Gordon Wildman Photography

Photography History:   A quick history of photography

     Photography:  The word came into existence by combining the Greek words "Photos" and "Graphein". 
Photos:  meaning Light - and Graphein:  meaning to draw - together meaning   -  "drawing with light". 
Photography from the very beginning captured the public's imagination.  The popularity of photography came about quite quickly with the Daguerreotype cameras in the mid 1800's. 
There were as many as 77 photography shops in New York City by 1850.  This new technology was expensive and difficult to use.  In 1871 a new process was developed, a dry process of film development.  This made photography more accessible by removing the need for a darkroom at the scene.  Exposure times were reduced from the half hour range
 to the few second range by the 1850's, but that is still a long time for portraiture and, as well, this made taking spontaneous images very difficult.

  It wasn't until the late 1800's and early 1900's when George Eastman introduced the Kodak Brownie camera that the gear became affordable and usable to the average person. 
This revolutionized photography by using celluloid roll type film and an inexpensive camera.  This new technology allowed you to take pictures, turn in the camera
 with the film still inside, then have it developed at a camera shop, thus ending the need of knowing how to use a darkroom. 
In the 1920's 35mm cameras came about with quality lenses.  And People such as Ansel Adams and Edward Weston helped develop admiration and respect for this new art form.
 Then, in the mid 1980's the digital sensor was developed.  Now with digital cameras, computers, and printers we have complete control over the process if we so choose.
Below is a timeline of significant events in the life of photography.

YouTube Video: Henri Cartier Bresson - 1m30sec(click image to view)

YouTube Video: History of Photography - 21m30sec(click image to view)

YouTube Video: Masters of Photography "Andre Kertesz" - 31m45sec(click image to view)

YouTube Video: The Collodion Process - 3m30sec(click image to view)

Key developments in Photography: The Timeline

1500's: Camera Obscura by Leonardo Davinci. Dark room with a pinhole, a lens added later

1700's: Chemicals like silver chloride and others developed

1827: 1st photograph by Joseph Niepce in France. 8hr exposure. Led to Daguerreotype

1839: Daguerreotype. Metal plates covered in silver halide immersed in salt. 1/2 hr exposures

1839: Sir John Herschel calls it "photography". 1st time the term was used publicly

1851: Frederick Archer, Collodion Process. Few second exposures & glass plates, video above

1871: Dr. Richard Maddux, Gelatin plates led to dry process. Before, darkroom needed with you

1889: George Eastman introduces the Box camera with roll film made of celluloid

1900: Kodak "Brownie" camera introduced

1907: Lumierre brothers in France introduce color commercial film

1914: Oscar Barnack of Leitz Co. intro's camera with 35mm film dimensions & sprocket holes

1917: Nippon Kogaku begins, known today as Nikon

1924: Leitz produces a high quality 35mm camera called "Leica"

1930: The first commercially available flash bulb

1932: F64 group begins. Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, & others

1934: Fuji photo company begins

1936: Kodachrome film begins development

1948: Hasselblad introduces 1st commercially available medium format SLR camera

1949: Zeiss Co. intro's Contax S camera with a non-reversed image in a pentaprism viewfinder

1959: Nikon introduces the first of the legendary F series 35mm cameras

1963: Polaroid instant film begins. Kodak introduces the instamatic camera

1964: TTL, Through The Lens metering first introduced

1985: Minolta makes 1st auto-focus camera system known as The Maxxum

1986: Kodak develops the first Mega pixel sensor, a 1.4 mega pixel sensor

1991: Kodak introduces 1st Pro Digital SLR system - Nikon F series camera with 1.3mp sensor

- Some Photographer's of Historical Interest -

     Andre Kertesz, Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Henri Cartier Bresson, Imogen Cunningham,

Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Margaret Bourke White, Eugene Smith, Edward S. Curtis, Robert Capa. Elliott Erwitt,

and many more.

The Threat of Photography: The Colbert Report - 5m39sec