A Short History of Photography

Today, photography is an ubiquitous part of our lives. It's hard to imagine a world without cell phone cameras and social media, but it wasn't that long ago that photography was a new and novel technology. In this blog post, we'll take a brief look at the history of photography and how it has evolved over time.

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The first photographs were taken in the early 1800s using a process called daguerreotypy. This method involved polishing a sheet of copper until it was perfectly smooth, then exposing it to iodine vapor to form a light-sensitive coating. The coated copper sheet was then exposed to light and developed using mercury vapor. Daguerreotypes were very delicate and could easily be damaged or ruined; as a result, they were usually kept in protective cases.

The next major development in photography came in 1851 with the introduction of the collodion process. This process was much more practical than daguerreotypy and quickly became the standard for portrait photography. Collodion photographs were made by coating a glass plate with a light-sensitive solution, then exposing it to light and developing it as quickly as possible. The key advantage of the collodion process was that it allowed photographers to take photographs outdoors; before, they had been confined to studios due to the long exposure times required by the daguerreotype process.

By the late 19th century, gelatin dry plates had replaced wet collodion plates as the standard photographic medium. Gelatin dry plates were easier to store and transport than wet collodion plates, and they had shorter exposure times. This made them ideal for news photography and other applications where speed was of the essence.

The first commercially successful color photographic process was introduced in 1907 by French physicist Gabriel Lippmann. Lippmann's method, known as interference photography, captured colors by interference rather than by absorption. Interference photography was used extensively for scientific purposes but never gained widespread commercial popularity due largely to its high cost and complexity.


In just a few short decades, photography went from being a new and novel technology to an integral part of our lives. And this is only a brief overview—the history of photography is vast and fascinating, with new developments happening all the time. Who knows what the future of photography holds? We can't wait to find out!

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