The Evolution of Photography

  • Wedgwood and Davy

    Thomas Wedgwood and Sir Humphrey Davy presented the earliest record of photography in England - 'An Account of Method of Copying Paintings upon Glass, and making Profiles by the Agency upon Nitrate of Silver'. This paper brought forth the concept that the chemical action of light might be useful in copying images.
  • World's Population - 1 Billion

    World's Population - 1 Billion
    In 1804, the population of the world reached 1 billion. It took 7 million years for this to happen with the beginning of the industrial revolution.
  • The Camera Lucida

    The Camera Lucida
    The Camera Lucida was used by artists as an optical aid to draw the scenes in front of them accurately on a piece of paper. The presence of the lens on the opening allowed for a clearer image by focusing and directing the light. However, this only produced one copy unless sent of to printers of coy-artists to make multiple copies.
  • The War of 1812

    The War of 1812
    This war between the British and the US was caused by the British restrictions on US trades and America's desire to expand its territory.
  • Cotton Production in the US

    In 1820, the US became the world's biggest raw cotton producer.
  • Joseph Nicéphore Niépce

    Joseph Nicéphore Niépce
    Niépce is credited with creating the earliest surviving photograph. The type of image he created is now referred to as a Direct Positive image. By looking carefully at the image, one can see that sun appears both on the roof and the sides of the buildings facing the roof. This shows that the position of the sun moved about 8 hours while capturing this image.
  • Commercial Electrical Telegraph

    Commercial Electrical Telegraph
    Commercial electrical telegraphs were introduced in 1837 and invented by Joseph Henry and Edward Davy. Davy was granted a patent for his invention on 4 July 1838. This was expensive to build but was readily financed by London bankers. By 1852, national systems were in operation in major countries.
  • The Victorian Era

    The Victorian Era
    Queen Victoria became the Queen of England at 18 years old. Her period of rule was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire.
  • Oliver Twist

    Oliver Twist
    One of the greatest Victorian novelist published his popular book 'Oliver Twist' in 1838.
  • The Daguerrotype

    The Daguerrotype
    The Daguerrotype was invented by the French artist and photographer, Louis-Jacques Mandé Daguerre. This device was used worldwide at the time and is believed to have captured the first image of a human being. The process of creating an image using the Daguerreotype was very light sensitive and required some time. Only one image could be produced from a shot. The image was made on a silver-plated copper sheet.
  • The Calotype

    The Calotype
    Henry Fox Talbot's invention, is most like the process of photography we use today. The first imaged he captured (1835) using his device, is known as the 'Latticed Window'. Although he had begun his invention before Daguerre, he did not announce it till 1839.
  • The First Political-Protest Photography

    The First Political-Protest Photography
    Hippolyte Bayard, a Frenchman, who allegedly invented photography earlier than Daguerre and Talbot created what is known to be the first political-protest photograph. He created a portrait of himself as a drowned man. This image was to show the injustice of not being recognized as the inventor of the medium after he was persuaded by Daguerre's friend to postpone the announcement of his findings. This went to show that photography is not always truthful as Bayard had not actually drowned.
  • The Cyanotype use in Biology

    The Cyanotype use in Biology
    The scientific world began using photography to create scientific illustrations. Anna Atkins used the cyanotype process which was first developed by Sir John Herschell to create what is considered to be the first photographic book 'Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions'. The process of making images on the cyanotype involved laying of an object on a sensitized paper to obtain a one-to-one representation of the form.
  • Photography in a Social-Documentary Project

    Photography in a Social-Documentary Project
    Hill and Adamson created an extensive essay of 130 images of the fishermen and women of Newhaven near Scotland. This image is said to show the 'labor of the women and the sense of community that bound them together. They used the calotype and did not have to pay any royalty to Talbot as his patent did not apply to Scotland. Compared to the first image made by Talbot using the calotype, this image was far more intense in detail, showing how fast the process had developed.
  • The Pencil of Nature

    The Pencil of Nature
    This book was published by Fox Talbot, who continued his efforts in the development of photography after inventing the calotype. The Pencil of Nature was the first book to use silver gelatin photographs. He sough to establish photography as a form of art.
  • Mathew Brady

    Mathew Brady
    Mathew Brady opened his own studio in New York in 1844 and photographed many important people including Abraham Licoln and Andrew Jackson. Although Mathew Brady is the best known civil war photographer, he took few photographs himself. Instead, he hired Alexander Gardner and Timothy O'Sullivan and other operators to work for him. In addition, he photographed many important people including Abraham Licoln.
  • The Oregon Treaty

    The Oregon Treaty established the border between the US and Canada along the 49th, parallel to the Pacific.
  • Augustus Washignton - Studio Portraiture

