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History of Photography: Welcome

What is Photography and how it began

According to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). The term photography originated from the Greek words meaning "drawings with light." Photography is the process of recording an image, or photograph on light sensitive film or, in the case of digital photography, via a digital electronic or magnetic memory. 

According to the Nashville Film Institution (NFI). The French inventor, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, invented the first permanent photograph in 1826. Since it was a breakthrough in the history of photography, he was credited as the world's foremost photography. 

To find more information, below are some links to help provide more explanation and history on photography.

Website: Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)

Website: Nashville Film Institution (NFI)


In person Books at Columbia State Library:

  • A world history of Photography/ by. Naomi Rosenblum. Call Number: TR15. R67 1997
  • The camera and the press: American visual and print culture in the age of the daguerreotype/ Marcy J. Dinius. Call Number: PS374. D56 2012
  • American Photography: A critical History 1945 to the present/ by. Johnaton Green. Call Number: TR23. G73 1984
  • Camera: a history of Photography from daguerreotype to digital/ Todd Gustavson. Call Number: TR15. G88 2009
  • The Story of Photography: from its beginnings to the present day/ Michael Langford. Call Number: TR15. L3

In person Books at Clifton Campus:

  • The picture history of Photography from the earliest beginnings to the present day. Call Number: TR15. P55 1969

Did You Know?

According to City of Alexandria, VA (.gov) on the History of Photography:

  • The camera obscura was the way of projecting images as early as 500 B.C. The projected image was traced since there was no way to preserve the image. It was a popular way to record images until the early 1800s
  • In 1826/7 the first photograph which was take by Nicéphore Niépce was of a nature scene which took 8 hours to take the photo.
  • In 1878, gelatin dry-plate technology helped photographers to take pictures but wait to develop which allowed subjects to be photographed anywhere and no longer needed to be near a dark room.
  • In 1900, kodak introduces the brownie camera, which allowed people to take their own picture which was considered the birth of home photography.
  • In 1941, kodak also introduced the first color film on market.

To find out more on the facts and time line of photography, is a link below to learn more.

History of Photography Time Line

Today's Photography

According to the Washington Trails Association: Then and Now: Photography 

Photographers in the early 1900s would hardly recognize photography today. The proliferation of digital point and shoot cameras, DSLRs, mirrorless cameras and smartphones have made photography easier than ever. One of the biggest changes has been phone cameras. To find out more, a link is provided below.

Washington Trails Association: Then and Now: Photography 

Over time photography has just gotten much easier to use and now anyone can take a picture anywhere, compared to the early 1800s when it was first introduced even though there were many other prototypes, 1825 was when the first camera truly made a photographic image the camera was called the camera obscura but Niépce who created it called the process a Heliograph. With today's photography you can now use compact digital/point and shoot cameras, bridge cameras, digital SLR cameras, smartphones, and more, these cameras make it easier to carry around and take a picture whenever and wherever you like. 


Word Document: History of Photography

This word document has everything from this LibGuide just in case the links may not work or just as another option. It can also be used to read any information in the reading view under the view tab in word to be read to the viewer.

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