First camera

History of Photography

  • 1820's

    Joseph Nicephone Niepce makes the first semi-permanant image with a camera obscura. Originally used a tool for artists to create more accurate paintings, Niepce created heliographs (sun prints) that required a long processing period (8 hours) and only lasted a short time.
  • 1830s

    Niepce partnered with Louis Daguerre in 1829 and attempted to imporved the photoprocessing method. (Niepce died shortly thereafter). After many years of experimenting, Daguerre finally found a more effective way. The process involved fixing images onto silver plated copper. The silver was polished and coated in iodine (making it light sensitive) and was then placed in a camera and exposed for a few minutes. Finally it was bathed in silver chloride, creating a long lasting image.
  • 1840s

    Jozeph Petzval designs the first lens specifically for use in the camera.
    Henry Fox Talbot (English botonist and mathematician) creates the first paper negative process known as a calotype by sensitizing paper to light with a salt solution.
  • 1850s

    The Great Exbihition in London exposes the public to photography and the photographic process and the commercialization of photography begins.
    Daguerrotypes increase in popularity and close to 70 studios pop up in NYC alone.
    Wet plate negatives are invented by Frederick Scott Archer. This process required a portable darkroom.
  • 1860s

    -Walter Woodbury patented the Woodburytype Process as a way to mass produce photographs that were much more stable (images were made of pigment suspended in gelatin).
    -Major photographic documentation of western US begins and helps to influence Congress in creating national parks.
  • 1870s

    -Dry Plate Negatives are created ( glass plate negatives with a dried gelatin emulsion). They absorb light quickly and can be stored for long amounts of time so that photographers no longer have to use portable darkrooms.
    -Allan Pinkerton creates a collection of photographs of known criminals (mug shots) to help track them down.
    - Photojournalism begins as Adolphe Smith and John Thompson investigate the living conditions of the poor in London.
  • 1880s

    George Eastman invented film with a base that was flexible and able to be rolled allowing the mass produced Kodak box camera to be produced and sold later.
  • 1890s

    -The Linked Ring is created to defend the iea that photography is an art as much as it is a science.
    - Frank Rineheart photographs Native Americans (photojournalism)
    - Flash bulb is created for photography (instead of flash powder)
  • 1900s

    -The Kodak Brownie Box camera with film included inside it is marketed towards the masses with the slogan, "You press the button, we do the rest".
    The photographer simply pressed a button and developed a negative. When the camera was finished the roll (about 100 shots) they would mail the camera back to the factory where their film would be processed/printed and their camera would be reloaded and sent back.
    -Edward Curtis photographs and documents North American Indians before they dissapear.
  • 1910s

    Color photography becomes more widespread -some are hand tinted and others use autochrome coloring or "self coloring" (invented by the Lumiere brothers)
  • 1920s

    -The Ermanox camera is developed and allows for more lowlight and candid photographs to be produced (better for amateurs).
    -The Leica camera is a more popular model that emerges shortly thereafter
    - They are known as the first more portable 35 mm cameras.
    - Berenice Abbott documents changing architecture of NYC (the change to skyscrapers)
  • 1930s

    -The Farm Security Administration forms and hires photographers including Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange to document the hardships many farmers experienced after the Great Depression.
    -These powerful images helped to convey to other Americans how dire the situation was.
  • 1940s

    -The first poloroid camera was invented by Edwin Herbert Land and able to produce and print black and white photos in 60 seconds.
    - The general public (or those that could afford the technology) had access to the whole photographic process in the palm of their hand.
  • 1950s

    The camera documents the first summit of Mt. Everest.
    "It wasn't enough just to get to the top... we had to get back with the evidence" - Sir Edmund Hillary (National Geographic).
  • 1960s

    -Kodak releases easy to use cartridge film that appeals to novice photographers
    - Space travel is documented and the world gets a view of the Earth from Space.
    - The Ocean Eye is invented by National Geographic photo lab and the Photogrammery Corporation and allows them to take detailed underwater photographs without any distortion.
  • 1970s

    -The first digital camera is invented by Steven Sasson, an electrical engineer working for Kodak.
    -The "Blue Marble" photograph is taken from space. It is the first time the world gets a full view of the planet we live on.
    - Deep Ocean Photography is being explored and we learn more and more about the world around us.
  • 1980s

    -The first disposable camera is invented by Fuji allowing people to buy and use cameras even more easily than ever.
    - Deep sea photography becomes an important part in the discovery and documentation of the Titanic.
    - The famous "Afghan Girl" photograph becomes a symbol for the plight of refugees around the world.
  • 1990s

    -The first digital still camera is realesed by Kodak (for professionals) and is almost immediately followed up by the release of many more affordable models so that many people have access to them.
    - Photoshop is created and allows for digital editing for the public.
    - The Joint Photograhpic Experts Group release guidelines for putting images on the internet properly.
  • 2000

    -Camera phone is invented in 2000 and leads to "citizen photojournalism"
    -As of 2004 Kodak no longer produces film because of the popularity and ease of digital photography.
    -Technology on phones and ipods continues to improve and people are sharing pieces of their lives daily with applications like facebook and instagram.