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History of Photography Timeline

11thC Ð 16thC The Camera obscura was developed allowing artists to hand trace the images it projected

1558                     Giovanni Battista della Porta illustrated camera principles in his book "Natural Magic".


1568                     Daniello Barbaro fitted the  camera obscura with a lens and a changeable opening to sharpen the  image.


1666                     Issac Newton Demonstrated that light is the source of colour. He used a prism to split sunlight into its constituent colours and another to recombine them to make white light.


1725                     Johann Heinrich Schulze discovered that the change in color of a mixture of silver nitrate and chalk, in sunlight, was caused by light, not heat.


1758                     Dolland Developed the Achromatic telescope lens. This improved the camera obscura image. 


1801                     Thomas Young Suggested that the retina at the back of the eye contains three types of colour sensitive  receptor, one sensitive to blue light, one to green and one to red. The brain interprets various combinations of these colours to form any other colour in the visible spectrum.


1802:                    Thomas Wedgewood is the first person to attempt to record the camera image by means of the action of light  (he is successful in recording the image in organic substances such as the darkening silver nitrate on white leather or paper when exposed however he is unable to find a way to make these images permanent or ÒstopÓ the darkening permanently)


1816                     Joseph Nicephore Niepce made a crude photographic camera from a jewel box and a simple lens. With it he made a negative image. 


1817 (approx)    Niepce is the first to successfully fix the cameraÕs image (based on evidence in letters written by him at that time) interested in improving the process used for lithography (to replace the heavy, cumbersome stones used with metal plates). He was weak at drawing his own pictures he hoped inventing a process to fix camera obscura images would alleviate this need and free him to create images to use for his lithographic device invention work.  He designed his cameras hoping to create an Òartificial eyeÓ.


1819                     Sir John F Herschel, an astronomer and scientist noticed that the hyposulphite of soda dissolved in silver salts (at this time as a mere observation of the properties of these substances, and perhaps had no idea of how this might be useful)


1827                     Date creation the only example of NiepceÕs photographic work, ÒheliographyÓ as he called it still in existence today (an eight hour exposure of a view of a building and the landscape surrounding it).


                              Niepce visited the painter Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre who was also trying to figure out how to capture the camera image Òby the spontaneous action of lightÓ.  (as a scenic painter, he was already very familiar with the camera obscura)


1829                     Niepce and Daguerre sign a ten year agreement to work in partnership developing their new recording medium


1833                     Niepce dies and Daguerre continues his work alone (although NiepceÕs heirs are still legally connected to Daguerre as partners they contribute nothing to DaguerreÕs research and development)


                              William Henry Fox Talbot almost accidentally discovers a photographic system working independently in England (he too was frustrated by his inability to draw well and used the camera obscura.  As he imagined how nice it would be if the camera obscuraÕs images could be Òimprinted durably and remain fixed on the paperÓ.  He experiments and creates a negative image using sodium chloride and silver nitrate).


1835                     Talbot describes in his notebook how a positive image might be made from a negative if the ÒpaperÓ the negative was recorded on was transparent and as fixed (so it was rendered insensitive to the further action of light)


1837                     First Daguerrotype shared with the world (still exists today, signed and dated in the collection of the Societe Francaise de Photographie in Paris).  These pictures were described as Òimages that paint themselvesÓ and Òbeautiful drawingsÓ with a high range of highlights, shadows, and half tones.  Òa dead spider, taken through the solar microscope, has such fine detail in the drawing that you could study its anatomy with our without a magnifying glass, as in natureÉ Travellers, you will son be able, perhaps at the cost of some hundreds of francs, to acquire the apparatus invented by M. Daguerre and be able tto bring back to France the most beautiful monuments and scenes of the whole world...Ó (Gazette de France January 6 1839).  The Daguerrotype process is kept secret.


Talbot is astonished to hear about the Daguerrotype process created for the same purpose as his during approximately the same time period.


1839                     Talbot shared samples of his work with the Royal Institute in London (pushed to do so at this time because of the Daguerrotypes), and he too keeps his process secret.


1840                     First lens designed specifically for photographic purposes by Petzval


January               Herschel (while trying to figure out what Talbot and DaguerreÕs secret processes might be, knowing they required sensitive paper, a perfect camera, and a Òmeans of arresting the further actionÓ successfully fixes sensitized paper using his 1819 discovery of hyposulphite of soda dissolved in silver salts.  (this chemichal is still used today called sodium thiosulfate or ÒhypoÓ)


February             Herschel shares this technique with Talbot.  Once published, Daguerre began using it too, and almost all subsequent photographic processes rely on this discovery.


                              Herschel coins the term ÒphotographyÓ (replacing Talbots Òphotogenic drawing) and ÒpositiveÓ and ÒnegativeÓ (replacing TalbotÕs Òreversed copyÓ and Òre-reversed copyÓ).


April                      Ackerman & Co., (the leading print seller and purveyor of ÒColours and Requisites for DrawingÓ advertised a ÒPhotogenic Drawing BoxÓ (was not called a camera) complete with chemichals for sensitizing paper and an instruction booklet for making prints.


                              Magazine of Science published copies of 3 Òphotogenic drawingsÓ made on wood blocks using TalbotÕs process and then carved out by hand (this technique that eliminated the need for a skilled draftsman to draw on the blocks did not go into wide use until the 1860Õs).


May                       Mungo Ponton (Scottish) demonstrated how he used potassium bichromate to sensitize his papers (instead of silver salt which was more expensive) and the ability to control the sensitivity of the paper according to how much of the chemichal was mixed with water before being spread on the paper.


August                 A bill was passed in France to make the technical details of DaguerreÕs process public in France.  Official, genuine ÒDaguerrotype apparatusesÓ went on sale internationally (but Daguerre applied for and got a patent for his process in England.


                              Other claimants (from countries around the world) scrambled to prove they too had made independent photographic discoveries, saying theirs pre-dated DaguerreÕs and TalbotÕs:


                              Hercules Florence (a Frenchman living in Brazil) claimed he had made photographics with a camera and by contact printing as early as 1832 and provided notebooks from 1833 to 1837 which clearly documented his technique and had indedpendently used the word ÒphotographieÓ to describe what he had done.


                              Hans Thoger Winther (a Norwegian lawyer, proprietor of a lithographic printing shop, and book publisher) claimed he had the idea of fixing camera images as early as 1826 and had succeeded in making direct positives before the disclosure of DaguerreÕs process


                              Hippolyte Bayard exhibited 30 photos in Paris on July 14 1839 (using silver chloride paper, light, potassium iodide, and camera exposure) but his exhibition was completely overlooked as everyone was only paying attention to the work of Daguerre, and Bayard received no government support or fame as Daguerre had.


The length of exposure was too long for natural portraits, and the eyes of the subject had to be kept closed in order for them to be still enough for ten to twenty minutes in bright sunlight (the time and amount of light needed for exposure)É. Or bright sunlight was reflected into the faces of the subjects for eight minutes, blinding them and causing tears to trickle down their cheeks Òheroics were demandedÓ of the subject of portraits.


