History of photography

Photography is almost 200 years old, but where did it originate from? That is what I will be exploring in this research post.

The concept of photography has existed since around the 5th century B.C. but it didn’t become an established art until a scientist produced the camera obscure in the 11th century.

But this product was not the type of ‘camera’ that we know today, it was a device that simply projected onto another surface allowing a person to see the image upside down and trace it to create a drawing that is accurate to said image. It also didn’t become portable until the 17th century.

Photography as we know it

  • Originated 1830s, France.
  • Joseph Nicephore niece used a camera obscure to expose a pewter plate coated with bitumen to light – first recorded image.
  • More experiments of photography – each emulsion different chemicals.
  • Ones that were detrimental to the production of modern technology: Daguerreotype, Emulsion Plates and dry plates.
  • Only professionals had access to cameras up until 1880s when George Eastman started the company Kodak.
  • Created first camera cheap enough for mainstream consumers.

Instant Images

  • Polaroid introduced the Model 95 – developed film inside camera in less than a minute – expensive but popular.
  • Mid 1960s – lots of polaroids on the market and price dropped so many more people could afford them.
  • Polaroid stopped making their instant film in 2008.
  • People are struggling to replicate the quality of the polaroid to this day.

  • Late 1970s – compact cameras were introduced. allowing much more options and control over the user of the camera.
  • 1980s-1990s – Various manufactures produced cameras that store images electronically.

Sources used:




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