Photography started with a camera and the basic idea has been around since about the 5th Century B.C. For centuries these were just ideas until an Iraqi scientistdeveloped something called the camera obscura sometime in the 11th Century. Even then, the camera did not actually record images, they simply projected them onto another surface. The images were alsoupside down. The first camera obscuras used a pinhole in a tent to project an image from outside the tent into the darkened area. It took until the 17th Century for camera obscuras to be made smallenough to be portable and basic lenses to be added.
Photography as we know it today began in the late 1830s in France when Joseph Nicéphore Niépce used a portable camera obscura toexpose a pewter plate coated with bitumen to light. This is the first recorded image that did not fade quickly.
This experiment led to collaboration between Niépce and Louis Daguerrethat resulted in the creation of the Daguerreotype. Daguerreotypes were the forerunners to our modern film. A copper plate was coated with silver and exposed to iodine vapor before it was exposed tolight. To create the image on the plate, the earlier Daguerreotypes had to be exposed to light for up to 15 minutes. The Daguerreotype was very popular until it was replaced in the late 1850s by emulsionplates.
Emulsion plates, or wet plates, were less expensive than Daguerreotypes and took only two or three seconds of exposure time. This made them much more suited to portraitphotography, which was the most common photography at the time. These wet plates used an emulsion process called the Collodion process, rather than a simple coating on the image plate. Two of theseemulsion plates were ambrotype and tintype. Ambrotypes used a glass plate instead of the copper plate of the Daguerreotypes. Tintypes used a tin plate. While these plates were much more sensitive to...