirrorless camera in 2008.


Image from Pexels

Today - Technology in photography is evolving everyday with new cameras coming out every year with amazing new features and countless brands competing for the top spot.

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