History of Photography

history of photography

Through our eyes, we witness lovely sights of the world, and through the lenses of a camera, we get to capture these beautiful sceneries then keep it for a long time. None of the eye-catching, personal, and heartfelt photos that we know today would exist without the art of photography. A photograph is taken with a camera where the device captures light using a sensor or film, then creating an image. With the advancement of technology right now, better photographs are taken from time to time. But how did this begin and find its way through the world today? Let us go way back and look at the timeline of photography.

Camera Obscura

Before the form of photography that we are all knowledgeable of today, people had first studied and discovered the basic principles of lenses, cameras, and how they work together. As stated by Tomalchev, there was no printing available at that time, so they just used a piece of paper or a wall to project their images. This instrument that they used for processing pictures was called Camera Obscura (Latin, “dark chamber”), it had a hole on one side where the light passes through then, the image is transformed and created. But the output they got was upside down, that’s why the cameras we have today are incorporated with mirrors.

history of photography and camera

History’s First Permanent Photograph

One concern was also getting the images captured to be printed and permanent, which was a process of learning and progression. The first photograph taken was in 1825 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, a French inventor. He solved the problem with the use of asphalt and coating it on a pewter plate, which eventually grows hard once directed to light. After, he washed it and left the hardened substance on the plate permanently. In this method, they knew that it is expensive to produce photographs, and the metal plate was heavy. Louis Daguerre came in the picture in the mid-1800s, had a collaboration with Niépce, and was able to create the daguerreotype, the predecessor of our modern film. Compared to Niépce’s first invention, the daguerreotype had to be exposed to light for only 15 minutes rather than 8 hours.

Emulsion Plates

Niépce and Daguerre’s work was remarkable, but it wasn’t long when the emulsion plates were used instead of the daguerreotype’s copper plate. The use of emulsion plates was less expensive and did not even need to take a minute to capture an image. It only required two to three seconds of exposure to light. It was in 1839 that Sir John Herschel coined the term photography, derived from the Greek “fos” meaning light and “grafo” which means to write. Eventually, improvements for the cameras were made, and the public began using it.

The Camera that We Know Today

The Kodak that we know today started in the 1880s by George Eastman, who gave us the Kodak Brownie, which only took black and white shots. It became the first commercial camera and became popular because of its ease of use, and inexpensiveness. Consumers would only shoot pictures and leave the printing process to the factory, where they are developed, and prints are made. Color photography shined in the 19th century and publicly viable in the middle 20th century. The camera was incorporated with screens of filters, the filtered red, green, and blue light passed through and developed to a negative, which was later reversed to a positive. The colors were preserved by applying the same set of screen filters in the printing process. Then the time came when digital cameras were introduced to the public. The need to develop a film to see the pictures being taken by the cameras became history. Today, people can shoot photos and instantly view them and even edit them in a variety of ways. How far we’ve come.