Camera Obscura

19th century optical device often used by artists to make quick sketches in the feild.  “Camera Obscura” means “dark room”  invented by Johann Zahn in 1685.  Sliding Wooden Box Camera. It uses a pinhole or lens to project an image of the scene outside upside-down onto a viewing surface.

sliding box camera

The first photograph was taken approximately 1817. Later, in 1827, he made permanent images using a sliding wooden box camera. This was made by Charles and Vincent Chevalier in Paris, France. His first permanent photograph in 1827 by coating a pewter plate with bitumen and exposing the plate to light. The bitumen hardened where light struck. The unhardened areas were then dissolved away.

Dry Plates

Druy plates have been available since 1855. it was not until the invention of the gelatin dry plate in 1871 by Richard Leach Maddox that they rivalled wet plates in speed and quality.  For the first time, cameras could be made small enough to be hand-held. The shortened exposure times that made candid photography possible also necessitated another innovation, the mechanical shutter. The very first shutters were separate accessories, though built-in shutters were common by the turn of the century.


The use of photographic film was created by George Eastman, who started the manufactering paper film in 1885. He switched over to celluloid in 1889. His first camera, which he called the “Kodak,” was first offered for sale in 1888. It was a very simple box camera with a fixed-focus lens and single shutter speed. In 1900 the Brownie, a simple and very inexpensive box camera that introduced the concept of the snapshot was introduced.

mass marketing

In 1934 the 135 cartridge was introduced.  Their poor quality produces amazing, ethereal photos with vignetting, screwed up colours and contrast. Light leaks create colour distortions and the simple lens blurs the edges of images

Reflex Camera

•The first practical reflex camera was the Franke & Heidecke Rolleiflex medium format TLR of 1928. This is a camera where the photographer sees exactly the same image that is exposed to the film and can adjust everything by turning dials and clicking buttons. Since it doesn’t need any electricity to take a picture, a manual SLR camera provides an excellent illustration of the fundamental processes of photography.
Instant Cameras

•An entirely new type of camera appeared on the market in 1948.
Polaroid SX-70
The SX-70is a folding single lens reflex Land Camera first produced by the Polaroid Corporation in 1972. It was the first instant SLR in history, and the first camera to use Polaroid’s new integral print film, which developed automatically without the need for intervention from the photographer. This was revolutionary at the time, and a precursor to today’s 600 and Spectra films.Polaroid Land Camera 250

All these cameras produce 7.2×9.5cm prints on Polaroid 100-series packfilm, and the more expensively produced models can be capable of very good results. Many accessories were made for these cameras including, but not limited to, portrait kits, close-up kits, and electric external flashes.

Digital Cameras

•Digital cameras differ from their analog predecessors primarily in that they do not use film, but capture and save photographs on digital memory cards or internal storage instead

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