Photography, a Brief and Detailed History

Do you love photography? Have you ever wondered how it all started?

Here’s a brief history.

The first “camera” was invented during the 9th century by a man named, Alhazen, he is an Arab scientist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher whom had a fascination with the principles of optic. He discovered that a box with a pinhole is able to project an image onto an object/canvas using light.

Johannes Kepler, a German astronomer describes the method of Camera Obcura(meaning; Dark Room in Latin) in 1604. The Camera Obscura is a box fitted with a Len in which when faced in the targeted image, it would project a negative image on a piece of paper therefore artist would trace that image on a canvas/paper. Artist like Leonardo DaVinci uses this method for perspective drawing.

Things started to change in the history for photography during the 17th – 18th century when man’s drive for discovery gets the better of them and the nature to discover and create kicks in.

In 1717, a German professor named Johann Heinrick Schultz first discovered that images could be recorded using silver nitrate on paper but was not able to sustain the image permanently. This was only the beginning.

During the 18th century photography was truly born when the discovery that an image could remain permanently onto a light sensitive surface after exposure. During this era there were 2 inventors that would compete for the title of ‘best ways to make photos.’

A British scientist, Henry Fox Talbot discovered the ‘Cal Type’ process that could develop many copies from a single negative but the clear winner was a French artist/chemist named Louis Daguerra whom discovered ‘The Daguerro Type’ process. This process would engrave an image onto a bitumen-coated metal plate calling this process ‘heliograph’ in which produces sharper images. It was more popular because it is targeted to consumer masses.

It was not until 1827, when a French inventor named Josph Niepce partnered with Louis Daguerra in which Josph Niepce would create the first permanent photograph named ‘View from the window at Les Gras’. It is the oldest and surviving photograph in history today.

Although, ‘The Daguerro Type’ process had ruled the photography world for a long time but this process is a tiresome one. This process still needs a dark room to process photos and it takes longer exposure time to get the right picture taken which means you would have to bring a dark room along and stand really still for a while. When this became a problem, head holders were invented to hold a person’s head and that’s one of the main reasons why you don’t see people smiling in the old photographs as it is because nobody could hold a steady grin for that long.

In 1888, an American innovator and entrepreneur, George Eastman believed that everyone should have access to photography whom spend many late nights mixing chemicals in his mother’s kitchen and created a dry plate graphic process. This process would allow exposed negative to be stored and developed later in a more convenience place and during that time, he sold dry plates and discovered that he could store all negative inside a plastic roll films that could fit into any handheld cameras. These film rolls are still used today. George Eastman was the founder of Eastman Kodak Company.

From creating the first pinhole camera to the successful storage of negative/films today there is no doubt photography has grown tremendously. With today’s day and age, digital has taken the world by storm and it is no doubt that the art of photography will continue to grow and flourish.