History of Photography Timeline

A comprehensive timeline with the most important milestones in the history of photography. Created by Profr. Oscar Colorado Nates (Advanced Photoraphy, Universidad Panamericnaa Mexico)

0100-07-01 16:59:44

Abd El Kamir

He discovered the photosensitive emulsion (silver nitrate) it tended to darken with the light. He doesn’t knew the camera oscura.

0300 BC-07-01 08:59:50


Aristotle described the camera oscura.

0400 BC-09-01 00:00:00


Mozi wrote about the camera oscura as the "hidden treasure"

0400-02-01 08:01:11

Alhacen of Basra

He used the camera oscura to watched eclipses.

1277-07-01 16:59:44

Roger Bacon

In his “Science Perspective", Bacon improved the camera oscura placing a mirror behind the pinhole (whole where the light enters) in order to project the images horizontally.

1284-07-01 16:59:44

Salvino d'Armate

He invented the glasses.

1490-07-04 16:59:44

Leonardo Da Vinci

He realized the first illustration and complete description of the camera oscura.

1600-09-01 10:38:01

Giambattista della Porta

He refers to the camera oscura as the "buried treasure"

1600-09-01 10:38:01

Gerolamo Cardano

Use of a biconvex glass disc

1608-09-01 00:00:00

First Telescope

Hans Lippershey made the first telescope.

1611-10-01 19:22:07

Johanes Kepler

He created a system of concave and convex lenses to correct aberrations and distortions.

1668-10-01 19:22:07

Isaac Newton

He included glasses to the telescope and a visor

1700-05-01 20:57:45

Jacques-Alexander-Cesar Charles

He obtained the first impregnated silhouette on silver salts.

1727-01-01 11:14:37

Johann Heinrich Schulze

Discover ownership of black to light having a mixture of chalk etching and silver nitrate.

1750-09-03 00:00:00

Silhouette portraits

The silhouettes were the shape of an economic portrait more common on England, France, and Germany.

1758-05-01 20:57:45

John Dollond

He commercialized telescopes with achromatic lenses.

1760-01-01 11:14:37

Carl Wilhelm Scheele

He studied the reactions of silver light systematically.

1786-09-14 10:38:01


Louis Chrétien invented a similar device to pantograph to transfer intaglio plate profile models.

1792-05-01 20:57:45

Thomas Wedgewood

He improved the experiments of Jacques-Alexandre-Cesar Charles, but the images can only be contemplate on the shade and a few minutes (it was missing (lacked binder). Were called "blueprints"

1825-07-14 00:00:00


Invented by Sir John Herschel (who coined the term “photograpy” years latter) ir was an instrument to measure the intensity of light.

1826-05-01 20:57:45

The first photography in history

In 1827 Niépce accomplished the first photography of the history: a view from the window of his house, it took 8 hours of exposure to be realiced.

1826-05-01 20:57:45

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce

He could achieve the first successful fixation of an image produced with one camera oscura. He converted in one of the fathers of photography.

1829-09-01 00:00:00

The Niépce-Daguerre Contract

Louis Daguerre convinced Niépce to sign a collaboration agreement to work together the effort for the fixation of images obtain by the camera oscura.

1835-08-13 00:00:00

Daguerre's First Photograph

Louis Daguerre achieved his first permanent image.

1839-08-19 00:00:00

Photography's official presentation

The 19 of august 1839 Louis Daguerre showed his invention (Called daguerreotype) to the Science Academy of Paris.

1839-11-01 02:14:37


William Henry Fox Talbot realized a procedure called "Calotype". He used paper instead of metal plates and can generate a negative with multiple copies.

1839-12-12 02:14:37

The First Commercial Camera

It was created by Giroux in París. Its weight was 54 kg, and it had a cost 400 francs.

1840-01-01 02:14:37

The first Tableau Vivant

Hyppolite Bayard created his image "The drowned" in protest at not being recognized as a parent of Photography.

1840-11-21 02:14:37

Daguerrotypes in seconds

Alexander S. Wolcott and John Johnson patented a camera that allowed shorter exposure times.

1841-05-05 00:00:00

The first photographic studio in London

Richard Beard opened his first portrait studio

1843-05-09 00:00:00

First facsimile machine (FAX)

Alexander Bain created this device and in 1856 he opened the first fax service between París y Lyon (France).

1843-09-08 00:00:00

First Photo Book

Anna Atnkins published "Photographs of British Algae", the first illustrate book with photographies

1843-12-01 00:00:00

David Octavius Hill y Robert Adamson

They realized portraits and they were the first documenting the social reality in the fishing villages.

1847-01-15 02:14:37

The First Photography Society in England is Founded

It creates in England the Calotype Club". Its members were Frederick Scott Archer – creator of the wet collodion, Roger Fenton and Hugh Diamond, among others.

1847-04-22 00:00:00

Driver Shellac roll

Frederick Bakewell improved, in England, the design of Alexander Bain to create facsimiles.

1849-01-01 02:14:37

Glass Negative with Albumen

Abel Niepce used egg whites to bond the silver salts.

1849-01-01 02:14:37

Wet collodion

Gustave LeGray proposed the use of the wet collodion to reduce shutter times.

1849-12-12 00:00:00

Mathew Brady

He opened his studio in Washington D.C. and performed photographs of the president and his cabinet. His job of documentation in the Civil War was fundamental.

1850-01-01 02:14:37

The portrait

By the mid-nineteenth century portrait was the main activity of photographic studios.

1850-01-01 02:14:37


For a decade several photographers used the photography with artistic purposes, borrowing themes and inspire treatments in painting. They stressed HP Robinson, Oscar Gustav Rejlander, Julia Margaret Cameron and others.

1850-01-04 00:00:00

Albumen Print

Louis Desire Blanquart-Evrard invented the printing paper to albumin and achieves greater depth and contrast.

1850-01-04 00:00:00


Gaspard Félix Tournachon (Nadar) became in one of the fundamental portraitist. He created one of the most important photo studios in Paris.

1851-05-01 00:00:00

First Photographic Society in France

Know as the Societé Héliographique, it became in 1854 in the Sociétè Française de Photographie.

1851-08-01 00:00:00

Gustave LeGray

One of the pioneers of art photography. Provided its photos a aesthetic sense.

1852-01-01 02:14:37

Photos from Egypt

Maxime du Camp takes photographic records in Egypt.

1852-05-01 02:14:37

Fotografía Estereoscópica

John Benjamin Dancer created the first first stereoscopic camera of the history.

1852-10-02 02:14:37


Adolphe-Alexandre Martin created the tintype technique: metal plate used as a support for the collodion.

1853-10-20 02:14:37

Photographic Society of London

Founded by Roger Fenton

1854-07-28 02:14:37


James Ambrose Cutting invented the ambrotype, or collodion direct printing.

1855-01-01 02:14:37

First war photography

Roger Fenton, first war photographer created "Valley of the Shadow of death"

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