The History of Photography in India

Significant Events and Technological Developments

1840: The first daguerreotypes (early form of photography) are produced in India. These early photographs are expensive and difficult to produce, and are primarily used by British officials and wealthy Indians to document their travels and possessions.

1850: The first photographs of India are taken by British photographers. These early photographs depict landscapes, architecture, and people in India, and are used to document and study India for the British Empire.

1856: The first permanent photograph studio is established in Calcutta (now Kolkata) by Dr. John Murray. This marks the beginning of commercial photography in India, as Murray begins to sell portrait photographs to the public.

1870s: The first Indian photographers, such as Raja Deen Dayal, begin to emerge and establish their own studios. These photographers, who are trained in Western techniques, establish a new tradition of Indian portrait photography and begin to document the lives and cultures of India.

1900s: Photography becomes more widely accessible in India, with the introduction of cheaper and more portable cameras. This leads to a proliferation of amateur photographers in India, who begin to document their own communities and cultures.

1930s: Color photography is introduced to India. This new technology allows photographers to capture the vibrant colors and textures of India in a more realistic way.

1950s: The first professional photography schools are established in India. These schools provide formal training for aspiring photographers and help to professionalize the field in India.

1980s: Digital photography begins to emerge in India. This new technology allows for faster and more efficient processing of photographs, leading to a growth in the number of professional photographers in India.

1990s: The internet and social media platforms become widely available in India, revolutionizing the way photographers share and distribute their work. Photographers can now share their work with a global audience, opening up new opportunities for exposure and recognition.

2000s: The proliferation of smartphones and mobile photography leads to a surge in amateur photographers in India. These amateur photographers use their smartphones to capture and share everyday moments, leading to a democratization of photography in India.

2010s: The art market in India sees a growth in the number of contemporary photographers, as well as an increase in the use of photography in advertising and marketing. The rise of online platforms and social media has also allowed photographers to connect with a global audience, leading to greater exposure and recognition for Indian photographers.

2020s: The COVID-19 pandemic has a major impact on the photography industry in India, with many photographers struggling to adapt to new restrictions and limitations on in-person events and shoots. However, the rise of virtual events and online exhibitions has also provided new opportunities for photographers to showcase their work and connect with audiences. The use of drones and aerial photography also becomes more widespread in India.

"Capturing India's heritage through the lens of history"

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