Photography Timeline

  • Thomas Wedgwood pioneers the use of light-sensitive chemicals

    Thomas Wedgwood pioneers the use of light-sensitive chemicals
    Wedgwood is the first person to have used light-sensitive chemicals to capture silhouette images, and the first known to have attempted to photograph the image formed in a camera obscura. The photos that Wedgwood created were unfixed and therefore deteriorated over time. However, by storing them in a dark place away from the harmful effecs of light and air, Wedgwood was able to somewhat preserve his photographs.
  • Period: to

    The (Modern) History of Photography

  • Nicéphore Niépce creates the world's first permenant photograph

    Nicéphore Niépce creates the world's first permenant photograph
    In the year 1822, Niépce created a process using the sun that he called "heliography." He coated pewter with various light-sensitive substances in an effort to copy superimposed engravings in sunlight. Niépce created lasting pieces that would become the first ever permanant photographs.
  • Henry Fox Talbot Creates Negatives

    Henry Fox Talbot Creates Negatives
    Talbot creates the "calotype" which is the process in which silver salt and a developing agent is used to create negatives. The translucent calotype negative made it possible to produce as many prints as desired by contact printing.
  • Louis-Jaques-Mandé Daguerre creates the "daguerreotype"

     Louis-Jaques-Mandé Daguerre creates the "daguerreotype"
    Daguerre creates images on silver-plated copper, coated with silver iodide and developed with warmed mercury; Daguerre is awarded a state pension by the French government in exchange for publication of methods and the rights by other French citizens to use the Daguerreotype process.
  • Henry Fox Talbot patents his process

    Talbot patents his process under the name "calotype".
  • Frederick Scott Archer improves the resolution of photographs

    Archer improves photographic resolution by spreading a mixture of collodion (nitrated cotton dissolved in ether and alcoohol) and chemicals on sheets of glass. Wet plate collodion photography was much cheaper than daguerreotypes, the negative/positive process permitted unlimited reproductions, and the process was published but not patented.
  • Adolphe Disderi popularizedsportait photographs

    Adolphe Disderi popularizedsportait photographs
    Disderi develops carte-de-visite photography in Paris, leading to worldwide boom in portrait studios for the next decade. He also patented his system of mass producing photographs when doing carte-de-viste photographs.
  • Beginning of stereoscopic era

    Stereoscopic photography recreates the illusion of depth by utilizing the binocularity of human vision.
  • Ambrotype photographs become popular in the U.S

    Ambrotype photographs become popular in the U.S
    "Ambrotype" also known as a collodion positive, is a positive photograph on glass made by a variant of the wet plate collodion process. Like a print on paper, it is viewed by reflected light.
  • James Clerk-Maxwell creates the foundation for color photography

    James Clerk-Maxwell creates the foundation for color photography
    Clerk-Maxwell demonstrates a color photography system involving three black and white photographs, each taken through a red, green, or blue filter. The photos were turned into lantern slides and projected in registration with the same color filters. This is the "color separation" method.
  • Richard Leach Maddox discovers dry gelatin photographic emulsion

    Richard Leach Maddox discovers dry gelatin photographic emulsion
    Maddox proposes the use of an emulsion of gelatin and silver bromide on a glass plate, know as the "dry plate" process. Photographers could use commercial dry plates off the shelf instead of having to prepare their own emulsions in a mobile darkroom. Negatives did not have to be developed immediately. Also, for the first time, cameras could be made small enough to be hand-held
  • Eadweard Muybridge questions whether all four feet of a horse were off the ground at the same time while trotting

    Eadweard Muybridge questions whether all four feet of a horse were off the ground at the same time while trotting
    Muybridge began experimenting in 1872 with an array of 12 cameras photographing a galloping horse in a sequence of shots. Between 1878 and 1884, Muybridge perfected his method of horses in motion, proving that they do have all four hooves off the ground during their running stride. He was able to capture the horses' movement in a series of photographs that he was able to "animate".
  • Photograhpy supplies are being sold

    Photograhpy supplies are being sold
    Dry plates being manufactured commercially.
  • Kodak's Brownie II camera is realased

    Kodak's Brownie II camera is realased
    The first Kodak camera, containing a 20-foot roll of paper, enough for 100 2.5-inch diameter circular pictures is ceated.
  • Jacob Riis publishes "How the Other Half Lives"

    Jacob Riis publishes "How the Other Half Lives"
    Riis' book featured images of tenament life in New York City. Rii' photographs showed the econmic disparity between the lower class and everyone else. Many people in the upper and middle class were unaware of just how poor people in the lower class were untiil "How the Other Half Lives" was published. Jacob Riis' work demonstrated the use of photojournalism for social justice and set the basis for future "muckraking" journalism.
  • First Photographic Commercial Product

    First Photographic Commercial Product
    1907 – The Autochrome plate is introduced and becomes the first commercially successful color photography product.
  • Kinemacolor

    Kinemacolor
    1908 – Kinemacolor, a two-color process that is the first commercial "natural color" system for movies, is introduced.
  • First Color Film

    First Color Film
    1914- The World, the Flesh and the Devil, the first dramatic feature film in color (Kinemacolor), is released.
  • Man Ray creates "rayographs"

    Man Ray creates "rayographs"
    Man Ray begins making photograms ("rayographs") by placing objects on photographic paper and exposing the shadow cast by a distant light bulb.
  • Amateur Motion Picture

    Amateur Motion Picture
    1923 – The 16 mm amateur motion picture format is introduced by Kodak. Their Cine-Kodak camera uses reversal film and all 16 mm is on an acetate (safety) base.
  • Harold Edgerton- Xenon Flash Lamp

    Harold Edgerton- Xenon Flash Lamp
    1923 – Harold Edgerton invents the xenon flash lamp for strobe photography.
  • The Leica Camera becomes the first high quality 35mm camera

    The Leica Camera becomes the first high quality 35mm camera
    Leitz markets a derivative of Barnack's camera commercially as the "Leica", the first high quality 35mm camera.
  • After decades the technicolor process is improved

    After decades the technicolor process is improved
    This year marls the inception of Technicolor for movies, where three black and white negatives were made in the same camera under different filters; Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Willard Van Dyke, Edward Weston, et al, form Group f/64 dedicated to "straight photographic thought and production".; Henri Cartier-Bresson buys a Leica and begins a 60-year career photographing people
  • Modern camera companies come into their own

    Modern camera companies come into their own
    Hasselblad in Sweden offers its first medium-format SLR for commercial sale; Pentax in Japan introduces the automatic diaphragm; Polaroid sells instant black and white film
  • The Contax S revolutionizes the viewfinder

    The Contax S revolutionizes the viewfinder
    East German Zeiss develops the Contax S, first SLR with an unreversed image in a pentaprism viewfinder
  • Nikon relases their first camera series

    Nikon relases their first camera series
    Nikon F series introduced.
  • The first instant color film camera hits the market

    The first instant color film camera hits the market
    First color instant film developed by Polaroid
  • A new color process for negatives is introduced.

    A new color process for negatives is introduced.
    C-41 color negative process introduced, replacing C-22.
  • Sony introduces the fist "video camera"

    Sony introduces the fist "video camera"
    Sony demonstrates Mavica "still video" camera
  • Kodak intoduces a new camera

    Kodak intoduces a new camera
    Kodak introduces disk camera, using an 8x11mm frame