How was photography was invented?

British inventor Fox Talbot produced his first successful photographic images in 1834, without a camera, placing objects on paper brushed with light-sensitive silver chloride, which he then exposed to sunlight. Around this time, the word photography began to be used to describe this new industry. Starting in 1839, the popular metal plate process known as the daguerreotype opened this mix of art and technology to the masses. In 1835, Henry Fox Talbot invented a viable method for spreading a gelatin emulsion on paper.

In 1839, astronomer John Herschel devised a way to correct the image recorded by silver halides. Henry Fox Talbot had already succeeded in creating stabilized photographic negatives on paper in 1835, but he worked on refining his own process after reading the first reports on Daguerre's invention. Unlike a daguerreotype, which can only be copied by photographing it with a camera, a negative calotype can be used to make a large number of positive impressions by simple contact printing. At the same time that Daguerre was refining his process, an Englishman, William Fox Talbot, had succeeded in producing negative photographic images in 1835 using a technique similar to that of Nièpce's first experiments, and which required an extended exposure time (at least one hour).

In 1816, Nicéphore Niépce, using paper coated with silver chloride, managed to photograph the images formed in a small camera, but the photographs were negative, darker where the camera image was clearer and vice versa, and were not permanent in the sense of being reasonably fast in light; like The first experimenters, Niepce could not find a way to prevent the coating from completely darkening when exposed to light for viewing.


of this time generally used cameras designed and manufactured by themselves or by expert craftsmen, adapting lenses manufactured by manufacturers of optical devices for photographic use. Ultimately, the photographic process grew out of a series of refinements and improvements in the first 20 years. More interested in silver-based processes than Niépce, Daguerre experimented by photographing camera images directly on a plate with a silver mirror-like surface that had been smoked with iodine vapor, which reacted with silver to form a layer of silver iodide.

The Crimean War of 1853-1856, which the Russian Empire lost against an alliance between France, Great Britain, the Ottoman Empire and Sardinia, was the first to be photographically documented. In 1884, George Eastman, of Rochester, New York, developed a dry gel on paper, or film, to replace the photographic plate, so that the photographer no longer had to carry boxes with plates and toxic chemicals. The calotype had another distinction compared to other early photographic processes, since the final product lacked fine clarity due to its translucent paper negative. Since the 1850s, the collodion process with its glass-based photographic plates combined the well-known high quality of the daguerreotype with the many printing options known in the calotype and was commonly used for decades.

The box-type camera obscura was the basis of the first cameras when photography was developed in the early 19th century. It is said that a camera was taken to St. Helena to photograph the body of Napoleon I when it was exhumed in 1840, but that the material was damaged and did not work. The labor revolt of June 1848 in France, the Crimean War of 1853 to 1856, and the American civil war of 1861 to 1865 brought photographic images of the war to the public's attention.

Louis Daguerre, Niépce's partner, developed the daguerreotype process, the first publicly announced and commercially viable photographic process. .

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John Pfannenstiel
John Pfannenstiel

Born in South Africa, John fell in love on his 14th birthday when his parents presented him with his first camera. After photographing insects, lizards, and snakes in his own backyard, John felt he had found his calling in life, and a career in photography beckoned. John set up his first photography business when he was 23 and has since traveled the world and worked with many famous photographers.