Photography Timeline

By Jamie D
  • Camera Obscura

    Camera Obscura
    Joseph Nicéphore creates the first photograph in France using a “Camera Obscura”. The shutter of the camera was open for 8 hours. After developed on a bitumen sheet, the image faded when exposed to light.
  • First Fixed Image

    First Fixed Image
    Louis Jacques Mandé takes the 1st fixed image in France on the Daguerreotype. The shutter was open for less than 30 minutes and the image did not fade because it was printed on a silver plated copper sheet.
    This was an important improvement because people didn’t want to wait 8 hours for the picture to develop, and the picture wouldn’t fade when exposed to sun light.
  • Calotype Process

    Calotype Process
    William Henry Talbot invents Calotype in Lacock, England. The Calotype is a printing process that reuses negative prints to make multiple positive copies.
    If something happens to one copy of a photo, there is another copy to use.
  • Panoramic Camera

    Panoramic Camera
    The panoramic camera is invented in Austria by Joseph Puchberger. Pictures were taken on a 24 inch daguerreotype, and the camera was hand-cranked.
    You can take a longer picture, without having to tape shorter pictures together, for example, landscapes.
  • Collodion Process

    Collodion Process
    Frederick Scott Archer invents the Collodion process in England, which reduced the exposure time of creating a negative. This process also created clearer positive duplicates.
    There is now less time to wait in front of the camera, and the pictures, when duplicated, can come out clearly.
  • Dry Plates

    Dry Plates
    Richard Leach Maddox creates a dry plate in England that doesn’t let off vapors from processing a wet plate. These vapors were harmful to people’s health, and with the dry plate, there were no chemical vapors.
    Now, the plates could be bought in stores, they don’t have to be prepared in a darkroom. Also, the negatives did not need to be developed immediately, so more pictures can be taken at one time.
  • Paper Based Film

    Paper Based Film
    George Eastman invents a paper-based film in the U.S., which involves a thin plastic sheet covered with gelatin and a light sensitive paper.
    The film can now be easier processed, because of paper film, and costs less to make and buy.
  • Kodak Roll Film Cameras

    Kodak Roll Film Cameras
    Eastman invents Kodak roll film cameras in the U.S. Cameras are now created with a film holder, so film doesn’t have to be replaced for every photograph.
    Film rolls can fit into a camera.
  • The Browning Camera

    The Browning Camera
    The “Browning” is the 1st mass marketed camera in the U.S. It is simple to use and cost $1 to the public.
    Many people had a camera to use, because the camera was so simple to use and was cheap to build and buy. Buying the camera in 1900 is the equivalent of buying five gallons of milk today, or about $25 dollars.
  • 35mm Cameras

    35mm Cameras
    The 35mm still camera is invented by Jens Poul Andersen in Denmark. The shutter opened for 1/100 of a second, and the camera could hold 300 exposures.
    Instead of having to carry a lot of film around, the photographer could take plenty of photos on a single film roll.
  • Flash Bulb

    Flash Bulb
    General Electric invents a flash bulb in the U.S. so that photos can be taken in light or dark, clearly. They placed crumpled tin foil in with oxygen, and when the bulb was lit, the tin foil would slowly burn, producing a lot of light for a long time, to accommodate the slow shutter speeds.
    Instead of having to move to different lighting to take the perfect photo, the flash bulb made it possible to take a photo anywhere.
  • Color Film

    Color Film
    Kodachrome film, the first color film, is introduced by Eastman Kodak in the U.S.
    *Pictures can now be taken in color, they more accurately depict the world*
  • Polaroid is Founded

    Polaroid is Founded
    Edwin H. Land founded Polaroid in the U.S., and the company specializes in cameras and polarized sunglasses.
    There is now another brand on the market. Kodak and Polaroid would fight for many years over patents and both want to create a better, cheaper camera.
  • Kodak Ektra

    Kodak Ektra
    Kodak markets “Kodak Ektra” in the U.S., a camera with lenses from 35mm to 153mm. The problem with this camera is that the shutter does not work well, so the camera is very unreliable.
    The different lenses could accommodate many different layouts, and the many different features of the camera make it the most advanced 35mm camera of its day.
  • Kodacolor Negative

    Kodacolor Negative
    Kodacolor negative film is invented in the U.S. At first, processing the photographs was part of the price for buying the film, but later the chemicals were sold separately.
    The first “true” color film had good color quality, better than Kodachrome.
  • High Speed Tri-X Film

    High Speed Tri-X Film
    Kodak invents the hi-speed tri-x film in the U.S. This film allows people to take photographs of dimly lit subjects and fast action.
    There are many different kinds of film. This means that people can take pictures for different reasons. You don’t have to move to the proper lighting, because of the flash now built into the camera, and also can take a picture of something that happens really fast.
  • Waterproof Cameras

    Waterproof Cameras
    Edgerton, Germeshausen, and Grier, Inc. produce a waterproof camera that can go deep into the water for the U.S. Navy.
    Now cameras are waterproof so they can take photos in the water, allowing more exploration, etc.
  • Instant Color Film

    Instant Color Film
    Instant color film is released in the U.S. The film has microscopic lines on it, and the lines each form a different color after the picture is taken. The human eye mixes different basic colors and forms the color that is true to life.
    The film doesn’t have to be developed by the photographer anymore, it can develop automatically.
  • Cameras in Space

    Cameras in Space
    Image of our planet is taken from the moon. This means that if we can send cameras into space and explore for other signs of life.
    Images taken in outer space, now other planets could be investigated for signs of life, etc.
  • Point and Shoot Auto Focus

    Point and Shoot Auto Focus
    Konica invents the point and shoot auto focus camera. Photography was made easier with programmed shutter speeds.
    This means that people can now take clearer photos without having to adjust camera settings manually.
  • Electronic Still Camera

    Electronic Still Camera
    Canon events an electronic still camera. An image sensor is added that turns an optical image into an electronic signal.
    An electronic sensor is added to digital cameras so the quality of the photos is higher.
  • Digital Photo Editing

    Digital Photo Editing
    Pixar releases the first digital imaging processor in the US. This program uses computer algorithms to edit pictures.
    Things from photos can be edited out, like an early Photoshop. This is a lot easier than fussing with chemicals to achieve the right effect.
  • Photo CD

    Photo CD
    The photo cd comes out. Kodak invents a system that digitalized and saved photos on a cd. Each cd could hold up to 100 photos, and can be viewed with many different programs on a computer.
    Photos can now be electronically stored and viewed, more compact, and overall more efficient.