History of Photography
Although no one knows for sure when a camera-type device was first discovered, the camera obscura became popular among Renaissance artists who used it to trace the image projected by light shining through a tiny hole.
The word photography was first used in the year 1839 - the year the invention of the photographic process was made public. During the prior decades, a number of light-sensitive materials were tested to capture the image from the camera obscura, but the first successful permanent photograph is usually credited to Louis Daguerre. That picture, captured on a silver-coated sheet of copper, using his 'positive image' Daguerreotype process, is entitled The Artist's Studio and is dated 1837. It was fragile & difficult to reproduce.

By the time the details of this process were made public, in 1839, other artists and scientists had discovered additional photographic imaging techniques. William Henry Fox Talbot's Calotype process used light-sensitive paper and produced a 'negative image' that could be used to create positive prints.

These methods required long exposure time, animate objects could not be recorded. No one could hold still long enough! The earliest photographic recordings were architechtural and landscape scenes.
By 1840, when techniques had improved and exposure times were shortened, Portrait photography became fashionable.

The Daguerreotype picture above is from The J. Paul Getty Museum.

These were created in the mid-1800's as Albumen silver prints, Salted Paper Prints, a Cyanotype, Daguerreotype, & Calotype negative.

Since that time, photography has become an important tool in many fields, with sophisticated techniques and equipment continuing to evolve.

The 19th Century Camera Advertising page at AntiqueWoodCameras.com notes that - 'As the industry moves forward into a new era of digital images, the roots of photography can still be traced in its early cameras, advertising, and references. ... They are fascinating looks into a past where graphical layout, grammar, and the "sales pitch," are much different than what we see today.'
Library of Congress acquires rare trove of Civil War images
"A Houston housewife who has quietly collected rare Civil War images for 50 years has sold more than 500 early photographs to the Library of Congress."
The First Colour Photography from Russia
Making Color Images from Prokudin-Gorskii's Negatives
An Explanation of the Color Rendering Process, "Digichromatography"
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