The History of Photography

By Alexandra Booth


Basically every smartphone comes with a camera now a days, and the quality just keeps getting better. Phones aren’t the only way people take an picture though, from DSLRs to the re-emergence of the Polaroid, a person can get as high or low tech as they want to capture what they see.

It’s interesting to take a look at where photography originated and the timeline of how it’s changed in connection to the technology we know today:

  • The basics of what would soon become photography started in the 5th century, involving a ‘dark chamber’ and ‘pinhole light.’ This process, called the camera obscura, wouldn’t be detailed however until the 11th century, according to the History Channel’s website.
  • In the 1600s, Sir Isaac Newton discovered and demonstrated that light was the source of all color.
  • In 1826, the first ever image that didn’t fade quickly was taken.
  • This led to the creation of Daguerreotypes in 1837, the first successful form of permanent photography, according to ShutterStoppers. This required copper plates with silver and iodine to be exposed to light for a period of time. Daguerreotypes eventually led to emulsion plates, which led to dry plates.

Years past and people experimented on different devices and lens, along with giving presentations on the art of capturing images. However, this new technology was only available to the scientists who studied it. Photography wasn’t available to the public, until the mid 1880s.

George Eastman created flexible film that was rolled to fit into a portable camera, which he also created along with his company, Kodak. This small model allowed photography to be accessible to amateurs.

The appeal to the instant power of a camera made the first Polaroid camera very popular, where a chemical could develop the film in under a minute, according to The Spruce. This popularity has been brought back recently due to the introduction of the Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Camera.

In present day, companies like Apple are trying to advance the capabilities of what a cellphone camera can achieve. According to Wired, in 2015 Apple bought LinX, an image-sensor company. This helps enhance the sensor on smartphones, which enhances light a photo has (or doesn’t have), along with sharpening an image.

We are pretty lucky to have such amazing technology at our fingertips. We can capture any image we desire and connect to the world around us. Cameras won’t stop getting more and more hi-tech until smartphones rival the quality of DSLRs. Until then, keep snapping away!

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