history of photography








History of Photography - Timeline

The word photography comes from the Greek and means - WRITING WITH LIGHT

camera obscuraThe camera obscura, the forerunner of the photographic camera, was developed during the period from 11th to the 16th century. Its purpose was to show on paper an image that could be traced by hand to give accurate drawings of natural scenes.


Giovanni Battista della Porta illustrated camera principles in his book "Natural Magic".


Daniello Barbaro fitted the camera obscura with a lens and a changeable opening to sharpen the image.

johann schulze1725

Johann Heinrich Schulze discovered that the change in color of a mixture of silver nitrate and chalk, in sunlight, was caused by light, not heat.


Thomas Wedgwood and Sir Humphry Davy recorded by contact printing, on paper coated with silver nitrate or silver chloride, silhouettes and images of paintings made upon glass. However, they could not make these prints permanent.


Joseph N. Niepce made a crude photographic camera from a jewel box and a simple lens. With it he made a negative image. 

william talbot1835

William Henry Fox Talbot (Philosopher, Egyptologist, classicist, mathematician, philologist, transcriber and translator of Syrian and Chaldean cuneiform texts, physicist, and photographer) discovered a method of rendering the camera obscura image permanent. The image was fixed on silver chloride paper by means of sodium chloride. Talbot was the first to make positives from negatives, the first to make enlargements by photography, and the first to publish a book illustrated with photographs (book published 1844). 

Lois Daguerre


Lois J.M. Daguerre invented daguerreotype process. The image was recorded on a silver plate made light sensitive with iodine. The plate was then developed in mercury vapor.

daguerre camera


Sir John Herschel used sodium thiosulfate, or hypo, to make pictures permanent.


William Talbot patented the calotype process. Sometimes this process was called the talbotype process. The modern photographic process is based on Talbot's negative to positive principle.

Frederick Scott Archer1851

Frederick Scott Archer invented the wet collodion process for making negatives. The wt-collodion process was used by many well known photographers such us: Roger Fenton, Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner. 

James Clerk Maxwell1861

James Clerk Maxwell reproduced a colored ribbon by the three color additive process.


Louis Ducos du Hauron and Charles Cros independently, published pieces on the various methods used in three color photography.

Richard L. Maddox1871

Richard L. Maddox prepared the first gelatino bromide emulsion.

Eadweard Muybridge1872

Eadweard Muybridge first made serial photographs of moving animals and people Later, he projected them, showing motion.


Herman W. Vogel discovered that by adding certain dyes to the emulsion plates could be made sensitive to all colors. Early photographic material were sensitive only to blue light.

George Eastman1880

George Eastman began his dry plate business in Rochester (New York). The Kodak system was started in 1888 by the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company, and a box camera was placed on the market. The camera was sold already loaded with enough film for 100 exposures. After exposure, both camera and film were returned to Rochester, where the film was removed and processed and the camera then reloaded and returned to the customer.


Thomas Edison made the first motion pictures on 35 millimeter film with the transparent, flexible roll film made by the Eastman Company.


The Leica 35 millimeter camera was marketed in Germany, initiating widespread interest in candid, or unposed, photography.


The electronic flash was invented and patented in the US.


Edwin H. Land introduced the Polaroid Land camera. Camera was able to develop and print B&W photographs in 60 seconds.


David White Company marketed the first stereo camera.


Land introduced the Polaroid color camera. Color photographs were developed in 50 seconds.







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