The First Click

“Wherever there is light, one can photograph.” –Alfred Stieglitz, 1864 – 1946

Alfred Stieglitz is a well recognized photographer because he was considered as the pioneer of modern day photography. The truth is,  when the digital camera came out and when it was massly produced during the Information Age, a lot of photo enthusiast came out also. It became the people’s new interest because we can directly see the photos through our computers, unlike before that we have to go to a printing house to developed the film. In the other sense, the birth of built in phone cameras also stirs up the interest of the people because they basically became an instant photographers.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we will turn back the time on when photography really started?

The word “photography” was first used by the scientist named  Sir John F.W. Herschel in 1839. Photography he said is a method of recording images by the action made by light or any related radiation which can be transferred into a sensitive material (film).

Photography was derived from a Greek word “photo” which means “light” and the word “graphein” means “to draw”.

During the Middle Ages around 1000 AD, Alhazen (Ibn Al-Haytham) introduced his first invention which he call “pinhole camera”. A pinhole camera or the  “camera obscura” can help determine or explain why a certain image/picture turns upside down. Around 330 BC, Aristotle  made the first noted reference of the optic laws by using the pinhole camera.


(Photo credited to the owner)


In Addition, in 1827 Joseph Nicephore Niepce was the first person to developed a photographic image by using the “camera obscura”. Long before, the people basically used the “camera obscura” for viewing purposes only, and not until Niepce’s first  sun prints (heliographs) came into life which is considered the modern photograph. On the latter years, his fellow Frenchman  Louis Daguerre invented  “The Daguerreotype Camera” (in which it is considered by the French Academy of Science as the most expensive camera). Louis Daguerre’s invention was considered the first practical process of photography.


(Photo credited to the owner)

In 1881, Etienne-Jules Marey  and Eadweard Muybridge met. The two combined their ideas in studying the motions done by humans, but the concept actually started from Marey about his interest of the bird’s flight. Later that year, he introduced the camera called “photographic gun” and it help him captured 12 poses of images by a moving object.


(Photo credited to

Muybridge however came up with another concept that he said, our vision has the idea of blurring motion in which he came out with “one motion idea” by breaking them into sequential images. Eadweard Muybridge was a legendary British still photographer at that time when he moved to the US, in fact he had a photography shop at Bay Area, San Francisco. His photography ability was challenged by then former governor Leland Stanford (Stanford University was basically named after him) betting about the horse jumping, if one or more feet is off the ground. The bet was $100, so Leland Stanford hired Muybridge to take the picture. Muybridge then set up 12 cameras, but he failed to get the best shot. He then added another 12 cameras (a total of 24 cameras), from that instance the pictures proved that there is a point that all four feet has not been on the ground. Aside from that, he also did the other experimentation like the stereoscopic photography. Muybridge’s concept of motion sequences started the revolution of still photography, in which in that case it was considered as one of the basis of the “idea of a motion picture”.

Moreover, in the 1900’s new sets of camera inventions were introduced. Eastman introduced “The Brownie” as the first mass marketed camera until 1960’s. Then came out the first travel camera known as “The Reise Camera” which is small and easy to carry because it doesn’t weighed that much, it is said to be an appropriate camera for landscape photography. Around 1913-14, the German Oskar Barnack invented the first standard for all film cameras. The German’s Leica Camera revolutionized the first 35mm still camera also known as “the candid camera”.


“Brownie Camera” (photo credited to the owner)

leica camera

“Leica Camera” (photo credited to the owner)

Then 30 years after, the first camera which can print in about one minute came out. The famous “Polaroid Camera” came out which was invented by Edwin Land in 1948.


“Polariod Camera” (photo credited to the owner)

We fast track through the 1980’s camera inventions, on 1981 Sony company made the world’s first electronic still camera known as “Sony Mavica”. Mavica is the first camera to record images digitally with the help of a mini disk in which the images can be seen in a television monitor and can be printed through a color printer.



In 1986, the first disposable “single-use camera” was introduced by Fuji.

During the 90’s era, Kodak released the first DCS (digital camera system), and then later on Nikon added some modification in which they released the “Nikon F-3 Camera with 1.3 megapixel sensor”. These cameras became popular because most photojournalist used it.

nikon F-3

(photo credited to the owner)

Then on 1994 and 1996, it was the time when the digital cameras were produced in the market that can work with the help of a desktop computer. Companies like, Apple (QuickTake 100 camera, 1994), Kodak (DC40 camera, 1995), Casio (QV-11 with LCD monitor, 1995) and then Sony’s famous Cyber-Shot (digital still camera in 1996).

The first phone with a camera was invented and released by the Japanese company Sharp, Sharp’s J-SHO4 was released in the market during the year 2000.


(Photo by

In 2005, the first digital SLR camera with 24x36mm CMOS sensor was launched by Canon also known as the “Canon EOS 5D”.


(Photo credited to the owner)

The camera invention doesn’t stop up until now, and what’s the good thing about it?

Photography became the photographer’s way of relaying the message to the other people through the beautiful images that was captured. As what Berenice Abbott had said, “Photography helps people to see.”



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