In the late 1700s, Thomas Wedgwood created shadow image photograms making him the first photographer in history. In 1822, Nicephore Niepce, took the first picture that could be recognized but his process was not fast or easy – the subject was required to remain still for several hours while the picture “took”. Unfortunately he broke the plate while trying to make copies and literally destroyed his work.
Niepce joined with Louis Daguerre who began work more as a chemist than a photographer. With Nicephore’s process the image was required to remain still for several hours while the picture “took”. When Nicephore died in 1833, Daguerre was forced to move on by himself. In 1838, he took a picture that required the image remaining still for only 10 minutes and the art of modern photography had begun.
Many others helped bring the art up to the standards it is today. Hercules Florence, John Herschel, Frederick Scott Archer, and Gabriel Lippman are among a few of those names.
Probably the most recognized is George Eastman. He invented the use of modern ‘film’ in 1885.
How to celebrate: Go out and take some pictures, Buy a new camera, Find a place where you can get an old-time photo made, Make “sunprints”.