The First Camera

The basic concept of photography has been around since about the 5th century B.C.E. It wasn’t until an Iraqi scientist developed something called the camera obscura in the 11th century that the art was born.

Even then, the camera did not actually record images, it simply projected them onto another surface. The images were also upside down, though they could be traced to create accurate drawings of real objects such as buildings.

The first camera obscura used a pinhole in a tent to project an image from outside the tent into the darkened area. It was not until the 17th century that the camera obscura became small enough to be portable. Basic lenses to focus the light were also introduced around this time.