    Augustus Washignton - Studio Portraiture
    The use of backdrops and props by photographers was used to make their photographs more interesting visually. Studio Portraiture then became an established business. The portrait of John Brown, an abolitionist was taking by a slave's son, Augustus Washington, using photography as a means to pay his way through college. In the portrait, John Brown, who tried to establish a scheme to assist runaway slaves, is seen with his hand in the pose of taking an oath.
  • Orientalism in Photography

    Orientalism in Photography
    In Louis Agassiz's attempt to scientifically justify racial inequality, he would take photographs of slaves unwillingly in a scientific manner. During this time, there was no ethics considered in photography and people's personal identities were not concealed.
    Similarly, in medical photography and anthropology, gave no room for privacy as the faces and features of people photographed were not concealed.
  • Wet Collodion Process

    Wet Collodion Process
    This process was used by Lewis Carroll and Julia Margaret Cameron to make their photographs. It was invented by the Englishman Frederick Scott Archer. This process produced a glass negative and a beautifully detailed print. This process thrived from the 1850s till about 1880 because of its ease and good quality.
  • Photography in War (Roger Fenton)

    Photography in War (Roger Fenton)
    The first war to be photographed was the Mexican-American war. The Crimean war however, produce a large number of images. With the support of William Agnew, a Manchester publisher, Roger Fenton sailed to the Crimea to capture the war. He was the best known of the photographers sent from the different countries in the Soviet Union. The most famous picture taken was the aftermath of the war in the valley.
  • The Tintype

    The Tintype
    The Tintype Process was invented by Adolphe-Alexandre Martin in France. These were widely used during the 1860s and 1870s. They were used in the Cilvil War as they were lightweight and convenient to carry around.
  • Lewis Carroll's Controversial 'Alice in Wonderland' Photograph

    Lewis Carroll's Controversial 'Alice in Wonderland' Photograph
    The popular childhood book, Alice in Wonderland, was written by Charles Dodgson, popularly known as Lewis Carroll. Photography had begun its use in fiction and fantasy and Carroll was amongst those using it for this purpose. Alice Liddell, the girl in the photograph, posed with her clothes ripped. This raised some speculation and controversy over the years by critics. These days, there is more privacy when relating to children than it was in the 19th century.
  • The First Aerial Photograph by Nadar

    The First Aerial Photograph by Nadar
    Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, popularly referred to as Nadar was a French photographer. Similar to Mathew Brady, he had his own studio in Paris, where he captured images of celebrities and artists. He is popularly known for the capturing the first aerial photographs.
  • Thomas Sutton

    Thomas Sutton
    Thomas Sutton developed the earliest panoramic camera with a wide-angle lens in1859. In 1861, he then created the first single lens reflex camera.
  • Abolishment of Slavery

    Abolishment of Slavery
    In 1865, the 13th amendment was passed to abolish slavery and approved by Abraham Lincoln.
  • Voting Women in Wyoming

    Voting Women in Wyoming
    Wyoming was the first state in the US to allow women to vote.
  • Showing Emotions through Photography

    Showing Emotions through Photography
    Charles Darwin, a British Scientist, used photography to argue that the physical signs of emotions are essentially the same in humans and animals. Although he did not capture these images himself, he hired photographers to capture images of people showing a variety of emotions. In his book 'The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals', he used a plate taken by the photographer Oscar Rejlander which showed 6 people expressing different emotions.
  • The Long Depression

    The Long Depression
    This was a worldwide price and economic recession from 1873 to about 1879/1896. The effects was seen more severely in Europe and the United States.
  • The Telephone

    The Telephone
    Alexander Graham Bell is credited with the development of the first practical telephone and was granted a patent on the 7 March 1876.
  • Photography for Police Purposes - MugShots

    Photography for Police Purposes - MugShots
    In the 1880's Alphonse Bertillon standardized the practice of mugshots used worldwide today for identification purposes. Before then, a complete body-shot was thought to be more useful for identification.
  • The First "True" Automobile

    The First "True" Automobile
    The invention of the first true gasoline operated automobile is credited to the German, Karl Friedrich Benz.
  • Kodak

    The first Kodak camera was invented by George Eastman and sold in 1888. Till date, his company is one of the largest in the photography industry.
  • The Autochrome

    The Autochrome
    The Autochrome Lumière process was patented in 1903 by the Lumière brothers - Auguste and Louis, and marketed in 1907. It was the principal method of color photography used before the mid 1930s.
  • Brownie Camera

    Brownie Camera
    This camera was invented by Frank A Brownell and introduced by George Eastman. This camera was intended for children. It was sold for 1 dollar upon its debut.