By the end of 1840 a lens 22x faster than the original was created (f 3.6 instead of f 16), the light sensitivity of the plates was increased dramatically (4 minute exposures became 25 second exposures), the tones of of the daguerrotype were enriched by guilding the plate.


Portrait studios opened everywhere following these developments. Almost anyone could learn how to take daguerrotypes and set up a business within two weeks of  technical training and practice.


In America, many of the tedious preparation rituals were mechanized using machines to speed up and make the process more convenient


1841                     Talbot announced an improvement in his photogenic drawing process: the Calotype (beautiful picture), which developed a latent image (instead of waiting for the image to appear on the sensitized surface during exposure). It created negatives which were then used to make positives. He patented this on Feb 8 1841


                              The first stereographs (stereo vision photographs) were exhibited at the Royal Academy of Science in Brussels


1843                     Talbot set up a photofinishing lab for calotype negatives in Reading, England


                              David Octavious Hill used the calotype to aid in his portrait painting


1840-1844               114 Travel views were issued in Paris.  Daguerrotypes taken across Europe, the Middle East, and America  were traced and transferred to copper plates for printing (with figures of people drawn in as the process took needed so much time for exposure that people did not appear in street scenes and this distressed the public looking at the pictures).


1850                     Levi L. Hill publicly announced his success in fixing the colours of nature on daguerrotype plates, however he would not release his secret to the public, not even for $100,000.  Later, it was discovered he had not properly figured out how to achieve colour, and from time to time, other daguerrotypists would find they had accidentally somehow recorded colour images as well, but most faded.


1851                     Frederick Scott Archer invented a new process (unpatented thus making it free for anyone to take photographs) allowed negatives to be made using glass coated with silver salts and collodion.


                              These plates could be prepared up to months ahead of shooting (unlike earlier processes which had to be prepared on the spot and used immediately), however they were not very ÒfastÓ (light sensitive) and required 3 hour exposures in bright light at f 72 until Felice Beato reduced the time to four seconds using gallic acid on the plates.


1852                     Talbot relaxed his controlling grip on the callotype (re: both amateur and professional photographers having to pay him £100- £150 a year license fee to use his process).  From then on, he only retained control over professionals taking photos for profit


                              Talbot filed a lawsuit re: the collodion process being an infringement of his process (the same development chemichal was used) against a professional photographer who had not paid him a license fee.  He lost the lawsuit although he was awarded the status as the first and true inventor of the calotype process


1853                     The Photographic Society of London (later the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain) was founded for amateur and professional photographers who were interested in shooting fine art images.  Most of these images were meant to be allegories, and photographers found inspiration in paintings (while some painters used photographs of models for their paintings).  Large format prints were made when the image was printed from many negatives carefully masked together.   Landscapes were very hard to do because the latitude of the film was so limited and the film itself was only sensitive to the blue part of the spectrum (orthochromatic).


1854                     ÒAmbrotypeÓ prints (name coined), Òtin typeÓ wet plate processes gain popularity (paralleling the daguerrotypes),


carte-de-visite technique (3rd generation) collodion photo deals death blow to daguerrotype images, leads to the birth of the family photo album (these prints were quite small, full figure, and not much attention was paid to aesthetics, lighting, posing, etc.). 


The more serious photographers worked in large format photography while the amateurs used very small formats


1855                     People of almost all social classes could afford to have their daguerrotype portraits recorded Ð not just the rich.


State of MassachusettsÕs statistic: 403,626 daguerrotypes had been taken in that year (June 1 1854 - June 1 1855).  Daguerrotypes were much more popular overall in the U.S. than Europe and declined in use later.


                              New York Gallery (studio) boasted a daily production of 300-1000 daguerrotype portraits (assembly line type factories were set up where the photographers never left the cameras, and a steady stream of people would sit down, be recorded, and then collect their photo 15 minutes later)


In America, as competition increased with more and more daguerrotype ÒgalleriesÓ or studios opening up, the price of having oneÕs daguerrotype taken dropped dramatically in a very short time e.g. from $2.50 for a small one to as low as $0.12 each or converted to 2005 values, from approx $60.00 for a 1/8 size print to $2.50) although most of these were cheap and unsatisfactory in quality and customers were frequently disappointed


                              Photography was the Òmirror with a memoryÓ by Oliver Wendell Holmes (American Physician, man of letters and amateur daguerrotype photographer)


Family photos were especially in demand due to the very high mortality rate of children, and many photos were taken of people just after they died to immortalize them. ÒSecure the shadow Ôere the substance fade/Let Nature imitate what Nature madeÓ was the couplet used extensively to adverstise this service


The controversy over image retouching begins when Franz Hanfstaengle (leading portrait photographer of Germany) showed a re-touched negative with a print made from it before re-touching.


Roger Fenton shot the Crimean war, the worldÕs first ever war photographs


1856                     The decline of the Daguerrotype: 606 images were displayed in the annual Photographic Society of London exhibition, but only 3 were Daguerrotypes.  (they were too expensive, fragile, could not be readily duplicated)


                              Adolphe Louis Poitevin won Honore dÕAlbert, Duc de Luyes contests re: processes to create a permanent photographic print that wouldnÕt fade (carbon print) and a way to print photographs using printerÕs ink (collotype print)


                              Nadar (a leading large format portraitist who previously a second rate painter who was one of the first to use electric light to illuminate his portraits and became one of the most important photographers of his day) wrote: ÒPhotography isÉ as science that attracted the greatest intellects, an art that excites the most astute minds Ð and one that can be practiced by an imbecileÉ photographic theory can be taught in an hour, the basic technique in a day.  But what cannot be taught is the feeling for lightÉ nor can one be taught how to grasp the personality of the sitter (re: producing Òan intimate likenessÓ as opposed to Òa banal portraitÓ.


                              The top portrait photographs were produced by teams (who worked under the umbrella name of the studio), not individuals.  The name of the studio became the trademark of the photo. The photographer was more like a film director or modern art director of commercial photos leading the team with his vision while a cameraman operated the camera (strictly as a technician?), and others were responsible for painting the backdrops, dressing the set, processing the negative, making the prints, re-touching them, etc.


1857                     600 photographic prints displayed at the Art Treasures Exhibition in Manchester, affirming photographyÕs growing importance in the art world


1858                     Fading Away by Henry Peach Robinson a very controversial fine art photo, an acted out scene depicting a girl who was made to look Ònear deathÓ surrounded by her family was deemed to be in poor taste.  The scene was felt to be in poor taste because it was a photograph and thus assumed to be literally depicting reality (it would not have been read this way as a painting)


                              First Aerial photograph recorded by Nadar from a balloon


1859                     The French Society of Photography finally succeeded in convincing the Ministry of Fine Arts to allow them to have an exhibition at the Palace of the Champs Elysees at the time of the annual painting Salon. It was still seen by art critics however as the ÒserventÓ of the sciences and arts like printing or short-hand


                              The First photographs in which natural action (e.g. strollers on a street) was captured with regular assurance (meaning easily on a regular basis instead of rarely to never)


1861                     Brady began shooting his famous Civil War photos (at much personal risk) which inspired many many others to start shooting this war (and subsequent wars)


                              James Clerk Maxwell reproduced a colored ribbon by the three color additive process.


1863                     Previous theories of manÕs stride and positioning while walking used in drawing and painting and science turned upside down by photographic evidence of how things really were when Oliver Wendell Holmes examined streetscapes with frozen figures mid-stride (all in various stages of walking) in them


1864                     The profession ÒdaguerrotypistÓ no longer appeared in the San Francisco business directories.  The best photographers in America were former daguerrotypists.


                              Technology advanced to allow for shooting of dry plates.  They also no longer needed to be shot immediately on the spot.  This allowed them to be manufactured (photographers no longer needed to make their own plates) and sold.


                              Ready-sensitized printing papers released almost simultaneously with manufactured dry plates.


1866                     Hugo Adolph Steinheil (Munich) and John Henry Dallmeyer (London) independently and simultaneously developed almost identical lenses with corrected spherical aberration (a problem all previous lenses had throwing the corners out focus, loss of definition), and less astigmatism. DallmeyerÕs ÒRapid RectilinearÓ lens became a generic name for all lenses of this type until the anastigmat replaced it in 1893


                              Antony Samuel Adam-Salomon (sculpture turned top portrait photographer)Õs work inspires Alphonese de Lamartine  (who once called photography Òa plagiarism of natureÓ) confessed:


                              ÒAfter admiring the portraits caught in a burst of sunlight by Adam Salomon, the sensitive sculptor who has given up painting, we no longer claim that photography is a trade Ð it is an art, it is more than an art, it is a solar phenomenon, where the artist collaborates with the sun.Ó


                              Retouching becomes more and more common as sitters in portraits want blemishes hidden, features softened, wrinkles smoothed away etc.


                              Specialists in publicity portraits of actors emerged as the demand for this type of image increased, and actors posed Òin characterÓ and Òon setÓ for these images.


                              Exposures were previously done by removing a lens cap from in front of the camera. Shorter exposures meant the need for very precise shutters that could expose for fractions of a second.


1871                     Paris police begin using photographs as a way to record evidence at crime scenes


                              Eadweard MuybridgeÕs famous photographs showing how a horse really galloped further proves the inadequacy of the human vision when it comes to analyzing moving things1


1876                     Vero Charles Driffield and Ferdinand Hurter work to do away with Òrules of thumbÓ re: plate sensitivity for light and exposure times, and develop a means scientifically rating the density of the plate (how much sensitive emulsion was on it) and in-turn what the ideal exposures would be (previously one had to guess and hope for the best).


1854                     ÒAmbrotypeÓ prints (name coined), Òtin typeÓ wet plate processes gain popularity (paralleling the daguerrotypes),


carte-de-visite technique (3rd generation) collodion photo deals death blow to daguerrotype images, leads to the birth of the family photo album (these prints were quite small, full figure, and not much attention was paid to aesthetics, lighting, posing, etc.). 


The more serious photographers worked in large format photography while the amateurs used very small formats


1869                     Charles Piazzi Smyth exhibited prints (enlargements from negatives) taken over the past decade to the Edinburgh Photographic Society: 8X10 prints using Òpoor manÓÕs negatives.  His prints retained an amazing clarity and amount of detail.  They also enabled cropping both to recompose the subject and to not be restricted to the standard sizes and shapes of negatives etc.  Beginners could also easily improve the compositon of their prints (previously it was unthinkable to mask off any part of the image)


1878                     Animated photos start to be viewed in the zoetrope and similar devices (animations using successive images or drawings based on or inspired by MybridgeÕs work)


                              Photographs (animals and especially the human figure in motion doing various things) taken for artists (painters etc.) to use as reference. Many of these photos shocked the world (artists in particular).


1879                     Gelatin emulsions went into widespread use Ð no smell, plates did not have to be made by the photographers, no longer a need for a portable darkroom in the field, plates held their light sensitivity for months and no longer had to be developed immediately.


                              Paper sensitive enough to be exposed successfully using an electric light bulb were created which in-turn allowed for enlargement of negatives and bulk printing of negatives in quantities never before realized


1880Õs                 Hand cameras (that did not require a tripod) became widely available. They were mass produced and there was a bewildering variety to choose from.  They dramatically increased the potential output of images of photographers.

                              The halftone plate was invented and made possible and revolutionized the pictorial magazines.  Photographs could be reproduced very economically


 Dry plates and flexible film sensitive to all colours of the spectrum (panchromatic instead of must orthochromatic) were becoming available.


Photography was ÒfastÓ, speedy compared to the illustrative techniques of the past  ÒThe old techniques are surpassed as much by todayÕs as the stagecoach by the railroad.


1888                     The most famous early hand camera, the ÒKodakÓ invented and manufactured by George Eastman (a box camera that used roll film long enough for 100 circular exposures Ð initially paper coated in light sensitive gelatin, the paper stripped from the base after processing) ÒYou click the button we do the restÓ. (the cameras were sold for $25 including processing and printing of all good photos)


                              Casual use of cameras by untrained photographers became widespread.  Photography was brought into the reach of all human beings, and its power to share oneÕs travels even years after the fact and experiences was incomparable to anything that had previously existed.


                              The term ÒSnapshotsÓ was born (from an expression used by hunters to describe shooting a firearm from the hip without taking careful aim)


                              Jacob A. RiisÕs photos of the Lower East Side published in the New York Sun exposed the poverty and misery there. He was one of the first photographers to use a ÒflashÓ technology to illuminate his subjects.


                              First issue of National Geographic published and sent to 200 charter members of the society


1889                     Documentary photography (as a conscious photographic pursuit) can be said to have been born when The British Journal of Photography urged the formation of a vast archive of photographs Òcontaining a record as complete as could be madeÉ. Of the present state of the worldÓ


1890Õs                 Alfred StieglitzÕs pictorial photography started up the American pictorial movement and his influence as the vice president of the newly formed Camera Club of New York (working to push photography in America to artistic heights etc. like in Europe)


1890                     Illustrated American the first picture magazine deliberately planned to use photographs goes to press in February. This is possible because of the perfection of the halftone printing process in the latter 1880Õs


1891                     Transparent film on a clear base of nitrocellulose was introduced (eliminated the need for paper negatives, and eventually, glass negatives)             


                              Gabriel Lippmann discovers a way to make direct positive colour photographs, however the process was not very practical and is now obsolete.


1892                     Julies Carpentier (who built the Cinematographe for the Lumieres) designed the Photo-Jumelle twin lens reflex camera.  It was a precision camera with fixed focus lenses, built to exacting specs.  It had a tolerance of 1/100mm (a degree of precision unheard of in the camera industry of the day).  This camera was widely imitated and became a classic camera type.


                              This was the first hand camera made for artists who wanted more creative control over their pictures (the consumer box camera allowed almost none).    Photographers were now free to take Òaction shotsÓ previously impossible with view cameras.


                              Parallax issues prompted the invention of the single lens reflex camera in the latter part of the decade.


                              Halftone printing processes evolved enabling photojournalism to be born (previously, photos printed via handmade wood engravings of their content; the actual photos could not be reproduced)


1895                     Lumiere Brothers successfully project the first motion picture film as a Òmagic lanternÓ type presentation (followed by Edison in America and the explosion of the motion picture film medium)


1896                     The first X-Ray photo is taken when Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen noticed that a bit of barium platinocyanide emitted a fluorescent glow. He then laid a photographic plate behind his wifeÕs hand. Previously, physicians were unable to look inside a personÕs body without making an incision. Roentgen was the recipient of the first Nobel Prize for Physics in 1901


1900Õs                 Painters were freed from the need to produce representational pictures (thus cubism and abstract art were born), and now Òstraight photographyÓ was being born (photographs meant to look like photographs and not emulate paintings or drawings, that are not re-touched etc. going back to the early daguerrotype days).  Acceptance of ÒstraightÓ photography as an art form was a huge step. Stieglitz moved on to create Òstraight photographsÓ


                              Lewis W. Hine was working on his remarkable series of photographs of immigrants arriving in New YorkÕs Elllis Island and into the tenements and sweatshops where they lived and worked.  As a sociologist, the camera was a powerful tool for his research and communication with others.  He essentially followed in RiisÕs footsteps, and realized the power of the subjectivity of his photographs.


                              He photographed children working in factories showing their size relative to the machines.  These images were the first to be labeled a photo story where the photographs were not secondary to or illustrative of the writerÕs text; they were of equal importance.


1900                     The Browning (Brownie) is the first mass marketed camera


1903                     The American Graflex SLR camera (followed by the British Soho Reflex in 1906) became the standard hand camera of pictorial photographers for the first two decades of the century.


1907                     StieglitzÕs The Steerage (famous photo) created not by waiting endlessly for the right moment, but by recognizing a moment and grabbing it (the beginnings of what later became Òdecisive momentÓ photography).  The subjects were able to show themselves in their own substance or personality as revealed by the play of light and shade around them (i.e. not presented in a contrived ÒinterpretationÓ on the part of the photographer)


1910Õs                 Scientific photography influences painting e.g. DuchampÕs famous Nude Descending a Staircase was inspired by the multimple exposure high speed photographs taken by Etienne Jules Marey for his physiological studies.  Futurists were also very influenced by this type of photography.


1910                     August Sander (a German professional portrait photographer) began photographing people of all social classes and professions (a beginning of documentary portraiture) with the aim of creating a Òsocial atlasÓ.


1911                     Edward Steichen began taking fashion photographs for Art et Decoration


1913                     Stieglitz waxed his prints for a Òglossy surfaceÓ, something that was earlier considered to be ÒunartisticÓ.


                              Alvin Langdon Coburn starts shooting abstract photos (strange perspectives used e.g. birdÕs eye views looking straight down from many feet up), and then created an optical devise based on the kaliedescope to create his images


                              Vogue magazine began publishing fashion photographs by Baron  Andolphe de Meyer.  He founded a style in which the elegance of fashions is displayed with photographic feeling for textures.


1915                     Andrew Kertesz was one of the first photographers to start taking sensitive, unposed photographs of people in their surroundings


1916                     Pictorial Photographers of America founded


1918                     Christian SchadÕs Dadaist abstractions made photographically without a camera


1920Õs                 StieglitzÕs ÒequivalentsÓ are the first photographic abstraction photos (mostly of the sky and clouds, also a meadow glistening with raindrops, a womanÕs hands pressed palm to palm between her knees).  The camera is able to Òsieze upon the familiarÓ and Òendow it with new meanings, with special significance, with the imprint of a personality.Ó


                              Photographers begain to experiment with Òcanted anglesÓ and playing with perspective looking up and down at buildings or using strange angles in general to record scenes (ones we would normally never view the world from)


                              Double exposures also experimented with (e.g. Alexander RodchenkoÕs Portrait of Alexander 1924)


                              Experimentation with the negative image (printed using ÒsolarizationÓ to create an Òedge reversalÓ effect.  ÒThe unreality of the negative throws emphasis upon shapes and contours not usually seen.


                              Texture is created in the normally transparent gelatin emulsion of the film  but subjecting it to rapid temperature changes causing reticulation, a net like structure, or the gelatin is melted so the image droops and sags.


                              Photographs are pasted together to form striking collages (coined from the French verb coller meaning Òto glueÓ.).  During the Third Reich, Heartfield used collage (photomontage) to make biting political statements


                              Photographs and text started being used together extensively in magazines (especially initially in Germany).  In this decade and the 1930Õs, The way photographs and text were integrated with each other came to be called photojournalism.  The minature cameras with high speed lenses were designed to create images that brought the viewer into the scene.


1921                     Man Ray (an American Painter in Paris) and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (a Hungarian painter working in Berlin) begin to create their rayographs and photograms


1923                     Edward Steichen joined the staff of Conde Naste.  He shot fashion photographs and portraits of celebrities that were published regularly in Vogue and Vanity Fair.


1924                     The Ernox (the Ermanox) camera with an incredibly fast lens of f.2 came onto the market allowing widespread Òexisting lightÓ photography.  Lens speeds soon increased to f 1.5 and shutter speeds on these cameras were as fast as 1/1000 of a second


                              First Leica put on the market with a 50mm f3.5 lens.  Shortly afterward a model that allowed the lens to be easily changed while shooting


1925                     The flashbulb is patented by Paul Vierkotter to replace flash powder (noisy and smoky stuff)


1926                     National Geographic staff photographer Charles Martin and scientist W.H. Longley make first natural-color underwater pictures.


1928                     Erich Salomon (of Berlin) is the first to capitalize on this ÒmiraculousÓ camera (the Leica)  by using it to capture natural, unposed candid photographs (the term coined by an English editor) of important dignitaries and statesmen without the distraction and inconvenience of a blinding flash and acrid smoke.  Previously, all portraits of this type had been posed.


1929                     Rollieflex introduced.  It used larger film than the Leica with 12 2.25Ó square exposures on each roll.  It was a smaller and more compact revival of the twin lens reflex camera of the 1890Õs


The flashbulb is perfected by J. Ostermeier.  It is almost immediately adopted by photojournalists


1930Õs                 Ansel Adams (arguably the greatest Òstraight photographerÓ of all time, or at least its greatest pioneer) begins to devote all his time to photography. His prints were made to be reproduced using the halftone process


                              Adams invents the Òzone systemÓ for calculating exposures, and to master the photographic medium through the interrelation of the sensitivity of the negative material, the amount of exposure, the brightness of the subject, and development variables chosen.


                              This (combined with the use of a light meter) eliminates guesswork on the part of the photographer re: exposures.


                              Weegee (New York news photographer) used flash photography to create images that reach into the field of social caricature.


                              Bernice Abbot begins setting out to capture portraits of New York City (its spirit, its essence).


                              The ÒdarknessÓ of the Depression greatly influenced the work of artists. ÒDocumentaryÓ motion picture filmmaking became common: contrasting entertainment productions, these films were rooted in real problems and real situations with real participants.  It was vehemently defended as Ònot artÓ because art was thought to be something beautiful. Documentary was Òanti-aestheticÓ


                              Photographers started using their still cameras to record the world in a similar way.


                              Stefan Lorant pioneered the photo essay in European picture magazines, and later in America


                              ÒA sign photographed as an object carries more impact than the literal transcription of the words it bearsÓ. Ð Beaumont Newhall, The History of Photography on the topic of Documentary photography.


The portrait studio (in a fixed location) becomes obsolete and photographers (including Yosef Karsh) travel with their lights and large format cameras to shoot portraits on location in the homes and offices etc. of their subjects.


1930                     Melville Bell Grosvenor makes first published natural-color aerial photographs for National Geographic


1931                     Hine photographed the construction of the Empire State Building risking his own life, documenting the workers risking their lives.


1932                     Zeiss Ikon released the Contax camera to compete with the Leica. It was a ragefinder with through the viewfinder focusing. 


Photojournalists were the first to widely use these cameras.  They freed the photographer even further re: recording strange angles and segments of the flow of life


The first photoelectric cell light meter is introduced


                              Henri Cartier-Bresson buys his first Leica


1933                     Henri Cartier-BressonÕs work was first shown in the Julien Levy Gallery in NYC. It was initially called Òantigraphic photographyÓ.  They were so spontaneous they seemed accidental.  He showed the Òunreality of realityÓ.  He was able to capture the split second when the subject revealed itself most fleetingly but deeply


                              The great early period of European photojournalism collapsed under Hitler. 


1934                     Fuji Photo Film founded.


1935                     The U.S. government turned to documentary photographers for help fighting the Depression.  The Farm Security Administration enlisted photographers to document their activities and the lives and situations of the dust bowl farmers.  Walker Evans is one of the first photographers to be hired for this purpose.  Dorothea Lange followed, moved by the poverty and breadlines she saw outside her San Francisco studio.  These images alerted the FSA to her skills and landed her an invitation to join the project.


1936                     The first issue of  Life Magazine appears on newsstands (a publication designed to Òharness the optical consciousness of our timeÓ). This magazine differed from past photography magazines in how the photos were carefully chosen and sequenced by the editorsÉ it was about the Òmind guided cameraÓ.  Issues are published weekly


                              The most dramatic and telling photographs of World War II were made by magazine photographers or under their influence.  Life  ran a school for army photographers and sent its own photographers to the front.


                              Kodachrome, the first multi-layered colour film is developed by Kodak


1937                     Margaret Bourek-White of time magazine is one of the first photographers to make use of the multiple sync flash technique.  Photographers had true and complete control over the lighting in their shots for the first time (to sculpt their subjects or only illuminate certain things or generate enough light for comfortable, posed photographs).


                              The first major disaster was captured by photography as it happened: The Hindenberg Zeppelin was photographed as it burst into flames, photos that are still very moving and memorable today.


                              Chester Carlson invents "electron photography," which later comes to be known as xerography, or simply photocopying.


1938                     Electronic flash technology is born (replacing flashbulbs that can only be used once) when Harold E. Edgerton of MIT invented the gas filled tube


                              Images recorded with these ÒstrobesÓ forever fixed image forms never detected by unaided human eye (e.g. EdgertonÕs A Drum Majorette at the Belmont, Massachussetts, High School Twirling a Baton 1948)


                              Fuji is manufacturing cameras and lenses (in addition to film)


1941                     Kodacolor negative film introduced


1945                     Nikon F SLR introduced followed by the Contax S SLR


                              First photo of an atomic mushroom cloud released to the public by the US Air Force. Nothing like it had ever been seen before.  It was shocking because of the broader perspective of the damage inflicted by the war.


1946                     Zoomar introduces the zoom lens, the invention of American Frank Back.


1947                     Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, and David Seymour start the photographer-owned Magnum picture agency


1948                     Hasselblad offers the first medium format SLR camera


                              Pentax in Japan introduces the automatic diaphragm


                              (post WWII)


1949                     East German Zeiss develops the Contax S, first SLR with an unreversed image in a pentaprism viewfinder


1950Õs                 Richard Avedon shoots his trademark portraits of people with stark white backgrounds


                              Television changes the way information is transmitted. Documentary (films & photography) begins to lose its impetus in an organizational sense and becomes muddled and merged with photojournalism, especially the factual reports broadcast by television.  ÒrealisticÓ, ÒhistoricalÓ and ÒfactualÓ are terms used to substitute for documentary, but doc is about a deeply subjective & respectful interpretation.


1951                     David Douglas DuncanÕs book This is War! Containing images of the Korean war was published.


1953                     (December) First issue of Playboy magazine published (undated because Heffner never believed heÕd be allowed to publish another). Never before had nude pictures been successfully sent through the mail as a mainstream commercial venture. The Marilyn Monroe photos, which appeared in playboy's first issue,  had existed long before hefner got his hands on them, but nobody had dared  challenge the powerful U.S. post office and its anti-obscenity regulations.


1954                     Eastman introduces the first high speed Tri-X film


                              First issue of Sports Illustrated appears on newsstands in August


1955                     Robert Frank travels the US on a Guggenheim scholarship to photograph post-war America and Americans.  With a 35mm camera he documents outings, parades, automobiles, filling stations, billboards, roadside bars, the lonely desert highway. The images are bleak, showing very little to celebrate.  They are loose and contrast with the balanced and elegant images of Cartier-Bresson. Frank wanted to create images that reflected stark realism however unpleasant or uncommon.


1957                     Lennart Nilsson begins using an endoscope to photograph the inside of the human body.  His most provocative image was the first ever photograph of a human fetus in the womb. At first, no one was able to believe this image was a real photograph.  Once proven and published in life magazine it becomes the image of choice for Òpro-lifersÓ in the abortion debate.


1959                     Nikon F introduced          


                              Color photographs begin to regularly appear on the cover of National Geographic


1960Õs                 Diane Arbus begins photographing portraits of freaks and people from the fringes of society.  This work was recognized in the 1970Õs as work representing the ÒnewÓ documentary style


                              Duane Michels rejects the Òstraight photographicÓ styles popularized by Ansel Adams and Robert Frank and uses photography to interpret the world in a unique surreal way, as a means of expression of his feelings about the world instead of documentation of it.  He creates art for his own exploration, not to shock audiencies, please critics or for consumerism.


Robert Heinecken (referred to as a ÒphotographistÓ as opposed to a photographer) began to use photography's "illusion of reality" to address Issues related to the popular media, consumerism, common sexual concerns of the 1960s, and the Vietnam War. Influenced by Marcel Duchamp and John Heartfield, his collages juxtaposing disparate photographs from fashion and popular magazines made extraordinary, satirical statements about the values of contemporary society and the messages being pumped-out to the masses. He is quoted as saying: ÒMany pictures turn out to be limp translations of the known world instead of vital objects which create an intrinsic world of their own. There is a vast difference between taking a picture and making a photographÓ. He has taught many students and pushed them to push the boundaries of photography. He is one of the pioneers of digital photographic manipulation.


Jerry Uelsmann the master of photo montage creates fantastically impossible surreal images by seamlessly combining elements from various negatives onto one print.  His goal is to constantly amaze himself.  His creative technique is Òpost-visualizationÓ, meaning a willingness to revisualize the final image at any point in the creative process.



1960                     EG&G develops the first extreme depth underwater camera for the US Navy


1963                     Land introduced the Polaroid color camera. Color photographs were developed in 50 seconds.


                              Kodak introduces the Instamatic line, the first point-and-shoot cameras.


1962                     National Geographic publishes its first all-colour issue in February


1966                     Larry Burrows was the first important photographer to photograph an entire war in colour (as he photographed the Vietnam war).


1967                     Debut of Rolling Stone magazine (and in-turn, the beginnings of the Òcelebrity photographerÓ e.g. Annie Leibovitch, photographers and photojournalists who not only shoot celebrities, but become celebrities in their own right).


1968                     The Earthrise photograph by astronaut William Anders inspired contemplation of our fragile existence and our place in the universe. The term Òspaceship earthÓ was coined, and Earth Day (and related movements/events to conserve resources etc.) was born. The late adventure photographer Galen Rowell called it Òthe most influential environmental photograph ever taken.Ó


                              Sonia Landy Sheridan is one of the first to exploit the creative potential of black and white photocopy machines. Just as exposure, processing temperature and other variables affect photographic images, light source, dyes, electrostatics, magnetics and other factors affect photocopier output. As she began taking copiers apart, exploring how they made images and identifying the ones most useful to artists, Sonia Sheridan discovered still-imaging, graphic capabilities that went far beyond their original purpose. For Sheridan and her students at the Art Institute of Chicago, photocopiers eventually became just one device in a larger system of image-making tools that would include video, computers and sound.


1969                     The Vietnam war was brought closer to civilians than any other conflict before it by courageous photographers and TV cameramen.  This was the most graphic photographic representation of the horrors of war (the wounded, the dying, and the dead) in history.


                              George Smith and Willard Boyle invented the  charge-coupled device (CCD), the image sensor thatÕs the heart of all  digital cameras, at Bell Labs. Smith and Boyle were attempting to create a new kind  of semiconductor memory for computers. At the same time they were looking  for a way to develop a solid-state camera for use in video phones. It took  just an hour for them to sketch out the CCDÕs basic structure, define  the concept of its operation, and outline the applications for which it  would be best suited.


                              The Internet is created as ARPANet (Advanced Research Projects Agency) for the U.S. Department of Defense. The network was designed to break information into separate packets and send the packets over various routes from computer to computer, rerouting the information as necessary to circumvent the breakdown or failure of parts of the system. In the first year, there were four host computers connecting Stanford, UCLA, UC-Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah.


1970Õs                 Robert Mappelthorpe begins shooting flowers, portraits, and nudes exploring his homosexuality in a very controversial way. He was sometimes even banned from exhibitions


                              Robert Adams (no relation to Ansel) and Lewis Baltz begin to record the devastating imprint of man on our planet through ironic but beautiful landscapes (no doubt inspired by the 1968 earthrise photo)


1970                     Smith and Boyle built the CCD into the world's first solid-state video camera.


1972                     110-format cameras introduced by Kodak with a 13x17mm frame


                              Nick UT shoots his iconic Pullitzer Prize winning photograh of Kim Phuc running through napalm dropped by the US army


                              Life magazine ceases publication


1973                     C-41 color negative process introduced, replacing C-22


1974                     The  first imaging CCD was manufactured by Fairchild Electronics with a  format of 100x100 pixels


1975                     Nicholas Nixon takes his first annual photograph of his wife and her sisters: "The Brown Sisters"


                              The  first CCD TV cameras were ready for use in commercial  broadcasts


                              The  first CCD flatbed scanner was introduced by Kurzweil Computer  Products using the first CCD integrated chip, a 500 sensor  linear array from Fairchild.


1976                     Major amendments to U.S. copyright law as it applies to photographs and other intellectual property.


1978                     Life magazine returns as a monthly publication    


1980Õs                 A system called DX coding was introduced for 35mm films. The cassettes have an auto-sensing code printed on them which enable certain cameras to automatically set the film speed, this information can also be  used by processing laboratories.


                              Barbara Kruger appropriates existing photographs, adds on contradictory or ambiguous comments, advertising slogans or fragments of vaguely familiar popular wisdom then displays the works in giant sizes (8Õx12Õ or more)


                              Musical Bands begin imposing Òfirst three songs onlyÓ rules on credentialed concert photographers as common practice (previously, credentialed photographers were permitted to shoot the entire show if they chose).


1980                     Sony demonstrates the first consumer video camcorder


1981                     Sony demonstrates Mavica "still video" camera which recorded images as magnetic impulses on a  compact two-inch still-video floppy disk. The images were captured on the  disk by using two CCD (charge-coupled device) chips. One chip stored  luminance information and the other separately recorded the chrominance information. This camera provided a 720,000-pixel image. The images could  be stored on the floppy disk either in Frame or Field mode. When the  photographer selected the Frame mode, the sensor recorded each picture on  two tracks. Up to 25 images could be recorded on each disk.


                              The internet expands further as  several academic institutions formed BITNET, a wide-area network to serve [102] the academic community.


1983                     Kodak introduces Disc camera, using an 8x11mm frame (the same as in the Minox spy camera). In one way or another, these Disc cameras formed the basis for digital  imaging as they are not entirely considered as conventional film-based cameras.


1984                     Canon demonstrated the first Òdigital stillÓ camera


Steve McCurry  shoots his iconic photo of the ÒAfghan girlÓ which is published on the cover of National Geographic.  She becomes one of the most famous faces in the world, but no one knows her name or anything about her (and she had no idea any of this is happening).  He unsuccessfully searches for her on subsequent trips to Pakistan and Afghanistan.


On the impact of this image: ÒClearly she has become a symbol that National Geographic has used to illustrate the circumstances of refugees like her, and many people have inquired about her," he said. "She stood for an entire group of refugees, not just Afghan refugees. She has helped us with our mission of educating people about other cultures and regionsÑand she's helping us again by drawing attention to the lives of Afghan women and girls in general.Ó Ð Boyd Matson, host of the National Geographic Television show


1985                     Minolta markets the world's first autofocus SLR system (called "Maxxum" in the US).  This is a significant advancement that starts a new debate over whether it is still necessary to be skilled in the mechanics of photography (f stops and depth of field, shutter speed, focusing skills etc.) now that cameras are equipt to do all the technical thinking for us, freeing us to concentrate on our creativity and vision.


1986                     Fuji introduces the Quicksnap, a disposable camera that revisits the original Kodak principle: the user sends the camera into the manufacturer, which then develops the film.       


                       Kodak invents the world's first megapixel sensor, capable of recording 1.4  million pixels that could produce a 5 x 7-inch digital output in print.


1990                     Adobe releases Photoshop 1.0, an image manipulation program for Apple Macintosh computers


John Lund is one of the first commercial photographers to us Photoshop and fully integrate digital imaging into his work.


Kodak DCS 120 is the first ever professional digital SLR camera with a resolution of 1.3 MP. It featured ISO speeds of  100, 200, 400, 800,* and 1600* in color or ISO 200, 400, 800, 1600*  and 3200* in B&W.  It had no LCD screen, and a separate (and very bulky) unit had to be purchased in order to view the images on site.  It was astronomically priced at over $25,000 US and its usefulness was limited.               A few photographers made the mistake of trading in their old film cameras at this (and other premature stages Ð pre D1X/1Ds) and financially ruined themselves.  These sky high priced early pro SLRs became Òworthless paperweightsÓ within an alarmingly short time.     


Kodak announced the development of its Photo CD system. The system provided an advantage of enabling digitized images for playing on television screens, and the company proposed a worldwide standard for defining color in the digital environment of computers  and computer peripherals. This has in a way led to many possibilities in commercial applications for digital imaging.


The internet evolves further: After ARPANet and various other networks had connected over 300,000 host computers, ARPANet was decommissioned as a project of the Department of Defense and allowed to develop as a civilian enterprise. The World was the first commercial service provider for the Internet, allowing individual subscribers to connect their computers to the system by telephone dial-up.


1993                     NCSA releases the first WWW browser


Apple Quicktake digital camera announced (developed jointly with Kodak). It was the first consumer level digital camera It boasts 640x480 (0.3 MP) resolution, a built-in flash, and could store 8 photos in its internal memory. It connected to an Apple Macintosh computer via a serial cable. It was Ònot intended to replace filmÓ and is notorious for devouring AA battery power quickly.


1992                     Kodak releases Photo CD, the first method available to the public for storing digital images


JPEG, a compression becomes standard for storing and sending photographic images over the Internet, is described in a paper published in "IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics."


                              The number of host computers connected to the internet surpasses one million


1994                     Netscape introduces their WWW browser called Navigator             


1995                     Kodak announces the release of their fourth generation professional digital SLR, the DCS 460, a 6.2 megapixel camera with an ISO sensitivity of 80.  It used the N90s (Nikon) body as a base.  Its original list price:  $12,000 US


1996                     The short-lived APS format film was introduced


                              Microsoft releases their WWW browser called Internet Explorer


Working conditions for photojournalists (pay, benefits, job security etc.) continue to erode. From the ÒIn order to ÒsaveÓ the Jersey Journal (a dying local publication ignored by new demographic of nouveau rich moving into the community, the Newspaper Guild (the paper is the last Guild shop in New Jersey) accepted demands from the owners, Advance Publications, that it redefine its position on interns: hiring entry-level reporters at low salaries with no benefits. The pay scale for those new recruits was $362.32 a week, or about $217 less than they would receive as starting reporters. The gap between the intern pay scale and the top-level newspeople was over $400 per week. In addition, the interns faced a nine-month "tryout" period before being considered for a staff position. Then, facing another six-month probationary period until they were entitled to a beginning reporter salary of $534.86.Ó   


1997                     Pentax introduces 645N, the world's first autofocus medium format film SLR


                              Digimarc introduces its digital watermarking system to track and protect photographic images (jpegs) on the internet.


1998                               The first consumer level megapixel cameras are introduced


Kodak DCS 520 professional digital SLR released using a Canon body and (for the first time in a pro digital SLR?) an LCD allowing the user to view photos immediately after they are taken.


                              The United States of America has nearly 50 Million internet users.


Sonny Bono Term Extension Act brought the statutory term of copyrighted works in the U.S.A. to life plus seventy years for works by known individual authors, and up to 120 years from creation for "works made for hire" -- works created by employees in the course of their employment.


Digital Millenium Act introduced addressing new needs for protection of intellectual property in the digital age


Picture Desk International (a stock agency run by photographers) is founded by a group of experienced independent news photographers who felt that the traditional agencies and wire services no longer provided a secure or professional environment for independent photojournalists and documentary photographers.




1999                     Seth Resnick founds E.P. (Editorial Photographers), an organization and online (internet) community for freelance editorial photographers. The message board on Yahoo! Groups became active on April 11th. By 2004 membership grows to almost 4,000 photographers worldwide


                              EPUK (Editoral Photographers for the the United Kingdom and Ireland) is founded on Yahoo! Groups on November 22nd


                              Nikon announces the release of the D1, its first professional digital SLR camera.  It was a milestone camera because it was the first digital pro SLR to be built solely by a major camera manufacturer (as opposed to the earlier cameras made by Kodak using other manufacturersÕ bodies) The camera has a resolution of 2.74 megapixels and has an ISO sensitivity of 200, 400, 800, and 1600.  A new era in photography begins with the release of this camera.  Its initial release price is $5,500 US


                              Kodak releases the DCS 660, a 6.3 megapixel professional SLR based on the Nikon F5 body. It has an ISO rating of 80 and 200. Its initial list price is $9,000 US


2000                     Fuji releases the S1 professional/pro-sumer SLR digital camera based on the Nikon F60 body (a prosumer level body).  It boasts 6.13 MP. The starting list price was $4,000


                              Life  Magazine ceases publication


The worldÕs first camera phone released by Sharp (the J-SH04) in November: ÒThe J-SH04 was the industry's first mobile phone to feature an integrated 110,000-pixel CMOS image sensor for taking digital photos. It was followed by the industry's first application of a 65,536-color semi-transmissive TFT LCD on a flip type phone (J-SH05). Both models were supplied to J-Phone Co. Ltd., and raised Sharp's presence in the mobile phone market". [Sharp Company Profile]


There are an estimated 133+ million internet users in North America, 228 million in the rest of the world.


2001                     9/11 Captured on film, digital, and videotape as the planes crash into and destroy the World Trade Centre, people jump from top floors of the buildings to their deaths and a few thousand in total are killed in the wreckage


                              Canon releases the EOS 1D, its first digital SLR camera. It has 4.48 MP, a firewire connection, and a max shutter speed of 1/6000th of a second. The starting list price is $7,000


                              Nikon D1X is released. It is a 5.47MP camera with ISO options of 125-800.  It becomes one of two cameras of choice for photojournalists (its direct competition is the Canon EOS 1D). Its top speed is 3 fps.


                              Nikon D1H is released. It is a 2.26MP camera  (with the same resolution as the D1 but a larger buffer, better LCD, selectable colour space, one button image playback) designed for sports and action shooters who  need a high fps camera (top speeds reach 5 fps for up to 40 consecutive buffered shots) for recording action


                              Placement of restrictions on freelance photographers (shooting celebrities) becomes prohibitively tight, with a majority of major musical acts requiring photographers sign away all rights to the images they create of them before granting credentials to shoot their concerts.  These contracts are not new, however they are more common and demand more rights/place more restrictions than ever before.


2002                     Digital SLRs almost completely replace 35mm cameras in Western dailly news coverage.


Lieca releases the 4.1 MP Digilux 1 rangefinder camera, a compact camera designed for reportage.


Fuji Finepix S2 is released with a 6.1MP 3rd generation CCD sensor based on the N80 body (a higher level prosumer Nikon body than the N60 used in the S1).


Steve McCurryÕs ÒAfghan GirlÓ Sharbat Gula is found at last, and she is photographed her for a second time (by a female associate producer of National Geographic because her face must be hidden from men behind a veil) 18 years after the first image was created.  Shortly after this photo was recorded she and her family purposely vanished so they can live in peace and privacy.


The D100 is NikonÕs first pro-sumer digital SLR


American scientists at Washington University in St. Louis create ÒLewisÓ, a robot programmed to wander a location taking wedding photos and other event type photographs


The Jersey Journal (which forced photographers to take massive poverty inducing pay cuts to work there in order to ÒsaveÓ itself in 1996) goes under.


2003                     More than 80% of Canon and NikonÕs camera sales are of digital cameras.  NikonÕs 35mm SLR sales shrunk by 25%. Rumors circulate that Nikon will soon stop developing new compact 35mm film camera models.


                              Raw film sales drop from 5%-20% (differing from country to country) worldwide with slide films showing the largest drop. 


Ilford filed for bankruptcy protection for the their B&W film division late this summer.


                              Photo/Video blogging services from mobile phones introduced: ÒA couple of companies are offering next generation photoblogging services, allowing for audio/video/picture and text posting from a cell phone. US Text messaging service Tellshare has launched, mLogs (cf company press release) and offers a similar service in the UK, for the time being available only through the Orange operator (cf Smart Mobs).Ó


Short Films (videos) designed to play on cell phones The Raindance Film Festival in London is showcasing 15-second films made especially for mobile phones according to The Guardian via Moco News:  "Movies made for mobile phones will feature as part of the 11th Raindance festival, beginning in London tomorrow.Ten short films, commissioned especially, and loaded on to Nokia 3650s (which enjoy a short video capability) will be on display in cinema foyers before each festival screening. The 10 films are finalists in Nokia Shorts, a competition that generated more than 150 entries from budding film-makers.Ó


Nikon D2H released in November. It  has a brand new  Nikon designed 4.1 million pixel 'JFET sensor' and is capable of capturing  eight frames per second for up to 40 frames (five seconds of continuous  shooting at 8 fps). The D2H also adds a whole lot more including a new eleven area AF module (Multi-Cam 2000), 37 ms shutter lag and just 80  ms viewfinder blackout, a new ambient external WB sensor, an orientation  sensor, RAW + JPEG format, a huge 2.5" 211,000 pixel LCD monitor,  a new lightweight Lithium-Ion battery (with detailed in-camera readout)  and USB 2.0. The other 'big news' about the D2H system is the new WT-1  802.11b wireless transmission add-on which allows you to FTP images back  to a server as you shoot them*.


2004                     Sales of new point and shoot cameras are 90% digital.  Nikon completely stops new production of point and shoot 35mm film cameras.


                              ÒThe average sale price of a point and shoot digital camera is already less than US$200, so further price drops wonÕt gather much additional unit volume. Whether it be 5, 6, 7, 8, or more megapixels, these cameras already do pretty much what the majority of folk need them to do.Ó Thom Hogan (from his 2005 predictions)


                              Digital SLRs are still in the ÒadoptionÓ phase where market saturation points have not been reached (many SLR photographers are still shooting film).


E.P. releases the Digital Manifesto in an attempt to help photographers cope with the changes in costs of doing business and pricing structures while shooting in the digital age


                              New York City proposes a ban on photography in its subways citing post 9/11 security concerns            


                              John Oswald exhibits his time-based instandstillnessence at the Edward Day gallery in Toronto.  It can be described as an Òultra slow motion movieÓ.  Oswald (who does not consider himself a photographer) shot it with a point and shoot digital camera and lit his models with a simple strobe setup.  The models were passers-by accosted from the street.  The finished piece was projected over 15 feet high and 40 feet wide on the gallery walls with a temporal duration of 30 minutes.  Figures (some fully clothed, some nude, some clothed but transparent so a nude pose showed underneath) fade in and out.  He intended it as a bridge between the traditional disciplines of painting, photography, film, and video.


                              October: Samsung introduces the worldÕs first megapixel camera phone. the SCH-S250. A spokesman for the company said "the picture quality is good enough to compare with five megapixel digital cameras", but we'll reserve judgement on that one. It has a 92MB internal memory as well as an MP3 player. Samsung, the world's third largest handset maker, said the camera module was jointly developed with Japanese company Asahi Pentax.


                              The massive Tsunami on December 26th is the most devastating natural disaster to ever be captured photographically (still and video).  Amateur photographers looking for Òtrophy shotsÓ fly into Indonesia and other affected areas for a few hours to shoot the devasation before leaving for home or a more hospitable destination.


                              Digital photography and the internet are used to help family and friends identify and recover tens of thousands of corpses found in the aftermath.


                              Life magazine is resurrected for the second time, returning as a weekly


New York Times requires freelancers to sign contracts for the first time in its history.  The contracts are ugly, work for hire (rights grabbing terms) that also try to put the entire burden of liability for lawsuits of any kind over the use of the photographerÕs photographs on the photographer.   The contract also demands photographers abstain from admitting who they shot/are shooting for if the paper requests it.  This creates a huge stir in the photographic community.


2005                     Malaysian police sollicits camera phone shots and videos from citizen reporters:  The Penang police of Malaysia is solliciting camera phone shots and videos from citizen reports in order to help fight crime, reports the New Straits Times.    "From tomorrow, people in the state can send MMS and text messges to the police.  State police chief Deputy Commissioner Datuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee said the newly introduced MMS service was an extension of the SMS service implemented last October. ÒWe have found the SMS to be an effective means of submitting information to the police. This is why we have introduced the MMS service now,Õ he told a Press conference at the state police contingent headquarters here." (from


Nikon D2X released: shoots up to 12MP images (gives about half the equivalent resolution of a traditional 35mm film negative).  It shoots full frame//full chip at 5 FPS and 8 fps in a cropped sensor mode.  It has a true RGB histogram, but the ISO sensitivities are only from 100 to 800 (although there are noisy pushed Ò1600Ó and Ò3200Ó H modes.  The photographer can record voice memos with the built in microphone.  Starting list price is $5,000 US.


ÒGiven the onerous contracts currently circulated by the newspapers, magazines and wire services it is virtually impossible to make a meaningful living as an editorial photographer in Canada. Our future "history" will be recorded by pet photographers and the wives of US vice presidents.Ó Ted Andkilde, President of  PictureDesk International


March: Samsung introduces the worldÕs first 7 megapixel camera phone. It is also the first camera phone to offer controls such as manual focus, AE lock, shutter priority, and the ability to use wide angle and telephoto converter lenses.

Kodak announces it will discontinue production of its black and white photographic printing papers.

Canon releases its 17.2MP 1Ds Mark II Camera which effectively gives approximately the same resolution as 35mm film