The advent of 35mm photography largely simplified the picture-taking process, and cameras become far more affordable and accessible. Before this, however, the process was much slower, more intricate, and greater technical knowledge was necessary to get the result. The history of photography, both as an art form and a technical process, is, in a word, fascinating.
Thankfully, the George Eastman House has put together a beautiful series of videos about photographic processes well before the advent of 35mm photography. The 12-chapter series explores the Daguerreotype, Talbot’s processes, the cyanotype, the collodion, albumen printing, platinum printing, pigment processes, the Woodburytype, the gelatin silver process, color photography and digital photography. Each episode is around five minutes long for easy viewing.
Take a dive with the first video embedded below.