French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce uses a camera obscura to burn a permanent image of the countryside
first picture of a person
French painter and chemist Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre photographs a Paris street scene from his apartment window
first one to capture an ariel view image
Felix Tournachonwas the first one to capture an ariel view image
first color picture
The enormously influential Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell creates a rudimentary color image by superimposing onto a single screen three black-and-white images each passed through three filters—red, green, and blue.
first action photo
English photographer Eadweard Muybridge, using new emulsions that allow nearly instantaneous photography, begins taking photograph sequences that capture animals and humans in motion.
first underwater picture
Ichthyologist William Longley and National Geographic staff photographer Charles Martin use an Autochrome camera and a raft full of explosive magnesium flash powder to illuminate the shallows of Florida's Dry Tortugas and make the first undersea color photographs. The photos, which show reef scenes with fish, are published in the January 1927 National Geographic.
first color magazine
For its July 1943 issue, National Geographic spruces up its normally staid yellow-and-white cover with a photo of a billowing American flag. The decision was made after a wartime plea by the U.S. Treasury Department for all major magazines to print a flag on their June or July covers, hoping to encourage the purchase of war bonds.
first picture taken oterspace
Researchers with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory strap a 35-millimeter camera to a German V-2 missile and launch it into space from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico
picture of the night sky
National Geographic teams up with the California Institute of Technology for the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey, a seven-year project to produce the first photographic map of the Northern Hemisphere's night sky.
first digital still camera
Kodak releases the first commercially available, professional digital camera in 1991. This device, extremely expensive and marketed to professional photographers, uses a Nikon F-3 camera body fitted with a digital sensor.