Life Through a Lens

1826: The first permanent image was created

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, a French inventor used a technique of his creation, called "heliography," which means "sun drawing." The image that was taken was of his countryside estate in Le Gras, France and was "burned" onto a chemical-coated pewter plate. The image is still visible today.

1839: First Photo of a Person

Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre, a French painter and chemist photographed the streets of Paris with a camera obsura and a process he invented called the "daguerreotype process." Moving objects did not show up in the photograph because of the long exposure time, but a man who was getting his shoes shined and was sitting for a long enough time, managed to become the first person ever photographed.

1861: First Color Photo

James Clerk Maxwell, a Scottish physicist created the first color image of multicolored ribbon by superimposing three black-and-white images passed through three color filters.

1878: First Action Photos

Eadweard Muybridge, an English photographer used new emulsions and 12 cameras to take a sequence of photographs depicting humans and animals in motion. These photographs are said to be linked to the creation of cinematography.

1884: George Eastman invented a flexible, paper-based photographic film

1888: George Eastman patens the Kodak roll-film camera

1913: First 35mm still camera is created

1926: First Underwater Color Photo

Ichthyologist William Longley and National Geographic staff photographer Charles Martin took the first underwater photo in Florida's Dry Tortugas using an Autochrome camera and explosive magnesium flash powder.

1940s: Color films were brought onto the market

1946: First Photo Taken From Space

A 35-millimeter camera that was strapped to a German V-2 missile and launched into space snapped pictures every second and a half. When the camera fell to the ground, the film (which was encased in a steel cassette) was still able to produce images of the Earth from space.

1948: The first Polaroid camera was sold to the public.

1986: Fuji introduces the first disposable camera.

1991: First Digital Still Camera

Kodak released the first expensive, digital camera made from a Nikon F-3 camera body and a digital sensor. It was commercially available and marketed to professional photographers.

2000: Camera phone introduced in Japan by Sharp/J-Phone

2005-current: Continued advancement of the digital SLR camera