The History of Photography

by Matthew Cole

The History of Photography includes quite a few photographs, so I've broken it out into years and decades. The links below will take you the appropriate decade and thence to the years you like. Each year is linked to the prior and subsequent years. All photographs in the site are copyright of Matthew Cole and cannot be reproduced without permission, like you'd want to.
Start The Beginning
The 1970s Early Days
The 1980s Middle Ages
The 1990s Recent Events
The 2000s A New Millennium!!!

If you want to see some sites with actual good material about photography, you might want to visit by Phil Greenspun which has lots of good information and which I like for more reasons than just the fact that some of my comments appear. My friend Dave Dahms runs Paragon Press, which is a small publisher putting out books of his nature photography. Dave and I were buddies back in college and he is really good, and his site combines excellent pictures with some useful advice and war stories. I use a Mamiya 6 camera quite a lot and the Mamiya site is pretty good, mostly because it has a decent users forum, though they delete the more embarrassing messages, like the threads about the serial numbers falling off their lenses. Medium format has a different look to it than 35mm. I like it for my snapshots, lots of people do scenics or still lifes, but Liza Heider, a photographer in Oakland, uses it for wonderful black and white wedding and portrait photography. Another terrific site is Wim van Venzel's Wedding and Landscape Photography site. Wim's a Dutch guy, so of course the site is available in flawless English, and he has wonderful landscape shots on medium format. It's worth a visit.

For all the goofball stuff in this site, there are a couple of pages that are pretty informative; Using the 35mm Perspective Control Lens actually has been linked to by other sites and I have got some gratifying e mail from folks saying they like this page, Adventures in Lightning Photography and How to Photograph Lightning are a brief introduction to the subject with some useful links, and Using Movie Film Stock is a cautionary tale to warn you of the perils of using seemingly cheap film, though nobody has complimented me on this one! I've added my Exposure Record Book page where you can print off a handy format for binding and recording exposure information in the field, something I hardly ever do, to be honest. I've also written a Tedious Explanation of the f/stop which explains the f/stop numbers and the concepts underlying them, an ongoing source of confusion to many photographers and now by far my most popular page despite its offputting title.

Photography's a great time. I sure enjoy it, and I hope you have fun with it too.


e mail me