Who Invented Photography?
In the mid-1820s, Nicéphore Niépce succeeded, but several days of exposure in the camera were required and the earliest results were very crude. His process needed eight hours of exposure to light, and the picture was fuzzy.
Niépce’s associate Louis Daguerre went on to develop the daguerreotype process, the first publicly announced photographic process, which required only minutes of exposure in the camera and produced clear, finely detailed results.
The first true photographs, exposed on metal that had been sensitized to accept an image, were named for their French inventor L. J. M. Daguerre in 1837. It was commercially introduced in 1839, a date generally accepted as the birth year of practical photography.
The inventor of the first process, which used a negative from through which multiple prints were made, was William Henry Fox Talbot, a contemporary of Daguerre.
Tintypes, patented in 1856 by Hamilton Smith, were another medium that heralded the birth of photography. A thin sheet of iron was used to provide a base for light-sensitive material, yielding a positive image.
Photography advanced considerably when sensitized materials could be coated on glass plate. The first glass negatives were wet plate. They had to be developed quickly before the emulsion dried.
In 1889, George Eastman, realizing the potential of the mass market, used a newly invented film with a base that was flexible, unbreakable, and could be rolled. Emulsions coated on a cellulose nitrate film base, such as Eastman’s made the mass-produced box camera a reality.
The commercial introduction of computer-based electronic digital cameras in the 1990s soon revolutionized photography. During the first decade of the 21st century, traditional film-based photo chemical methods were increasingly marginalized as the practical advantages of the new technology became widely appreciated and the image quality of moderately priced digital cameras was continually improved.