- The History of Photography: From 1839 to the Present
- Photography: A Cultural History
- Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital
If there’s one thing I don’t like about amateur photographers and beginners is their complete ignorance of photography history. Seriously everyone, that stuff is important. It’s not just the fact that the latest cameras still work on roughly the same principles as two hundred years ago, but it’s important to know the great names that inspired and shaped this medium that has become so loved by the world.
You can trace the camera obscura principle back to ancient philosophers and it’s fascinating that it works with today’s high end sensors too. Without the likes of Niepce, Daguerre, Talbot and Eastman just to name a few, who knows how long it would have been before humanity could use photography to record its history and create art.
As cameras became smaller and lighter, until eventually the film roll and the 35mm format were invented, photographers saw new opportunities. Some of them developed profitable businesses, others took their cameras to the far ends of the earth or to war, and others explored their creativity in the studio, sometimes using themselves as models.
Photography has had a long and fascinating journey before it could become what it is today and it has impacted history like no other medium. It might not be the most respected art form, but it’s definitely unique in its own way. Even with all the technology that has completely changed the process and made it accessible for everyone, the thrill of knowing you took a great photograph is pretty much unchanged. The fact that you can now take photos using so many different techniques is a blessing. You can use your iPhone with incredible results or you can go real old school and go back to silver plates. Whatever floats your boat, it’s still awesome.
The guys at COOPH have made an awesome five minute video that shows you the entire history of photography unfolded. This is the stuff everyone with a camera and some form of expectations has to see. Enjoy!