Beginning of Photography – A Brief History


A person standing on top of a mountain

An exact date for when the beginning of photography was initiated, cannot be ascertained. Some people think it was the Japanese, but that date would probably be difficult to prove. Amateurs and pros alike were experimenting with different photographic techniques for much of the first half of the nineteenth century. The discovery of film brought new ways to capture the image and changed the way that photographers worked.

Many people believe the beginning of photography to be in the 1800s. These early videos did not have sound, they were simply filmed by an operator who recorded the scene with a large, narrow-tension camera lens. People watching the video at home could not see the picture, only a grainy background. The first time someone used the real camera to take a video recording, it appeared that the invention of photography may have been preceded by the development of VHS technology. But even though the first time someone used a camcorder to record a video it was not the same as the modern digital video camera.

First Professional Camera

A desktop computer sitting on top of a bed in a dark room

George Cassez Wright’s first camera was a hand crank type called a Waggoner. This was the first “professional camera” that a professional could buy. It was designed by photographer, botanist, and explorer, George Cassez Wrights. He took more than one photograph with this model. Later he was able to use his “Waggoner” camera to take close-ups of fish. His fascination with the Waggoner camera developed into a passion for photography.

A German named Lutterich patented a device to improve the focusing ability of the camera lens. After his death, a fellow named Horst Waggoner developed his improvements on the same idea. These improvements were put to work by the famous photographer, Camille Meunier. His magnifying lens made it possible to take extremely clear images of flowers and insects. His lens was made of a compound called silica glass. Silica glass was the most effective glass at that time because it is so lightweight, it didn’t distort when the light was reflected off the object to be photographed.

Waggoner did not invent photography. That was something Thomas Edison did in 1874. He saw an advert in a magazine for a man that made black and white pictures. The man’s business was taking black and white photographs to advertise his services. When Waggoner received his payment for his work from the photographer, he decided to apply his improvements to photography.

He was one of the first to use a shutter, the lever-shooting camera. He was also responsible for putting the term “automatic” into the vocabulary of photography. One reason he was able to do this is that he used a type of camera that waggoner said was the first automatic camera.

The Pinhole Camera

A person wearing a hat

In this century, the camera obscura, as it was later called, was discovered and patented by the French. The invention of the pinhole camera allowed photography to progress from the very early century into the middle of the 19th century. This camera was much more advanced than anyone had ever imagined before. It was even more innovative.

Waggoner made one more improvement on his camera. He designed what is known as the Ni Pce or the “pinhole camera”. This was a camera that worked much like a pinhole camera. It was bigger than his earlier invention, the pinhole camera. Even though the size of these cameras was smaller than the earlier ones, they worked better.

Invention Of Daguerre

These improvements helped him invent the next big thing in photography. The camera that he invented was much more advanced than the ones that he had built earlier, which was the silver-halide camera. One of their most amazing discoveries of his was that he could use the same camera for both the absorption of light and also for the transmission of it. This discovery allowed him to change his name from Waggoner to Daguerre. This was a very important name because at the time, there were no such names as “Daguerre” and so this was very appropriate.

The very first photograph to be taken with a camera was called the snapshot. Louis Daguerre was credited for this marvelous achievement. When he began taking pictures with his silver-halide camera in 1801, nobody knew exactly how it worked, since nobody had ever seen one. Only later was it learned that the electricity that powered the device ran through a plate. Through the years, various improvements have been made to this device. Some of them include the introduction of a nice battery.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter