The History of Photography and Camera Development in 11 Portraits

In a stunning example of creative portrait photography, Leo Rosas has shot a single model 11 times, using 11 different post-processing techniques to depict more than 160 years of photography. The video is less than two minutes, and worth a look:

For those curious about what each type is and what years they’re replicating, here are the images with details below:

early photographic invention

An example of hazy pinhole photography. The visual pinhole phenomenon is thousands of years old, though the first pinhole camera was made in 1850.

historic camera style

Daguerreotype photography was popular from 1839–1860, and marked the first commercially successful type of camera, despite being fairly complex and fickle to process.

william henry fox talbot

Calotype photos, created from paper coated with silver iodide, existed simultaneous to daguerreotype, from the 1840s until the turn of the century, though because the inventor patented his process it never became as popular as it could have.

glass photography process

Ambrotype photography, printed on glass, was introduced in the mid-1800s and replaced earlier, more complex photographic processes by the turn of the century.

leica camera history

Leica, a German lens manufacturer formerly known for fine microscopes and binoculars, began developing 35mm film cameras in the mid-1920s. The popularity and convenience of their models would inspire millions of film photographers for decades to come.

early polaroid film

Instant Polaroid film has been around since the 1920s, but it really took off in 1963 wit Polacolor, the first instant color-film camera, depicted in the images above.

lomo photography history

Lomographic cameras reached a peak in 1992 with the creation of an international Lomographic Society. The new trend was inspired by the phrase, “Don’t think. Just shoot.”

candid disposable kodak

Fuji and Kodak released their popular disposable cameras in 1986 and 1987, respectively. Over the next two decades they’d become staples of parties, holidays and underwater photography.

Nikon F history

Nikon introduced the world’s first globally accessible 35mm SLR in 1959—called the Nikon F—and over the next 50 years, it and Canon would become the dominant players in the field, adding auto-exposure and auto-focus settings.

DSLR canon nikon olympus

Digital SLRs entered the fray in the mid-2000s, slowly adopting digital the full gamut of compact digital features, from video capabilities to liveview screens. They’ve since become the professional standard of our day.

iphone android selfies

In the last few years, smartphone cameras have made leaps and bounds in terms of quality and convenience, broadening the definition of photography by creating social elements on Instagram and Pinterest. The future of photography may well look more like an iPhone than a 5D Mark III.

There have been other cameras and technologies too, of course, but these have been some of the most influential. It makes you wonder what the next 160 years of photography holds, and whether we’ll one day reflect on our 2015-era selfies and wonder, “What were they thinking back then?”

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